Ritterkreuz / Knight's Cross Actions

Discussions on the personalities of the Wehrmacht and of the organizations not covered in the other sections. Hosted by askropp and Frech.
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Ritterkreuz / Knight's Cross Actions

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 24 Mar 2020 11:40

Oberstleutnant Karl Roßmann

Karl Franz Joseph Roßmann (23rd November 1916-1st April 2002) was awarded the Knight's Cross on 12th November 1941 as Oberleutnant and commander of the 16th Company of Anti-Aircraft Regiment (mot.) "General Göring", for his outstanding combat performance and gallantry during the advance on Orel, Russia. At the end of 1941 he was transferred with his regiment to France where in July he was promoted to Hauptmann and appointed commander of the 1st Battalion of the Panzer Regiment "Hermann Göring". In the summer of 1943 he was transferred to Sicily. On 1st January he was promoted to Major and by June was commanding the Reconnaissance Battalion "Hermann Göring". He was wounded in October 1944 and upon recovering took over as commander of the 1st Battalion of 1st Fallschirmpanzer Regiment "Hermann Göring".

On 1st February 1945 Roßmann was awarded the 725th Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross as Major acting commander of 1st Fallschirmpanzer Regiment for his leadership in preventing a Soviet breakthrough to East Prussia during the heaving fighting at the end of 1944. On 1st March 1945 he was promoted to Oberstleutnant and continued to see action near the Oder River whilst attached to XIV Panzer Korps. He was captured by American troops in May 1945 after being wounded.

After the war and captivity Roßmann studied medicine and received his doctorate for Dr. med.

Roßmann was buried with full military honours following his death in 2002.

Summary of the tank battles of the Parachute Panzer Regiment 1 "Herman Göring" on April 19, 1945 at Mückenhain / Kodersdorf in Lower Silesia:

"At Kodersdorf, which is located on a small stream, it comes on this day to one of the most dramatic battles that I have experienced in recent months. From the edge of the forest, about 2 km east of Kodersdorf, suddenly a large Russian armoured unit attacks. The mobile reserve of our Panzer Regiment under its outstanding commander Oberstleutnant Roßmann (17 Panthers) is close to the stream, well camouflaged in position. The Russian tank unit (later we realized that it is the I. Polish Panzer Corps) is heading towards Kodersdorf. No shot is fired, and only when the foremost enemy tanks have reached about 50 yards, Oberstleutnant Roßmann opens fire. The effect is devastating, every shot hits the target. In 20 minutes 43 tanks are destroyed, the rest retreat. We have about 12 undamaged tanks, including 3 or 4 of the type Stalin, which are used against their former owners by us a few hours later."

In 20 minutes, his 17 tanks destroy 43 Russian tanks and capture 12 more.

"At the 'Roßmannstellung' - the Panthers stood in the creek Weisser Schöps - at Mückenhain / Kodersdorf 43 Polish tanks were shot down by 17 Panther under Oberstleutnant Roßmann and 12 tanks were captured. The Polish tanks belonged to the 1st Panzer Corps of the 2nd Polish Army, their mission was to advance south to Görlitz and cut off the railway line to Dresden. This was thwarted, the railway line and the escape route from Silesia remained free. Görlitz was then no longer attacked and was occupied only after the surrender."

Source: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1529869 ... 190813456/
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Leutnant Waldemar Demand of 1. Infanterie-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 14 Apr 2020 14:18

The first Knights cross for the battle of Schlossberg/Blumenthal:

On the 13.1.45 at 18:00 the divisional reserve I/FR22 and III/FR22 made a coordinated attack against the Soviets in Blumenthal south of Schlossberg. The goal with the attack was to take back Blumenthal and restore the second line of defense as well as to restore connection to the II/FR22 fighting in the center of Schlossberg. The III/FR22 came forward well and connected to the II/FR22 at Ebenroder strasse in Schlossberg were the Stab of the II/22 was placed. (se picture)

Due to the fog and the battle confusion the CO of I/FR22 had its companies attack under compass directions. Two assault guns follow but are practically blind. The soviets defend themselfs in the ruins of Blumenthal and have even brought in artillery pieces for defense against German armour.

