Polewacz, Harry

Date of birth:
March 31st, 1909 (Berlin/Brandenburg, Germany)
Date of death:
January 12th, 1943 (near Rostov/Rostov Oblast, Soviet Union)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

NSDAP-Mitglied Nr. 89889.
SS-Nummer: 35952.

Promotions:
1st October 1933: SS-Sturmführer;
9th May 1934: SS-Obersturmführer;
1st January 1935: SS-Hauptsturmführer;
?: SS-Sturmbannführer;
1st September 1942: SS-Obersturmbannführer.

Career:
December 1941 - September 1942: Kommandeur I. / SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment "Nordland";
November 1942 - December 1942: Kommandeur III. / SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment "Nordland".

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
December 1st, 1937
Bronzes SA-Sportabzeichen
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
December 1st, 1937
Ehrendegen des Reichsführers-SS
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
December 1st, 1937
SS-Ehrenring
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Unit:
III. (gep.) Bataillon SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. 9 "Germania"
Awarded on:
September 8th, 1939
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
May 28th, 1940
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Schwarz
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Unit:
III. (gep.) Bataillon SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. 9 "Germania"
Awarded on:
June 5th, 1940
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Sturmbannführer
Unit:
I. / SS-Infanterie-Regiment "Nordland" / 5.SS-Panzer-Division "Wiking"
Awarded on:
December 19th, 1941
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
January 11th, 1942
Details:
Bronze version.
Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
January 30th, 1942
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Silber
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
June 16th, 1942
Details:
Awarded with swords.
Vapaudenristin 3.luokka (VR 3)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
September 10th, 1942
Medaille
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Sturmbannführer
Unit:
Kommandeur III. / SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment "Nordland" / 5.SS-Panzer-Division "Wiking"
Awarded on:
December 23rd, 1942
Action:
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."
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources