- Second World War (1939-1945)
- SS-Sturmbannführer (Major)
- Führer I. / SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 40 "Horst Wessel"
- Awarded on:
- January 13th, 1945
RIepe’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…
“On the 10.12.1944 Sturmbannführer Riepe had the order to hold the village of Szeczeny against the Bolshevik onslaught. At his disposal were some hastily assembled alarm units and the II./Grenadier-Regiment 42. In the midst of enemy drumfire and bombing from Russian aircraft, Riepe was a shining example of prudence and fearlessness for his men as they defended against the ceaseless enemy attacks that were supported by tanks.
For a whole week (10.12.-17.12.1944) the Russians stormed against the city undeterred by their losses. Driven forwards by their commissars, all their attempts were in vain.
Sturmbannführer Riepe led the hodgepodge garrison of Szeczeny with iron energy and a firm hand. In the most trying of hours his inspiration was able to inspire his men to resist to the last. Whenever the Russians managed to achieve a penetration with the support of heavy artillery preparation, Sturmbannführer Riepe was able to restore the old frontline through counterattacks led with boldness and skill that also brought bloody losses to the enemy.
In the early morning of the 16.12.1944 the Russians managed to penetrate through the heavily thinned German ranks along the southwest edge of Szeczeny with 300-400 men and 9 tanks. However this penetration was sealed off by the personal intervention of Sturmbannführer Riepe. On his own initiative Riepe ruthlessly stripped the not yet attacked sections of his security line of men. With these hastily thrown-together forces (strongly outnumbered by the Russians) he launched an energetic attack with a loud ‘Hurra’ that pushed the enemy out of the city once again. In the process he inflicted heavy losses on the enemy and destroyed 6 enemy tanks with his heavy weapons.
Through his prudence and determination, Sturmbannführer Riepe therefore played a decisive role in holding the key city of Szeczeny. In doing so he prevented our divisions positioned in the Matra mountains from being outflanked.”