"Feuerwerker" with Ritterkreuz (Disposing UXBs)

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Edward L. Hsiao
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"Feuerwerker" with Ritterkreuz (Disposing UXBs)

Post by Edward L. Hsiao » 28 Jan 2004 23:37

Gentlemen!

Little has been written about Feuerwerker who had won the Knight's Cross during the final months of World War II for Germany. Disarming and disposing unexploded bombs (UXBs) was one of the most dangerous trades that a soldier had done. They were the unsung heros of the German people. So far I found four feuerwerkers who had won the Knight's Cross.

Hauptmann Egon Aghta (Heer) The most successful bomb disposer of Germany and the only one to be awarded the Oak Leaves.
Oberfeldwebel Siegfried Rieger (Heer)
Volksturmmann Jakob Hoffend
Karl-Anton Thomas (Luftwaffe)

Any more imformation about these brave bomb disposers is welcome. Perhaps there were more of them who had won that high neck decoration. :)

Regards,
Edward :)

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Stauffenberg II
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Post by Stauffenberg II » 29 Jan 2004 09:58

Interesting topic!

I believe the last victims of WWII (at least for the time being) died on 17.07.2003 when trying to disarm an US air bomb in Salzburg.

See:
http://www.n-tv.de/3173089.html

Doktor Krollspell
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Post by Doktor Krollspell » 31 Jan 2006 16:11

There was also Oberfeldwebel (W) Karl Kudla, a Feuerwerker in a Sprengkommando in Berlin/Luftgau-Kdo III. Kudla recieved the RK on April 18, 1945, and survived the war.


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Krollspell

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Post by Doktor Krollspell » 31 Jan 2006 20:59

And another one...

Wilhelm Sitt, RK 07.02.1945. "Führer eines Btls. d. Kölner Volksturmes u. Abschnittsleiter (ehrenamtl.) im Gau-Org. Amt der NSDAP-Gauleitnung Köln-Aachen." As a note, Sitt recieved his RK for having defused hundreds of unexploded bombs. Found dead in Köln 07.03.1945.

Source: Veit Scherzer "Ritterkreuzträger 1939-1945" (2005).


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Krollspell

Doktor Krollspell
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Re: Feuerwerker" with Ritterkreuz (Disposing UXBs)

Post by Doktor Krollspell » 31 Jan 2006 23:05

Here's the first Feuerwerker officer that recieved the RK...
Hauptmann (W) Heinz Schweizer
Image
Hauptmann (W) (Kr.O.) Heinz Schweizer recieved the RK on 28.06.1943 as Führer Spreng-Kommando d. LW 1/VI Ratingen/Düsseldorf. He was murdered (!) shortly after the war on 05.06.1946 in Klobbicke/Biesenthal.
Source: Veit Scherzer "Ritterkreuzträger 1939-1945" (2005).
Hauptmann Schweizer, der im Verlauf des Krieges schon mehrere hundert Bomben, Blindgänger und Zeitzünder nach Terrorangriffen entschärfte machte, ist der erste Feuerwerker, der das Ritterkreuz erhielt. In seiner Eigenschaft als Leiter sämtlicher Kurse für Feuerwerker in Deutschland hat Hauptmann Schweizer Gelegenheit, seine einzigartigen Erfahrungen, auf diesem Spezialgebiet den Angehörigen der Feuerwerkertruppen zu vermitteln.

Source for picture and qoute: http://presentations.uib.no:7778/pls/po ... lues=11948
Regards,
Krollspell

Edward L. Hsiao
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Better Late Than Never!

