Rampel, Josef

Date of birth:
April 5th, 1915 (Witzmannsberg/Bavaria, Germany)
Date of death:
November 17th, 1943 (Ljubinowka near Krivoj Rog/Ukrain, Soviet Union)
Buried on:
German War Cemetery Kirovohrad
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

Josef Rampel presumably lies buried as an unknown soldier at the German War Cemetery Kirowograd.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Feldwebel (Staff Sergeant)
Unit:
1. / Panzer-Abteilung 18
Awarded on:
February 11th, 1943
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberfeldwebel (Warrant Officer)
Unit:
Halbzugführer 11. / Panzer-Regiment "Grossdeutschland"
Awarded on:
December 14th, 1943
Action:
On 18.10.1943, near Krivoi Rog, the Soviets managed to break through the German positions. At the time Oberfeldwebel Rampel was in a workshop waiting on repairs for his Tiger’s transmission. However when he heard of the breakthrough he independently decided to engage the enemy. His Tiger, though not in the best of shape, was still drivable and he was able to prepare it for battle by taking ammunition from another damaged Panzer, also “borrowing” a loader from the same tank.

After a friendly 8.8 cm Flak had pulled back in light of the enemy superiority, Rampel found himself up against some 40 enemy tanks all alone in his damaged Tiger. However the powerful cannon of the vehicle proved its worth here and Rampel was able to start engaging the enemy at a range of just 1200-1500 metres. Every shot seemed to hit, and after 90 minutes of battle Rampel and his crew had manage to destroy 17 enemy tanks. Following this the remaining Soviet tanks pulled back, and Rampel was able to pull back to friendly positions with his wounded crew members in tow.

For his independent action carried out under the most difficult of circumstances Rampel would receive the Knight’s Cross.
Details:
Awarded posthumously.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources