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Konopacki, Günther

Date of birth:
October 10th, 1921 (Groß Bösitz/Brandenburg, Germany)
Date of death:
June 23rd, 1987 (Baden-Baden/Baden-Württemberg, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
June 27th, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
October 27th, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant)
Unit:
3. / Radfahr-Abteilung 168
Awarded on:
April 21st, 1943
Details:
Award 363/20.
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
September 17th, 1943
Details:
2097th Award.
Ehrenblattspange des Heeres und Waffen-SS
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (1st Lieutenant)
Unit:
Führer Aufklärungs-Abteilung 168 / 68.Infanterie-Division / XXXXII.Armee-Korps / 4.Panzer-Armee / Heeresgruppe Süd
Awarded on:
December 19th, 1943
Action:
In late 1943 the Soviets thrust across the Dnieper north of Kiev. In this context the a Kampfgruppe based on the Aufklärungs-Abteilung 168, led by Oberleutnant Konopacki, was ordered to defend the village of R. Here it came under attack by a much superior foe and had every reason to retreat. However Oberleutnant Konopacki knew that reinforcements were on the way and in order to give them the best chance he decided to grimly hold on, accepting that that implied becoming encircled.

Despite their best efforts, the Soviets could not overrun the village and lost 10 tanks destroyed (some in close combat). When the ammunition had finally almost run out, Konopacki and his troops broke out of the enemy encirclement. The newly arrived reinforcements were then able to finally bring the advance of the enemy to a standstill for good. For this action Konopacki would receive the Knight’s Cross.
Details:
2450th Award.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Rittmeister
Unit:
Kommandeur Aufklärungs-Lehr-Abteilung
Awarded on:
March 17th, 1945
Nahkampfspange in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Rittmeister (Captain)
Unit:
Kommandeur 1.Aufklärungs-Lehr-Abteilung / 10.Radfahr-Jäger-Brigade / XXVI.Armee-Korps / 4.Armee / Heeresgruppe Nord
Awarded on:
March 23rd, 1945
Action:
On the 26.01.1945 Rittmeister Konopacki personally received a mission from the commander of Heeresgruppe Nord, Generaloberst Reinhardt, at the Wormditt airfield. With his Aufklärungs-Lehr-Abteilung he was to form the spearhead for the attempted breakout of the 4. Armee from the Heilsberg triangle, south of Braunsberg. At 22:00 on that day Konopacki and his men began their breakthrough for the 40 km wide enemy cordon.

After getting around 15 km behind the enemy frontline they were cut off from the following German units. However over the course of four heavy days of fighting Konopacki and his Kampfgruppe were able to complete the journey on their own and reach Elbing. A notable success came on the second day of the breakthrough, when Konopacki and his Abteilung were able to annihilate the staff of a Soviet tank corps/army at the southern edge of Mühlhausen. The Soviet commander and 35 officers of his staff were killed after putting up a bitter defense.

For successfully breaking out of the trap against the odds Konopacki would receive the Oakleaves.
Details:
797th Award.
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Details:
Silver version.
Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
October 25th, 1943
Nahkampfspange in Bronze
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
December 21st, 1943
Nahkampfspange in Silber

Sources

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