Post by Edward L. Hsiao » 01 Feb 2006 00:01

Dear Dr. Krollspell,

Thank you very much for additional information on further Ritterkreuz holders who had the dangerous jobs of disarming bombs. They were very brave men indeed!
Sincerely,
Edward

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Re: Feuerwerker" with Ritterkreuz (Disposing UXBs)

Post by Doktor Krollspell » 05 Mar 2006 07:55

Hello Edward!
Here you can find more photographs on the Feuerwerker RKT, Aghta, Rieger, Hoffend and Schweizer:
http://www.feldgrau.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=18581
(In that link, there is also a link to a short bio on Egon Aghta...)
Regards,
Krollspell

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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 05 Mar 2006 13:34


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Ingo
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Post by Ingo » 05 Mar 2006 13:48

There is a book over Egon Agtha.

http://www.cimm.de

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Post by Doktor Krollspell » 10 May 2006 23:20

I finally found a photograph of Wilhelm Sitt from the excellent http://www.ullsteinbild.de website! The only problem is the attached text which claims that Sitt was in Berlin instructing Volkssturm in how to handle the Panzerfaust. Wilhelm Sitt recieved his Knight's Cross on 07.02.1945 for bomb disposing in Köln and he died one month later on 07.03.1945 in Köln...
Still, I think that the RKT on the following photograph resembles Wilhelm Sitt compared to a great portrait photograph in Osprey's Men-at-Arms Series "German Auxiliary Forces"... Well, the search continues, and that's half the fun... :wink:
Wilhelm Sitt
Image
Volkssturm Berlin 1945: Ausbildung an der Panzerfaust
Abschnittsleiter Ritterkreuzträger Wilhelm Sitt bildet Volkssturmmänner in Berlin an der Panzerfaust aus - 1945 bazooka

Source photo/quote: http://www.ullsteinbild.de
Regards,
Krollspell

Doktor Krollspell
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Post by Doktor Krollspell » 05 Jan 2007 14:59

Hello!
I've just found (on the Net) this very interesting group photograph of the three Berliner Feuerwerker RKT. From left to right; Kudla, Agtha and Rieger. Since both Kudla and Rieger recieved their RK on 18.04.1945, this photograph must have been taken during the ongoing Battle for Berlin...
Image
http://www.finearts-autographs.com
Regards,
Krollspell

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Bernd R
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Re: Feuerwerker" with Ritterkreuz (Disposing UXBs)

Post by Bernd R » 30 Apr 2008 18:17

addition to ELT Egon Aghta :

A Heeresfeuerwerkerschule I , Berlin-Lichterfelde / OKH , Fz In. document has the following entry on him :

Lehr-Offizier
01.10.1940 - [01.02.1945, date of documentation] Leutnant (W) Egon Agtha
[seit 01.08.1940 Fronttruppe ; qualification : Fachmann f. Vernichtung feindl. Abwurfmunition]
[Bemerkungen [remarks] :
01.10.1940 – 31.08.1943 : Ob.Frw.Spreng.Kdo ;
01.09.1943 – 30.07.1944 : als 2.Offz. b. Spreng.Kdo. d. Luftwaffe
[gem. Führer-Erlass ist das Spreng-Kdo d. Luftwaffe Bln. Fronttruppe (frontline unit by Führer-Erlass)]

source : NARA Rolle T78R866

Jan-Hendrik and Bernd

Doktor Krollspell
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Re: Feuerwerker" with Ritterkreuz (Disposing UXBs)

Post by Doktor Krollspell » 30 Apr 2008 19:16

Thanks Bernd for these additional details of Hauptmann Egon Agtha's career. And while I'm at it (and apparently can't edit an older reply), here's the "new" link to a thread on the Feuerwerker over at Feldgrau...
http://www.feldgrau.net/forum/viewtopic ... 26&t=18581
Regards,
Krollspell
Hi Krollspell, I have added this new link to your above post and crossed out the old one [known here that links to the older feldgrau version are vanished]. @you and all : if you find it neccessary to keep a topic "living", logical and readable give one of the Mods a hint please to do the neccessary [small] edit. Bernd /Mod

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Re: Feuerwerker" with Ritterkreuz (Disposing UXBs)

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 26 Mar 2013 07:23

Hauptmann (W) der Reserve Egon Aghta in the last propaganda film of the Third Reich:

[youtube] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLwmTmFgmJk [/youtube]

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Re: Feuerwerker" with Ritterkreuz (Disposing UXBs)

Post by noggin1969 » 12 May 2018 15:31

Hauptmann Heinz Schweizer was killed by Captain Heinz Swiss ( Russian Army ) in front of their parents' house, while drunk he attacked him, beat him up and shot him in the head.

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