My time as an Untersturmführer in the Waffen-SS pioneers - Adrian Matthes

Gerhard Femppel, born in Stuttgart in 1925, came from a modest background. From an early age, he was in pursuit of a career and, based on his achievements, was accepted at a NAPOLA-school. He voluntarily reported to the Waffen-SS at the age of 16 and was promoted to SS-Untersturmführer in record time. From December 1944, he was appointed platoon leader in the armoured division ‘Das Reich’ and later deployed as company commander. As a pioneer, he fought together with the SS regiments ‘Der Führer’ and ‘Deutschland’ on the Eastern and Western front. He experienced the battlegrounds of the last years of war against the enemy, firstly in the Ardennes Offensive, later in Hungary and finally in the battle for Vienna. During his time of service, he was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class, the Close Combat Clasp, the ‘Tank Buster’ sleeve stripe and the General Assault Badge.

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