Favourite Knights Cross Action

Individual German officers, soldiers and award holders.

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lets not forget Mengele

Post by max painless » Sun Jul 03, 2005 5:49 pm

Also, Joseph Mengele won the Iron Cross in the east, twice I believe. Then he was wounded, and the rest is history! The portrayals of Mengele, usually brush past his outstanding courage, and soldiership prior to his hellish stent as an SS doctor. Do you have the write up for his Iron cross(es)??? An interesting read I'm sure!

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Post by Doktor Krollspell » Mon Jul 04, 2005 3:17 am

First of all Max, this is a thread about one's favorite Knight's Cross action. So questions about Mengele should be placed elsewhere and as a post of it's own.
Do you have the write up for his Iron cross(es)???
See the following link on this subject:

http://www.posner.com/book1.htm
Who was the highest scoring german ace, and does he have an autobiography?
Look up Major Erich Hartmann in this Forum and on the Net. He's everywhere...


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Post by Doktor Krollspell » Tue Jul 12, 2005 12:00 pm

Hello gentlemen II

Well, nobody is picking up the glove on this thread so I'll continue with another (non-Heer, non-Waffen-SS) example on interesting Knight's Cross winners. This time it's the Kriegsmarine's (and Abwehr's) turn...

Leutnant zur See d. R. Heinrich Garbers recieved the Knight's Cross on November 1, 1944 as "Kommendant Hilfskriegsschiff Passim und Führer von Sonderunternehmungen". Heinrich Garbers recieved orders from the Abwehr in July/August of 1943 to "find" a suitable ship in France (Brest) for transporting agents to South Africa and South America. Garbers found the Passim, a 16 meter long sailing yacht which also was equipped with an emergency engine. Garbers handpicked a crew of six, all old sailing friends of his, and on August 2, 1943 left France for South Africa.

After avoiding the Allied convoy routes in the Atlantic, Garbers reached the Namibian (former Deutsch-Südwestafrika) desert-coastline on October 5. After two of the agents went ashore (the heavily loaded ship's boat capsized near the shore and they lost their radio equipment), Garbers set sail to go 1300 kilometers to the Bay of Mossamedes to land the third agent. On the return journey to France, the Passim went through a violent hurricane and was damaged. It had to be towed the last bit to harbour in Bayonne which was reached on December 24, 1943.

After returning to Berlin, Leutnant Garbers recieved new orders for him and the Passim. He had to transport and put ashore two agents, a german and a brazilian, in Cabo Frio, Brazil. After narrowly avoiding an allied convoy coming through Gibraltar, the journey to Brazil took 49 days. The return journey took much longer, partly because of a two week period of calm weather, and after five months at sea the Passim reached Arcachon in France without incidents.

The third journey of Garbers and the Passim went to Argetina with two agents and a load of medicine for the argentinians. The landing spot was at Punta Mogades south of Rio de la Plata and while on the Atlantic, Garbers and his crew learned of the D-Day landings at Normandie. After hitting a sandbank outside Punta Mogades and narrowly managing to get the yacht free, the agents and the load was placed ashore and three agents were picked up for the return journey home. In November 1944, The Passim had to approach the spanish port of Vigo under Argentinian flag, dumping all traces of german military equipment overboard. After taking contact with the german consulate in Vigo, Heinrich Garbers was flown back to Berlin in a Fw 200 Kondor and got his Knight's Cross as the 271th recipient of the Kriegsmarine.
Heinrich Garbers was the Kriegsmarine Kommendant with the longest period at see! His special missions took 545 days at sea and he sailed 35.415 sea miles (68.288,5 kilometers)!

As a note, arriving home to the Reich after D-Day and also after the assassination attempt on Hitler by von Stauffenberg on July 20, the Abwehr, and Admiral Canaris had been amalgated by the RSHA and so, Leutnant Gerbers was greeted and decorated by SS-Obergruppenführer Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Head of the RSHA, and he was also promoted to SS-Obersturmführer!.

When captured in May of 1945, Heinrich Garbers was interrogated by the CIA who wanted to know which U-boats Garbers had used on his different secret journeys transporting and landing Abwehr agents but when he told that he had been the Captain of a sailing yacht, they didn't believe him!
After three years in captivity, Heinrich Garbers was released and went to Hamburg in West Germany. He died in 1963.

The source has been: Franz Kurowski "Deutsche Kommandotrupps 1939 - 1945 - Brandenburger un Abwehr im weltweiten Einzats: Band II" (2003).
Eventual wrong facts are mine when I shortened the story on Garbers and translated it from german to english.

Heinrich Garbers
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http://www.das-ritterkreuz.de


I hope that more Forum members will put forward histories of the Knight's Cross bearers...


