- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Hauptmann (Captain)
- Chef, 3. Kompanie, Panzer-Abteilung 103, 3. Infanterie-Division, Heer
- Awarded on:
- September 10th, 1942
On the 12.07.1942 Hauptmann Stünzner and his 3. Kompanie (consisting of 7 long-barrelled Panzer IVs) set up ambush positions in the village of Podgornoye for an imminent Soviet armoured attack. The attacking Soviet force consisted of about 40 tanks from the 111th Tank Brigade. KV-1s and T-34s led the way while Mark II Matildas and T-34s with mounted infantry comprised the second wave.
Hauptmann Stünzner gave the order to fire when this force crossed the village road running parallel to their attack axis. His Panzers inflicted heavy losses on the Soviets. Several tanks tried to escape but blundered into a minefield and were destroyed. The remainder fled to the woods in the north, and the Soviets subsequently pounded the village with artillery. The German Panzer crews restocked their ammunition racks while under this fire.
The Soviets then attacked again with 26 tanks. The battle ended up lasting until 14:00, but eventually the Soviets called off their efforts. In total they had lost 34 tanks to the guns of Stünzner’s Panzers, whereas the Germans had suffered no total losses in tanks or men. Hauptmann Stünzner was subsequently awarded the Knight’s Cross for his actions on this day.