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This group of three citations to Cpl. Otto Schlegel of the Armoured (SP) Anti - tank Troops includes -
1) Certificate for the Iron Cross 2nd Class, 20/07/1941.
This certificate is signed by the Commanding Officer of the 31. Inf. Div. General Major Gerhard Berthold (Knight's Cross, 04/12/1941, KIA 14/04/1942 near Juchnow).
2) Certificate for the Driver's Proficiency Badge in Bronze, 14/07/1943. Preliminary issue.
This certificate is signed by the Commanding Officer of Pz. Abt. (Sf) 31, Captain Joachim von Lepel.
3) Certificate for the General Assault Badge, 03/10/1943.
Corporal Otto Schlegel served in Panzer jag. Abt. (sf) 31, the armoured self- propelled Anti - tank unit of the 31st Infantry Division. Troops were recruited from the Braunschweig and Brunswick areas of North Central Germany. The 31st Division fought in South Poland in 1939 and in Belgium and France the following year.
In 1941 the 31st Division took part in the Russian invasion with the 2nd Panzer Army in the central sector as well as in Guderian's unsuccessful attempt to encircle Tula (south east of Moscow) in late 1941. Panzer jagerabteilung (sf) 31 suffered very heavy losses in the Russian winter offensive of 1941 - 42. The unit fought in the major Battle of Kursk in July 1943 as part of XLVI Panzer corps. 9th Army and later that year took part in the battles of the middle Dnieper. It was during these actions that Otto Schlegel was awarded the General Assault Badge.
By October 1943, the 31st Division was down to Battle Group strength and in June 1944, was finally overwhelmed and virtually destroyed in the heavy fighting.
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