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eMedals-Germany, Luftwaffe. The Estate of Crimea-Stationed Flak Obergefreiter Rupert Sirch (EK2)

Item: G46884

Germany, Luftwaffe. The Estate of Crimea-Stationed Flak Obergefreiter Rupert Sirch (EK2)

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Germany, Luftwaffe. The Estate of Crimea-Stationed Flak Obergefreiter Rupert Sirch (EK2)

The estate of Rupert Sirch includes:

A Luftwaffe Flak Badge, constructed of zink, the obverse consisting of an oval oak leaf wreath, joined together at the bottom by ribbon, topped by a Luftwaffe eagle, with a central Flak 88 with its barrel raised and extending beyond the edge of the wreath, the reverse with a barrel hinge and vertical pinback meeting a flat wire catch, unmarked with the exception of a hand-etched name of “B. KOLANDER 284”, measuring 45.74 mm (w) x 63.95 mm (h), weighing 29.6 grams, the swastika formerly held in the eagle’s talons has been ground off and a crack is evident to the lower barrel of the Flak gun, in overall very fine condition.

A Crimean Campaign commemorative ring, constructed of a silvered bronze alloy, the exterior bearing an etched map of the Crimean Peninsula, overlaid by a faint etched inscription of “KRIM”, flanked on one side by a palm tree and on the other by a sun, unmarked, measuring 21.00 mm in exterior diameter, in near extremely fine condition.

A signet ring, constructed of a silvered bronze alloy, the exterior with a raised rectangular medallion bearing stylized initials “RS”, flanked on each side by ornate oak leaf designs, unmarked, measuring 23.30 mm in exterior diameter, some loss of finish evident, in overall near extremely fine condition.

A German War Graves Commission supporter’s stick pin, constructed of silvered bronze with enamels, the obverse consisting of a black enameled rectangular field bearing five silvered Latin Crosses, unmarked, measuring 10.15 mm (w) x 12.70 mm (h), in extremely fine condition.

An Iron Cross 2nd Class certificate to Oberefreiter (Corporal) Rupert Sirch (misspelled Robert Sirsch) of the 1st Battery of gemischte Flakabteilung (mixed anti-aircraft detachment) 505, dated “in the field” on November 4, 1943, signed in blue crayon by Generalleutnant Wolfgang Pickert (1897-1984), a recipient of the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves. Measuring 141 mm (w) x 200 mm (h), presenting a folding crease, some overall creasing, and one minor tear, remains better than fine.

A Flak Badge certificate to Gefreiter (lance corporal) Rupert Sirch, of the 1st Battery of Flakabteilung (anti-aircraft detachment) 505 (Fähre) (ferry), dated to July 22, 1942, signed in blue ink by General Albert Vierling (1887-1969), a recipient of the German Cross in Silver. Measuring 150 mm (w) x 212 mm (h), presenting a folding crease, minimal creasing of the edges, and one minor tear, remains very fine.

A Black Grade Wound Badge certificate to Obergefreiter Rupert Sirch (misspelled Rupert Sireh) of the 11th Battery of the 3rd Flak Regiment 27 (mot), dated to Jugenheim on April 26, 1945. Measuring 140 mm (w) x 201 mm (h), presenting a folding crease and light creasing of the edges, remains very fine.

A Romanian Crusade Against Communism Medal certificate to Gefreiter Rupert Sirch of the 1st Battery of Flakabteilung (anti-aircraft detachment) 505 (Fähre) (ferry), dated to November 15, 1942. Measuring 150 mm (w) 211 mm (h), presenting a folding crease and minimal scuffing of the edges, remains extremely fine.

Two studio portraits of Rupert Sirch. One shows him wearing the Luftwaffe uniform of a Gefreiter (lance corporal), dated to 1941 on the reverse. Measuring 87 mm (w) x 147 mm (h), presenting light warping, remains near mint. The other shows him wearing the Luftwaffe uniform of an Obergefreiter (corporal) and a ribbon bar with the Iron Cross 2nd Class and Romanian Crusade Against Communism Medal ribbons. Dated to Beuthen (present-day Bytom, southern Poland) in 1944 on the reverse. Measuring 46 mm (w) x 64 mm (h), presenting light creasing, remains very fine.

