Heimann, Heinrich

Date of birth:
September 17th, 1915 (Norddinker/Western Phalia, Germany)
Date of death:
August 20th, 1944 (near Chambois/Basse-Normandie, France)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Hauptsturmführer
Unit:
Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung "Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler"
Awarded on:
September 2nd, 1943
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Hauptsturmführer (Captain)
Unit:
Kommandeur SS-Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 1 "Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler"
Awarded on:
February 23rd, 1944
Action:
Heimann’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…

“SS-Hauptsturmführer Heimann has been commander of the SS-Stu.Gesch.Abt. 1 since the 06.07.1943.

I. During all the fighting days of Operation Citadel, the offensive battles since the 01.11.1943 and the defensive battles in the zones east of Zhitomir, around Berditschew and southwest of Berditschew, the SS-Sturm.Gesch.Abt. 1 fought as a unified body under the leadership of SS-Hauptsturmführer Heimann, who led from from his commander’s Sturmgeschütz. As a result of his pronounced leadership qualities, his extensive experience and his exemplary attacking spirit, Heimann has been able to complete his tasks in an exemplary fashion and achieve major successes.

On each of the 6 fighting days of Operation Citadel SS-Hauptsturmführer Heimann personally led the attacks of his Abteilung. During the tank battle south of Prokhorovka on the 12.07.1943, his Abteilung was able to defeat an enemy attack while destroying 15 tanks thanks to the reconnaissance Heimann personally dispatched as well as the combat readiness of the Abteilung itself.

II. During the thrust of the Division into the deep flank of the Russians on the 15.11.1943 from Kornin to Kotscherowo (located on the Zhitomir-Kiev road), SS-Hauptsturmführer Heimann and his Abteilung were attached the the Division’s armoured group. Their task was to thrust towards the northwest with the follow-up troops after taking Ssolowjewka. During this attack it was discovered that the enemy had heavily reinforced their defense, as they had expected a thrust from this direction. The left neighbour, the 1. Panzer-Division, ran into great difficulties. SS-Hauptsturmführer Heimann, who was personally driving with the spearhead in his vehicle, recognized that capturing the village of Wodoty would be decisive for the further progression of the attack. He decided to launch an independent attack with his Sturmgeschützen and the weak infantry forces that were mounted on them.

Having tied down the frontal defenses with some Sturmgeschützen and a few Grenadiers, he succeeded in penetrating into the village from an easterly direction with the bulk of his Sturmgeschützen after overcoming two anti-tank gun blocking positions. The enemy, who had been emplaced for the all-round defense of the village, were fully surprised by this energetic thrust and subsequently smashed. Staying on the heels of the fleeing enemy, SS-Hauptsturmführer conducted a pursuit throughout the night with a force that by the end had been reduced to just 3 Sturmgeschützen and a few Grenadiers. However over the course of this ride he had managed to take control of a row of villages; Pokryschew, Romanowka, Semenowka and Sdwischka.

Despite several enemy counterthrusts, SS-Hauptsturmführer Heimann succeeded in holding his newly captured villages through skillful employment of his Sturmgeschützen and by tricking the enemy into thinking more reinforcements had been brought up. He held onto his prizes until the bulk of the armoured group arrived there.

III. During the winter fighting of 1943/44, SS-Hauptsturmführer Heimann and his Abteilung conducted 19 Abteilung-sized attacks in the time period 10.11.1943-29.01.1944. Some of these were conducted at night and/or lasted several days. Since the 05.07.1943, he has destroyed the following enemy materiel with his Abteilung…

- 157 enemy tanks
- 189 Pak (7.62 cm)
- 71 Pak (4.7 cm)

Of this total SS-Hauptsturmführer Heimann was personally responsible for…

- 9 tanks
- 19 Pak (7.62 cm)
- 11 Pak (4.7 cm)

SS-Hauptsturmführer Heimann has proven himself during each day of battle and in every combat situation. His constant presence, which saw him personally lead his vehicles from the front when only a small number were operational, was an encouraging example for his men.

On the grounds of distinguished leadership qualities, his bravery that repeatedly showed itself on the battlefield, and the outstanding leadership of his Abteilung, I believe SS-Hauptsturmführer Heimann to be worthy of the high award of the Knight’s Cross to the Iron Cross. I ask that he be decorated with this award.”
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources

  • - MOONEY, PETER, Waffen-SS Knights and their Battles, Schiffer Military History, 2016.
    - Die Ordensträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht (CD), VMD-Verlag GmbH, Osnabrück, 2002
    - 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
    - Scheibert H., Die Träger des Deutschen Kreuzes in Gold (Kriegsmarine, Luftwaffe, Waffen-SS) und Deutschen Kreuzes in Silber (Heer, Kriegsmarine, Luftwaffe, Waffen-SS)
    - Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945
    - Microfilm Publication A3343. US National Archives.