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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AlifRafikKhan
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Stabsfeldwebel Julius Spari of 3. Gebirgs-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 08 Dec 2022 14:38

Julius Spari (2 February 1910 - 12 December 1944) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 10 September 1944 as Stabsfeldwebel and Zugführer in 7.Kompanie / II.Bataillon / Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 138 / 3.Gebirgs-Division. During August of 1944, in the fighting along the Carpathian front, the frontline of the Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 138 consisted of a chain of scattered hilltop strongpoints. This position was put to the test on the 19 August 1944 when the Soviets launched an attack here. One of these strongpoints (Ötztal), consisting of a Gebirgsjäger Zug as well as an HMG and mortar squad, was commanded by Julius Spari. He received a radio message from his commander to defend the position, after which communications to the hill were broken. An initial attempt to relieve the hill, which had been surrounded by the Soviets, failed. However the strongpoint managed to hold against all hostile attacks for 4 days before finally being relieved by the troops of Hauptmann Giehrl. For his outstanding defensive effort here, Stabsfeldwebel Spari received the Ritterkreuz.

Source :
https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=19 ... n3sxDstLR4
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/667 ... Julius.htm
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Major Erich Becker of Infanterie-Division 211

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 10 Dec 2022 13:48

Erich Becker (8 April 1911 - 16 June 1993) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 21 September 1944 as Major and Kommandeur Regimentsgruppe 425 / 211.Infanterie-Division. During August 1944 Major Becker and his Regimentsgruppe received the mission of holding the important cornerstone of Brok (south of Ostrow), which was located along the Bug river. The village was declared to be a fortified place in order to cover the withdrawal of the 211. Infanterie-Division. The Soviets were quick to get into the rear of the Regimentsgruppe and begin an enveloping attack with several battalions. Realizing that the loss of his position would have resulted in the collapse of the entire front, Major Becker decided to strip his already thin frontline to an even greater extent in order to build up a blocking position around the village. He led a counterthrust at the head of the few men of his staff and manage to establish this blocking position with the help of his brave Grenadiers. Those Soviet forces that continued to attack here were either destroyed or thrown back. During the later course of the combat Becker managed to hold the won terrain against all furious Soviet counterattacks. He even threw them back further eastwards with his own bold counterthrusts until he had attained a favourable frontline disposition. By doing all this he managed to hold this cornerstone of the front at a very critical time for the Division. After three days of combat, having completed his mission, he sent a message to the Division in which he stated that he would break out and rejoin the Division. Becker would be awarded the Ritterkreuz a short while after this for his outstanding defensive success. By the time the decoration was presented, the Regimentsgruppe 425 was reformed as II. Bataillon / Grenadier-Regiment 385.

Source :
https://www.lotsearch.de/lot/feine-dame ... 9-58293143
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/282 ... pe-425.htm
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Oberstleutnant Rudolf Lang of 1. Gebirgs-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 16 Dec 2022 15:34

Rudolf Lang (25 October 1898 - 27 July 1969) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 23 August 1941 as Oberstleutnant and Kommandeur Gebirgs-Panzerjäger-Abteilung 44 / 1.Gebirgs-Division. Lang’s Ritterkreuz recommendation reads as follows…

“During the Polish campaign Oberstleutnant Lang, commander of the Geb.Pz.Jäg.Abt. 44, was assigned to the northern pursuit column (mot.) of the 1. Gebirgs-Division following the battles on the border. On the evening of the 8 September 1939 he drove into the city of Krosno. There his column got into a ferocious firefight with the Polish troops who were concealed in the houses. In this critical situation the German troops, who were involved in heavy combat for the first time, began to show signs of wavering. In response Oberstleutnant Lang, almost the only officer of this formation with combat experience, personally directed the suppression of the enemy firing positions despite the onset of darkness in a brave and energetic way. He then organized the clearing of the village.

