Essig, Richard

Date of birth:
August 29th, 1914 (Steinegg/Baden, Germany)
Date of death:
April 13th, 1945 (Wargen/Eastprussia, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Hauptmann der Reserve (Captain of Reserves)
Unit:
Führer, 1. Kompanie, I. Bataillon, Grenadier-Regiment 273, 93. Infanterie-Division, Heer
Awarded on:
September 2nd, 1944
The following excerpt from a wartime report describes why Essig would be awarded the Knight’s Cross…

“During the heavy fighting around Mitau his personal leadership qualities were of great importance during the scheduled withdrawal movements taking place. After his Bataillon and a small subordinated Kampfgruppe were encircled, he held the positions he had been ordered to with steadfastness against the enemy forces which were attacking in divisional strength. In the process the Soviets lost 300 dead and many more wounded. He only fought his way back to friendly lines with his men after he had fulfilled his mission. Hauptmann Essig was also heavily involved in the successful breakthrough battles of his Division in Courland.”

The following excerpt by war correspondent Richter, dated 26.09.1944, further details this action…

“Awarded the Knight’s Cross because he fended off a strong Soviet attack during the heavy fighting in the Mitau bridgehead with minimal forces of his own. In the hard urban combat he inflicted very high losses on the enemy through his particularly courageous leadership and ruthless actions on the battlefield.”
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources