Panzer Pionier Bataillon 38

This is original drawing showing the Bataillon's organization in 1944.

"Looking over this whole set-up, the American soldier will see that a combat engineer in the German Army operates both as a fighter and a highly skilled technical expert. It may be said that if we destroy a German combat engineer, we destroy a man who is as useful to the Axis as any single person on the battlefield. Someone who is an infantryman -plus."

-Intelligence Bulletin October 1942 of the Military Intelligence Division, U.S. War Department.

Stab/Pz.Pi.Btl. 38 This is the headquarters unit of the battalion.

1./Pz.Pi.Btl. 38 (1st Company) This was a motorized company equipped with trucks.

2./Pz.Pi.Btl. 38 (2nd Company) This was a motorized company equipped with trucks.

3./Pz.Pi.Btl. 38 (3rd Company) This company was equipped with Sd.Kfz. 251 armored half-tracks.

Bridging Kompanie.

We portray a small part of 1./Panzer Pionier Bataillon 38. Our Feldpost number is 20 141.

Radio code names for the Bataillon on August 10, 1944.

Pz.Pi.Btl. 38..................Lustspiel

1./Pz.Pi.Btl. 38..............Hahnenfuss

2./Pz.Pi.Btl. 38..............Klosstrühe

3./Pz.Pi.Btl. 38..............Wiesenblume


Our replacement unit is Panzer Pionier Ersatz und Ausbildung Bataillon 80. It is located in Klosterneuberg near Vienna, Austria (Wehrkreis XVII). When you joined the German army you would be sent to this unit for training. When you were badly wounded you would be returned here until you fully recovered. This unit also trained the Pioniers for our sister division the 9th Panzer Division.

Hauptmann Heinrich Graf von Treuberg
This photo was taken after the war. He rose to the rank of Brigadegeneral in the Bundeswehr.

-He took part in the occupation of the Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia.
-Fought in Poland, France, Greece, Russia, Normandy & the Battle of the Bulge.
-Born 9.5 1919
-Joined the Heer 1.11. 1937 in Pionier Bataillon 47 München
-Became a Leutnant in 3./Panzer Pionier Bataillon 38 in April 1940
-Recovered from wounds in Wien/Klosterneuburg ( in Panzer Pionier Ersatz Bataillon 80)
-Oberleutnant April 1942
-Commander of the 3./Pz.Pi.Btl. 38 in 1943
-Hauptmann January 1944
-Commander of Panzer Pionier Bataillon 38, November 1944 until March 23, 1945 when he went into American captivity.


German Cross in Gold
Ehrenblatt des Heeres (Honor Clasp of the Army)
Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Classes
Close Combat Badge in Bronze and Silver
General Assault Badge
Silver Wound Badge

Oberfeldwebel Leonhard Jahn
1./Panzer Pionier Battaillon 38

Born 31 August 1917
Joined 1./Panzer Pionier Btl 38 in Klosterneuberg on 10. Nov. 1938
-Fought in Poland, France, Greece, Russia, Normandy and in the Ardennenes.
-He stayed in the Pionier Bataillon of 2nd Panzer for the entire war.

German Cross in Gold
3 Tank Destruction Badges (count-em yourself they’re on right on his sleeve)
Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Classes
Close Combat Badge in Bronze and Silver
General Assault Badge
Eastern Front Medal
Bulgarian Soldier’s Cross 4th Class

Oberfeldwebel Bernard Wittmann
Unteroffizier in 2./Panzer Pionier Bataillon 38

Born 2.7.1915 in Munich, his father died in the fighting in France in 1914.
1936/37 Reichsarbeitsdienst.
8 Nov. 1937: Recruit in 1. I. Mot. Kp. Pi. 47 in Munich.
1 Oktober 1938: Gefreiter. He signed up for the 12 year NCO program.
March 1939: Unteroffizier in 2./Pz. Pi. 38.
March 1941: Feldwebel.
March 1943: Oberfeldwebel.
12 July 1944: He died as a Zugführer in Briquessard, France 3 km east of
Took part in the occupation of Austria, the Sudetenland and Bohemia-Moravia
Fought in Poland, France, Greece, Russia and Normandy, France.

Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Classes
General Assault Badge
Wound Badge
Occupation of Austria
Occupation of the Sudetenland
Eastern Front Medal

Oberst Wilhelm Wassung
Born 24. April 18 in Mannheim
21.3.1912 Joined Pionier Btl. 25
1913 promoted to Leutnant
1916 Oberleutnant

Earned the Iron Cross 1st Class and the Ritterkreuz mit Schwerten des Ordens
zum Zähringer Löwen in 1915
Earned the Ritterkreuz mit Schwerten des Kgl. Hausordens von Hohenzollern in
the fighting in Northern France in 1917.
1934 Reactivated as Hauptmann
1937 Major
1940 Oberstleutnant
1942 Oberst

Served as the commander of Panzer Pionier Bataillon 38 in 2nd Panzer during the occupation of Austria, Sudetenland, and the Polish, French, Balkan and Russian Campaigns.
On 6.11. 1941 he became very sick in Russia. He was sent back to Germany where
he remained for a time in Führerreserve.
1943/44 No longer in 2nd Panzer he served as a commander of a
He survived the war.

Iron Cross 1st Class
Bar to the Iron Cross 1st Class
General Assault Badge
Wound Badge
Russian Front Medal
plus others

Major Siegfried Bergler

22.6.1918 Recruit in the E/kgl. Bay. 21 Inf. Rgt. Fürth
18.10.1918 Fahnenjunker
June 1936 Gefreiter in Pionier Bataillon 24
May 1937 Unteroffizier
June 1938 Feldwebel
1938 Leutnant d. Res. (of the reserve)
16.8. 1939 Joins 2nd Panzer in Brückenkolonne B (mot).
Takes part in the Polish, French and Balkan campaigns. He was on a troop ship that was torpedoed after the British were driven from Greece.
1.4. 1939 Oberleutnant d. Res.
June 1941 till December 1942 Adjutant in the Stab Panzer Pionier Bataillon 38 (of 2nd Panzer).
1.7.1942 Hauptmann d. Res.
December 1942 promoted to commander of another Panzer Pionier Bataillon.
1.7.44 Major d. Res.
He fought in various units until the end of the war.

Kriegsteilnehmer-Ehrenkreuz ohne Schwerter(WWI) Iron Cross 2nd Class, 1st Class, General Assault Badge, Russian Front Medal.

German Cross in Gold Recipients

Name Kompanie Date Awarded
Hauptmann Rudolf Assam Pz.Pi.Btl. 38 21.10. 1943
Oberfeldwebel Hugo Heller 2./Pz.Pi.Btl. 38 21.02. 1944
Hauptmann Josepf Henn Pz.Pi.Btl. 38 09.10. 1942
Oberfeldwebel Otto Islinger 2./Pz.Pi.Btl. 38 29.11. 1942
Feldwebel Leonhard Jahn 1./Pz.Pi.Btl. 38 26.12. 1943
Leutant Josef Neugeborn Pz.Pi.Btl. 38 27.10. 1944
Obergefreiter Josef Sallmuter 1./Pz.Pi.Btl. 38 18.03. 1943
Hauptmann Graf von Treuberg Pz.Pi.Btl. 38 27.10. 1944
Oberleutant Karl-Viktor Zimmermann 1./Pz.Pi.Btl. 38 19.04. 1942

Honor Roll of the Army Recipients

Name Kompanie Date Awarded
Oberleutant Helmut Brell 3./Pz.Pi.Btl. 38 17.08.1944
Oberleutant Fritz Kühn Pz.Pi.Btl. 38 05.11. 1943
Oberleutant Hans-Joachim Richter Pz.Pi.Btl.38 18.04. 1943
Oberleutant Siegfried Schmid 3./Pz.Pi.Btl. 38 05.11.1943
Oberleutant Heinrich Graf von Treuberg 1./Pz.Pi.Btl. 38 27.12.1943
Unteroffizier Friedrich Wittmann 1./Pz.Pi.Btl.38 08.02.1942

Six Pioniers from our Pionier Bataillon
They are part of 3./Pz.Pi.Btl.38 from 1944

This photo was taken in France between Jan. and June 1944. The trees are still bare so it is winter or early spring. Note also the wool gloves. Some wear the M-43 straight and one has his tilted like the side cap. This is an authenticated photo. At least in this instance, it shows that there was not uniformity in regards to headwear and tunics at the company level.


Black and white portraits were taken from the Mitteilungsblatt of the Kameradschaft der Wiener Panzer-Division. Published with permission.

Sources: Mitteilungsblatt of the 2nd Panzer Division, Wien, Austria various years.

Documents of the IIa 2nd Panzer Division 1939-4.

Second Panzer Divisional Records.

Copyright Matthew Gajkowski 1999.