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Hubert Brinkforth received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on March 7, 1941 for his performance in the Western campaign, but the act of bravery that led to the award of such a high prize took place, however, some time before. On May 27, 1940, young Gefreite had outdone himself. At Abbeville in France, as a gunner at the 14./ IR 25 (Anti-tank Company), it was the rock against which eleven enemy tanks crashed in just twenty minutes.
Hubert Brinkforth was born on April 15, 1916 in Marl in Westphalia, the son of a miner and farmer. After attending primary school, Brinkforth learned the bakery profession and then volunteered for the military after completing compulsory job service. Here he received extensive training as a tank destroyer and was assigned to a 3.7 cm (Pak) anti-tank weapon. After operations in the Polish campaign, where the company had already proven itself in defense against a Polish attack on the Tucheler Heide, the 25th Infantry Regiment (2. ID Mot) moved to the western border of Germany in early 1940 because England and France had declared war on the German Reich.
With the beginning of the German attack in the west, the Campaign of France (Frankreichfeldzug), special reports of the victorious advance of German troops soon materialized. Private Hubert Brinkforth was also there as a gunner for his Pak since May 10, 1940. After the Polish campaign, he marched to the front a second time. He, like hundreds of thousands of his comrades wearing the feldgrau uniform: was inspired by the absolute will to complete the campaign as quickly and victoriously as possible. At Christmas he wanted to go home to Westphalia.
In the Wehrmacht report of May 28, 1940 it was specified: »Since yesterday morning, the enemy carried out strong attacks against our bridgeheads in Abbeville and Amiens. Despite the support of numerous tanks, the enemy was unable to penetrate our positions. Several French tanks were hit near Amiens. Here alone, the anti-tank gunner Brinkforth, a soldier in an infantry regiment, certainly destroyed nine enemy tanks and left two more out of action. Brinkforth fell as Unteroffizier on June 5, 1942, south of Pogostje at Wolchow in Russia.
Source: In zwanzig Minuten elf Feindpanzer abgeschossen. Hubert Brinkforth war der erste Ritterkreuzträger aus dem Mannschaftsstand. https://deutsche-stimme.de/Ausgaben2004 ... v2004.html
Illustrierter Beobachter / Folge 16 Donnerstag, 17. April 1941, 16.Jahrgang
Cheers. Raúl M
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.