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Melzer, Walther

Date of birth:
October 7th, 1894 (Leipzig, Germany)
Date of death:
June 23rd, 1961 (Bremen, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, Third Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberst
Unit:
Grenadier-Regiment 694
Awarded on:
February 11th, 1943
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberst (Colonel)
Unit:
Commander Infanterie-Regiment 151
Awarded on:
August 21st, 1941
On the 22.07.1941, as the 61. Infanterie-Division began its attack on Poltsamas, the Regiment led by Oberst Melzer found itself at the focal point of the battle. Despite having sustained heavy losses and ceaseless combat in the previous days, the Regiment nonetheless stormed the city with great courage. In addition the Regiment captured multiple river crossings undamaged, including the important concrete bridge running through Poltsamas itself. Largely on account of the actions of Melzer and his men, the city was firmly in German hands by 12:00 on that day.

The capture of Poltsamas was of great importance for the continuation of the German operations in Estonia, and for his role in this battle Melzer would be decorated with the Knight’s Cross.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Generalleutnant (Major-general)
Unit:
Commander 252. Infanterie-Division
Awarded on:
August 23rd, 1944
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
Awarded for his actions while commanding the 252. Infanterie-Division during Operation Bagration. On the 22.06.1944 the division defended against 8 rifle divisions and 2 tank brigades from the Soviet 43rd and 6th Guards Armies. On the 24.06. the Division was ordered to pull back behind the Daugava at Ulla, with a gap being formed on its right flank with the Korps-Abteilung D. The Soviets attacked relentlessly.

On the 27.06. the Division held the line Poluoserje Lake - Ussweja Lake. The next day they reached the line north of the Woron Lake on both sides of Uschatschi. Here the connection to Korps-Abteilung D was restored. The Division retreated through Holubicze and reached Glembokie on the 02.07.1944. Here the Soviets attempted to outflank the Division, but thanks to the brave German blocking positions and the skillful leadership of Generalleutnant Melzer this critical situation was resolved in the Germans’ favour and this maneuver failed.

For his successes during this time Melzer was decorated with the Oakleaves and named in the Wehrmachtbericht of 21.07.1944.
558th award
Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Awarded on:
August 9th, 1915
Eisernes Kreuz 2.Klasse (1914)
Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Awarded on:
March 10th, 1918
Eisernes Kreuz 1.Klasse (1914)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
September 16th, 1939
1939 Spange zum Eisernen Kreuzes 2er Klasse 1914
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
October 3rd, 1939
1939 Spange zum Eisernen Kreuzes 1er Klasse 1914

Sources

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