Lang thereafter inspired his men to continue the attack through the night over and across the Wislok and, himself in the forward ranks, they stormed the nearby heights heavily occupied by the Poles. It was later confirmed that this success had major implications for the situation of the southern pursuit column (comprising the main pursuit force). Under the pressure of the success at Krosno, the Poles abandoned their commanding positions at Rowne and Dukla on the same night almost without a fight. For this deed Oberstleutnant Lang was awarded the Eisernes Kreuz II.Klasse.

In the French campaign Oberstleutnant Lang and his men were instructed to hold open the Serre sector (near Crecy) for the rest of the Division on 19 May 1940. When he got there however he found that the now departed German Panzer forces had blown all the bridges and blocked the Serre sector with mines in order to guard against the enemy tanks. Acting on his own initiative, Oberstleutnant Lang created a useable crossing while in view of the enemy tanks, got his AT guns across the river and used them to attack the French tanks. In the course of this operation several French tanks were destroyed, while the majority fled towards the south. With this the following Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 99 (who would have otherwise had to fight for the river crossing) were able to get over unmolested.

As the pursuit of the broken French forces began on 14 June 1940, Oberstleutnant Lang was assigned control of the motorized pursuit column of the Division (Pz.Jäg.Abt. 44, 1 Jäger-Bataillon and 1 Abteilung of heavy artillery). After taking the Seine crossing near Nogent (14 June 1940) and the Yonne crossing at Mizy (16 June 1940), on 17 June 1940 he advanced against a French defensive position north of Gien (on the Loire river). In a cleverly executed attack, Oberstleutnant Lang compressed the bridgehead held by the hard fighting French forces. That night he then launched a thrust at the head of his men through the village of Gien (which was held by French colonial troops) and onto the Loire bridges. The tough resistance of the French made sense on the following morning, as a haul of 8600 prisoners, about 30 batteries of all calibers, 70 modern AFVs and a barracks with 500 obsolete armoured vehicles was confirmed. This deed was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht without Lang being personally recognized. The success here was first and foremost due to the attacking spirit and personal bravery of Oberstleutnant Lang, resulting in the French being totally overrun. For this combat achievement Oberstleutnant Lang received the Eisernes Kreuz I.Klasse.

Since the beginning of the Russian campaign Oberstleutnant Lang has once again led the Vorausabteilung of the Division. During the last 6 weeks in the approximately 600 km march of the Division he has accomplished so many great things that to reference them all in detail would not be possible. For that reason, in the following paragraphs there are only two deeds mentioned which were of decisive import for the combat of the Division, namely the encirclement of the enemy near Vinnitsa and near Podwyssokoje.

While raging far ahead of the Division, and breaking all resistance in the process, Oberstleutnant Lang utilized all available weapons of the Vorausabteilung in order to reach the edge of the Stalin Line via Jarmolinzy on 12 July 1941. There he secured the Hill 355, which would be of great importance for the coming attack. This swift victory was essential for the fact that a swift and successful reconnaissance/preparation for the attack on the Stalin Line could take place.

Shortly after this penetration the Vorausabteilung, in conjunction with the battalions on either side, was able to secure the way through the heavily fortified village of Galussinzy. Numerous strong concrete bunkers and field positions were taken in close combat in the process. Already on the day after this the Vorausabteilung Lang seized the important railway junction at Shmerinka in a coup de main, and on the same day it was able to cross the Bug after a tough fight. In the evening the Abteilung continued its advance, taking an enemy airbase near Sutisi by surprise and capturing several airplanes plus airfield facilities.

The encirclement of the enemy near Vinnitsa was thus initiated. Enduring bad weather and difficult terrain, Oberstleutnant Lang and his tireless soldiers attacked through Gniwanj and Luka and reached the southern edge of Vinnitsa on 18 July 1941, having expended all of their strength. The advance was of such magnitude and boldness that it could only be compared to one by armoured forces. In a tough battle against the enemy, who were by now recognizing their predicament, Lang and his men were able to take control of the southern portion of Vinnitsa with the help of an additional Jäger Bataillon. Here the bridge over the Bug, of great importance for the whole combat situation, was destroyed following a bold thrust supported by Sturmgeschütze. Thereby the ring around the enemy in the sector of the Division was closed.

