Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Richard Schulze

Good evening

Some of you may know me from one of a number of forums that I sometimes post on, others from WW2 airsofting, some of you may have picked up one of my business cards, and whichever one of the above applies to you, you may have noticed that I am frequently referred to as Richard, or Richard Schulze. For those of you who might be wondering why that is, if you care to read on then all will be revealed

A few years ago I decided to become involved with WW2 airsofting, having happened upon some of the guns for sale whilst visiting a militaria show. I already knew I wanted to represent 'the dark side', having had an interest in the German army, and a few other things German, since I was a fairly small child, and I had already started to put a uniform together for an entirely different purpose, hence my attendance at the fair. The uniform I was putting together [I briefly flirted with the idea of joining a reenactment group, but if I'm honest it was primarily for 'dressing up'] was based on a photograph of a Waffen SS officer I had seen in an Osprey 'Men-At-Arms' publication (number 401 to be precise). His name; Richard Schulze. So, I decided to use it as my forum 'nom de plume' and the 'aka' for my WW2 airsofting 'character' or 'impression'

I have included a couple of links below to sites that offer some very detailed accounts of some of the units Richard Schulze was part of during the war. Although an infantry officer, he is pictured here wearing a field grey version of the panzer, or tank, wrap worn by SP and AG crew but also worn quite occasionally by panzer grenadiers. Notice also that the insignia on his m43 ski cap is rather unusual and certainly not regulation wear. It sports a metal totenkopf, or death's head badge, positioned below a regular army pattern national eagle

A picture of Schulze taken from the above mentioned Osprey book. Photographed in 1944/45 when he was with the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend

A summary of Schulze's career up to August 1941
Richard Schulze was born in Berlin-Spandau on 2 October 1914. He joined the SS on 11 November 1934 stationed to the 6.SS standarte in Berlin. A short while later he was transferred to the LSSAH. In April 1935 he attended the second cadet class at SS Junkerschule Bad Tölz and was commissioned on 20 April 1936 with the rank of Untersturmführer. He was assigned to II./Totenkopfverbänd "Elbe" until March 1937 when he served a four month stint as Theodor Eicke's adjutant. It was while adjutant to Eicke that Schulze joined the NSDAP

On 10 July 1937 Schulze was assigned to "Thüringen", where he served as adjutant until November 1938. He received his first promotion as a commissioned officer on the 9th and shortly after assumed command of one of the "Thüringen" barracked units. In April 1939 Schulze was transferred to the SS Hauptamt (central office) where again he served as adjutant, this time to SS Hauptamt chief August Heissmeyer. Schulze served in this capacity until 8 June, when he was then transferred to a similar post on the staff of Joachim von Ribbentrop, Germany's Foreign Minister and father of future Ritterkreuzträger Rudolf von Ribbentrop

In April 1940 Schulze was transferred back to the Leibstandarte and placed in command of a zug in 2.Kompanie. Serving in this capacity at the outset of the hostilities in the west, Schulze went on to distinguish himself by winning both Iron Crosses and taking command of the Kompanie when the Kompanie commander was wounded on 11 June. Promoted to Hauptsturmführer on 11 August, after France's capitulation Schulze returned back to his staff position with Ribbentrop

In the January of 1941 Schulze transferred back to the Leibstandarte's 2.Kompanie. He would command 2.Kompanie until suffering wounds in both arms that August 

Later in his career he served as commander of the 2nd SS Panzer-Grenadier Battalion of the 25th regiment, Hitlerjugend during the division's 1944 campaign in the Ardennes, and towards the end of the war in March 1945 he was given command of the 38th SS-Grenadierdivision Nibelungen

Below you will find a chronological record of the ranks achieved by Schulze during his career and a selection of the awards he won, a couple of which you can see being worn in the above photograph

Dates of rank
 Notable decorations

Some photographs of the German awards referred to above are included here

    The Wound Badge in Silver

    The Iron Cross 1st Class

    The Infantry Assault Badge

    The German Cross in Gold, picture courtesy of The Regalia Specialist

    The Close Combat Clasp in Silver, picture courtesy of The Regalia Specialist

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