This is what popped up in my files concerning Karl Decker -
This from Charlie Meconis:
The last great German strategic offensive in the East, "Operation Citadel", is in its fifth brutal day. The grand German plan to conduct a classic pincers assault to cut off the "bulge" of Soviet forces around the southern Russian city of Kursk has already largely failed in the north in the face of the unprecedented strength and depth of the three-tiered Soviet defences.
For the "Panzer Count", Oberst Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz, the battle has already been marked by bitter controversy and personal tragedy. At the peak of his prowess as a holder of the Knight's Cross with Oakleaves and Swords, and in command of the veteran and fully re-fitted Panzerregiment Grossdeutschland, Strachwitz had prepared for the battle fully aware of the terrible challenge in front of him, but confident that under his dynamic leadership the panzertruppen would prevail.
However, larger forces had conspired to thwart him at the outset. Hitler's almost magical belief in the superiority of German technology had caused him to delay the Kursk offensive until an array of brand new armored fighting vehicles could reach the front.
At the last minute prior to the start of the July 5 assault, an entire regiment of the new Panther tanks, nearly 200 in all, had been attached to Großdeutschland. The tanks were powerful but beset by teething problems, and their crews had had little time to train together or even test their radios.
To make matters worse, at the insistence of General Guderian, at the very last minute Oberst Karl Decker was appointed overall commander of both Grossdeutschland's panzer regiments in a new Panzer Brigade 10, shunting the brilliant and proud Strachwitz into a subordinate role.
Decker, a good commander under normal circumstances, badly bungled the first day of the assault as the nearly 350 tanks under his command became hopelessly tangled in swampy terrain and Soviet minefields, and then were then badly shot up by Soviet defences, with the Panthers taking severe losses.
Furious at this travesty, Strachwitz had gone over the head of his division commander General Hornlein straight to the Korps Commander, General von Knoblesdorff, and demanded that Decker be sidelined and command returned to him. Knoblesdorff acquiesced and as of July 6 Strachwitz regained command of Großdeutschland's panzer forces including the few remaining Panthers, and got the division moving toward Kursk.
But now, on the morning of July 9, with the fall of the heavily fortified town of Verkhopeny'e, the road to Oboyan and beyond to Kursk appeared to be open at last. Before him lay a broad valley with a small village named Novosolevka at the far end, terrain seemingly made to order for another classic cavalry Strachwitz thrust. Was the breakthrough finally at hand? Or had the desperate Vatutin managed to plug the gap with reinforcements during the night?
And this which I downloaded from the internet as only a guide on what to look for - I seek cited material to document the Panzer Graf's life and to refute the misrepresentations in the Fraschka book.
Oberst Karl Decker stood higher than von Strachwitz in the hierarchy and despite his excellent reputation as one of the best tank tactician von Strachwitz reported to Decker. All above factors resulted in stupid mistakes, which were made by inexperienced crew of Panthers. In the brief report one of the observers noted that both battalions moved forward to the attack areas without obtaing operational orders neither from Decker nor from von Lauchert concerning combat situation. Company Commanders were not aware about the assault plans. Since from the very beginning the targets and combat goals were not clearly defined the assault outcome was in question. After hastlily forming up and refueling, the Panther units went to the attack at 0815 hours on 5 July. Engine failures and fires put several Panthers out of action during the approach to the battlefield (six were total losses as a result of engine fires). Moving off from the assembly are Panthers moved across the mine fields, which were under observation of the Russian anti-tank artillery. Having interaction experience only on the platoon level, new tanks suffered their first losses. Oberst Drecker was pushing his troops forward to make up for the delays but that only resulted that his brigade was stuck in the marshy terrain in the critical phase of the offensive. Due to the fact that Panthers spearheaded the assault and their large number was concentrated in the restricted sector, von Strachwitz was not able to bypass them with his battalion of Pz-IV. This led to the fact that the commander of the III Battalion, Panzer-Fusiler Regiment GD was left without tank support. Aas a result his battalion during two hours of combat lost over 150 men without achieving any results.
Strachwitz was furious and his anger got stronger when the mission came to swing the power of tank blow on the right flank to support more successful III Battalion of Panzer-Grenadiers. Two battalions of Oberst Drecker moved so carelessly that they failed not only to reach their target positions and breach Soviet defense but delayed commitment of infantry battalions. Von Strachwitz was not able to see this farse any longer and took command. According to later complaint of Decker to Huderian Strachwitz didn’t answer to the radio communication and acted independently that resulted in loss of 12 Panthers. Strachwitz sent his own complaint and on July 6th von Knobelsdorf dismissed Decker from command for 4 days. However in the conditions of the critical phase of the offensive significant damage was already inflicted.