GERTH Walter ~NEW~
SS-Obersturmführer der Reserve
*December 14th, 1914 (Kassel/Hessen, Germany)
+January 10th, 1995 (Kassel/Hessen, Germany)
Knights Cross: March 31st, 1943
As: SS-Obersturmführer der Reserve Kommandeur 7. / SS-Artillerie-Regiment 3 "Totenkopf" / SS-Panzer-Division “Totenkopf” / Heeresdetachement “Kempf” / Heeresgruppe Süd
Gerth’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…
“On the afternoon of the 02.03.1943 the 7. Batterie went into position at the crossroads 4 km south of Loswaja. From here it had the mission of supporting the attack of Pz.Gren.Rgt. 3.
The enemy, which that very afternoon offered extremely tough resistance against the attack of Pz.Gren.Rgt. 1 against Schljachowaja, realized that they were going to be cut off. Over the course of the night they tried to break out in an easterly direction. Thus, in the early morning hours of the 03.03.1943, they crashed against the position of 7. Batterie.
Aided by heavy snowstorms, the enemy succeeded in overrunning the security screen of the Batterie with strong tank/infantry forces and thrusting up to the firing position itself. Here SS-Obersturmführer Gerth, commander of 7. Batterie, threw the enemy back with his Batterie in a bitter engagement fought partially in close combat. The subsequent enemy attacks by superior forces were likewise bloodily fought off.
SS-Obersturmführer Gerth (who utilized opportunities to change positions during the pauses following attacks several times) made the independent decision to block the enemy’s path to the east with his Batterie.
All uninterrupted enemy attacks were repulsed by the Batterie with extremely bloody losses. The Batterie’s efforts meant that the attack of Pz.Gren.Rgt. 1 (launched in the afternoon of the 03.03.1943) succeeded in destroying the bulk of the enemy.
SS-Obersturmführer Gerth therefore managed to prevent the breakout of the enemy to the East through his own independent initiative, leadership and ruthless devotion to duty. Because of this he had a major share in the destruction of the encircled enemy elements.
During this battle the Batterie destroyed the following:
Numerous trucks and horse-drawn wagons
Numerous light and heavy infantry weapons
Several hundred dead Russians
I ask that SS-Obersturmführer Gerth be awarded the Knight’s Cross in recognition of his decisive action.”
Postwar signed photo measuring 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" plus signed note
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