Sommer, Clemens

Date of birth:
March 29th, 1912 (Brauweiler, Germany)
Date of death:
March 21st, 1988 (Köln, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (1st Lieutenant)
Unit:
18./Infanterie-Regiment "GD"
Awarded on:
August 21st, 1942
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major
Unit:
II./PzGrenRgt "Großdeutschland"
Awarded on:
January 18th, 1945
Action:
On the afternoon of 06.10.1944, in the Lithuanian/East Prussian border area, strong Soviet forces were reported as attacking the communications hub of Luoke. In response a Kampfgruppe was formed under the command of Major Fabich, consisting of the II./Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment Großdeutschland, the III./Panzer-Artillerie-Regiment Großdeutschland and the Sturmgeschütz-Brigade 303. However the enemy forces were far superior in numbers, and the Soviets quickly managed to encircle the German Kampfgruppe.

Due to enemy breakthroughs in other areas, the German high command realized that holding Luoke was no longer tenable and ordering the defending troops to breakout towards the East Prussian defense position near Memel. Leading the breakout were the soldiers of the Großdeutschland division, who destroyed many enemy tanks with Panzerfausts. With the support of three tanks Major Sommer broke through the Soviet encirclement ring, and despite sustaining heavy losses the Germans managed to reach their own lines on the evening of 07.10.1944.

For his role in the breakout effort Sommer was decorated with the Knight's Cross.
Details:
As commander of II./PzGrenRgt "Großdeutschland".
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources

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