- Second World War (1939-1945)
- SS-Standartenführer (Colonel)
- SS-Kavallerie-Brigade / XXIII.Armeekorps / 9.Armee / Heeresgruppe Mitte
- Awarded on:
- March 2nd, 1942
Fegelein’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…
“Starting on the 25.01.1942 the SS-Kav.Brigade took up a sector on the southeastern front of the XXIII. Armee-Korps along the line north of Mal.Nikulino—Polowinino—Saizewo—Dmitrowo—Sokolowo. It’s mission was to prevent strong enemy elements that had broken through the frontline gap west of Rzhev towards the south from attacking the rear of the 206. Infanterie-Division.
In difficult, somewhat costly and yet boldly conducted battles the Brigade not only prevented all such attempts by the enemy. Subsequently it also carried out the main attacks that led to the encirclement and destruction of those enemy elements located southwest of Rzhev.
During all these combat the personal fearlessness, exemplary bravery and steady offensive spirit of the Brigade commander shone through in both attack and defense. He carried out his task over the course of unremitting patrol operations and attacks, and in doing so inspired his men to do likewise.
On the 05.02.1942 the Brigade launched an attack at the decision of its commander against a strong enemy group that had halted in and northwest of Tschertolino. It was comprised of elements of the 381st Rifle Division.
The attack was carried out with exceptional spirit under the Brigade commander’s personal leadership despite the difficult weather/terrain conditions, and of course the far numerically superior enemy forces that were also well dug-in. The commander consistently appeared at the front where the fighting was most intense, whereupon he gave his men new attacking spirit and a personal example of fearlessness, courage and bravery to all.
Through the capture of this important road junction as well as the equally important Tschertolino train station (which was only occupied after vicious combat against determined enemy resistance) the ring around the strong enemy forces was closed. They would be destroyed on the 09.02.1942 in a multi-hour night attack, wherein the Brigade commander once again personally commanded the main friendly group.
In this fighting the enemy lost over 1800 dead and significant amounts of war materiel in exchange for only minimal friendly losses. The shortening of the frontline that this brought about also freed up strong friendly forces. In the fighting which followed a bold attack by the SS-Kav.-Brigade would significantly shrink the ring of enemy forces that were encircled southwest of Rzhev. The successful capture of the village of Jersowo on the 14.02.1942, accomplished after much difficult and eventful fighting, laid the groundwork for the final destruction of the encircled enemy group.
Thus by his great decisiveness, purposeful and spirited leadership, and not least his personal bravery and readiness for action, SS-Standartenführer Fegelein established the prerequisites for the destruction of this strong enemy group. As a result the overall frontline situation south of Rzhev was definitively resolved in our favour.”