- Second World War (1939-1945)
- SS-Untersturmführer der Reserve (2nd Lieutenant of Reserves)
- Adjutant, I. Bataillon, SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment "Deutschland", SS-Panzergrenadier-Division "Das Reich", Waffen-SS
- Awarded on:
- April 10th, 1943
According to Patzwall / Scherzer on 24-4-1943, as SS-Untersturmführer in the 2./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. "D".
Vorschlag signed by Btl.-Kdr. Otto Weidinger; seconded 12-4-1943 by Rgt.-Kdr. Heinz Harmel via Vorschlagliste Nr. 7, which was countersigned on 15-4-1943 by Div.-Kdr. Walter Krüger.
Date of award per Yerger, citing a promotion recommendation (Beförderung in the Waffen-SS) for the rank of SS-Obersturmführer d.R., dated 16-4-1943 and signed by Fritz Ehrath (in his SS file) which references the award. Yerger writes that this document shows the award was given earlier than the date given in postwar texts.
Grohmann’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…
“The 1./SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 3 ‘Deutschland’, under the command of SS-Obersturmführer Grohmann, was deployed in the area north of Noyers (southeast of Tilly) as part of the I./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. 3 ‘Deutschland’ during the time period 27.06.-01.07.1944. The English had commenced an assault towards the south along a broad front after an hours-long drumfire and broken through in the area west of Caen.
The I./SS ‘D’ was positioned to the left of the I./SS ‘DF’ immediately west of the break-in area. The English were at the time doing all in their power to expand their penetration towards the west via strong attacks from the north, northeast and east. All attacks were preceded by hours-long drumfire and supported by tanks. This resulted in major losses for our side.
Along with his Kompanie, Grohmann had the very difficult task of defending against the very strong attacks from the north. It was particularly difficult to maintain the cohesion of his young, inexperienced troops during this materiel battle of epic proportions.
Without regarding his own safety, Grohmann was constantly on the go in order to master dangerous situations. On several occasions he was able to throw back the broken-in enemy across the main defensive line while at the head of his men.
Casualties were being incurred constantly. The friendly lines were held, but with ever diminishing strength. It was repeatedly necessary to eject the broken-in enemy elements with scant forces. A dangerous crisis arose with the right neighbouring Bataillon due to the death of the Bataillon commander, the wounding of a Kompanie commander and the high numbers of officer casualties. Contact to the right no longer existed. The drumfire-like artillery barrage was stopped, and as darkness fell 8 enemy tanks penetrated the lines on the right wing. 4 of these turned towards the southeast. The remaining 4 got into the rear of the Kompanie, firing with all their weapons.
Grohmann thereby decided to rally a handful of troops, including 2 men with flamethrowers, and began approaching the 4 tanks. Through exceptional prudence and Grohmann’s exemplary bravery, this troop succeeded in knocking out all 4 tanks with flamethrowers, magnetic AT mines and Panzerfausts in a short time. In the process 15 men from the enemy tank crews were taken prisoner.
Showing exemplary bravery, ruthless preparedness for action and very skillful leadership, Grohmann achieved a defensive success of decisive importance for the whole front west of the large break-in position by this acton. Without this achievement by Grohmann the enemy would have likely been swift to expand their penetration and capitalize on this success before the arrival of the 9. and 10. SS-Pz.Div. as reinforcements.
SS-Obersturmführer Grohmann is the model of a bold and experienced frontline officer, one who possess all the ideal qualities of great knowledge, outstanding personal bravery, commendable attitude and exemplary readiness for action.
I deem him as especially worthy of bearing the Knight’s Cross.”