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Mertins, Gerhard

Date of birth:
December 30th, 1919 (Berlin/Brandenburg, Germany)
Date of death:
March 19th, 1993 (Fort Lauderdale/Florida, United States)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, Third Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant)
Unit:
Fallschirm-Pionier-Bataillon / 7. Flieger-Division
Awarded on:
1941
Mertins was Awarded the Iron Cross, First Class for his actions in Crete (Operation "Merkur") in May 1941. Exact date unknown.
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant)
Unit:
4. / Fallschirm-Pionier-Bataillon / 7. Flieger-Division
Awarded on:
February 8th, 1943
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Hauptmann (Captain)
Unit:
Führer Fallschirm-Pionier-Bataillon 5 / 5. Fallschirmjäger-Division
Awarded on:
December 6th, 1944
Awarded for his actions following the Battle of Normandy. During the German retreat through France his Pionier-Bataillon was attached to the 9. Panzer-Division. Up until the 03.09.1944, between Frouard and Lanéville in the area around Nancy, Mertins and his Bataillon blew up a total of 46 bridges in a fluid combat situation. In doing so they greatly facilitated the retreat of the German forces in this area, and for his leadership of the Bataillon during this time Hauptmann Mertins would be decorated with the Knight’s Cross.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major
Unit:
Führer Fallschirm-Pionier-Bataillon 5 / 5. Fallschirmjäger-Division
Awarded on:
March 9th, 1945
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Gold

Sources

Photo