DX'07 VIP Biography - Alfred Kurzmaul

Tiger Tank Veteran

2/s.Pz.Abt.503

Budapest, October 1944

Gefreiter

Alfred Kurzmaul was born in Schwarzenbach an der Saale, Germany on June 23, 1922.

At age 17, Mr. Kurzmaul volunteered for service in the Panzerwaffe so he could choose the branch he wanted to serve in. In the spring of 1941, he received his training as a gunner and loader and then took special driver training for the Panzer III and Panzer IV. After his initial training period was over, he was posted to Panzer-Regiment 25 with the 7.Panzer-Division at Erlangen.

Mr. Kurzmaul turned 19 on June 23, 1941, the day after Germany attacked the Soviet Union. His unit was transferred east in July where, as part of Panzer-Gruppe 3, it fought continuously in the Central Sector until being transferred back to France in May 1942 for rest and refitting.

During this time, Mr. Kurzmaul was reassigned to s.Pz.Abt.502 for training on the new Tiger tank at Paderborn. He was then assigned to s.Pz.Abt.503 and stayed with the unit until the end of the war except for a brief period of time in the spring of 1944 when he was transferred to Wunsdorf, south of Berlin, to participate in some driving tests being conducted on the Tiger I.

He returned to his unit in the fall of 1944 when it was re-equipped with the new Tiger II. In early October 1944, the unit was entrained and sent to Hungary where, under the command of SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Otto Skorzeny, 2. and 3.Kompanie took part in the occupation of the Burgberg castle, seat of the Hungarian Government, to ensure they would not capitulate to the Russians. After the successful conclusion to this operation, the unit was sent back to the Eastern Front where it continued to fight until the end of the war.

Just before the war ended however, Mr. Kurzmaul became ill and was sent back to a hospital in Germany near his hometown. He was fortunate to still be there when the war ended.

Mr. Kurzmaul and his family immigrated to Canada in 1956 where they settled down in Montreal. After his retirement, he and his wife moved to Calgary to be close to their son and his family.

 
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