Traupe, Hans

Date of birth:
May 4th, 1913 (Kunern/Münsterburg, Germany (now Poland))
Date of death:
June 23rd, 2004 (Einbeck/Lower Saxony, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
June 19th, 1940
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
September 5th, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Hauptmann (Captain)
Unit:
8. / SS-Polizei-Schützen-Regiment 1
Awarded on:
September 25th, 1942
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Sturmbannführer / Major der Schutzpolizei
Unit:
Kommandeur I. / SS-Polizei-Grenadier-Regiment 3 / 4.SS-Polizei-Panzer-Grenadier-Division / 18.Armee / Heeresgruppe Nord
Awarded on:
February 23rd, 1944
Action:
Traupe's Knight's Cross recommendation reads as follows...

"On 23.1.1944, SS-Pol.Gren.Rgt. 3, after it reached the area of Wolnaja Gorka by rapid transport, was assigned to hold the gap between Kampfgruppe Speth (Kromy area) and Kampfgruppe Schack (Saklinje area). This was to ensure the corps supply road between Sselo Gora – Wolnaja Gorka – Luga would be kept open against attacks from the area south of Krasny and via Podberesje, Dolgowo, and the railway station at Tatino being made by the enemy's 310th and 377th Rifle Divisions.

After the enemy managed to take Saklinje (the right-hand cornerstone defense of Kampfgruppe Schuldt) with surprising ease they moved to overwhelm the forces ahead of and near Puddubje. During the night of 23-24.01.1944 they attempted to reach the Wolnaja Gorka Welegoschtschi road via Libunizy, which would have made it impossible for the SS-Polizei-Division Kampfgruppe to withdraw via Welegoschtschi. It would also have allowed the enemy to reach XXVIII. Armee-Korps retreat road without facing resistance.

Sturmbannführer Traupe, commander of I./SS-Pol.Gren. Rgt. 3, was positioned with his battalion around Libunizy, on the regiment's left wing. They had been given the task to hold Libunizy and prevent the enemy from breaking through to the Wolnaja Gorka – Welegoschtschi road until the Kampfgruppe was given the order to withdraw by the corps.

The enemy, who realized the significance of this position for their further operations, tried from 24. to 28.1.44 - with and without preparatory artillery fire, in day and night attacks, and with company strong attack groups or several regiment-strong attack waves - to take Libunizy-Lushkoje time and time again. The enemy wished to turn the flank of the formations employed south of the Volnaya Gorka - Batizkaja - Lugo road (these were Kampfgruppe SS-Pol.Div. and Kampfgruppe Speth).

The Russians were unsuccessful thanks to the determined and fanatical will to defend, which does justice to the excellent leadership skills of Sturmbannführer Traupe. Traupe was the soul of the defense and was always found in the areas of greatest danger. At first with the reserve platoon, then with the reserve squads, and then with not more than three or four men from his staff Traupe threw them against the attacks. Man to man the intruding enemy was thrown back and Traupe brought the Russian attack to a standstill. Himself wounded, he retained command of his battalion to the last after a large part of his officers, NCOs and men had fallen.

Since the beginning of the war Traupe has been at the front and on countless occasions has shown proof of his untiring initiative and daredevil nature that is combined with a great sense of responsibility and leadership qualities."
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources

  • Photo 1: Willi Schumacher Collection
  • Photo: Willi Schumacher Collection
  • - 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
    - Schneider J.W., Their Honor was Loyalty!, R. James Bender Publishing, 1977

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