- Second World War (1939-1945)
- SS-Hauptsturmführer (Captain)
- Chef 3. / SS-Reiter-Regiment 1 / 8.SS-Division 'Florian Geyer'
- Awarded on:
- December 29th, 1942
Charpentier’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…
“On the 25.11.1942 the enemy, supported by strong tank formations, broke through the German positions southwest of Belyj. The Reiter-Regiment 1 of the SS-Kavallerie-Division was sent ahead of the Division into the Beloussewe area with the mission of preventing a further rolling up of the German position at any cost.
Knowing that the enemy hadn’t yet been able to throw in all their strong forces into the foremost line, the Regiment attacked and captured Knjashe and Medwedewe. With this a bulwark was created that was intended to stop the attack of the enemy. Medwedewe comprised the foremost point of this position.
The Regiment’s 3. Schwadron, commanded by SS-Hauptsturmführer von Charpentier, was preparing for defense in Medwedewe when the enemy attacked the village with a regimental-sized force supported by tanks.
SS-Hauptsturmführer von Charpentier immediately perceived that holding this key position was heavily dependent on the thinly held line of his left neighbour, namely the remnants of a battered Kompanie from the 2. Luftwaffe-Feld-Division. As such, after repulsing a hostile attack while inflicting severe losses on the enemy, he immediately thrust westwards on his own initiative to a small hill west of Medwedewe. This countermeasure brought the enemy attack against the road at Tschalischtschewo to a halt, and it furthermore bought time for the higher commands to bring up new forces.
On the 03.12.1942 the enemy penetrated through the right sector of the Regiment and cut off SS-Hauptsturmführer von Charpentier from the possibility of resupply. The enemy then attacked with particularly strong forces by both day and night to capture the village and simultaneous cornerstone of friendly resistance. Over the course of the defense the enemy lost ~500 dead and 6 tanks, of which 3 were T-34s. The heavy attacks by the enemy reduced the defending Schwadron to 20 men strong.
Only his readiness for duty and model of bravery ensured that Medwedewe was held with this exhausted Schwadron, which fought for 13 days on open terrain without any cover. Undeterred by the odds, he held this key position located at the foremost tip of the hostile break-in point until the 9. Armee’s countermeasures managed to remove the enemy’s pressure against it on the 07.12.1942. A decisive success for the overall course of the combat in the area was achieved by the recapture of Medwedewe, the occupation of the hill to the west of it (this on his own initiative) and the subsequent holding of the conquered position. This battle-deciding deed of bravery by SS-Hauptsturmführer von Charpentier prevented an enemy breakthrough and the further rolling up of the German position.
I hold SS-Hauptsturmführer von Charpentier as particularly worthy of being honoured with the high award that is the Knight’s Cross to the Iron Cross.”