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DENK Wilhelm

Denk, Wilhelm
*January 26th, 1915 (Hengsberg / Leibnitz / Steiermark)
+March 30th, 2003 (Bad Salzschlirf)
Knights Cross: May 14th, 1944
As: Leutnant der Reserve Führer 1. / Panzergrenadier-Regiment 74 / 19. Panzer-Division
The following press article describes why Denk would be awarded the Knight’s Cross…
“Leutnant Denk breaks through Soviet positions - The courageous and sacrificial deed of a Charlottenburger Knight’s Cross Holder:
In the fighting northeast of Proskuroff the attack of a Panzergrenadier-Regiment (hailing from a Lower Saxonian Panzer-Division) bogged down in the face of a strong Soviet defensive front held by tanks and anti-tank guns. The employment of friendly artillery and Sturmgeschützen failed to break the enemy resistance in their well-constructed positions.
Leutnant Denk, commander of the Regiment’s 1. Kompanie, led his Panzergrenadiers across an open field while under withering enemy fire. Without any drastic changes the attack would soon break down. Thus Leutnant Denk decided to take a Zug from his Kompanie and conduct a movement parallel to the front that was intended to strike the Soviets in the right flank and roll them up. Disregarding his own safety, he stormed forwards through the dense Soviet flanking fire. His audacity inspired his Panzergrenadiers to do the same, and they entered into the Red position with blank weapons. Despite determined enemy resistance a total of 5 anti-tank gun nests were eliminated.
The Regiment didn’t hesitate to capitalize on the success, and the Soviets pulled back. However now Leutnant Denk stormed even further forwards with his Zug and blocked the Soviet retreat route. 4 enemy battalions were destroyed, several tanks shot up and numerous anti-tank guns plus other weapons captured. Leutnant Denk was awarded the Knight’s Cross for the exemplary devotion to duty he showed here that was in turn passed on to his men, producing a result that was decisive for the Regiment’s battle.”
This action took place in March 1944 around Redwinzy.

Postwar signed photo measuring 3 1/2" x 5"

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