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Spranz, Bodo

Date of birth:
January 1st, 1920 (Nordhausen/Thuringia, Germany)
Date of death:
September 1st, 2007 (Bremen, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

Bodo Spranz was born on 1 January 1920 in the town of Nordhausen, in the
German Harz. After completing his basic military training, he served as
Fahnenjunker and Geschützführer with the 8. Batterie/Artillerie-Regiment 12
in Rostock during the Polish campaign, between 16 November 1938 and 10
October 1939. He received a promotion to Gefreiter on 1 April 1939. On 1
August 1939 he was promoted to Fahnenjunker-Unteroffizier and on 26 January
1940 was promoted again to Fahnenjunker-Wachtmeister. After attending the
Waffenschule in Jüterbog and being promoted to Leutnant, he was assigned as
Zugführer IV. Abteilung Artillerie-Regiment 209, participating in the Battle
of France. Between 21 July and 9 August 1940, he underwent training for duty
on a Sturmgeschütz with the VI. Artillerie-Lehrregiment at Jüterbog.

Upon successful completion of his training, he was assigned to
Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 185 as a Zugführer with the Heeresgruppe Nord on the
Eastern Front. On 30 September 1941, he was transferred to Schweinfurt as a
Batterieoffizier with the Sturmgeschütz Ersatz- und Ausbildungsabteilung
200. He was once again serving on the Eastern Front between 15 January 1942
and 13 January 1943 as a Zugführer and later Batteriechef with
Sturmgeschützabteilung 185 and on 1 April 1942 he was promoted to
Oberleutnant. For a short time he returned to the Sturmgeschütz Ersatz- und
Ausbildungsabteilung 200 at Schweinfurt but transferred back to the Eastern
Front on 2 June 1943 as a Batteriechef with Sturmgeschütz-Brigade 237. As a
consequence of being decorated with the Knights Cross and the Oakleaves,
both on 3 October 1943, he received a promotion to Hauptmann. He served with
the Sturmgeschütz-Brigade 237 until 2 April 1944, after which time he was
assigned as Hörsaalleiter with the Sturmgeschütz-schule at Magdeburg.

From the beginning of 1945 until the end of the war, Bodo Spranz was
assigned as an Ordonnanzoffizier with the Chef Generalstab des Heeres,
General Oberst Heinz Guderian, with the 29. Panzergrenadier-Division in
Italy and finally with Army Commander General Wenck in Berlin. He was
captured by the Americans on 6-7 May 1945, trying to escape Soviet captivity
and transferred to a British POW camp until his release.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Zugführer IV. / Artillerie-Regiment.209
Awarded on:
June 23rd, 1940
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Zugführer Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 185
Awarded on:
July 2nd, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Zugführer Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 185
Awarded on:
September 4th, 1941
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Schwarz
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit:
2. / Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 185
Awarded on:
May 6th, 1942
Details:
Awarding 114/26
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Zugführer Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 185
Awarded on:
July 27th, 1942
Medaille
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Obergefreiten (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Zugführer Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 185
Awarded on:
August 27th, 1942
Panzervernichtungsabzeichen in Silber
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Zugführer Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 185
Awarded on:
August 27th, 1942
Panzervernichtungsabzeichen in Silber
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Zugführer Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 185
Awarded on:
August 27th, 1942
Panzervernichtungsabzeichen in Silber
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Zugführer Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 185
Awarded on:
August 27th, 1942
Panzervernichtungsabzeichen in Silber
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Zugführer Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 185
Awarded on:
September 2nd, 1942
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Silber
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Zugführer Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 185
Awarded on:
December 8th, 1942
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Hauptmann (Captain)
Unit:
Chef 1. / Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 237 / 330.Infanterie-Division / IX.Armee-Korps / 4. Panzer-Armee / Heeresgruppe Mitte
Awarded on:
October 3rd, 1943
Details:
2182nd Award
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Hauptmann (Captain)
Unit:
Chef I. / Sturmgeschütz-Brigade 237 / 330.Infanterie-Division / IX.Armee-Korps / 4. Armee / Heeresgruppe Mitte
Awarded on:
October 3rd, 1943
Details:
308th Award
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub

Sources

  • Photo 1: Willi Schumacher Collection
  • Photo: Willi Schumacher Collection
  • - Die Ordensträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht (CD), VMD-Verlag GmbH, Osnabrück, 2002
    - Kwasny A., Kwasny G., Die Eichenlaubträger 1940-1945 (CD), Deutsches Wehrkundearchiv, Lage-Waddenhausen, 2001
    - Heukemes F., The General Assault Badge, A Definitive Guide to the German Award of World War II, Volume 1
    - Ingo Kiefel
    - Bodo Spranz