- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Zugführer, 14. Kompanie, III. Bataillon, Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 100, 5. Gebirgs-Division, Heer
- Awarded on:
- November 29th, 1944
The following battalion order of the day, dated 06.12.1944, describes how Rappel would receive the Knight’s Cross…
“Oberfähnrich Rappel of the 14./100 was awarded the Knight’s Cross to the Iron Cross today for his outstanding bravery during the fighting north of Gemmano.
In an exemplary and bold action he defended his strongpoint on Hill 374 against numerous, overwhelming enemy attacks with a group of faithful comrades. He held onto his position even after he and his comrades had to abandon a house they’d been using as a weak form of protection after it had been burned by enemy tanks at close range. After being temporarily forced to pull back, he and a handful of his brave men managed to retake the lost strongpoint following a fearlessly-conducted counterattack. The result was that the entire frontline of the brave and hard-fought, yet severely weakened, III./100 was able to be held with this strongpoint as the lynchpin.
We are all familiar with our Oberfähnrich Rappel from earlier operations and know that later on he was also the soul of the resistance during the defense of Monte Olivo, where he launched the necessary counterattacks. The battalion owes to him that all situations during the difficult defensive battles along the Adriatic coast could be mastered, without ever having to give way even once. And because we know this, we are proud of our brave comrade and his being awarded this high honour as the 4th member of our battalion to be so decorated. It is a credit to the glory not just of the battalion, but also the Regiment and the whole 5. Gebirgs-Division, as well as for all of our fallen comrades. He is our bravest and most intrepid soldier, and the battalion knows not a more worthy holder of this high honour.
He is our role model.
May his old soldier’s luck remain with him, so that he can one day wear his Knight’s Cross proudly and victoriously in his mountain home!”