Oesterwitz, Karl-Heinz

Date of birth:
March 15th, 1914 (Innsbruck/Tirol, Austria)
Date of death:
June 13th, 1999 (Pulheim/North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)
Nationality:
Austrian (1918-1938, Republic)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
January 17th, 1940
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
August 16th, 1942
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (1st Lieutenant)
Unit:
7. Kompanie, II. Bataillon, Lehr-Regiment "Brandenburg" z.b.V. 800, Heer
Awarded on:
December 13th, 1942
Details:
Award 251/22.
Name is written in Patzwall / Scherzer as Karl Heinz.

Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (1st Lieutenant)
Unit:
Chef, 7. Kompanie, II. Bataillon, Lehr-Regiment "Brandenburg" z.b.V. 800, Heer
Awarded on:
April 30th, 1943
Action:
During the fighting east of Krymskaja, in April 1943, a German Kampfgruppe commander fell out of action and the Soviets managed to break into the German main line. Without hesitation Oberleutnant Oesterwitz took over command of the Kampfgruppe, reorganized the defense and then led a mix group of Grenadieren and Gebirgsjägern that managed to recapture the old frontline. Oesterwitz had already distinguished himself by capturing a bridge near Beloretschkaja on 11.08.1942 in classic Brandenburger fashion by getting close to the bridge in captured Soviet uniforms and vehicles. For these two actions he would be decorated with the Knight’s Cross.
Details:
1769th Award.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant-colonel)
Unit:
Kommandeur, Jäger-Regiment 2 Brandenburg, Panzergrenadier-Division "Brandenburg", Heer
Awarded on:
February 10th, 1945
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
Action:
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.
Details:
734th Award.

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