Rinklef, Karl

Date of birth:
April 6th, 1914 (Heidelberg)
German (1933-1945, German Reich)


1939: Leutnant - AufklärungsAbteilung 27 - 27.Inf. Div. - campaign in Poland and France
Autumn 1940: 27. Infantry Division was converted to the 17. Panzer Division
06.1941: moved to Russia as part of the Armee Gruppe Mitte in Guderian's 2. Panzer Gruppe in Minsk and Smolensk (later involved in the Battle of Moscow)
09.06.1941: at Orsi 17.PzDiv destroyed 100 enemy tanks in a single day
The Panzer Division remained with the Armee Gruppe Mitte until the 6th Armee near Stalingrad, where she tried to rescue her, although she was surrounded by herself.
Christmas 1942: the division was badly damaged and had only 8 tanks and one anti-tank cannon.
03.1943: the supplemented division participated in von Mansteinova counterattack at Kharkov and Belgorod, Olt Rinklef awarded the DKiG for taking part in this action
During the fighting against the Soviets he was severely wounded and was hospitalized in a reserve military hospital in Plauen.
He also fought at Kursk and then in retreat fights over Donetsk, Dnieper and northern Ukraine.
03.1944: his unit was surrounded with the 1. Panzer Armee, but she managed a breakthrough.
09.1944: fought on the Vistula River in Poland again
05.1945: Rinklef was surrounded in a cauldron east of Prague

He survived the war
His brother fought also in the East and his father Karl was doing duty in France.

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Second World War (1939-1945)
Kradschützen-Bataillon 17
Awarded on:
March 11th, 1943
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Second World War (1939-1945)
Oberleutnant (1st Lieutenant)
Panzerraufkärungsabteilung 27, 17. Panzer Division
Awarded on:
June 27th, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Second World War (1939-1945)
Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant)
Aufklärungsabteilung 27, 27. Infanterie Division
Awarded on:
October 24th, 1939
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse


  • Photo 1: Wilco Vermeer
  • Photo: Wilco Vermeer collection, the Netherlands - generalove
  • - Die Ordensträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht (CD), VMD-Verlag GmbH, Osnabrück, 2002
    - Patzwall K., Scherzer V., Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941-1945, Geschichte und Inhaber Band II, Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall, Norderstedt, 2001
    - Decorations via Photo