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Senghas, Paul

Date of birth:
January 31st, 1916 (Böttingen am Neckar/Württemberg, Germany)
Date of death:
November 6th, 1996 (Flein/Baden-Württemberg, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, Third Reich)

Biography

Paul Senghas reched the rank of SS-Hauptsturmführer.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Hauptscharführer (Warrant Officer)
Unit:
1. Kompanie, I. Abteilung, SS-Panzer-Regiment 5, 5. SS-Panzergrenadier-Division "Wiking", Waffen-SS
Awarded on:
June 9th, 1943
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Obersturmführer (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Führer, I. Bataillon, SS-Panzer-Regiment 5 "Wiking", 5. SS-Panzer-Division "Wiking", Waffen-SS
Awarded on:
December 11th, 1944
Senghas’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows….

“On the 18.08.1944 the enemy advanced towards the Warsaw-Radzymin-Wyszkow road with massive forces and strong air support. At the time the 5. SS-Panzer-Division ‘Wiking’ was located along the general line Roszcep-Trojany-Debynki.

At the time SS-Obersturmführer Senghas stood as the leader of the Stabskompanie along with the supply units of the I./SS-Panzer-Regiment 5 in Zazdroso (1.5 km east of Niegow).

At 11:00 he received a message which reported the Russians as having broken through in battalion strength to a point 1 km east of the railway embankment. A wide gap existed towards the left neighbour, and there was the danger that the Russians would block the main road and thrust into the left flank of the Division. Recognizing this danger, Senghas made the decision to engage the enemy with the handful of men in the supply units at hand (despite their lack of heavy infantry weapons) and bring the Russians to a halt.

Going into position at the railway embankment, he let the Russians approach to within very close range and then smashed their attack. Reinforcements could not be brought up, and so Senghas defended with his handful of men for the remainder of that day and also the two following days, fighting off strong enemy attacks with only rifles, sub-machine guns and close combat weapons. During this time 2 Panzer IVs, which had been in the repair shop and were only conditionally operational, were brought into the fight. 2 Sherman tanks and 1 T-34 were destroyed immediately after they appeared. The Russians took heavy losses in men and ceased their attacks.

By his own initiative and personal devotion to duty, Senghas thus brought the 3 days of close combat to a conclusion. An enemy breakthrough was prevented and the danger to the left flank of the Division removed. Senghas is one of the oldest Eastern front combat veterans, who has mastered many critical situations through swift decisiveness and bold action while ruthlessly demanding the utmost of himself.”
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources

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