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Lotze, Gerhard

    Date of birth:
    May 21st, 1922 (Biberach/Württemberg, Germany)
    Date of death:
    October 13th, 1944 (near Modlin, Poland)
    Nationality:
    German (1933-1945, Third Reich)

    Biography

    Promotions:
    November 9th, 1943: SS-Obersturmführer;
    ?: SS-Hauptsturmführer (posthumously).

    Career:
    July 1st, 1939: Eintritt Waffen-SS;
    ?: 2. / Ersatz SS "Deutschland";
    August 12th, 1942: Kompaniechef II. / SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 10 "Westland".

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    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Awarded on:
    August 22nd, 1941
    Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Awarded on:
    April 20th, 1942
    Bronze version.
    Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Awarded on:
    June 1st, 1942
    Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Awarded on:
    September 8th, 1942
    Medaille
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Untersturmführer (2nd Lieutenant)
    Unit:
    8. Kompanie, II. Bataillon, SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment "Westland", SS-Panzergrenadier-Division "Wiking", Waffen-SS
    Awarded on:
    April 24th, 1943
    Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Awarded on:
    May 15th, 1943
    Nahkampfspange in Silber
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Awarded on:
    January 20th, 1944
    Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Schwarz
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Obersturmführer (Lieutenant)
    Unit:
    Führer 5. Kompanie, II. Bataillon, SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 10 "Westland", 5. SS-Panzer-Division "Wiking", Waffen-SS
    Awarded on:
    February 1st, 1945
    Lotze’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…

    “SS-Obersturmführer Lotze, who was visiting the Bataillon at the beginning of Oktober 1944, was compelled to suddenly take over command of 5. Kompanie (which he had previously led in 1942/43) due to the absence of a Kompanie commander.

    During the afternoon of the 12.10.1944 the Bataillon was attacked by the enemy and thrown back, suffering 66% casualties through the extremely strong enemy drumfire and the subsequent combat. The survivors formed a hedgehog position around Michalow. The following night a force of 11 enemy tanks with mounted infantry drove in front of the strongpoint in the direction of the Stanislawow-Reginow road. SS-Obersturmführer Lotze personally destroyed 2 enemy tanks that were guarded by hostile infantry with Panzerfausts. As a result the enemy tanks pulled back during the nighttime hours.

    In the morning hours of the next day SS-Obersturmführer Lotze realized that he would not be able to hold the positions north of Michalow in the event of an enemy attack due to the enemy’s control of the high ground in front of the defenses and the absence of contact with friendly forces to the left. Thus he decided to attack the Bohnenhöhe east of Michalow with his Kompanie along with the support of 2 Panthers. In a boldly led attack the Kompanie succeeded in taking the hill with Lotze at its head. When his unit came under fire from the main road located to the rear, Lotze rolled up the enemy positions along it with 5 men. His Kompanie ultimately managed to occupy a line from the Bohnenhöhe up to the main road. During the counterthrust he captured 25 prisoners. The enemy suffered losses of 80-100 dead and 6 MGs knocked out.

    Through this counterthrust launched on his own initiative SS-Obersturmführer Lotze laid the groundwork for the restoration of contact with the left neighbour. It also enabled the friendly elements on the right to push the frontline forward to Hill 87 and the high ground to the south of it shortly afterwards. Through this a new main line of defense was created, and the intention of the enemy to seize the Stanislawow-Reginow road and use it as a jump-off position for a breakthrough towards Jablonna-Legjonowa was thwarted.

    During this fighting SS-Obersturmführer Lotze died a heroes’ death. He is completely worthy of being awarded the Knight’s Cross to the Iron Cross.”
    Awarded posthumously.
    Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

    Sources

    Photos