The 3/FR22 wins in counter attack and close combat the second line of defense north west of Blumenthal. The 2/FR22 is lost in battle confusion and fog and passes Blumenthal to the west. The company CO turns his company and attacks frontal with great losses of life. A second attempt also fails with losses of life.

Now comes the time for the CO of the 1/FR22, the 20 year old Leutnant Waldemar Demand. At 18:00 Leutnant Demand attacks with his company frontally against Blumenthal. The attack is a big success, they break trough the soviet lines in fierce close combat and establish themself in the city center. After further attack Leutnant Demand is as well able to restore the second line of defense to the east of Blumenthal.
For this action and for the further defense of Blumenthal later that night Leutnant Waldemar Demand recieves the Knights cross.

Picture of Ebenroder strasse before the war (stab II/FR22) and pictures of Demand and his KC VB.
Source: http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/forums/ ... 743&page=5
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Oberfeldwebel Franz Thiel of 1. Infanterie-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 14 Apr 2020 14:22

Second day of the battle, 14.1.1945:
The soviets brought in two new divisions (221 and 124 S.D.) in the south and central part of Schlossberg and the fighting around Blumenthal intensified. The I/FR22 did several counter attacks and was able to hold the second line. Also could GR43 hold the lines south of Blumenthal with the help of a counter attack with Assault guns against the soviet 124 I.D. its soldiers fled the battle. The CO of III/GR43 Hauptmann Nehring was killed in action during these hard defensive battles.

Inside Schlossberg the II/FR22 had lost over 100 men killed or wounded diring the first 24 hours of battle. Even worse was it for the GR43 which had taken the biggest brunt of the fighting so far. The main focus for the Soviets was now the city center of Schlossberg.

The second knights cross for the battle of Schlossberg:

04:00 the soviets attacked again, this time without artillery. The 7/FR22, only 30 men strong, defended itself heroic in the Brickyard but had to retreat after a couple of hours of fierce fighting. At 10:00 the soviets attacked again in force against the front sector of Schlossberg. Hauptmann Singer did a counter attack with all available soldiers, even clercs and cooks, and took back the Brickyard which was reoccupied by 7/FR22 under Oberleutnant Koesling.

After a short while the 7/22 is surrounded by the Soviets once again and Oblt Koesling has to retreat to the village school, the Oberschule (Friedrich Wilhelm School) (see pictures) where the company again is surrounded. Now the company has only 16 men fighting. One of these soldiers has his home just hundreds of meters away. As has Oblt Koesling who now defends his old school building!

Believe it or not but now Oblt Koesling, after five years of war, finds himself defending his childhood school. His own words:

”In the tower there were still a flag hanging. The school building itself was damaged but not beyond possibility of repair. I even went in the room of the old Headmaster, something that would have been impossible back in the days. My school so damaged and now i was going to fight and maybe die there. I positioned my men in the cellar where we could defend ourselfs well with our Sturmgewehre against the Soviets that kept on coming over the school yard.

In our back though, in the Bohlandsstrasse, (see bild) the soviets had managed to infiltrate and was sitting strong. That ment we were surrounded once again and this time it looked impossible to get out alive. We sat in a trap!
During the afternoon we could suddenly hear german machine gun fire west of the school. We realised that it was a German shock trupp (Stosstrupp) coming to free us. The Stosstrupp managed to clear some of the houses in the Bohlandstrasse and one man came running over the street to the school. I saw that it is one of my platoon commanders, Oberfeldwebel Thiel! It is my own men from my own company that on their own initiative want to get us out.

I stood waving and shouting to Oberfeldwebel Thiel in the door to the teachers room….then when he is just 5 meters away from me he is hit by a burst of fire from a soviet machine gun and killed outright.

Its impossible to come over the school yard due to the soviets sitting in positions and i must back in protection of the building.
I decide to retreat to the upper floors of the school and defend us to the last bullet. The school started soon to burn and we could now also hear the sound of tanks. I believed this was it.

