Wesche, Willi

Date of birth:
January 8th, 1899 (Westerode, Germany)
Date of death:
June 27th, 1944 (Bobruysk, Belarus)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major
Unit:
II. / Infanterie-Regiment 430 / 129.Infanterie-Division
Awarded on:
July 20th, 1942
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
August 15th, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
October 4th, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major
Unit:
Commander Grenadier-Regiment 430
Awarded on:
April 9th, 1943
Action:
On 26.11.1942 the Soviets penetrated the German frontline around Rzhev near Osuga. Major Wesche was sent to deal with this threat, and in a sharp counterattack Wesche and his grenadiers were able to restore the old German defence line. For this success he was awarded the Knight's Cross.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberst (Colonel)
Unit:
Commander Grenadier-Regiment 427
Awarded on:
August 6th, 1944
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
Action:
Awarded posthumously. On 26.06.1944 the Ptitsch bridges (Hoßbach bridges) near Karpitovka were blocked off by the Soviets, thus cutting off the retreat route of several divisions. Colonel Wesche, recognizing the situation, took over all available forces on the left wing of his division and defeated the Soviet blocking force. With the troops under his command that had broken through he set up a new defensive front to the west and from there was able to hinder further Soviet moves. In this fighting Colonel Wesche was killed the next day on 27.06.1944.
Details:
541st award

Sources

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