| The War That Came Early |
POD: July 20, 1936;
Relevant POD: September 29, 1938
|Appearance(s):||West and East|
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
|Date of Death:||1939|
|Cause of Death:||Shot to death|
|Occupation:||Soldier, Tank Commander|
Heinz Naumann (d. 1939) was a sergeant who commanded a German Panzer II during the opening months of the Second World War. His panzer was destroyed and he suffered burns to his neck and left hand while fighting in France. His courage in battle earned him an Iron Cross, First Class.
Naumann was assigned a new Panzer II (although he had hoped for a III) with a new crew consisting of Adalbert Stoss, a rookie fresh from boot camp as driver and Theo Hossbach, a fellow injured veteran as radio operator. Naumann and Stoss did not get along and when Naumann found out Stoss was circumcised, he needled him constantly, implying he was a Jew. This came to a head when the three men took the opportunity of a lull in the action to bath in a stream. The horseplay became serious when Stoss held Naumann underwater for an extended time. He then played innocent and apologized to Naumann who acted as though he accepted but, as a sergeant, had other ways to get back at Stoss.
However, returning to camp, they discovered that the entire panzer division was being put on trains and shipped to Poland to help the Poles fight the Soviet Red Army. The dispute was on hold but Naumann held a grudge. Not only was he a sergeant, he viewed himself as tough enough to beat anyone. Hossbach privately thought he was out of his league compared to Stoss but kept quiet. He did privately speak to Stoss, but to no avail. However, before things could get further out of hand, Naumann was killed by Soviet rifle fire while standing up in the turret.