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Bastian, Karl

Date of birth:
February 12th, 1915 (Oberhausen/Rhineprovince, Germany)
Date of death:
August 11th, 1944 (Cui/Normandy, France)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, Third Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Hauptsturmführer (Captain)
Unit:
Führer II. / SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 21 / 10.SS-Panzer-Division "Frundsberg"
Awarded on:
August 23rd, 1944
Bastian’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…

“I would like to request the award of the Knight’s Cross to the Iron Cross for SS-Hauptsturmführer Karl Bastian, who was born in Oberhausen/Düsseldorf on the 12.02.1915. During the evening hours of the 21.07.1944 he attacked a formidable enemy strongpoint that lay before our frontline on his own initiative. By skillfully utilizing the terrain and a few subordinated Sturmgeschütze he was able to clear out and eliminate this strongpoint with the courageous men of 6. Kompanie in a personally led assault. A company of 120 enemy soldiers were dug-in amongst basement and bunker positions in this strongpoint. During this operation a total of 68 prisoners were taken, including 1 officer.

As the attack was conducted as a pincer maneuver, none of the 120 Englishmen escaped. The difficulties associated with such an attack were only overcome due to the boldness of Hauptsturmführer Bastian. He personally stormed ahead with hand grenades and in turn inspired his men through his example.

The capture of this enemy strongpoint represented a decisive reinforcement of Hill 112’s defense, and it brought about a number of results that were significant in light of the enemy’s actions just east of the Orne on the 20. and 21.07.1944:

1.) The attention of the enemy was drawn to the western bank of the Orne.

2.) The large amount of prisoners, weapons, equipment and intelligence documents provided information as to the enemy objectives.

3.) This display of flexible attacking spirit and lethality by a well led unit, even one that was ostensibly on the defensive, helped to boost the self-confidence and morale of our other defending troops.

Hauptsturmführer Bastian has also already outstandingly distinguished himself through his bravery and initiative on several occasions during the fighting in both the east and west (around Gavrus specifically in the latter case). He thus appears to be completely worthy of receiving the high honour of the Knight’s Cross to the Iron Cross.”
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources

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