Aged 19, Schneider volunteered for the Panzer Arm in March 1941. He was one of the first five men sent to the Eastern Front. He took part in the Caucasus campaigns in and joined the Heavy Panzer Battalion 507 in 1943. He next moved on to the panzer grenadiers where he was given a Wanderer bicycle, a Panzerfaust and an assault rifle and was sent to fight the US Army on the Western Front. His decorations included the Panzer Assault Badge and the Iron Cross Second Class.