Seidl, Josef (Grenadier-Regiment 520)

Date of birth:
October 8th, 1917 (Kreisbach, Austria)
Date of death:
December 11th, 2001 (VIenna, Austria)
Nationality:
Austrian (1918-1938, Republic)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberfeldwebel (Warrant Officer)
Unit:
Zugführer, Pionierzug, Grenadier-Regiment 520, 296. Infanterie-Division, Heer
Awarded on:
May 15th, 1944
Action:
The Soviets launched a surprise attack on the positions of the Grenadier-Regiment 520 (located on the west bank of the Druth, near Rogachev) in mid-February 1944. A Guards Battalion succeeded in crossing the frozen river about 200 meters north of the bridge over the river, and immediately were able to break into the German positions located on the west bank, which were still under construction. Immediate counterattacks from the German side were able to contain their advance. Eventually, the regiment sent a half-platoon of Pioniere led by Oberfeldwebel Seidl against the Soviet bridgehead in order to deal with it once and for all. In a very hard fight against the stubbornly defending Soviets Seidl and his 14 men were finally able to destroy the battalion. When the last five guardsmen (all badly wounded) surrendered at dusk, 180 enemy dead were counted in the perimeter they had temporarily established.

For the outstanding success of his counterattack against a numerically superior and determined foe, Oberfeldwebel Seidl received the Knight's Cross.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources