- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Kommandeur III. / SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment "Nordland" / 5.SS-Panzer-Division "Wiking"
- Awarded on:
- December 23rd, 1942
The Knight’s Cross recommendation for Harry Polewacz reads as follows…
"At the end of September the 1. Panzer-Armee, with the SS-Wiking Division, were fighting for the Terek bridgehead. The lead German assault unit was the III./SS-Pz.Gr.Rgt "Nordland". The objective was to attack southeast towards Nishikurp. On the 27.09.1942 the III./"Nordland", led by Polewacz and reinforced by the Stug-Batterie, attacked towards this objective in the morning fog.
The enemy put up a strong fight and after the fog lifted they could observe the movements of the III. Battalion. Several bitter battles broke out, with the 1. Kompanie Commander being heavily wounded and the Commanders of the Stug Batterie, 2. Kompanie and 3. Kompanie being killed during heavy fighting on the right flank. The Ordnance Officer took over but he was wounded and then the Battalion Adjutant became a temporary Kompanie Commander.
The Battalion remained in defensive positions against this strong enemy fire. SS-Sturmbannführer Polewacz recognized this emergency and rushed through the strong enemy fire, showing the right flank Kompanie over which ground to attack across. He then moved to the left flank and gave further commands to attack the enemy positions. With this, the entire Battalion moved forward.
Polewacz was at the head of this attack and was an example of the highest courage. Only his personal actions resulted in the successful breakthrough into the enemy positions. This breakthrough position was used as a jump-off point for further attacks to the east.
His Regimental Commander, SS-Oberführer von Scholz, asked for the award of the Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross as he felt Polewacz was an example of an officer who showed personal outstanding courage and his decisions led to a success that allowed further advances of the SS-Wiking Division."