By this action Oberstleutnant Lang had achieved a success of great operational importance, and all on account of his own initiative.

Through a special recognition notice by the commanding general of the Armee, the outstanding achievements of the Vorausabteilung were given high praise (a copy is attached). A two-time mention in the German news service also made clear the achievements of Oberstleutnant Lang to the public.

Oberstleutnant Lang and his Abteilung however would not rest just yet. He once again went forth already on 22 July 1941 to Nemirow, where the bridges that had been prepared for demolition were saved just in the nick of time. He then continued on to Brazlaff, and after two days of heavy fighting was able to seize the crossing over the Bug. His successes would continue.

On 26 July 1941 Lang continued far ahead and took the city of Gaissin. He then advanced southeastwards to Teplik, interdicting the railroad there and capturing multiple trains with their munitions. He then advanced via Ternowka to the southeast, and at midday on 30 July 1941 he entered the northern edge of Golowanjewsk. Despite the strong enemy forces there (there was a corps staff in the city). Lang continued his attack and threw the enemy back to the forests south of the city. Fierce counterattacks launched that night were repulsed. The situation remained tense until the next morning when additional forces were brought up.

Lang immediately pressed on further to the east in order to achieve the desired linkup with the Panzerkorps in the Ssinjucha sector. This would be decisive in preventing the strong enemy forces (which lay to the north) from escaping towards the south. The tireless attacking spirit of Oberstleutnant Lang and his Abteilung brought decisive action for the achievement of this aim. On the afternoon of 2 August 1941, following a thrust via Trojanka and Hill 180, the ring around the enemy was closed. The decisive battle around Podwyssokoje began. It ended with the help of the actively participating Abteilung Lang (positioned on the right wing) on 7 August 1941 with a full victory over the encircled enemy.

Once again Oberstleutnant Lang had created the desired preconditions for this successful outcome, and he brought about a decisive victory in doing so. Conducted on his own initiative, this success can be credited to his outstanding personal bravery and leadership qualities.

Oberstleutnant Lang has thus merited himself as worthy of the highest war decoration in light of the judgement of his superiors upon his decisive successes for the whole Armee.

For this reason I recommend him for the award of the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes.”

Source :
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=195821
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/299 ... Rudolf.htm
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Oberst Gottfried Frölich of 8. Panzer-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 18 Dec 2022 18:24

Gottfried Frölich (3 June 1894 - 30 July 1959) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 20 December 1943 as Oberst and Führer 8.Panzer-Division / 4.Panzerarmee / Heeresgruppe Süd. Frölich’s Ritterkreuz recommendation reads as follows:

“On the afternoon of 7 November 1943 a far superior enemy force attacked the 8. Panzer-Division (at the time positioned for defense near Lipowka, on the right wing of the XIII. Armeekorps) with the aim of breaking through to the west. The divisional commander, Oberst Frölich, immediately rushed forwards to his right-wing Regiment. Disregarding the strong enemy artillery/mortar fire, he brought the retreating soldiers to a halt, reorganized them and set them up for a renewed defense. His fearless personal attitude was responsible for reversing this dangerous crisis and the creation of a new defense line along the Makaroff—Korolewka road, which was then held against all enemy thrusts.

However over the course of the evening the enemy pressure against the Division’s open right flank became ever stronger. Oberst Frölich realized that if the enemy succeeded in tying down or pushing back the 8. Panzer-Division (and consequently open the path to the Kiev—Zhitomir road) it would create an extraordinary danger both for the Korps as well as the entire overall situation.

