On the night of 16-17.01.1945 Oesterwitz and his Regiment detrained at Petrikau. The Regiment then retreated back towards Kalisch-Ostrowo while fending off enemy attacks to the left and right, in order to prevent being encircled. Along the way they were forced to breakout near Staw on the 23.01.1945. The bravery and leadership qualities exhibited by Oesterwitz during this retreat, at a time when many other German units were being overrun, proved vital to the Regiment eventually reaching relative safety at the Oder river near Rützen (north of Steinau). For his actions during this time he would receive the Oakleaves.