Far from the parade ground

“Our Sanitätsfeldwebel Siegele”. This is all we know about the merry medic sergeant in the photo. A search of German war dead listings doesn’t turn up any Siegele fitting the age and rank, so he might actually have survived the war. The photo is probably from the winter of 1941-42, somewhere on the vast Eastern Front. Medics like Siegele were invaluable, as the first aid administered by them was crucial to the survival of the wounded. That excuses his scruffy appearance – unshaven and with pelts wrapped around his boots for warmth. Neatness is for barracks and the parade ground.

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