Promotion request for Gerlach made on 1st April 1944

   This promotion request for Gerlach pre-dates the events at Oradour by over two months and as can be read, details his severe wounding in March of 1944, which had an impact on his health and physical fitness. Note that this was the second time Gerlach had had a lung wound, the first being in October 1941. At the time this request was written, Das Reich was refitting and retraining in the south of France, so there was no immediate call for Gerlach to be instantly promoted, hence the quite long delay between the date of the application on 1st April 1944 and the effective promotion date of 21st June 1944 (some 11 days after the attack on Oradour).

SS-Self-Propelled Gun Detachment 2, "Das Reich"1st April 1944

Personnel Application

SS-Untersturmführer Gerlach, Karl, Self-Propelled Gun Ordnance Officer

SS Nr: 283,079 born on: 9. 12. 1914

Recommended promotion to: SS-Obersturmführer with effect from 21st June 1944

Substantiation - assessment, (SS-posture - character suitability - official performances - special suitability).

    10 year term of service in the Waffen-SS, more than 1 year occupation in present position.

    Gerlach has proven himself outstandingly in all his entrusted tasks as Platoon Leader and acting Company Leader. On the basis of his outstanding, active character-qualities and his extensive soldierly proficiency, he understands how to lead men and seize the situation. He is an exemplary SS-Leader and possesses the qualities of a good Company-Leader.

    Gerlach was badly injured for the second time in March 1944 with a lung-shot, so that there is no more reckoning with his able-bodiedness.

    Krag … Hauptsturmführer and Detachment-Leader (Ernst Krag was one of the Division's Knight's Cross winners and a notable personality in his own right).

    Lammerding SS-Brigadeführer and Major-General … In agreement

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© Michael Williams: minor revision November 2021