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Otto Rabbe's Soldbuch Story
By Doug Nash


Unteroffizer Otto Rabbe was born 28 November 1912 in Schoeppfeld, a small village in the Oberbarmin District not far from Magdeburg.  After apprenticing as a bookkeeper's assistant, he was called up by the Wehrmacht-Heer for active service in March 1940 and underwent basic training with 2nd Kompanie, Infantry Ersatz Reigment 33 in the city of Darmstadt. 

After seeing seeing service as a company clerk in Belgium and France from May to July 1940 with the 33rd Infantry Division's Infantry Regiment 110, he was transferred along with the rest of his regiment to the 112 Infantry Division, where he served on the Eastern Front from June 1941 until November 1943, fighting in such places as Tula, Orel, and Kiev.  Promoted to Unteroffizier on 1 April 1943, he left behind his clerk's job and became a newly-minted infantry NCO that spring.  When his decimated regiment was used to form the basis for Regimentgruppe 110 of Korps-Abteilung B, he was transferred to France, where he joined the newly-forming Grenadier Regiment 915 of the 352nd Infantry Division, then being assembled in the St. Lo area. 

On June 6, 1944, Raabe was serving as a squad leader in 8th Kompanie, Grenadier Regiment 915, the unit responsible for manning part of the defenses on Omaha Beach.  On 14 June 1944, after surviving a grueling week of combat before the gates of Caen, Rabbe was injured in a fall but had recovered sufficiently to return to his duties after a few days with the Kompanie Tross.  On 25 June, he was wounded in action by Allied artillery fire and evacuated to Kriegs-Lazerett 10/528 R in Plombieres, France.  He then began a three-month period of recovery, finally being discharged from the military hospital in Halbersleben on 13 September 1944.  He was then assigned to the Convalescent Company of Grenadier Ersatz und Ausbildung Battalion 396 in Northeim, where he carried out "light" duties while his wound finished healing. 

Finally, on 26 October, he was issued a completely new set of clothing and equipment, assigned to a March Kompanie, and sent off to join his old division, now redesignated 352nd Volks-Grenadier Division, then encamped near Flensburg in northern Germany.  Assigned to his old 8th Company, Grenadier Regiment once again, he was allowed to enjoy one last leave at home with his wife Jutta from 17 November to 10 December 1944 before participating in the Ardennes Offensive.  His decorations include the War Service Cross 2nd Class with Swords, awarded on 15 November 1943 and the Black Wound Badge, awarded on 22 July 1944.  He is believed to have been captured in the Ardennes and survived the war.
 

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