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Krollspell
Last edited by Doktor Krollspell on Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by max painless » Thu Jul 14, 2005 8:15 am

What were they doing in S. America? Also, is it just me or does it seem like this guy did in an excellent job, but a Knights Cross decoration?????
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Post by Doktor Krollspell » Thu Jul 14, 2005 11:04 am

Hello again Max!

About your question...
Also, is it just me or does it seem like this guy did in an excellent job, but a Knights Cross decoration?????
I see your point but you'll have to remember that all the Knight Crosses awarded were not only for personal physical courage under enemy fire. Many officers who led larger units successfully in combat were awarded for their tactical/strategical leadership. I agree that it is fascinating to read about frontline experiences of heavy combat. Something I personally had the good fortune to never had to experience... and hopefully never will.

About Leutnant Garbers. The seamanship skills and cold calculating it took to avoid allied vessels (and aircraft) on so many and extremly long sailing journeys up and down the Atlantic ocean in the war years 1943 and 1944 landing on hostile shores, I admit it captivated me. It's a somewhat different tale of war than the "usual" events often presented.

Please feel free Max, to give your fellow Feldgrauians a good Knight's Cross tale... :wink:


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Post by max painless » Thu Jul 14, 2005 11:50 am

Yes. I believe in the Uboatwaffe it was an automatic decoration after a certain amount of tonnage sunk by the Captian.

Maybe I can fish around and find a good story.
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Post by Doktor Krollspell » Thu Jul 14, 2005 12:00 pm

Yes. I believe in the Uboatwaffe it was an automatic decoration after a certain amount of tonnage sunk by the Captian.
Considering that out of 40.000 german U-boat sailors, about 30.000 were killed, I can't imagine any other military branch in history where there was a level of 75% KILLED IN ACTION! So those Knight's Crosses didn't came easy...

Looking forward to your catch... :D


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Post by max painless » Thu Jul 14, 2005 12:09 pm

Actually it did set a record for the highest fatality/casualty rate of any military branch that continued to function. That is the key part, it continued to operate despite 75% fatalties.
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Post by MB15 » Tue Jul 19, 2005 11:49 am

My favorite "KC-action" is the capture of Belgrade:Fritz Klingenberg,leader of the SS-Aufklärungsabteilung/2. SS-Division 'Das Reich',reached the ouskirts of Belgrade before the rest of the division were there.He decided to take 10 men and go into the city.At the german ambassadory he saw german that asked for protection against possible yugoslavian brutalities.Klingenberg went to the mayor of belgrade,and told him that he was the leader of a big german attack force that stands ready to capture belgrade.The mayor decided to surrender the city to the germans,Klingenbger recieved his Knights Cross for that action.The wehrmacht was angry,because the SS was faster than the elite unit Großdeutschland from the wehrmacht.

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Post by Laurent Daniel » Tue Oct 04, 2005 12:01 am

My vote goes for the French Waffen SS who got their RK in the burning ruins of Berlin end April - early May 1945. They were fighting a lost battle, they perfectly knew it but they volunteered to go there.

Ritterkreuzträger of the 33 SS Division Charlemagne:
Hauptsturmführer Henri Joseph Fenet,
Untersharfuhrer Eugene Vaulot,
Obersturmführer Wilhelm Weber (German National)
Obersharführer Francois Appolot