The situation continued to build up. Waiting for orders was impossible as the communication links to the Korps were destroyed, and its’ intent was unknown. Therefore Oberst Frölich resolved to block the way to the Kiev—Zhitomir road with his Division on his own initiative. As such he ordered his men to retreat from the enemy and establish a new defensive line Szitnjaki—Maliwaikowka. When he received an order from the Korps just after midnight to occupy the line Motyshin—Makaroff, Oberst Frölich stood by his original decision given his full knowledge of the situation. The commanding general would eventually agree with Frölich’s decision, and the later course of the battle would demonstrate the decisive importance of this move.

On that same night the enemy tried to break through at Mainjaki with tanks and infantry, however they were thrown back thanks to the timely defensive measures taken. The next day the enemy would continue to attempt thrusts around and north of Szitnjaki with tanks and far superior infantry and artillery forces. In these battles Oberst Frölich would again constantly remain near his foremost strongpoints.

The personal example of the divisional commander inspired his soldiers throughout the ceaseless heavy fighting, and as such they were able to ward off all enemy attacks for the entire day despite the massive enemy artillery support and their great numerical superiority. This prevented a surprise enemy thrust along the Kiev—Zhitomir road towards Zhitomir. This success was made possible by Oberst Frölich’s independent and game-changing decision.

The Division was named in the Wehrmachtbericht of 10 November 1943 in light of its achievements.”

Submitted on December 15th 1943.
Preliminary document and decoration on December 24th 1943 to Pz.AOK 4.

Source :
https://www.alexautographs.com/auction- ... 7414BAD830
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/473 ... tfried.htm
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Oberleutnant Horst Harras of Flak-Regiment 38

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 20 Dec 2022 15:37

Horst Harras (22 March 1915 - 26 October 1999) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 14 June 1940 as Oberleutnant and Zugführer in I.Abteilung / Flak-Regiment 38. The following contemporary press article describes the Ritterkreuz actions of Horst Harras as follows: "On 24 May 1940 Oberleutnant Horst Harras succeeded in making the wall of the Boulogne citadel ripe for an attack with a gun from his heavy Flak Batterie. Under heavy defensive fire he brought the gun into position 20-30 metres from the wall. After he had opened up breaches in the wall with the gun, he pressed on into the citadel with his Erkundungsoffizier and an Unterwachtmeister in order to reconnoitre the possibilities for an attack. He was thus the first German soldier to enter the Boulogne citadel. He thereafter stormed the guard’s walkway with a Schützen Kompanie. Despite the heavy fire, against which the attackers responded in kind from the middle castle, Harras and his men managed to disarm 2,500 men from the garrison. He then forced the commander to cease resistance and took the rest of the garrison (some 6,000 men) prisoner. Thus, through outstanding bravery, courage and dedication to duty, Oberleutnant Harras brought about the fall of the Boulogne citadel in a coup-de-main.”

Source :
viewtopic.php?p=2447239#p2447239
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/661 ... -Horst.htm
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Generalleutnant Erich-Heinrich Clößner of 25. Infanterie-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 24 Dec 2022 17:10

Erich-Heinrich Clößner (17 September 1888 - 28 March 1976) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 29 September 1940 as Generalleutnant and Kommandeur 25. Infanterie-Division. The following wartime excerpt describes why Clößner was awarded the Ritterkreuz: "Over the course of 5-7 June 1940 Generalleutnant Clößner led his troops forwards over the Oise-Aisne Kanal, and afterwards stormed the Chemin des Dames and the Laffaux heights with his men.” The following press excerpt from October 1940 further details these actions as follows: "Between 5 and 10 June 1940 Generalleutnant Clößner decisively contributed to the breakthrough victory of his Korps as well as the subsequent pursuit battles along the Aisne Canal and Marne river through the masterful leadership of his Division. During the assault across the Marne river his Division served as the pacemaker for the young neighbouring Divisionen against the desperately defending enemy. In doing so he brought about a military accomplishment of unusually high merit.”

