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Castell-Castell, Graf zu, Prosper

Date of birth:
September 4th, 1922 (Köstritz / Gera)
Date of death:
January 3rd, 1989 (Castell / Franken)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, Third Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leutnant der Reserve (2nd Lieutenant of Reserves)
Unit:
Führer 9./Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 14 / 5. Panzer-Division
Awarded on:
February 23rd, 1944
The following divisional order of the day excerpt, dated 27.02.1944, describes why Castell was awarded the Knight’s Cross…

“On the 23.02.1944 the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to Oberleutnant der Reserve Graf zu Castell-Castell, former commander of the 9./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 14, as the 18th officer of the Division to be so honoured.

On the 08.01.1944 the Russians launched a surprise attack against the II./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 14 with 3 divisions. The furiously launched enemy attack had enough power to tear open the front in a short time, allowing the enemy to prepare for their main thrust to the west. The danger now existed that the flank of the 5. Panzer-Division and the entire XX. Armee-Korps would be outflanked. More than this it was feared that the enemy would succeed in breaking through towards Kalinkowitschi.

Oberleutnant Graf zu Castell-Castell recognized the impending danger and took up the defensive battle on his own initiative from an open firing position. He placed the attacking Russians under direct fire and created a new defensive front with his men.

Thus Oberleutnant Graf zu Castell prevented the enemy from achieving their goal of seizing Kalinkowitschi through his own determined action and outstanding personal courage.

Oberleutnant Graf zu Castell was heavily wounded during this fighting. I give Oberleutnant Graf zu Castell my best congratulations on receiving this high honour on behalf of the entire Division.”
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources

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