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Schirmer, Gerhart
*January 9th, 1913 (Chemnitz/Saxony, Germany)
+September 5th, 2004 (Lauf-Aubach/Offenburg, Germany)
Knights Cross: June 14th, 1941
As: Hauptmann Führer II. Fallschirmjäger Regiment 2
Following the capture of Corinth by German Fallschirmjäger, Hauptmann Schirmer took command of the II./Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 2 and set out in pursuit of the Allied forces in the Peloponnese. Nauplia was occupied, but en-route to Tolos the 6. Kompanie was ambushed by British forces. Despite rallying and beginning their own attack, in the difficult terrain the attack bogged down. In response Schirmer sent a messenger to the British forces, warning them that if they did not surrender they would be immediately crushed by Stukas and Panzers. The bluff succeeded and Schirmer’s men took the surrender of 1200 British troops and 72 officers. Schirmer then managed to capture the commander-in-chief of the Greek forces in the Peloponnese and secured their surrender, resulting in the capture of 9000 Greek and 2000 British troops.
Not long afterwards, on the 26.05.1940, Schirmer and his men would capture Hill 296, a height which overlooked the Heraklion airfield. This action would prove a most important step for the eventual capture of the city a few days later. For these achievements Schirmer would receive the Knight’s Cross.
Oakleaves: November 18th, 1944
As: Oberstleutnant Kommandeur Fallschirmjäger Regiment 16
Awarded for his leadership of the Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 16 during the battles in the centre of the Eastern front during the summer of 1944. Rushed to the Vilnius—Kauen area starting on the 07.07.1944, the Regiment immediately became involved in a fighting retreat. As it was evading Soviet forces along the Neris river, it was overtaken and encircled on 13.07.1944. However thanks to the leadership of Oberstleutnant Schirmer the Regiment managed to break out and take up a new defensive position east of Kauen (Kowno).
Forced back by further Soviet action, the Regiment would make a stand in the Memel bridgehead at Tilsit. In the battle area between Schloßberg and Wilkowischken Schirmer’s Regiment (reinforced by the I./Fallschirm-Pionier-Regiment 21 under Major Witzig) was able to secure a significant defensive success and was consequently mentioned in the supplement to the Wehrmachtbericht of 25.08.1944.
Postwar signed photo measuring 4” x 6”

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