- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Oberst (Colonel)
- Kommandeur Grenadier-Regiment 418
- Awarded on:
- January 25th, 1943
Becker’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…
“Oberst Becker, the commander of Grenadier-Regiment 410, had a decisive share in his Division’s defense against a prolonged series of hostile attacks that began on the 26.11.1942. He and his outstanding unit ensured that the Division’s right wing was able to hold out against all enemy attacks even as it had to bear the brunt of the combat together with the Division’s left wing.
Near Gorby, and particularly near Wjaskowko, the enemy was able to achieve penetrations despite the brave and heroic defensive by our own exhausted and overtaxed soldiers. But in this situation Oberst Becker came up with a plan. Gaining insight as to the situation from the foremost line, he personally organized counterthrusts on the spot with the smallest possible units that he assembled from both other frontline sectors and his own staff members. The holding of the frontline was only made possible due to his immediate intervention via counterthrusts before the enemy had established themselves. Equally important was the subsequent reinforcing of the recaptured positions with additional forces that were plucked from less threatened frontline sectors, risks that Becker took while assuming full responsibility. He refused to fail even in those frequently desperate situations where no reserves at all were at hand. Instead he managed to make the impossible possible through his gifts of improvisation and extremely skillful defensive tactics. He thus not only held the position but also managed to eject the enemy from the temporarily lost battle stations on his own initiative, throwing them back far into no-man’s land while inflicting heavy losses. Numerous prisoners were captured in the process.
Ultimately, over the course of an 18-day period, Oberst Becker and his Kampfgruppe were able to repel the major enemy attacks that were launched on a daily basis in the hours of both daylight and darkness. Impending breakthroughs and the consequent collapse of the Division’s right wing were prevented through appropriate countermeasures, and in the process Oberst Becker succeeded in throwing back and completely destroying the enemy via independently launched counterthrusts on no less than 11 occasions. Altogether the enemy succeeded in achieving 7 penetrations near Wjaskowko and another 4 in the salient south of Gorby. Even though most of these penetrations were achieved with tank support, at the end of the day there was no decisive breakthrough in this frontline sector. The enemy did not reach their attack objectives.”
This initial recommendation was supplemented with an addition by the new divisional commander about a month later. It reads as follows…
“Oberst Becker has further distinguished himself through the outstanding personal bravery that he demonstrated on the 18.01.1943. This day saw the total destruction of an enemy group that had been located in the rear of the frontline near Zemena for some time, and in the process 9 tanks were either destroyed or immobilized. The attack was launched from two sides and with the support of Sturmgeschütze, Artillerie and Infanteriegeschütze. Oberst Becker had personally reconnoitred the situation in great detail during the days leading up to the attack, and on this day he led with such fearlessness that it was possible to bring about a total success against bitter enemy resistance while only sustaining minimal friendly casualties. With this victory came the elimination of a threat to the main supply road in the Demyansk area.”