At the end of March 1945, a thousand survivors of the Charlemagne were grouped together close to Neustrelitz. Brigadefuhrer Krukenberg calls for volunteers More than 600 accepted to fight to the end. 300 only, under command of Haupsturmfuhrer Fenet could board the 9 trucks that Krukenberg had been able to get to drive to Berlin the last reinforcements.
Berlin April 1945, "Last Squadron of an Europe that will die" (Rock Rostaing, veteran)
April 25 1945
Henri Fenet, former lieutenant of the colonial infantry, injured twice in front of Verdun in June 1940 and again injured in Galicia in the Sturmbrigade, is commanding the Company. Some weeks ago, he succeeded pulling his battalion out of the hell of Pomerania, the famous breakthrough of Dievenow. He got from that, with the iron cross of first class, the rank of Haupsturmführer. This 25 y.o. French SS heads a small Sturmbataillon composed from 4 companies (strongly reduced) and the Honour Company of Weber. On April 25, they embark and leave for Tempelhof. The vehicles of the French SS are blocked little before the capital by a bridge destroyed by some old Volksturm having taken them for Russians. They will continue on foot
"Exhausted, we walked like robots, muscles stiffen under the effect of the fatigue that we felt climbing on our legs. We walked obsessed by the concern to arrive early enough in the capital, not to allow anyone to block the road to our last fight, all our will, all our forces directed to this goal that attracted us with all its power: BERLIN!"
It is confirmed that the Sturmbataillon Charlemagne was the last unit to enter Berlin before it was completely encircled by the Soviet forces. The walk will be long and painful, kilometres holding panzerfaust, grenades, MG42 and ammunitions. Upon arrival, the volunteers take some hours of rests in the forest of Grünewald.
Brigadefuhrer Krukenberg meets General Weidling, Commander of Berlin forces. There, he is informed that he must also take the head of the Division SS Nordland, formed of Danish Dutch, Swedish volunteers. It seems that some English were there also, but this is not confirmed. He keeps under his direct orders the Honour Company of Obersturmfuhrer Wilhem Weber. The other French troops are divided up in four strong companies of 60 to 80 men each. At Tempelholf, the Sturmbataillon helps the feldgendarmes to filter the fleeing civilians from the deserters of the German army.
SS-Obersturmfuhrer Michel, commanding the 2nd company will seriously be injured. Brought by its comrades under cover in a cellar, he will be reported MIA.
April 26 1945, 6.00 a.m.
The French Sturmbataillon is engaged in the sector of Neukölln, Southeast Berlin. Some tanks of the Nordland Panzer Regiment, including a Koenigstiger, support an attack that bumps quickly to an eager resistance from the Soviet ones. Very quickly the first Russian tanks will be destroyed despite an eager resistance. Thirty are destroyed, as well as number of anti-tank guns.
Russian artillery has just destroyed a reserve section regrouped with not enough care: 15 corpses are lying on the sidewalk and the roadway. In a single morning, half of the French SS who came Berlin are slaughtered. One counts the KIA and the WIA by dozens. The main concern, now that the French attack reveals itself a failure, is to regroup the troops, isolated by the Russian advance in the sector, for new mission. Haupsturmführer Fenet set his HQ in the town hall, injured to the foot. It has to be brought around in a chair to keep on directing his men. At midnight, he receives the order to reach the Hermannplatz. The young SS leaves behind him a group headed by one of its faithful officers, Obersharführer Hennecourt, to regroup all those that were left behind by the withdrawal. A group of Hitlerjugend fights with the French Waffen SS.
Night of April 26
The survivors of the fight are regrouped on the Alliance Platz. The 1st company of Untersturmführer Labourdette was sent in mission to Tempelhof airport. The second company lost its commander, Obersturmfuhrer Michel. The 3rd company, that counts henceforth less than thirty men, is there, with Obersharführer Rostaing, a LVF veteran. The fourth company, more numerous, in the absence of his commander Obersturmfuhrer Olliver, engaged in another sector, is commanded by authentic Russian prince, the Standartenjunker Protopopoff.
April 27 1945
Having regrouped those of his men that were still valid, Hauptsturmfuhrer Fenet gave them some hours of rests in a brewery, the Thomas Keller, and went to the HQ of Division Nordland to receive the instructions of Brigadeführer Krukenberg. Standartenoberjunker Douraux is with him. After a stop to the medical unit, set in the basement of the Reichbank, the battalion Commander went searching for his Commander. He will found him in the basements of the Opera, located in the well-known Unter den Linden. Fenet learns that his battalion will be divided in small group of 8 men each, in charge of fighting against tanks in the streets of the capital. By day, the French SS will therefore leave their positions to reach the basements of the Opera, where units will be reorganised. Those trips will be done through the tunnels of the Berlin subway. The division HQ moves to Stadtmitte underground station, in a train lit with candles. In this sinister setting, Brigadeführer Krukenberg distributes some Iron Crosses earned during the fight of Neukölln.

