Nikolai Clausen's Wehrpass

The Wehrpass was a very comprehensive documentation book issued to all conscripts at the time of registration for the military draft, and kept by the potential draftee until his induction into the military.  When the citizen became a soldier, he turned in his Wehrpass and received a Soldbuch in exchange, with the Wehrpass being turned over and kept at the unit where the owner was serving.  

The Wehrpass was returned to the owner only upon his discharge from the military (after his records were transported to the Wehrstammbuch).  He was required to keep it until age 60. In case of a service related death, or if the individual became MIA, the Wehrpass was sent to the next of kin as a keepsake via the soldiers’ original recruiting office.

The 54 pages between the gray covers of the Wehrpass yield the military career of the owner in chronological order.  The extensive and detailed data recorded includes, among other information, units served with, battles, awards, injuries/wounds/illnesses, promotions, and miscellaneous notes.  On the inside jacket of the document there was a space to conserve documents, and a picture of the owner is located on the first page.  In this photograph, the individual is usually in civilian clothing, unless he was already in the military at the time of his draft call.

All four branches of the Wehrmacht used the Wehrpass with only slight differences.  The branch (Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine or Waffen SS) was stamped in a box on the cover of the book. 

There were basically 3 types of Wehrpasses with different covers – early, middle and late war.  The early war passes have the Wehrmacht style eagle, while the middle and late have a open-wing eagle.

Wehrpass Cover

The cover of Nikolai Clausen's pre-war Wehrpass with KRIEGSMARINE stamped.

Wehrpass - Identity page
Military Number and Full Name

Photograph and signature page

Personal Data

Family Name
First Name
Asmus Nikolai
2 Juni 1911
Place of Birth
Flensburg, Schleswig
Nationality German Reich
Family Status
Farm Worker; Naval Officer
Father: Asmus Clausen                Mother: Magda Clausen
Occupation: Farmer                      Maidenname:  Palaudt
Died: 29 May 1936    

Appointments (promotions)

Effective Date
1 October 1931
1 October 1933
1 November 1933
1 September 1935
1 May 1937
Fähnrich zur See
1 October 1937
Oberfähnrich zur See
1 July 1938
Leutnant zur See
1 April 1939
Oberleutnant zur See
1 January 1941

Military Service

Orders and Decorations
Service Award 4th Class 
Iron Cross 2nd Class - 28 February 1940
Iron Cross 1st Class - 10 June 1940
U-Boat War Badge - 18 April 1940
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross - 13 March 1942

Activity In War, Engagements, Conflicts, Enterprises

Dates and days at sea are recorded here, and the notation that he was assigned to the U-boat service.

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Introductory text courtesy of