- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Oberfeldwebel (Warrant Officer)
- Zugführer 14.(Panzer-Jäger) / Grenadier-Regiment 19 / 7. Infanterie-Division
- Awarded on:
- October 5th, 1943
On the 27.08.1943 the Grenadier-Regiment 19 found itself on loan to the 7. Infanterie-Division as it was engaged in bitter combat to defend the left wing of the XIII. Armee-Korps alongside a number of other alarm units.
On the following night the Soviets achieved a breakthrough in the sector of the alarm units. In response Oberfeldwebel Bayer prepared a defense atop a slightly elevated position with a part of his Pak Zug on his own initiative. Even so, the much larger force of attacking T-34s quickly knocked out all but one of the Pak guns. Then the crew of the last gun was put out of action. Oberfeldwebel Bayer dashed through heavy fire to reach this Pak gun and then took up the firefight all on his own with it. By some miracle he remained uninjured, and within a short time he destroyed the leading 5 Soviet tanks. Bayer used his last rounds to immobilize 2 more T-34s, and after this the remaining Soviet tanks pulled back to take cover. Bayer then destroyed the gun and fought his way back through Russian infantry to friendly lines with his pistol.
By this brave action he gave his Regiment the chance to withdraw and averted the danger of hostile armour getting into the German rear area. He would thusly be awarded the Knight’s Cross shortly afterwards.