- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Kommandeur, I. Bataillon, Grenadier-Regiment 17, 31. Volksgrenadier-Division, Heer
- Awarded on:
- October 31st, 1944
The following press article describes how Major Krieger would receive the Knight’s Cross…
“The Crossing over the Gauja Secured — The Knight’s Cross Action of Major Werner Krieger:
During the retreat battles of the German forces from Estonia, a Battaillon commander in a Braunschweiger Grenadier regiment, Major Werner Krieger, has particularly excelled.
On the 25.09.1944, after he learned hat a ford had been discovered at the Gauja river, he immediately set up a bridgehead to secure the crossing site with his Bataillon. With anti-tank and heavy infantry weapons he secured this position against all enemy surprise attacks. It was not long however before Soviet tanks attempted to break through to the ford. Major Werner Krieger and his Grenadiers defended against this attack by far superior forces in heroic combat. By this he made it possible for all the other German units to pull back over the Gauja with all of their wounded. Furthermore, the self-sacrificing action of Krieger’s Bataillon ensured that much valuable material and numerous guns could also be brought over.
Even after the Soviets had penetrated into the bridgehead near the end of the river crossing, the brave officer held out long enough for those weapons that could not be saved to be blown up and thereby not fall into the hands of the Soviets. Only after this was done did he give the order for his Bataillon to retreat. He himself was the last to cross the river. In the process he was heavily wounded however his men, who would do anything for their popular commander, pulled him out of the water and brought him to the main dressing station. His decisive act was recognized with the award of the Knight’s Cross.”