- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Oberst (Colonel)
- Kommandeur Infanterie-Regiment 211 / 71.Infanterie-Division
- Awarded on:
- October 29th, 1942
Barnbeck’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…
“The commander of the 71. Infanterie-Division asks for the award of the Knight’s Cross to the Iron Cross for Oberst Barnbeck, commander of the Infanterie-Regiment 211.
During the fighting in Stalingrad Oberst Barnbeck established the necessary preconditions for the capture of the entire city centre by the Division through a combination of bold initiative and inspiring personal bravery.
On the 14.09.1942, as the bulk of the Division thrust towards towards the Volga in a narrow wedge through the railroad area, Oberst Barnbeck had the mission of covering the former sector of the Division and protecting its current rear and extended right flank. When a favourable offensive opportunity presented itself on the 15.09.1942, Oberst Barnbeck decided to take on the well entrenched enemy forces despite the depleted fighting strength of his own Regiment in order to improve his connection with the Division by an attack. When the assault of his Regiment threatened to stall in the deep and bitterly guarded enemy defenses, Oberst Barnbeck (fighting from the foremost line) personally rallied elements of his men and led them into the enemy’s defensive position. His aggressive spirit here led to a breakthrough being forced. Oberst Barnbeck was the driving force behind the attack, constantly rushing to wherever the enemy’s desperate defense appeared to be halting the forward momentum of his exhausted men. Ultimately, after an excruciating struggle and tough melee combat, the attack led to the destruction of the Russian rifle brigade that was threatening the flank and rear of the Division.
In the end his battalion-strength Infanterie-Regiment 211 was able to secure a victory that also resulted in bloody losses for the enemy, which included over 1200 prisoners, 8 artillery pieces, 121 MGs and 56 mortars. This was only possible on account of Oberst Barnbeck’s continual and inspiring leadership in the foremost ranks of his Regiment.
Oberst Barnbeck’s independent initiative, personal bravery and skillful leadership have thus produced important results. Within a very short time, he and his Regiment managed to fight their way through to the Division, take the inner city firmly under control and ultimately make an important contribution to the Division’s continued operations that ultimately led to the capture of the entire city centre.”