It turned out that it was our own troops doing a counter attack with three assault guns to free us in the school and another troop trapped in the small railway station. We were able to climb on the assault guns with our wounded and retreat to the west of Schlossberg and the new HKL.
During this trip there were soviet tropps all over but they were to drunk and to occupied with looting that they left us alone. We thanked our CO of the II/FR22, Hauptmann Singer, for saving us.”

For this selfless heroic act, and for his part in the defence of the Brickyard, Oberfeldwebel Franz Thiel recieved a posthumous knights cross. Oberleutnant Koesling and Hauptmann Singer (no proof in Bundesarchive) recieved the Ehrenblattspange.
Same source as above
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Major Adolf Abel of 161. Infanterie-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 21 Apr 2020 16:11

Adolf Wilhelm Abel (18 October 1914 - 26 August 1944) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 23 September 1943 as a Major dan Kommandeur I.Bataillon / Grenadier-Regiment 364 / 161.Infanterie-Division / XXXXII.Armeekorps / 8.Armee / Heeresgruppe Süd.

His Ritterkreuz recommendation reads as follows…

“Major Abel and his Bataillon have repulsed all the enemy’s overwhelming attacks over the course of 14 days of brutal defensive combat. In the process they inflicted heavy losses on the foe.

On the 02.09.1943, during the course of the combat around Goluboff, a 2 km wide gap developed on the boundary with the left neighbour. The Russians infiltrated through this gap and into the rear of our lines with about 200-300 men. Clearly recognizing the situation for what it was, Major Abel made the independent decision to close this gap via offensive action. Though he only had 70 men in his sector he nonetheless managed to round up a strike group from this total. Leading at the head of this force, he managed to eject the enemy, inflict bloody losses and capture a number of prisoners.

He prevented a breakthrough of the only weakly held divisional frontline through this combination of bold behaviour, energetic decisiveness and high qualities of leadership. In the process of this engagement he became wounded for the 6th time, however he stayed in the fight and retained command of his Bataillon.”

Source: https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/121 ... ilhelm.htm
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Generalleutnant Friedrich-Georg Eberhardt of 60. Infanterie-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 24 Apr 2020 06:51

Friedrich-Georg Eberhardt received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 31 December 1941 as Generalleutnant and Kommandeur 60. Infanterie-Division.

The following wartime excerpt describes why Eberhardt would be awarded the Ritterkreuz:

"General Eberhardt made the bold decision to not be merely content to follow his orders and provide security against the enemy. Instead he decided to also attack them in order to fully eliminate the threat. He smashed the enemy and hunted down the survivors all the way past Nowo Tscherkask. His reconnaissance subsequently reached the western edge of the city unimpeded. Thus, through his bold initiative and the successful conduct of his actions, General Eberhardt made a phenomenal contribution to the victory near Rostov.”

The following excerpt provides further details as to this action and its significance…

“Generalleutnant Friedrich Georg Eberhardt, an East Prussian, was recently awarded the Ritterkreuz by the Führer. He and his Infanterie-Division had the mission of securing the flank of his Korps, which was meanwhile being used for an attack against a strong Bolshevik position. He dispensed with his security mission and went over to the attack on his own initiative, even though it was known that a much larger enemy force was in front of him. His goal in doing so was to eliminate the flank threat to his Korps once and for all while simultaneously supporting the attack that the remaining Korps’ units were making. His decision was conduct with audacity and swiftness, and it led to a total success. General Eberhardt smashed the enemy and pursued the survivors back. This action made it possible for the remaining units to reach their intended objective.”


