- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Oberleutnant der Reserve (1st Lieutenant of Reserves)
- Chef 3. / Panzer-Pionier-Bataillon 209 / 11.Panzer-Division
- Awarded on:
- December 23rd, 1943
The following first-hand account describes why Borck was awarded the Knight’s Cross…
“Then the 29.10.1943 came. A few days beforehand I had taken over a reinforced Panzergrenadier-Bataillon (the I./111 in the so-called Ghost Division under General von Wietersheim) from a badly wounded Rittmeister, and right away I had to endure days of heavy defensive combat with this unit, with many tanks being destroyed in our sector.
On the left wing of the Bataillon the frontline jumped about 800 metres to the rear, and the result was that we had to defend a village with a totally open left flank. Reinforcements were promised, and these arrived on the evening of the 28.10.1943 in the form of an additional Kompanie. During the night I guided this unit into its new positions on our left wing.
In the morning hours of the next day, the Russians attacked. In the days before they had always come from the front with tanks, but now they only attacked with strong infantry forces into the threatened left wing. Without either issuing or receiving fire themselves they succeeded in occupying the positions on the left wing. By doing so they acquired a field of fire that would enable them to fire upon the entire frontline sector once it got light. This produced a very critical situation, especially since hardly anyone had noticed the very drastic change in the disposition of forces.
I therefore only had the option of ordering an immediate withdrawal behind a protective railway embankment, although the ammunition and equipment would have to be left behind. This would at least allow us to utilize the cover of darkness while moving across 600 metres of open fields.
In order to distract the enemy, I personally led a counterthrust while armed with an MG atop of a Sturmgeschütz even though we only had 8 main gun rounds and a case of MG ammunition. With this one vehicle we succeeded in preventing the enemy from making a further advance, but above all we stopped them from conducting aimed fire. We held out until we could assume that the unit had reached the protective railway embankment, then we moved to pull back ourselves. Unfortunately I fell off the vehicle as the Sturmgeschütz drove over a trench, and I stood suddenly alone about 100 metres in front of the advancing Russians.
On the way to the German lines I managed to eliminate a tank in close combat together with some other stragglers, but in the process I was badly wounded and only reached friendly lines hours later with the last of my strength.
I later learned that the German Sturmgeschütz was knocked out on the way back. Thus, out of the 5 men who carried out the counterthrust, I was the only one to come back, and in a heavily wounded state no less.”