TracesOfWar needs your help! We miss photos of important sights in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Submit your photos to input@tracesofwar.com and it will be published!

Bröffel, Wilhelm

Date of birth:
February 6th, 1915 (Nienhagen / Lippe)
Date of death:
June 24th, 1944 (Fedkovo, Soviet Union)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, Third Reich)

Biography

In several sources the incorrect spelling of the name Broeffel can be found.

Do you have more information about this person? Inform us!

Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Hauptmann (Captain)
Unit:
Kommandeur, II. Bataillon, Grenadier-Regiment 502, 290. Infanterie-Division, Heer
Awarded on:
November 14th, 1943
During late 1943 Major Broeffel’s Grenadier-Regiment 502 was attached to the 290. Infanterie-Division in the Newel area. It occupied positions near Gorodischtscha (15 km west of Newel) just in time for the offensive of the Soviet 3rd Shock Army, which began on the 02.11.1943. Broeffel’s Bataillon (reinforced by the 5./Grenadier-Regiment 501) managed to absorb the Soviet blows even as their opposition achieved penetrations 10 km deep on either side of the unit. The Bataillon held its ground against a fivefold numerical superiority, and the Soviets left 180 dead and 5 destroyed tanks in front of its position.

The Bataillon then became cut-off and was forced to assume an all-round defensive posture in the middle of hostile territory. Even so it managed to hold out for 10 hours, tying down Soviet forces as it did so. Meanwhile the relieving force was late to arrive, and its disordered progress did not offer any prospect of relief. In response Hauptmann Broeffel gathered up the approximately 500 assorted troops within the encirclement ring and broke out with them.

After reaching the German lines he took up a new defensive position with his remaining 80 men, and despite all that had happened he and his soldiers went on to repel 5 attacks by the pursuing Soviet forces on the same day. In the process the Soviets lost another 170 dead and 4 tanks.

Hauptmann Broeffel would later be awarded the Knight’s Cross for these actions.
According to Fellgiebel the surname is Broeffel.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant)
Unit:
II. Bataillon, Infanterie-Regiment 510, 293. Infanterie-Division, Heer
Awarded on:
May 19th, 1942
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
According to Patzwall / Scherzer the name is Willi.
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
August 23rd, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse

Sources

Photo