"The men surround me, stuff my pockets with candies, chocolates and cigarettes that has just distributed. Its party time, everybody is singing"
Night of April 27 1945
The Russian tanks mass themselves in the vicinity of the Allianz Platz. Half a dozen of them succeed in launching an attack heading for the ministry of justice of the Reich, following the Wilhelmstrasse. They finally will be destroyed not far from the bunker occupied by the Führer. "It is very calm, this night end: There is nothing else than the T34 that burns next to us, astounding. Large flames dance now around the steel carcass, projecting their violent glimmer against the obscurity of the sky that the pink halo of the fires above the roofs does can’t dissipate".
April 28 1945
Early in the morning, Weber Hennecourt attack the Russian tanks. Fight of this kind will not stop until the end Berlin battle. "Already the preceding day and the beginning of the night had been very hard. But from this morning, the battle will attain its peak point and will maintain at that level until the end. Until the last hours, we will live in an inferno, permanently pounded by the mortars, the PAK and the tanks, pestered by the infantry, having to push back several times an hour the assaults of the Russian tanks". A true competition is now taking place between the volunteers to know who will destroy the largest number of enemy tanks. Now that everything is lost, the men of the Charlemagne take all the risks. Untersharfuhrer Eugène Vaulot destroys his fourth Russian tank by panzerfaust. Its friends occupy the outposts and await the armored enemies behind some ruined wall, not shooting till the last minute. The Soviet have to involve artillery guns and mortars, attempting to get rid of these tanks hunters that cause heavy losses. Some will finish the fight with other foreign SS volunteers. Despite his injury and the ban of his commander, Haupsturmführer Fenet joins its men on the fire line. He co-ordinates the action of the small groups that do not stop opposing the irresistible advance of the Soviet tanks. He found back Obersturmführer Weber, whose SS nickname “Cyclone” and the fact that he doesn’t speak a word of French do not prevent him to enjoy a fanntastic popularity in his company. He has just destroyed a T34 that burns few meters away. Only Russian tanks so far entered in action and the French SS did not had yet the opportunity to oppose Soviet infantry in the Berlin sector that they occupy between the Wilhemstrasse and the Friedrichstrasse. Fenet manage to join his liaison agents who relate him the terrible moments that they have just lived. After the death of Untersharführer Millet, killed April 26, his friend Riberto replaces it. He will manage an attack against a building held by the Soviet and, with other liaison agents, will eliminate a group of around fifty opponents. Few hours later, he will set off again in patrol with his friend Untersharführer Lacombe, aka Bicou, 18 y.o., the youngest NCO of the French battalion. In company of their friend Designer, a former Paris fireman, they fight with guns and grenades in the ruins of a building occupied by the Russians. Very seriously injured, Riberto will lose an eye, just as another French SS, Boural, that was wounded on Neukölnn. The latter will survive the Berlin battle and will enter into the orders after the war.

Night of April 28 1945
The French SS hear the cries of German women, raped by Soviet soldiers few dozen meters away, in the basements of the buildings.
pril 29 1945
At dawn, Russian tanks attempt again to progress alongside the Wilhelmstrasse. The shooting of the French panzerfausts blocks the first ones. But the others tanks shoot back, trying to collapse the buildings where the SS are ambushed in this central part of Berlin. Vaulot destroys four new tanks, while his friend Untersharfuhrer Albert Brunet gets three. Haupsturmführer Fenet must back up, his HQ totally devastated by the shells, and retreat before the survivors of his units are encircled. In fact the Russian infantrymen begin seep in party and of other of his position. His men set fire to the buildings to cover their withdrawal. Henceforth, the French SS will now fight few dozens meters behind their preceding front line.

They hold now the Puttkammerstrasse crossroad . The HQ is installed in a bookstore that will be under fire from Soviet 120 mortars
" One of us discovered an album in colour devoted to the Spain that becomes the distraction of the shelter where, to role turn, the men will take a little rests. We leaf through it as if we searched through these sunny landscapes an antidote to our inferno visions". Standartenjunker Protopopoff is killed by a shell in the yard building behind the HQ. The Russians launch a third armoured assault. Shells do not stop hitting, brightness whistle. The SS Rostaing is buried under gravat and we believe he is dead when he arises, white of dust, to the HQ of the battalion to receive the first class iron cross. In the evening of April 29, the French volunteers hold again and again their positions. But they count many KIA, notably among the officers, such as Standartenoberjunker Block and de Maignan, and many injured as Standartenoberjunker de Lacaze, Abacus, Frantz and Untersturmführer Berthaud. Untersturmfuhrer Labourdette disappeared in the corridors of the subway during a clash with a Russian patrol. According to the men of the 1st company, he was killed.