Sources:
viewtopic.php?p=2050208#p2050208
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/298 ... -Georg.htm
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SS-Hauptscharführer Willi Eßlinger of SS-Panzergrenadier-Division "Wiking"

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 24 Apr 2020 13:45

Willi Esslinger was a Zugführer in Wiking’s tank destroyer battalion during the first half of 1943. At sometime during this fighting, while en-route to refuel his Marder tank destroyer, he heard about a Soviet tank assault supported by infantry. He rushed to the scene and prepared to face the enemy. He destroyed 3 Soviet tanks, after which the Russians switched their main effort to their infantry and artillery. By constantly repositioning his gun, Esslinger was able to knock out important targets and eventually brought the Soviet attack to a halt. For this action he would receive the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 19 June 1943 as SS-Hauptscharführer and Zugführer in 3.Kompanie / SS-Panzerjäger-Abteilung 5 / SS-Panzergrenadier-Division "Wiking". By the time of his death in 1944, he was credited with over 25 Russian tanks destroyed.

Sources :
https://beeldbankwo2.nl/nl/beelden/deta ... 9d6717b464
viewtopic.php?p=2264074#p2264074
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/300 ... -Willi.htm
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Generalleutnant Otto Drescher of 267. Infanterie-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 25 Apr 2020 16:31

Otto Drescher received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 6 April 1944 as a Generalleutnant and Kommandeur of 267. Infanterie-Division. The medal was awarded for the achievements of his Division during the time period 21.-29.02.1944. According to a Wehrmachtbericht excerpt from the 01.03.1944 he and his Division had held out during all this time against much larger attacking forces, and defeated all hostile breakthrough attempts despite the difficult terrain and weather conditions. The 4. Armee specially recognized the Division for its efforts during the time period 22.02.-02.03.1944, during which it withstood the main effort of the Soviet offensive and prevented an enemy breakthrough to Stary Bischoff and Mogilev.

It is also known that Drescher saved the frontline from being torn open a total of three times during this period, all through his own independent actions. He particularly distinguished himself when the Soviets were pushing back a neighbouring Division. On this occasion Drescher removed one of his Grenadier-Regiments from the frontline and dispatched it along with some artillery in such a way that contact to the neighbouring Division was maintained. This action also secured an important road/railway junction. He also achieved a major tactical victory on the night of the 25./26.02.1944, when the Soviets tried to infiltrate through the line. They succeeded, however Drescher was able to eliminate this force with his last reserves (comprised of remnant and security units).

Sources :
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/368 ... r-Otto.htm
https://zihuatanexo.livejournal.com/2372809.html
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Oberst Herbert Ewert of 21. Panzer-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 29 Apr 2020 16:40

Herbert Ewert received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 18 August 1942 as an Oberst and Kommandeur Panzergrenadier-Regiment 104 / 21.Panzer-Division. Ewert’s Ritterkreuz recommendation reads as follows…

“After reaching the stone slopes that led from El Alamein to Qatarra, on the 01.07.1942 the Division received the mission of cutting off strong enemy forces located in the El Alamein position (specifically at Quaret el Abd and further south of there) through a thrust of its own towards Alam Nayil.

The Division thrusted past the identified enemy forces located near Deir el Shein. As Oberst Ewert was marching towards the area northeast of Deir el Shein with the spearhead of his Regiment, he received continuous bombardment from the east and southwest. He realized that the well-constructed and heavily-manned enemy strongpoint at Deir el Shein was far larger and extended farther to the east that had been previously supposed.

Immediately recognizing that the completion of the Division’s mission through a further swing to the east was not possible because of an extended fieldwork that flanked the advance, Oberst Ewert decided to suspend the march and capture the strongpoint of Deir el Shein through a surprise attack. This bold decision led to a total success for the Division. Personally led by Oberst Ewert, the foremost elements of the Regiment swiftly entered into the enemy’s fieldwork (which was protected by mines and barbed wire) despite the strong hostile resistance. Over the course of the day this was captured in close combat: About 1500 prisoners, 25 artillery pieces, 15 anti-tank guns, 2 self-propelled guns, 57 vehicles as well as numerous anti-tank rifles, MGs and mortars were captured. With this the first redoubt of the Alamein position fell into German hands.

Over the course of previous operations Oberst Ewert has shown himself to be a very brave and prudent leader of his Regiment. His personal and bold actions led to noteworthy successes by his Regiment during the thrust towards the sea west of Acroma, the storming of Tobruk and the defensive battles near Sidi Muftah.”

