Awarded primarily for the leadership of his Geschwader during Case Blue, the battle of Stalingrad and the winter fighting on the southern sector of the Eastern front following that. He was also recognized for his earlier wartime achievements. On the 25.07.1940 his Gruppe along with the IV./LG 1 attacked the British convoy CW-8, sinking 5 ships with 5117 GRT and 2 destroyers, while also damaging another 5 freighters. Later, his Gruppe would launch another joint attack with the II./StG 2 on the 10.01.1941 in the Mediterranean Sea, this time against the British aircraft carrier ‘Illustrious’. 6 direct hits were scored on the warship with the result that it had to spend months in the USA being repaired.