Night of April 29 1945
All along the night, Berlin is nothing more than a gigantic inferno. A horrendous odour of corpses in decomposition rises from the ruins. The cries of the raped women continue. "How to talk about night? The houses, the tanks that burn are our lights, and Berlin illuminates in the fire that devours it."
April 30 1945
The dawn of April 30 set up in an astounding atmosphere. The Russians pound the remaining defenders of the capital of the Reich under rockets launched from the "organs of Stalin". The noise becomes more and more deafening, while columns of black smoke rise in the sky. A Ukrainian prisoner announces to Haupsturmführer Fenet that the final assault will take place the 1st May. The attacks will take place all night long. The Russian infantrymen progress in the wake of the tanks. A T34 succeeds in crossing the outposts line and to penetrate about thirty meters in Sturmbataillon positions before being destroyed. Russians launch without stops new attacks in the Wilhelmstrasse and attempt to overflow the French positions. Haupsturmführer Fenet decides then to withdraw about one hundred meters to install the last French fighters in the building of the RSHA, Prinz-Albrechtstrasse. At about 6 p.m., the retreat is finished and the French SS set a final position in the basement, where the low windows provide observation and shooting posts. Very quickly, harsh engagements oppose them to the infantry.
May 1 1945
The Red Army engages the fight massively, in an apocalyptic way. Tanks are destroyed only few tens of meters behind the French lines! The sturmgewehre spit their last bullets "He did not lied, this Ukrainian! All night long and the whole morning, the storm of the red assaults cuts down themselves on us with the last violence". The afternoon the position worsens, the building of the French Waffen SS is in flame, they must abandon it to back up about ten meters to the Sichereitshauptamt.
Night of May 1 1945
A last iron Crosses distribution will take place in the night, to the glimmer of candles found in the basements of the ministry. At the same moment, Untersharfuhrer Vaulot, familiarly called Gégène by his friends, receives the Cross of knight of the iron cross for having destroyed in solo fight his eighth Russian tank. Brigadeführer Krulenberg pronounces a small speech where he evokes the bravery of the French soldiers on all the battle fields of the world. The Brigadeführer leaves his Stadtmitte HQ around midnight. He directs towards the Northwest of the capital to attempt a breakthrough. With him, some men of the Charlemagne, such as Obersturmführer Weber and Obersharführer Appolot, who have just been proposed for the cross of knight of the iron Cross, just as Haupsturmführer Fenet. During the breakthrough attempt, Vaulot will be killed and Krukenberg arrested. Some say that Appolot was also killed during that night, but it seems that he managed to go through, see his biography at the end of this section.
May 2 1945
The last volunteers hold the basement of the RSHA up to the morning of May 2. They are about thirty, 10% only of the troops engaged some days beforehand. At dawn, while they move to the Air Ministry buildings, they become see Russian and German soldiers that seem to fraternise. There would be therefore had an order of cease-fire? Cars roll with white flags. Fenet decides to return to the Ministry of justice of the Reich to get new orders. At the head of its men, he will cross Soviet soldiers that will not attempt even to stop them. Only his officer, Standartenoberjunker Douraux, injured to the arm, will have his gun confiscated. With them, about twenty men belonging to the Waffen Fusilier Battalion der SS 15 (Latvian Volunteers) that fought in another wing of the ministry. They try a breakthrough towards for Pankow. A ventilation opening allows the last French SS to reach the underground subway. At the Stadtmitte station, they do not find any traces of the former divisional HQ. At Kaiserhof station, Fenet observes through a ventilation shaft hundreds of Soviet soldiers that clutter the devastated roadways. Everything seems finished
"As far as the look can go, Russians, vehicles with the red star that circulate in all directions. Not a single fire blow, the walls of the Reichskanzlei are mute. There has not more anyone around, everything is finished !" He decides nevertheless to head to the Potsdamerplatz station. There, they hide under the deck of a bridge, hoping to escape capture. Nevertheless the French are soon discovered by Russian patrols. They confiscate their watches then, next only, their weapons. They join a column of prisoners. Untersharfuhrer Brunet is killed by a bullet in the head by an obviously drunken Russian soldier. This young under officer had got alone 4 of the 62 Soviet tanks destroyed by the assault during the Berlin battle. For the survivors begins the captivity, then will come, at the time of return in France, the hour of the judgement and of jails.
"In this flame, our ancestors see formerly the picture of the undefeated sun. For us, men of the Waffen SS, the light would not know to extinguish itself. We know that the night and the death arrive. But we know that the sun will return. We believe that life will re-emerge" - Henri Fenet.
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Daniel Laurent

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Post by Doktor Krollspell » Wed Oct 05, 2005 12:58 pm

Hello Daniel!

A really great post about the French soldiers and Officers from Charlemagne Division who fought with such tenacity, and desperation, in the battle for Berlin. This situation, with foreign volunteers defending the central parts of Berlin and Adolf Hitler in late April and early May 1945, has always fascinated me. Ideology vs. nationality, an intriguing struggle... Anyway, thanks for an interesting read, as your posts/replies always are! :D

And to MB15... Yes, Fritz Klingenberg's daring "coup" in Belgrade in 1941 is also a classical example of cold intelligence over sheer physical power :wink: A good example!