Source :
https://www.facebook.com/groups/152986901863424
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/288 ... -Erich.htm
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Oberst Walter Denkert of 19. Panzer-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 02 Jan 2023 15:36

Walter Denkert (23 February 1897 - 9 July 1982) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 14 May 1944 as Oberst and Stellvertreter Divisions Führer 19. Panzer-Division. Denkert’s Ritterkreuz recommendation reads as follows:

“Oberst Denkert had been assigned command of the 19. Panzer-Division, and in this capacity he launched an attack with his heavily weakened Kampfgruppe from the Skala area along the road towards the northwest on 31 March 1944. The Kampfgruppe succeeded in taking Gusztyn following extremely tough combat against much larger infantry and tank forces. Thereafter, following fluid and costly fighting for both sides, Losiacz was stormed, all while Oberst Denkert was continually inspiring his troops from the foremost line.

As contact with Gruppe Back did not exist at the time, Oberst Denkert decided to launch a further attack during the night. He would advance beyond Losiacz towards the northwest and assault an enemy position that was protecting Davidkowce from the eastern edge of a forest. Despite a heavy snowstorm he and his Division, along with the subordinated elements of the Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 16, succeeded in breaking through the strong anti-tank gun positions. Through the capture of this forest he created the preconditions for the capture of Davidkowce, which took place on the following day. The capture of this village was of great importance for the protection of Korpsgruppe Chevallerie’s northern flank as well as the prevention of the enemy’s goal to outflank this unit. Numerous tank kills were the measurable successes of this heavy combat. With this the decisive precondition for the thrust towards and across the Seret river for the bulk of the Korpsgruppe was attained.”

Submitted on 3 May 1944.
Preliminary document and decoration on 16 May 1944 to Heeresgruppe Nordukraine.

Source :
HILL60 photo collection
viewtopic.php?p=2449452#p2449452
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/340 ... Walter.htm
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Obergefreiter Willy Apitz of 97. Jäger-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 08 Jan 2023 02:56

Willy Apitz (27 January 1916 - 28 February 2004) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 1 January 1944 as Obergefreiter and Funker in 10.Batterie / IV.Abteilung / Artillerie-Regiment 81 / 97.Jäger-Division. In the autumn of 1943, after heavy fighting at the Kuban bridgehead, the 97. Jäger-Division withdrew to the Kerch Strait on the Crimean peninsula. From there they moved to the lower Dnieper, between the bridgeheads of Nikopol and Kherson, fighting against the 4th Ukrainian Front. Obergefreiter Apitz found himself engaged in his Division’s heavy defensive combat. In this time, while he was serving as a radio operator at a forward observation post, all of his comrades were killed during a large-scale Soviet attack. When the Soviets proceeded to launch a renewed thrust with tanks and infantry, Apitz decided to personally direct the fire of his attached artillery even though he had no training in this role. However, despite being all alone, he managed to fulfill this role effectively and direct devastating artillery fire onto the attacking Soviet forces. A unit of Soviet infantry that were passing by suddenly attacked Apitz at his position. He initially held them off with his carbine before ordering his own artillery to bombard his position. He had to repeat the order twice before his stunned comrades proceeded to do just that. Fierce artillery fire was then plastered on Apitz’s position for about a minute. However Apitz survived. By the time the firing ceased and the smoke cleared, the Russians had suffered such losses that they withdrew to their starting positions. The enemy attack was finally completely repulsed.

For this feat, Obergefreiter Willy Apitz was awarded the Eisernes Kreuz I.Klasse on 27 November 1943. Oberkommando der Wehrmacht also appreciated that his action was decisive for the success of the defense against the Soviet offensive and he was awarded the Ritterkreuz at the recommendation of his superiors, also receiving his promotion to Unteroffizier.