Sources :
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1728158044141689/
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/415 ... erbert.htm
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Generalleutnant Hellmut von der Chevallerie of 13. Panzer-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 02 May 2020 05:55

Hellmut von der Chevallerie received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 30 April 1943 as Generalmajor and Kommandeur 13. Panzer-Division (Submitted on 24 April 1943 and Preliminary document on 5 May 1943 to Armee-Oberkommando 17). The medal was awarded for his major role in the smashing of the Soviet 56th Army during the time period 14.-17.04.1943. In this time his Division significantly assisted the 97. Jäger-Division during the defensive battle at Krymskaja (in the Kuban bridgehead), an engagement which saw a Soviet breakthrough attempt by 5 divisions and 2 large tank formations defeated.

Sources :
https://www.alexautographs.com/lot-46255.aspx
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/313 ... ellmut.htm
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Generalleutnant Willibald Borowietz

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 08 May 2020 14:50

Willibald Borowietz received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes #371 on 24 July 1941 as Oberstleutnant and Kommandeur Schützen-Regiment 10 / 9.Panzer-Division / XIV.Armee-Korps / Panzergruppe 1 / Heeresgruppe Süd. The following wartime excerpt describes why Borowietz was awarded the Ritterkreuz: “After overrunning several enemy resistance lines, Oberstleutnant Borowietz led his Vorausabteilung in a thrust forwards toward Zbaraz via Plurow—Zalosce (northwest of Tarnopol). He was able to achieve a swift forward march through a bold pursuit action in the evening and night. In the process his Vorausabteilung captured or destroyed 92 enemy tanks, 16 artillery pieces, 12 anti-aircraft guns and innumerable additional materiel. His prudent and exemplary leadership here resulted in the destruction of a Russian tank division.”

He then received the Eichenlaub #235 zum Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 10 May 1943 as Generalmajor and Kommandeur 15.Panzer-Division / Heeresgruppe Afrika. The following press article, dated 18.05.1943, describes why Borowietz was awarded the Eichenlaub: “During the last major combat in Tunisia, Generalmajor Borowietz served as the commander of a Panzer-Division west of Tunis. Here the enemy attacked the German lines with an overwhelming superiority that included strong support from artillery and air forces. The divisional commander defended against the enemy onslaught at the head of his soldiers in a heroic battle. Pulling back before the enemy’s might, he occupied new defensive positions before Tunis and inflicted heavy losses on the enemy from here. The enemy continued to assail the strongpoints with innumerable tanks, and once again the General and his few soldiers offered up brave resistance to the last man. By doing so they bought time for the destruction of all militarily important facilities in the city of Tunis and for the creation of new defensive positions.”

Sources :
https://www.pinterest.dk/pin/712976184729850854/
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/251 ... libald.htm
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Obergefreiter August Menke of 290. Infanterie-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 12 May 2020 20:26

The Ritterkreuz award ceremony for Obergefreiter August Menke (MG-Schütze in 7.Kompanie / II.Bataillon / Grenadier-Regiment 501 / 290.Infanterie-Division), which was held at Memmingen, Bavaria, 16 April 1944. The award was given by Generalleutnant Oskar Blümm (Kommandeur Division Nr. 407).

During the defensive battles of the 290. Infanterie-Division near Idriza in early 1944, the focus of the fighting was for the control of the handful of hilltop positions available. During the middle of March the Soviets tried to capture the Gora Height, which was defended by Obergefreiter Menke and his small group of soldiers. Over the course of several days Menke and his troops successfully defended the height against multiple Soviet attacks. After all their ammunition had been expended, and resupply could no longer be expected, Menke and his men fought off the enemy infantry with Panzerfausts and in doing so enabled the Regiment to recover its heavy weapons.

For his outstanding defense of the Gora Height, Obergefreiter Menke would be decorated with the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes.