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Krollspell
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Post by Laurent Daniel » Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:48 pm

Doktor Krollspell wrote:Hello Daniel!
Anyway, thanks for an interesting read, as your posts/replies always are! :D
Regards,
Krollspell
Never send such kind compliments to a French guy, we have already enough difficulties to manage our inflated ego :oops:

Thanks however :D
Regards
Daniel Laurent

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Post by Doktor Krollspell » Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:33 pm

Hello Gentlemen III

Well, this time it's the Volkssturm's turn. These last-ditch units of young teen-agers and middle-aged men had a very tought situation in late 1944 and 1945, especially in Eastern Germany when they had to meet the full streght of the Red Army. Very few Knight's Crosses where awarded to soldiers and officers in the Volkssturm. One of the better known officers was the Volkssturm-Bataillonsführer (equivalent to Major) Ernst Tiburzy who led the Volkssturm-Bataillon 25/82 in the besieged east prussian capitol of Königsberg. Here are a short description of his award-winning action:
Eight Volkssturm batallions fought in the besieged and surrounded ”Festung” Königsberg. The Volksstorm units fought at the different front sectors under the overall command of the Heer sector commanders. The commander of all the Volksturm units in Königsberg was the NSDAP Kreisleiter (and Leutnant d. R. ) Wagner.
As an ideal example for all brave soldiers, from the thirteen year old Jungvolk volunteers to the old men, was the Königsberger Volkssturm-Bataillonsführer und SA-Hauptsturmführer Ernst Tiburzy. The 34 years old, already seriously wounded East Prussian Tiburzy received the Knight’s Cross on February 10, 1945. Tiburzy was the Bataillonsführer of Volkssturm-Bataillon 25/82 in Festung Königsberg. When the Russians made an armoured assault, Tiburzy knocked out a T-34 with a Panzerfaust. When one of his platoon commanders cowardly tried to escape, Tiburzy shot the man, grabbed some new Panzerfäuste and knocked out a further four T-34’s. He then personally led his Batallion in a counter-attack on the Russian positions and held his part of the front sector.
In the Wehrmachtsbericht of February 28, 1945, it said that; “the awarding of the Knight’s Cross to SA-Hauptsturmführer Tiburzy, commander of a Königsberg Volkssturm Batallion, for the destruction of five Russian tanks”. Brave deeds like this took place countless times in these days, as the german soldiers knew that the lifes of their wives and children were dependend on them and their resistance.
Source: Article by Ralf Tegethoff at http://www.deutsche-stimme.com/Ausgaben ... ichte.html
The translation, and therefore eventual wrongful facts are mine alone.

Ernst Tiburzy passed away just last year (2004) and here's the famous portrait photo of the Volkssturm-Bataillonsführer from Königsberg...
Image
Source: http://www.authenticmilitaria.com

I'm as always looking forward to read more about the Knight's Cross bearers, so please keep on posting...


Regards,

Krollspell
Last edited by Doktor Krollspell on Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Ichi » Tue Jan 03, 2006 6:58 am

Here's my 2 cents (in Dutch sorry for that)

Gerardus Leonardus Mooyman

Image

Geboortedatum: 23-09-1923
Geboorteplaats: Apeldoorn
Voorlogse woonplaats: Voorburg
Datum lidmaatschap NSB: oktober 1942
Datum lidmaatschap Nederlandsche SS (St. 4): oktober 1942
SS nummer: 2351

Onderscheidingen: IJzeren Kruis der tweede klasse (04-02-1943), IJzeren Kruis der eerste klasse (10-02-1943), Ostmedaille 1941-1942, Verwundeten Abzeichen in Silber, Infanterie Sturmabzeichen, Panzervernichtigungs Abzeichen, Ridderkruis bij het IJzeren Kruis.

Eenheden: SS-Standarte 'Nordwest', SS-Freiwilligen Legion 'Nederland', SS-Freiwilligen Panzer Grenadier Brigade 'Nederland', 4.SS-Freiwilligen Panzer Grenadier Brigade 'Nederland', 23. SS-Freiwilligen Panzer Grenadier Division 'Nederland'.

Rangen: SS-Sturmmann, SS-Unterscharführer.

