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Donth, Rudolf

Date of birth:
February 16th, 1920 (Schreiberhau-Hirschberg/Silesia, Germany)
Date of death:
June 19th, 2001 (Hahnenklee/Lower Saxony, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, Third Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Feldwebel (Sergeant)
Unit:
Führer, 6. Kompanie, II. Bataillon, Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 4, 1. Fallschirmjäger-Division, Luftwaffe
Awarded on:
January 14th, 1945
Awarded for his multiple achievements at the front, which included the following…

1) Leading a daring patrol near Orsogna with another soldier. Here the two men snuck into the attic of a house that was being used as the command post by a British regiment. He and his comrade observed the enemy for 38 hours and returned to the German lines with valuable intelligence.

2) Defending a bridgehead southwest of Savio at the end of October 1944. On one morning his Kompanie came under attack by 10 tanks and a Bataillon of infantry, however this attack was repulsed. The allies renewed their attack in the afternoon, this time against the left neighbour. Here they achieved a 1 km deep penetration with 9 tanks and infantry, all while covering Donth’s sector with artillery fire. An enemy Bataillon supported by 20 tanks then advanced towards Donth’s Kompanie and the road it was defending under the protection of a creeping barrage. Donth launched a counterattack with his Kompanie HQ squad, destroyed 6 Sherman tanks with his men in close combat and continued the counterthrust against the enemy infantry. He and his men relieved two encircled friendly squads and subsequently liberated 4 heavily wounded comrades that had been captured by the enemy.

3) His defensive success on a hill east of Bologna near the end of November 1944. Here Donth launched a stormtroop like attack against an allied jump-off position without any artillery preparation in order to restore the combat situation. This operation was a complete success. He and his men captured 81 prisoners (including 3 officers) as well as the equipment of two enemy companies.

4) Launching a night attack in platoon strength against a British Bataillon in December 1944, forcing the latter to give up control of Monte Castellaro.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Date awarding 14th June 1944 according to announcement in Luftwaffen-Verordnungsblatt.

Sources

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