SMGP-1261 Gunter Halm Signature
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This signature was acquired less then a year before his death in 2017. The photo is 6×9
The anti-tank platoon consisted of two captured Soviet anti-tank guns, both being 76mm M1936s (F22), which the Wehrmacht designated as the PAK 36 or PAK 36(r), and were colloquially known at the “Ratsch-Bumm”. With Halm’s gun under the command of Unteroffizier Jabeck, his unit took part in Operation Theseus, also known as the Battle of Gazala. In July 1942 he was promoted to Gefreiter and on 15 July 1942 he was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class for the elimination of two British tanks at the Battle of Bir Hakeim.
Following this he fought at the First Battle of El Alamein, where he, despite the fact that his gun had taken a direct hit which had wounded two of the crew, successfully destroyed 15 tanks of the British 23rd Armoured Brigade at Ruweisat Ridge on 22 July 1942. For this achievement he was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class. As his efforts had essentially blunted the British counter-attack in a matter of minutes, however, it was suggested that he ought indeed to have received the Knight’s Cross and, with the application having been approved, he was awarded Germany’s highest award for bravery at the age of 19 on 7 August 1942 by General Field Marshall Erwin Rommel himself.
His promotion to Unteroffizier soon followed in November 1942, before being wounded twice; the first being in December 1942 and then again March 1943. Having been hospitalized in Athens and Vienna, he became a Fahnenjunker in July 1943 and a month later successfully completed the Fallschirmjager course at Wischau. In October 1943 he was promoted to Feldwebel and in November 1943 to Oberf?hnrich.
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