Source :
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=207409&p=2450865#p2450865
https://sites.google.com/site/gymdietae ... pitz-willy
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/281 ... -Willy.htm
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Re: Ritterkreuz / Knight's Cross Actions

Post by LostID » 08 Jan 2023 04:04

This is my Opa , Karl Birkmann. The surname was changed at the end of the war. Our family believes he earned the Cross judging by the ribbon on his uniform.
However, we are unable to find out very much information on him.
I was given his belongings when my father passed.
And I found a trove of papers he had hidden.
On his paperwork when he joined the nazzi party, his surname is different from the one we now use.

However, even searching that name, we come up empty handed.
He served in the kriegsmarine, coastal artillery.
I’m now sure this is the right forum to post this, I just figured I would put it out there. Regards. Trevor
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Leutnant Johannes Bölter of schwere Panzer-Abteilung 502

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 03 Feb 2023 15:35

Johannes "Hans" Bölter (29 February 1915 - 16 September 1987) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 16 April 1944 as Leutnant and Zugführer in 1.Kompanie / schwere Panzer-Abteilung 502. On 7 April 1944 Bölter and another Tiger tank of his unit destroyed 22 Soviet tanks in the area south of Pskov, a total of which Bölter was personally responsible for 15. After taking on additional ammunition he went on to destroy 2 artillery pieces and 2 anti-tank guns. By doing this he and his comrade prevented a penetration into the German frontline and provided major relief to the hard-pressed 8. Jäger-Division. Bölter would receive the Ritterkreuz for this action as well as his personal total of 89 tanks destroyed.

Johannes Bölter received the Eichenlaub #581 for his Ritterkreuz on 10 September 1944 as Leutnant and Führer 1.Kompanie / schwere Panzer-Abteilung 502. The medal was awarded for his actions south of Riga in the middle of August 1944. Bölter found himself in combat along the Memel river with 5 Tigers and 50 Grenadiers. However here they were only able to contain a Soviet bridgehead. On the next day Bölter spotted a Soviet tank assembly area and thrust into the Soviet forces as they were advancing on his own initiative despite the lack of infantry support. While doing so he destroyed 4 tanks (his 92nd-95th kills), 7 anti-tank guns and a battalion of 300 infantry. This stopped the hostile attack before it got started. Leutnant Bölter was then wounded on the following day for the 7th time during the war.

Source :
Jim Haley photo collection
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/245 ... hannes.htm
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Obergefreiter Michael Schroepfer of 35. Infanterie-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 03 Feb 2023 15:37

Michael Schroepfer (16 January 1915 - 27 December 1980) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 27 December 1941 as Obergefreiter and Richtschütze in 14.Kompanie / III.Bataillon / Infanterie-Regiment 111 / 35.Infanterie-Division. At some point during December of 1941 the Infanterie-Regiment 111 (35. Infanterie-Division) came under attack by a force of Soviet infantry plus ~15 tanks near the town of Klin. The battle reached a critical situation for the Germans, who could only defeat the Soviet tanks with great difficulty in the frozen hill country. Obergefreiter Schroepfer proved to be the hero of the day in this situation, destroying numerous hostile tanks and preventing a breakthrough of the German position. In doing so he brought his total of destroyed enemy tanks to 19, and for this (as well as his decisive intervention in the battle as described) he was decorated with the Ritterkreuz.

Source :
Jim Haley photo collection
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/835 ... ichael.htm
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Leutnant Helmut Ringler of Fallschirmjäger-Sturmabteilung "Koch"

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 11 Feb 2023 17:15

Helmut Ringler (4 October 1915 - 22 June 1962) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 15 May 1940 as Leutnant in Sturmgruppe "Stahl" / Fallschirmjäger-Sturmabteilung "Koch". The medal was awarded for his role during the capture of the Veldwezelt bridge during the German invasion of Belgium. He and his Zug of HMGs landed as part of the second wave. Quickly taking charge, Ringler and his troops were able to seize a hostile trench section and thereafter break up opposing counterattacks against the German bridgehead with effective machine gun fire.