Datum en plaats van overlijden: 21-06-1987 te Anloo

Het was 30 januari 1943 toen de nog maar negentien jaar oude SS-Sturmmann Gerardus Mooyman tot schutter van een pantserafweer kanon (Frans model 7.5 cm Pak 97/38 ) in de 14.(PAK)/SS-Freiwilligen Legion Nederland (Vrijwilligerslegioen Nederland) werd gemaakt. De talloze Sovjet-Russische aanvallen nabij Mga (vlakbij het Ladoga meer bij Leningrad) hadden de bemanningen van de pantserafweer behoorlijk uitgedund. Mooyman greep de overplaatsing naar het geschut met beide handen aan en toonde zich een bekwaam schutter. Zijn kanon wist onder zwaar vijandelijk vuur enkele Sovjet-Russische tanks uit te schakelen. De volgende nacht ontdekten de Nederlanders dat het Rode Leger een pantserafweer kanon nabij de Nederlandse stellingen probeerde in te graven. Teneinde deze dreigende situatie te beëindigen sloop Mooyman naar het Sovjet geschut en blies het eigenhandig met een springlading op.
De volgende ochtend werden de Nederlanders en nabijgelegen Noren (Freiwilligen Legion 'Norwegen') weer geconfronteerd met talloze Sovjet-Russische aanvallen met tanks en infanterie. Aan het einde van de dag kon Mooymann trots toezien hoe de twee entwinstigste overwinningsring op de loop van zijn geschut werd geschilderd. De jonge SS-Sturmmann had op één dag dertien vijandelijke tanks vernietigd.

Toen de mannen werden afgelost werd Mooyman naar voren geroepen en op de hoogte gebracht van de beloning. Hij was voorgedragen voor het Ridderkruis (zeer hoge Duitse onderscheiding, die doorgaans werd uitgereikt voor een bijzonder dappere daad nadat men het IJzeren kruis der tweede en het IJzeren kruis der eerste klasse reeds had behaald). Op 20 februari 1943 zou de prestigieuze onderscheiding aan hem worden uitgereikt.

Op de onderscheiding was weinig af te dingen, Mooyman had een buitengewone prestatie geleverd onder zwaar vijandelijk vuur. Toch kwam het de propaganda diensten van de Duitsers wel erg goed uit. Himmler had al eens gezegd: de eerste Europese vrijwilliger die het Ridderkruis ontvangt moet een Nederlander zijn. Het aantal Nederlandse aanmeldingen was in vergelijking met de rest van Europa het hoogst. Himmler meende daarom de Nederlanders te moeten belonen door hen het eerste Ridderkruis te gunnen. In de Nederlandse collaborerende pers werd 'Der Panzerjager', zoals Mooymans bijnaam inmiddels luidde, vergeleken met belangrijke historische figuren als Piet Heyn en Michiel de Ruyter. Dit alles om de Nederlandse Waffen-SS een hart onder de riem te steken en er voor te zorgen dat het aantal vrijwilligers verder toenam. De jonge Ridderkruisdrager werd verder gebruikt in een soort propagandatour om de Nederlanders te enthousiasmeren. Alles werd aangewend om de SS cultus in Nederland op te bouwen.

Na de oorlog werd ook Gerardus Mooyman gearresteerd. Mooyman had gestreden voor de vijand en was lid geweest van de NSB en de SS. Hij werd in voorlopige hechtenis genomen en geinterneerd in Scheveningen. Zijn verblijf duurde echter niet lang, in 1947 nam hij tijdens een transport naar Delft de benen. Hierna leidde Ritterkreuztrager Mooyman enige tijd een rondzwervend bestaan in diverse steden in Duitsland. Hij slaagde er echter niet om te ontkomen aan een proces. Toen hij zich in augustus 1947 om onduidelijke redenen (mogelijk honger) weer op Nederlandse bodem begaf, werd hij onmiddellijk gesignaleerd en opnieuw in hechtenis genomen. Op 16 oktober 1947 werd Mooyman veroordeeld tot een gevangenisstraf van zes jaren. Deze straf moest hij uitdienen in het beruchte kamp voor jeugdige delinquenten in Marum (Groningen).

In september 1949 kwam hij alweer vrij. De opinie was veranderd en de straffen werden verminderd (m.u.v. die van de politieke delinquenten). Net als vele anderen profiteerde ook Mooyman hiervan. Hij vestigde zich in Hoogkerk (Groningen) waar hij als zelfstandig huisschilder en behanger door het leven ging. In 1967 betuigde Mooyman in de Revu spijt en verklaarde 'ik heb een denkfout gemaakt'. Op 21 juni 1987 kwam Gerardus Mooyman ten gevolge van een auto ongeluk nabij Anloo om het leven.

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Derk Elsko Bruins

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De tweede Nederlandse Waffen-SS vrijwilliger die met het Ridderkruis onderscheiden werd, was de SS-Rottenführer Derk Elsko Bruins (geboren 20 maart 1923 te Vlagtwedde). Op 25 augustus 1944 werden drie Ridderkruizen uitgereikt aan de militairen van de Brigade 'Nederland', die zich positief had onderscheiden bij de gevechten gedurende de terugtocht uit Narwa naar de Tannenbergstellung. Derk Elsko Bruins kwam in aanmerking voor de onderscheiding omdat hij in de 1./SS-Panzerjager-Abteilung 54 een unieke prestatie had geleverd.