Sources :
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=142665&hilit=oskar+Bl%C3%BCmm
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/506 ... t.htm?c=aw
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Oberst Wilhelm Behrens of 15. Infanterie-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 17 May 2020 06:38

Wilhelm Behrens (last rank Generalleutnant) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 27 March 1942 as Oberst and Kommandeur Infanterie-Regiment 106 / 15.Infanterie-Division. It was awarded for his defense of Iklinskoje during the time period 20-24 December 1941, as described in the following wartime excerpt: “Oberst Behrens and his ragtag of forces defended the city of Iklinsjoje (located west of the Nara river) against enemy breakthrough attempts during the crucial days immediately before and during the withdrawal movement of the Armee’s centre from the Nara Position. They fought with nerves of steel and managed to prevent a major crisis. At this time the Armee was already extremely threatened by an envelopment and breakthrough on its southern flank. If the enemy had also succeeded in breaking through at Iklinskoje then the entire withdrawal movement of the Armee’s centre would have been jeopardized. The prevention of an enemy breakthrough at Iklinskoje was therefore of significant operational importance.”

Sources :
search.php?keywords=wilhelm+behrens&ter ... mit=Search
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/192 ... ilhelm.htm
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Oberst Heinrich Wittkopf of 299. Infanterie-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 29 May 2020 08:56

Heinrich Wittkopf received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 29 September 1941 as Oberst and Kommandeur Infanterie-Regiment 530 / 299.Infanterie-Division.

The following newspaper excerpt describes why Wittkopf was awarded the Ritterkreuz as follows…

“At the start of the Eastern Campaign the Regiment under the command of Oberst Wittkopf was deployed as flank security for an Armee. In additional to success in friendly mop-up operations it also achieved major feats of marching along relatively bad roads. At the end of June the main forces of the Armee ran into stronger resistance. The Regiment’s reconnaissance reported growing enemy concentrations in a large patch of forest, wherein tanks were also sighted. It was obvious that the enemy was planning a thrust into the deep flank of the Armee so as to cut off our foremost Panzer elements. Thus on the 30.06.1941 the Regiment set up a strongpoint-like defense along a broad front and awaited the enemy.

Oberst Wittkopf reported on the course of the battle in a letter to K.H. Waldow (in Heidelberg), which is reproduced as follows: ‘On the afternoon of the 01.07.1941 Soviet tank forces probed the positions of the Regiment, but were fought off. Then at 03:30 on the next day overwhelming attacks were launched by enemy motorized infantry, escorted by strong tank forces. These futile attacks were carried on until 14:00, when they finally subsided. The last reserves had already been deployed by this time. At 15:00 I gave the order for a counterattack, which was launched with great offensive spirit and resulted in a total victory. In addition to numerous assorted weapons and military equipment, 6 heavy guns and 34 tanks (including 3 tanks of the 52-ton type) were destroyed or captured.’ The Army Report reported on this same success in a shorter form: ‘Through his victory on the flank Oberst Wittkopf saved not only his Korps, but also the whole Armee, from an extremely trying situation.’

The Regiment would also distinguish itself in the following battles (most of which were quite tough) as the foremost unit in the attack and as the toughest in defense. As a result it was repeatedly praised with special mentions by the higher commands.

The German studenting congratulates Oberst Wittkopf on the award of the Knight’s Cross to the Iron Cross and wishes him the best of soldierly luck for his future battles.”


Source :
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=159818&p=1407549&hi ... f#p1407549
https://www.forum-der-wehrmacht.de/inde ... -wittkopf/
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/209 ... inrich.htm
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SS-Hauptscharführer Alois Weber of SS-Panzergrenadier-Division "Das Reich"

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 12 Jun 2020 11:17

Alois Weber (30 November 1915 - 19 January 2003) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 30 July 1943 as SS-Hauptscharführer and Zugführer in 16. Kompanie (Pionier) / SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment “Deutschland” / SS-Panzergrenadier-Division “Das Reich” / II. SS-Panzerkorps / Heeresgruppe Süd.

Weber's Ritterkreuz recommendation reads as follows...