Source :
https://www.forum-der-wehrmacht.de/inde ... t-ringler/
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/664 ... Helmut.htm
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Major Adolf Seitz of 1. Gebirgs-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 18 Feb 2023 16:10

Adolf Seitz (24 February 1891 - 16 November 1945) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 5 August 1940 as Major and Kommandeur II.Bataillon / Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 99 / 1.Gebirgs-Division. The following wartime excerpt describes why Seitz received the Ritterkreuz: "Major Seitz, commander of the II./Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 99, accomplished a great deal in the time period 5-6 June 1940. During this time he crossed the Oise-Aisne Canal, captured a bridgehead near Pommiers and conquered the St. Amand-Ferme. Through these actions (and in spite of heavy losses to his Bataillon as well as becoming personally wounded himself) he and his men seized the cornerstone of the enemy's defense in a display of unstoppable attacking spirit. As a result the French positions were definitively broken through, an act of decisive importance beyond the level of both his Bataillon and Regiment."

Source :
viewforum.php?f=5
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/280 ... ent-99.htm
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Hauptmann Willi Riedel of 297. Infanterie-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 03 Mar 2023 15:26

Wilhelm "Willi" Riedel (10 November 1909 - 10 Februari 1982) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 8 October 1942 as Hauptmann and Kommandeur III.Bataillon / Infanterie-Regiment 524 / 297. Infanterie-Division. The medal was awarded for distinguishing himself during the advance of the 297. Infanterie-Division towards Stalingrad while leading at the head of his battalion. He was recognized for remaining with his men despite being wounded twice.

Riedel received the Eichenlaub #186 for his Ritterkreuz on 25 January 1943 as Hauptmann and Kommandeur III.Bataillon / Grenadier-Regiment 524 / 297. Infanterie-Division. The following newspaper excerpt (dated 29 January 1943) describes why Riedel received the Eichenlaub: “Hauptmann Riedel prevented an imminent breakthrough by strong enemy forces whilst serving with his Grenadiers south of Stalingrad. In this time, and even though he had been wounded twice by this stage, he formed a shock troop and threw back those Bolshevik troops that had advanced as far as his command post. At the end of November 1942 Hauptmann Riedel intervened in the exact same sector with his Kampfgruppe, captured numerous resistance nests and thereby closed a frontline gap.”

Source :
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Cate ... lly_Riedel
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/166 ... -Willi.htm
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AlifRafikKhan
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Hauptmann Kurt Gierga of 5. leichte-Afrika-Division

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 17 Mar 2023 06:52

Kurt Gierga (3 March 1909 - 25 June 1961) received the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 30 June 1941 as Hauptmann and Chef 5.Kompanie / II.Abteilung / Panzer-Regiment 5 / 5.leichte Afrika-Division. The recommendation was submitted on 18 June 1941, while the preliminary document and decoration were sent to the Afrikakorps on 2 July 1941. The following justification was given for Gierga’s receiving the Ritterkreuz: "On 16 June 1941 Hauptmann Gierga attacked a large number of heavily armoured English tanks on his own initiative after reaching his ordered attack objective, even though his Panzer-Kompanie was almost out of ammunition and exposed to the strongest enemy fire. All but one of the superior enemy tanks were destroyed at extremely close range with the last available shells. Through this outstanding leadership of the Kompanie, the tank battle at Sollum took a particularly favourable turn." According to the communications officer of the II.Bataillon / Panzer-Regiment 5, Hauptmann Gierga rammed his command tank (armed with just a wooden gun!) into a Matilda Mark II. tank that was towing another one, and thereafter was able to capture both tanks with their crews (8 men) prisoner.

Source :
Jim Haley photo collection
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/508 ... a-Kurt.htm
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Last edited by AlifRafikKhan on 17 Mar 2023 06:53, edited 1 time in total.

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