|INSTAHLGEWITTERN-IN THE STORM OF STEEL||
29.Infanterie Division (mot.) is credited with capturing Smolensk on July 17, 1941. Having done so, however, the division, as well as other formations from Panzergruppe Guderian, had to fight for another three weeks before the gigantic kessel that surrounded the city could be regarded as "closed". The Germans, lacking sufficient troops to pinch off every opening punched in the encirclement, were ultimately unable to prevent large numbers of Soviet troops from escaping entrapment, a failure that would prove very costly for the Germans in the near future.
The caption to frame 92 refers to a "reconnaissance tank" in describing the vehicle depicted in the photograph, but this description is not entirely accurate. The vehicle is more probably a Sd.Kfz.223 light armored car, very likely from 29.Infanterie Division (mot.)'s reconnaissance unit, Aufklaerungs Abteilung 29 . This vehicle was lightly armored, mounted an MG 34, incorporated a Horch V-8 engine, and had a cross-country range of 125 miles. It will be seen that the vehicle is sporting a very large swastika flag above its engine compartment, the better to inform prowling Luftwaffe aircraft that here was a German vehicle.
We have remarked earlier upon the career of then Generalmajor Walter Hugo Thurow von Boltenstern, who at the time that this long series of photographs was taken held the position of GOC 29.Infanterie Division (mot.). Boltenstern was relieved of command of 29.Infanterie Division (mot.) as of December 5, 1941. Thereafter he served variously as commander of Division Nr. 179 (a formation that later became 179.Reserve Panzer Division) and in the office of Inspector of Fast Troops (e.g., panzer and panzergrenadier units) during 1942-1943; in the Reichskriegsgericht, also in 1943; and as commander of Army Group North Ukraine in 1944. He was captured by the Red Army in 1945 and died in a Soviet prisoner of war camp in 1952.