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Kreutz, Karl

Date of birth:
September 20th, 1909 (Bromberg-Posen/West Prussia, Germany)
Date of death:
July 27th, 1997 (Bonn, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, Third Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
October 2nd, 1939
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
July 30th, 1940
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Obersturmbannführer
Unit:
SS-Panser-Artillerie-Regiment "Das Reich"
Awarded on:
December 15th, 1943
Award 494/25.
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Standartenführer (Colonel)
Unit:
Kommandeur SS-Panzer-Artillerie-Regiment 2 / 2.SS-Panzer-Division “Das Reich” / 7.Armee / Heeresgruppe B
Awarded on:
August 27th, 1944
Kreutz’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…

“On the 09.07.1944 American forces (supported by tanks) achieved a penetration in the area east and southeast of Le Desert.

A counterattack of the SS-Pz.Pi.Btl. 2 ‘Das Reich’ to close the frontline gap and restore the old frontline would no longer be effective, as the friendly elements on the west bank of the Vire and near Cavigny (from the I./Inf.Rgt. 984, Pionier-Schule Angers and the Füsilier-Btl. 275) had already pulled back.

The I./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. 3 ‘Deutschland’ was encircled by the Americans, but managed to break out to the south.

In this situation SS-Standartenführer Kreutz moved forward to the command post of the Kampfgruppe at Haut au Duc under heavy artillery fire, and let himself be briefed on what was going on. Recognizing the looming danger being posed for the whole front northwest of St. Lo, SS-Standartenführer Kreutz immediately contacted 5 friendly artillery batteries in the area northwest of St. Lo on his on initiative. With this he launched a coordinated artillery barrage so as to seal off the break-in position at Chateau de la Mare de Calvigny and the area to the west of there.

This sudden artillery bombardment with 5 Artillerie-Abteilungen prevented a further American push against the south and southwest, and even forced them into a disorderly retreat towards the north.

The ruthless personal action of SS-Standartenführer Kreutz, conducted with lightning speed and deliberateness, prevented an otherwise inevitable breakthrough and guaranteed the restoration of the old frontline.

On the 10.07.1944, following their crossing of the Vire canal, the enemy achieved a breakthrough towards Haut Verney via Goucherie. In doing so they cut of elements of the SS-Pz.Gren.Div. ‘Götz von Berlichingen’ located in the so-called ‘Finger’ near Graignes, which were holding a front towards the north. At 13:25 Haut Verney was captured by the enemy. They thrusted further to the south and southwest, captured St. Andre and continued to place pressure in the direction of Le Port. By 17:30 the enemy was thrusting forward from Haut Verney towards Le Mesnil-Angot, and had captured the village. Some of their units had even reached as far as the northeast corner of Bois du Hommet.

Friendly elements were only barely holding off the strongly pursuing enemy. In this dangerous situation SS-Standartenführer Kreutz received a message that Tribehou had almost completely been stripped of friendly forces. In response he deployed hastily assembled elements of the 11.(Flak)/SS-Pz.A.R. 2 ‘DR’ and the s.SS-Beob.Battr. 102 to secure the village, with orders to hold Tribehou under all circumstances. At the same time he also created an anti-tank defense with elements of a Pak-Abteilung in Tribehou towards the north and northeast, and likewise at Le Haye. These units were to intercept the reported enemy tanks that were incoming while also providing some backbone to the exhausted friendly infantry.

Units of straggling infantry were rallied on his orders and brought into position at Tribehou. Under his own personal leadership the units at Tribehou (along with further elements of the Artillerie-Regiment) were able to repulse a penetration into the northwestern part of the village. Once again SS-Standartenführer Kreutz had especially distinguished himself by his firm leadership and ruthless devotion to the combat.

On the grounds of his demonstrated bravery I hold SS-Standartenführer Kreutz as one who is worthy of being awarded the Knight’s Cross to the Iron Cross.”
3517th Award.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Standartenführer (Colonel)
Unit:
Kommandeur SS-Panzer-Artillerie-Regiment 2 / 2.SS-Panzer-Division “Das Reich” / 7.Armee / Heeresgruppe B
Awarded on:
May 6th, 1945
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
Awarded for further distinguishing himself in the Ardennes, Hungary and around Vienna (the latter in particular). In Vienna his guns took up firing positions at the important crossroads, in order to directly fire upon the eventual Soviet breakthrough attempts. During the withdrawal of the Division the Artillerie-Regiment formed the rearguard (a likely unique case). Kreutz would be recognized for the military achievements of his Regiment during these engagements.
863rd Award.
Awarding by SS-Oberstgruppenführer / Generaloberst der Waffen-SS Sepp Dietrich, Oberbefehlshaber 6.SS-Panzerarmee. Awarding has not been verified by the Bundesarchiv.
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
May 27th, 1940
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Schwarz
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
January 30th, 1942
(Allgemeines) Sturmabzeichen (ohne zahlen), I.Stufe
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
August 3rd, 1942
Medaille

Sources

  • Photo 1: Willi Schumacher Collection
  • Photo: Willi Schumacher Collection
  • - Die Ordensträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht (CD), VMD-Verlag GmbH, Osnabrück, 2002
    - Kwasny A., Kwasny G., Die Eichenlaubträger 1940-1945 (CD), Deutsches Wehrkundearchiv, Lage-Waddenhausen, 2001
    - Fellgiebel W.P., Elite of the Third Reich, The recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939-1945: A Reference, Helion & Company Limited, Solihull, 2003, ISBN 1-874622-46-9
    - Patzwall K., Scherzer V., Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941-1945, Geschichte und Inhaber Band II, Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall, Norderstedt, 2001, ISBN 3-931533-45-X
    - Schneider J.W., Their Honor was Loyalty!, R. James Bender Publishing, 1977
    - Microfilm Publication A3343. US National Archives.

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