Trabandt, Wilhelm

Date of birth:
July 21st, 1891 (Berlin-Spandau/Brandenburg, Germany)
Date of death:
May 19th, 1968 (Ahrensburg-Hamburg, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Sturmbannführer
Unit:
SS-Infanterie-Regiment 8 (motorisiert)
Awarded on:
October 21st, 1943
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Standartenführer
Unit:
Führer 1.SS-Infanterie-Brigade (motorisiert)
Awarded on:
January 6th, 1944
Action:
Trabandt's Knight's Cross recommendation reads as follows...

"On September 21 1943, at 21:00, the brigade was given the task (from the area northeast of Smolensk, over Smolensk towards the southeast) to reach Dolgomostje in motorized march without one regiment and to establish contact there with the 35. Infanterie-Division. There the brigade remained with one regiment as Army reserve.

On September 22 1943 at 06:30, SS-Standartenführer Trabandt was advised of the situation by the Ia at the command post of the 35. Infanterie-Division in Sswiridinowo. The enemy had crossed the railway line on both sides of Cholm towards the west, encircled Grenadier-Regiment 11 in Cholm, seized Lichatachewo and Rossnowo, and attacked further to the west with the goal of reaching the road Roslavl-Smolensk. At the same time strong enemy forces tried to push forward from Cholm on both sides of the railway line towards the north. An unbroken German line south of Arefino was no longer in existence. At first the brigade did not receive any further orders and remained in Army reserve.

After the regiment arrived, SS-Standartenführer Trabandt recognized the dangerous situation and, without orders, decided to advance at 09:00 from Panskoje towards the south, immediately pushing forward to Cholm on both sides of the railway line. They were to relieve Grenadier-Regiment 11, destroy the enemy elements that had penetrated west of the railway line, and deploy for defense along the railway line at Cholm facing east. After the regiment started the attack it received an order from the division in similar terms.

During the attack, which the SS-Standartenführer led, Grenadier-Regiment 11 managed to make its way and join with the attacking brigade before the attack goal. The enemy assault in the direction of the road was stopped by the quickly-built blocking position that ran in the line of Hill 225.7 (about four kilometers northwest of Cholm) - Hill 239.5 - Panskoje. Numerous attacks carried out with superior forces (partially with tanks) were beaten off with bloody losses for the opponent and the enemy penetration attempt in the direction of the road was thwarted. This success must be fully appraised, because had the enemy reached the road Roslavl – Smolensk our forces fighting south of the Rossash would have been cut off from rear communication and the planned retreat in the direction of Smolensk hindered.

On September 24 1943 the brigade was given the order to disengage the enemy and prepare itself for defense on the general line Sumarokovo – Poststrasse – Talashkino – Swch. Chlenovo, with the front towards the southeast.

Meanwhile, coming from the east, the enemy had occupied the line to be reached with a front towards the south. Trabandt, again by his own discretion, ordered to attack and throw the enemy back towards the east to prepare for the defense. The enemy was pushed back towards the east with heavy losses in dead and wounded, and large numbers of prisoners, weapons, equipment, and ammunition were captured. With it the planned withdrawal in the area south of Smolensk could proceed.

The commander of the 35. Infanterie-Division wrote on October 9 1943 to the commander of 1. SS-Infantry Brigade, recognizing that the brigade had a decisive part in the defensive successes. This led to the honourable mention of the 35. Infanterie-Division in the Wehrmacht report.

The order of the day of the XXXIX. Panzer-Korps for October 23 1943 read:

'Especially southeast of Smolensk the brigade in the heaviest fighting has hindered the penetration of vastly superior forces on Smolensk, enabling with it the undisturbed evacuation of the city.'

In the ensuing development of the fight on the highway west of Smolensk the brigade stood under the leadership of SS-Standartenführer Trabandt in continuous heavy fighting, always at the focal points of the defensive battles. Honourable mentions of the brigade in the Wehrmacht report took place on October 15 and November 23 1943. The feats and exploits of the brigade under the leadership of SS-Standartenführer Trabandt are described in the attached army, corps, and divisional orders covering the September 1 to December 3 1943."

Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources

  • - MOONEY, PETER, Waffen-SS Knights and their Battles, Schiffer Military History, 2016.
    - Die Ordensträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht (CD), VMD-Verlag GmbH, Osnabrück, 2002
    - Fellgiebel W.P., Elite of the Third Reich, The recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939-1945: A Reference, Helion & Company Limited, Solihull, 2003, ISBN 1-874622-46-9
    - Patzwall K., Scherzer V., Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941-1945, Geschichte und Inhaber Band II, Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall, Norderstedt, 2001, ISBN 3-931533-45-X