- Second World War (1939-1945)
- SS-Untersturmführer der Reserve (2nd Lieutenant of Reserves)
- Führer 5. (Schw.) / SS-Freiwillige-Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 11 "Nordland"
- Awarded on:
- March 12th, 1944
Langendorf’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…
"Operating as part of Kampfgruppe Wengler, the SS-Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 11 was assigned to secure the important crossroads at Gubanizy, northeast of Wolossowo.
On the 26.01.1944, an attack was mounted against the town by 56 Russian tanks, most of them T-34s. With them was a battalion of more than 350 men. Untersturmführer Langendorf, as the heavy kompanie's commander, secured ground in a general northeastern direction towards Torosowo with his anti-tank cannon platoon.
Despite the fact he had no artillery at his disposal and that our infantry had moved into rearward positions, Langendorf, of his own accord, had his crews manhandle his cannons forward in such a way that he was able to counter the attack in an effective manner.
Two assault guns that carried very little ammunition disengaged after a brief fire fight. Thus, it was up to Langendorf's anti-tank cannon platoon to face the main force of the Russian attack.
Through his reckless personal effort, Langendorf and his cannon platoon managed to destroy 24 tanks within two hours - 15 of them T-34s. An additional 6 Russian tanks were disabled by hits from Langendorf's anti-tank defense. 8 Russian tanks were destroyed by assault guns.
After having destroyed the initial waves of armor, Langendorf deployed gun-carrying armoured halftracks and personally led them to the town's southwestern perimeter, following an advance by straggling tanks. He drove them out again, thus keeping the supply route open in the first stage of the engagement.
Back at the northeastern perimeter, he gathered the weak infantry elements for local defense against Russian infantry and further incoming waves of enemy armour. On that day, Langendorf's anti-tank weapons destroyed 31 enemy tanks (22 of them T-34s) and disabled another 6 Russian tanks with their fire.
On the 27.01.1944, Langendorf successfully hit and destroyed another tank in Lagunovo.
On the 29.01.1944, once again 2 enemy tanks were hit, then personally disabled and blown up by Langendorf.
Thus, within these four days, Langendorf and elements of his Kompanie destroyed 34 enemy tanks and disabled 6.
The overall number of kills made at Gubanizy on the 26.01.1944 made it impossible for the enemy to carry out his intentions of pushing through Gubanizy and on to Wolossowo to take that town - an intention that has been confirmed through statements made by prisoners - thus making possible the orderly retreat movement of our own forces on the immediate right."