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Buchenau, Fritz

Date of birth:
June 4th, 1914 (Unterellen/Thuringia, Germany)
Date of death:
February 8th, 1991 (Kempten/Bavaria, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, Third Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
July 1st, 1940
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
December 23rd, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major
Unit:
Kommandeur, Fähnrich-Regiment 4, Division Bärwalde, Heer
Awarded on:
March 28th, 1945
The following article published by the Deutsche Nachrichtenbüro, dated 19.03.1945, describes why Buchenau was awarded the Knight’s Cross…

“Exemplary Fighting Spirit from a Officer Candidate Regiment:

During their thrust from southern Pomerania towards the Stettin Lagoon the enemy reached the Baltic Sea south of Bad Bievenow, and by doing so they encircled a group of German troops. However this group fought their way through to the Baltic Sea coast and created a bridgehead in the Horst area. The Bolsheviks immediately started an attack against this group in order to crush it once and for all. At the same time our Kampfgruppe launched its own attack in order to force a breakthrough towards the west.

Within this context the Fahnenjunker-Regiment of the Artillerieschule 2 under the command of Major Buchenau had the mission of breaking through the enemy encirclement ring. The officer candidates had neither artillery nor heavy weapons available, but they fought fiercely even so. They fought through the enemy blocking fire, overpowered the enemy infantry and smashed a strong anti-tank gun blocking position. The young soldiers then did not take the time to reorder their units, instead they thrust further towards the west. They captured a village and also seized an enemy battery consisting of six 12.2 cm artillery pieces. On the next morning they captured another village, and by doing so they reached the ordered attack objective.

The exemplary fighting spirit of these officer candidates enabled the Kampfgruppe to break through to our Stettin bridgehead while taking along all wounded soldiers and attached civilians. During this fighting they captured or destroyed 3 tanks, 4 armoured cars, 40 anti-tank guns, 6 artillery pieces, 15 super-heavy mortars, numerous anti-tank rifles, uncounted numbers of machine-guns and small arms as well as a large quantity of trucks and motorcycles.”
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
6296th Award.

Sources

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