Wittig, Karl-Heinz

Date of birth:
July 27th, 1918 (Seegläsgen/Brandenburg, Germany)
Date of death:
December 29th, 1984 (Nürnberg/Bavaria, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Feldwebel
Awarded on:
September 7th, 1938
Details:
Nr. 974.
Fallschirmschützenabzeichen der Luftwaffe
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
May 18th, 1940
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
May 20th, 1940
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Feldwebel
Awarded on:
October 1st, 1942
Erdkampfabzeichen der Luftwaffe ohne zahlen
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Feldwebel
Awarded on:
May 20th, 1943
Ärmelband Kreta
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Feldwebel (Sergeant)
Unit:
Führer 11. / Falschirmjäger-Regiment 1
Awarded on:
February 5th, 1944
Action:
The recommendation for Wittig's Knight's Cross reads as follows...
"As the leader of the security platoon during the assault on Durnewo on November 21 1942 Wittig led a counterattack which greatly assisted the attacking force. In bitter close combat he was able to inflict heavy losses on the Russians. With his platoon he captured 18 prisoners and various enemy weapons and equipment. In the offensive and defensive battles around Velikie-Luki, he led the spearhead of the battalion in a breakthrough that got to within 1 km of the citadel. By destroying a sled column and several machine gun nests he brought losses to the enemy.
In a counter-attack of the battalion south of Gribuschino he launched an assault with his platoon to the high ground and overran the enemy in his positions. Fighting with his men in the front lines, all attacks of the enemy were fended off. In this fight he was wounded for the fourth time. Because of this outstanding bravery Wittig was awarded the German Cross in Gold.
Sergeant Wittig participated in the fighting around Hill 250, 2 km south of Stolbezkoje, on 16. and 18.2.1943 as a platoon leader. He distinguished himself by his leadership and exemplary enthusiasm. In this fighting 8 Russian tanks attacked with infantry escort. 4 tanks were destroyed, and the accompanying infantry suffered heavy casualties.
On the 18th and 19th of February 1943, after taking over the company of his heavily wounded company commander, he led an attack over three kilometers of deep snow and brought the heights north of Nagorny into German possession. By this he created the conditions for the attack on the village of Nagorny. On the night of 19-20.02.1943, he entered Nagorny from the north with his assault group, clearing the village house by house until the strong hostile resistance was broken and the enemy destroyed. Wittig's assault was a major factor in the successful capture and holding of this important village.
Through Wittig's exemplary performance a dangerous gap in the German frontline southeast of Orel was sealed and the enemy blocked from a further advance to Smijewka-Orel. Here Wittig was wounded for the fifth time. During this night attack, 9 tanks were destroyed, 60 prisoners were taken and large quantities of weapons and material were captured. The enemy lost more than 100 dead.
Feldwebel Wittig is an excellent soldier, who has proven himself as a lone fighter, shock troop leader, platoon leader and also as a temporary company commander. I consider him fully worthy to receive the Knight's Cross."
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Feldwebel
Unit:
III. / Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 1
Awarded on:
March 20th, 1944
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold

Sources

  • - THOMAS, FRANZ & WEGMANN, GÜNTER, Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939-1945, Biblio-Verlag, 1986.
    - Die Ordensträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht (CD), VMD-Verlag GmbH, Osnabrück, 2002
    - Fellgiebel W.P., Elite of the Third Reich, The recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939-1945: A Reference, Helion & Company Limited, Solihull, 2003, ISBN 1-874622-46-9
    - Patzwall K., Scherzer V., Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941-1945, Geschichte und Inhaber Band II, Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall, Norderstedt, 2001, ISBN 3-931533-45-X
    - Verleihungsurkunde Fallschirmschützen, Ärmelband Kreta, DKiG
    - Vorläufiges Besitzzeugnis RK