A Wehrmacht photo album, constructed of a cream-tan coloured woven cloth exterior, the cover bearing three hand-painted blue flowers and green leaves at the bottom right-hand corner, the spine with two ovular metal eyelets and a light blue twisted cord, the interior with twenty-four card stock pages with protective photo pages between. The interior of the cover bears an attached envelope bearing a colourized picture of Sirch and his wife, dated to 1986, one year before she died; two obituaries, one of Karl Sirch and one of Hedwig Sirch, Rupert’s parents; and a cut-out newspaper article dated 1950 regarding a topping out ceremony of a house Rupert helped built. The photo album contains pictures of Sirch’s childhood, his 1940/41 RAD (national labour front) service, Flak training, stationing in Romania, onboard a ship in the Black Sea, on the Crimean peninsula, and the awarding of the Knight’s Cross to Leutnant Muhr (1910-1977) by General Pickert. Sirch served under Muhr during his service in Crimea. Measuring 323 mm (w) x 233 mm (h), presenting minimal scuffing and soiling of the cover, remains better than very fine.

A set of Flak crew sun goggles, constructed of dark plastic eyepieces within brown cotton twill frames, the sides with magnetic metal mesh screens, with an elastic headband secured in place with dual magnetic metal rivets, adjusted with two magnetic metal buckles, unmarked, in overall near extremely fine condition.

An official Wehrmacht soldier’s dictionary with pictures, German - Bulgarian - Romanian, dated to 1941, softcover, 64 pages, measuring 104 mm (w) x 144 mm (h), presenting light scuffing of the cover and light fraying of the spine, remains very fine.

A Feldgesangbuch, a pocket book of religious songs and prayers for soldiers, dated to 1939, softcover, 96 pages, measuring 73 mm (w) x 101 mm (h), presenting some scuffing of the cover and a folding crease in the back cover, remains very fine.

A First War religious pocket book for soldiers and veterans belonging to Sirch’s father Carl, dated to 1916, hardcover, 256 pages, measuring 83 mm (w) x 107 mm (h), presenting light scuffing of the cover, remains very fine.

An extensive autobiography, 57 pages, written in 1991. In it, Sirch describes his childhood, pre-war youth, RAD service, army service during the war, and post-war life.

 

Footnote: Rupert Sirch was born on 11 November 1921 in Berlin and grew up in Ronsberg, southern Bavaria. After leaving high school in 1936, he began an apprenticeship as a bricklayer and passed his foreman’s assistant exam in December of 1939. Sirch completed his mandatory RAD (Reichsarbeitsdienst = National Labour Service) term between October 1940 and early January 1941, after which he was drafted and trained in a heavy Flak unit near Gleiwitz (present-day Gliwice, southern Poland). After the German attack on Russia, Sirch’s regiment was deployed to Romania. From there, Sirch was stationed on a ship crossing the Black Sea, his Flak cannon protecting the vessel on the way to the Crimean peninsula. On Crimea, Sirch took part in the siege of Sevastopol. He was stationed on the peninsula until early 1944 when he was granted holiday leave. He managed to get off the peninsula just in time before Russian forces reconquered it. After his time at home, Sirch rejoined the forces in Romania. He was then redeployed to Beuthen in Upper Silesia (present-day Bytom, southern Poland). For a brief period, he defended the Leuna factory for synthetic gasoline in Auschwitz. In late 1944, Sirch’s unit was deployed to Metz, France, to fight US forces advancing towards the German borders. Sirch’s regiment had to withdraw quickly and was stationed in Homburg in the Saarland region, moving through the Hunsrück to Hermeskeil. In April of 1945, in the small town of Baumholder, Sirch was wounded during a battle with a US tank and took several wooden splinters to the head, fortunately largely protected by his helmet, and to his thigh. He underwent emergency surgery in a military hospital in Jugenheim and eventually made a full recovery. Sirch was released from hospital in July of 1945 and made his way back home to Ronsberg. After the war, he initially worked as a bricklayer and foreman again. In the early 1950s, he got married. Starting in the 1960s, Sirch and his wife successfully ran a gas station until her death in 1987 and Sirch’s subsequent retirement. He died on 19 May 2012.

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