- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Kommandeur SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 9 "Germania" / SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division „Wiking“ / 1.Panzer-Armee / Heeresgruppe Süd
- Awarded on:
- July 24th, 1943
Wagner's Knight's Cross recommendation reads as follows...
"During the attack on the Donez west of Izyum carried out by the opponent since the 16.7.1943 with strong forces and the support of numerous tanks, the reinforced Regiment "Germania" under the leadership of its' Commander, SS-Oberführer Wagner, was engaged in the focal point of the battle. On the 17. and 18.7.1943 they counterattacked the enemy who had broken in, and on 19.7.1943 fought back strong enemy attacks. In the course of the counterattack on 18.7.1943 the Regiment captured the important villages of Ssawodskoj and Ssrednij, and on 19.7.1943 they repelled attacks from the 20th Guards Rifle Division and two tank brigades.
Thanks to the quick capture of the villages of Ssawodskoj and Ssrednij, an enemy breakthrough attempt that could have endangered the whole front south of Izyum was prevented, and the further employment of strong enemy forces over the Donez was avoided. On 19.7.1943 the opponent broke through to the north of Andrejewka with two tank brigades and strong infantry units and pushed in a southeasterly direction towards Andrejewka.
Seeing the danger of this assault due to the depth of the penetration achieved by the enemy battle group, as the prisoner statements later corroborated, SS-Oberführer Wagner on his own initiative deployed the II./SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment "Germania" for an immediate counterattack. He did this although the battalion already had orders to finish off an enemy penetration at Ssawodskoj. During this heavy battle SS-Oberführer Wagner was the soul of the fight. Thanks to his personal impulse, readiness for action and by staying in the focal point of the fight, he accomplished the annihilation of the numerically vastly superior opponent and the destruction of 35-40 tanks with proportionally weak forces. With that, the planned breakthrough of the opponent was prevented and the main fighting line was won back and again firmly in our hands."