- Second World War (1939-1945)
- MG-Schütze 2. / Pioniere-Battalion 81 / 45.Infanterie-Division / 9.Armee
- Awarded on:
- March 6th, 1944
On the 16.02.1944, Zastrow and his assault troop was ordered to clear a line of Soviet bunkers located in the bridgehead they had formed over the Berezina near Bobruisk. However almost as soon as the attack began the leader of the party became a casualty to Soviet MG fire, as were a number of the other German soldiers. It thus appeared as if the attack was already defeated.
However Gefreite Zastrow was determined to continue. His flamethrower abandoned, he raced and crawled towards a Soviet bunker armed with only six hand grenades. From a range of less than ten meters he was able to toss one of these into the bunker's embrasure and knocked it out.
He then crawled into the trench immediately adjacent to the destroyed bunker, found an SMG and then began to clear out the surrounding positions. Before long he was wounded in the left forearm but nonetheless continued to stay in the fight, clearing out the Soviet fortifications in bitter close combat until reinforced by additional German troops.
For his bravery on this day, which was instrumental in breaking the Soviet position, Zastrow was awarded the Knight's Cross.
Preliminary document dated on March 10th 1944.