"During the attack on the 5.7.1943 the II./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. "Deutschland" had the order to break open the deep fortified enemy lines near Beresoff. After they had annihilated the enemy combat outposts, they were to take the village itself, then storm the heavily defended high ground to the NE behind Beresoff and take possession of it.

To support this attack of the Battalion a Tiger-Kompanie was attached, as well as a Pioneer-Zug of the 16./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. "Deutschland" under the leadership of SS-Hauptscharführer Weber. After elimination of the combat outpost, the Pioneerstosstrupp got the order to penetrate the tank-ditch before Beresoff together with the 6./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. "Deutschland", and then to knock-out the bunkers lying behind (which where in controlling positions).

After they penetrated into the tank-ditch they came under enemy fire. Out of camouflaged positions came the II./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. "Deutschland", who then gained a foothold in this tank-ditch. Further movement was prevented through well-aimed and non-stop enemy artillery, mortar and sniper fire. A further attack appeared impossible and high bloody losses began to mount; mine damage was also caused to the supporting Tiger-Kompanie, who as a result could not give further support.

Within this Battalion, to which the enemy artillery fire was causing higher losses hour after hour (shown through our dead and wounded), the leader of the Pionierstosstrupp, SS-Hauptscharführer Weber, took the bold decision to take full control of the tank-ditch. Without Tiger support he alone took his Zug and stormed towards the bunker line in order to provide relief for the II./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. "Deutschland". In the strongest enemy fire, he explored any attack possibility. He took his Zug through the running trenches and moved through the violent enemy barrage. Moving through this tank-ditch his men threw the enemy out of one position after another and reached the Soviet bunker system that controlled it.

They exploited this success further and Weber stormed on with his Pioneers. Avoiding the enemy in Beresoff, he quickly took the calm decision to move through the village and onto the controlling high ground. In bitter close combat with his group, they attacked the bunker field there (around 15 bunkers) and forced the Soviets out of each position. This also forced the enemy to abandon the north and southern parts of Beresoff, who retreated in a wild flight over the high ground and moved northwards. Through this it was possible for the II./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. "Deutschland" to begin their advance out of the tank-ditch and push the enemy northwards, also gaining access to the main road to Kursk.

Through the go-getting advance, outstanding courage and superior leadership of SS-Hauptscharführer Weber (his attack group had only six casualties), as well the bold decision done on his own initiative, his Pioneerstosstrupp made the attack possible. They had a decisive share of the 20km breakthrough by the SS-Pz.Gren.Div "Das Reich" of the fortified Soviet field positions on both sides of Beresoff."

Sources :
https://ritterkreuztraeger.blogspot.com/
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/140 ... -Alois.htm
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AlifRafikKhan
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Unteroffizier Arthur Becker-Neetz of 3. Panzer-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 17 Jun 2020 08:15

Arthur Becker-Neetz (31 December 1920 - 12 October 2016) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 25 August 1941 as Unteroffizier and Gruppenführer in 7.Kompanie / II.Bataillon / Schützen-Regiment 394 / 3. Panzer-Division. The following wartime excerpt describes why Becker was awarded the Ritterkreuz:

“Unteroffizier Becker showed great prudence during the engagement near Lykowo on the 15 July 1941. By doing so he had a major share in the defense against strong enemy attacks along the southeastern front of Mogilev and in the prevention of his own Kompanie’s annihilation. After the Kompanie commander had fallen he went on to motivate his men through the combat against a much larger enemy force in the difficult forest terrain despite being wounded himself. His Bataillon was only able to absorb the strong enemy breakthrough attempt here on account his independent actions. During this time Becker’s Bataillon was serving as flank protection. In the fighting described in the text the Kompanie lost all of its officers in addition to the commander, and Becker thusly took over the Kompanie’s leadership on his own initiative. In the subsequent combat he pulled off a particularly successful counterthrust and later prevented the encirclement of his Kompanie and its attached units despite being badly wounded by a headshot."

Sources :
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/282 ... Arthur.htm
http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/photos-pa ... 284539-39/
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