Bruins had net als Mooyman meer dan twaalf Sovjet-Russische tanks afgeschoten. Als Richtschotze van een Sturmgeschütz (STuG - gemechaniseerd anti-tank kanon) onder commando van SS-Unterscharführer Rudolf Witte had hij tijdens de dramatisch verlopen terugtocht van het SS-Panzer-Grendaier Regiment 48 'General Seyffardt' naar de Tannenbergstellung geprobeerd de Panzergrenadiere waar mogelijk te steuen. Van de 1./SS-Panzerjager-Abteilung 54 toonde het STuG van Bruins zich het meest succesvol. Voor 'General Seyffardt' mocht het niet baten, het Regiment ging nagenoeg volledig ten onder.
Derk Elsko Bruins overleed in 1986.

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Casper Sporck

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De derde Nederlander die het Ridderkruis mocht ontvangen was de vrijwilliger Casper Sporck van de 5./SS-Panzer Aufklorungs Abteilung 11. Als commandant van een SdKfz 251/9 'Stummel', een gepantserde half-track met een kort L/24 75mm kanon, werd Sporck op 26 januari 1944 in het plaatsje Gubanizy geconfronteerd met een Sovjet-Russische tankaanval. Het kanon van Sporck wist elf tanks van het Rode Leger uit te schakelen. Enkele dagen later toen het III.SS Panzerkorps waar de Brigade 'Nederland' deel van uit maakte, de terugtocht van het Oranienbaum front naar het Narva bruggehoofd achter de Luga rivier voltooide, bewees de Nederlander zich opnieuw. Als een van de laatsten haalde Sporck's voertuig de Duitse linies. Als beloning voor zijn heldhaftige optreden werd hij door zijn bataljonscommandant Rudolf Saalbach voorgedragen voor het Ridderkruis dat hem kort daarna ook werd toegekend.

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Joop Havik

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SS-Untersturmführer

Geboren : 05.05.1923 te Groningen
Gestorven : 21.09.1997 te Stein b. Nürnberg
Gestreden :- Oost front
Onderscheidingen :- IJzeren kruis 2e and 1e klas- Ritterkreuz op 06.05.1945 als SS-Untersturmführer en Zugführer 1./SS-Pol-Pz.Abt

Feedback on the research done on Joop Havik (NOT Hans Havik as many people make us believe):

http://www.geocities.com/seyffardt/Title.html

If anybody knows more about Joop Havik and why he recieved his RK, please share.

All of these men are my "heroes" for outstanding actions on the eastern front.

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Doktor Krollspell
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Post by Doktor Krollspell » Fri Jan 06, 2006 1:05 pm

Hello Ichi!

Interesting dutch reading about the three dutch RKT. A nice portrait shot of Mooymann that I've never seen before. Here's some additional information and a picture of Storck and his crew in the "Stummel":

Image
Ritterkreuzträger SS- Unterscharführer Kaspar Sperck, geboren in Heerlen bei Maastrik, mit germanischen SS-Freiwilligen auf seinem erfolgreichen Kampfwagen. Seine hohe Auszeichnung erhielt er nach Abschuss von 14 Feindpanzern im Brückenkopf Libau.
Source for picture and text: http://presentations.uib.no:7778/pls/po ... lues=11898

When it comes to the "fourth dutch" RKT SS-Untersturmführer Hans/Joop (?) Havik, Zugführer i. d. 1./SS-Pol.Pz.Abt. 4, every source I've ever read doesn't mention the name "Joop". Yes, he was born in Groningen but what are your sources that indicates that he was of dutch and not german descent?

Another problem with SS-Untersturmführer Havik is his Ritterkreuz. The award date varies between May 6 and May 9 1945 but in the latest, and by far most thoroughly researched authoritive book on the RKT, Veit Scherzer's "Ritterkreuzträger 1939-1945" (2005), Havik is listed as one of the "non-legal" therefore non-official RKT because the award was not granted to Havik from one of the very few military commanders that had legal and official clearence to award such high awards after the death of Adolf Hitler and before the unconditional surrender of Germany. Havik is in the company of quite a lot of RKT, Eichenlauben- and even Schwertenträger whose awards given in late April and early May of 1945 were not legally and correctly given.

This bureaucratical situation does not in any way diminish Havik's and the other soldiers deeds and contribution to the war. Many of them surely deserved to recieve high awards but due to the chaotic situation in the end of the war made the official rendering of the awards impossible, therefore they were not officially awarded.


With best regards,

Krollspell (with a reasonable understanding of the dutch language thanks to a dutch wife :D Still, always try to post in english for the benefit of all members...)
"Wie es eigentlich gewesen ist"
Leopold von Ranke (1795-1886)

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