Rantzau, Graf zu, Hans-Friedrich

Date of birth:
November 10th, 1918 (Schleswig/Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)
Date of death:
September 28th, 1944 (Slagune, Latvia)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (1st Lieutenant)
Unit:
6. / Panzer-Artillerie-Regiment "Großdeutschland"
Awarded on:
October 29th, 1943
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Hauptmann (Captain)
Unit:
Führer II.(Sf) / Panzer-Artillerie-Regiment "Großdeutschland"
Awarded on:
June 9th, 1944
Action:
The following divisional daily order describes how Rantzau received the Knight's Cross...

“The Führer has awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross to Hauptmann Graf zu Rantzau, Pz.Artillerie-Rgt. GD.

On 11.03.1944, Hauptmann Graf zu Rantzau thwarted an imminent enemy breakthrough near Kwitka first by employing his own SPGs, and later by collecting and leading all available troops in an infantry action.

This award was bestowed on him due to the fact that after defending against the enemy attack, he then rallied his exhausted troops and led them into an attack of their own on his own initiative. Rantzau himself led this attack from the front, which was supported by the Wespen and Hummeln SPGs employed as direct fire weapons.

Such a decision, which was far above the call of duty for an artilleryman and more than that was conducted with exemplary bravado, ensured that the day ended in victory.

We congratulate this faithful and reliable helper of our soldiers, who stands as a shining example for his Regiment and the Division as a whole. We wish him a speedy recovery from his injuries and his return to the Division.”
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources