- Second World War (1939-1945)
- SS-Gruppenführer / Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS (Major-general)
- Kommandeur SS-Division „Reich“ / XXXXVI.Panzer-Korps / 4.Panzer-Armee / Heeresgruppe Mitte
- Awarded on:
- August 8th, 1941
Hausser’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…
“Hausser has already proven himself as an outstanding leader during the Western campaign, always taking command of the situation at the most dangerous of positions. His great confidence, calm, and mastery of the most difficult situations set him apart from others.
His combat leadership brought about decisive results during the fighting between the Beresina and the Dnieper. After crossing the Beresina the SS Div. ‘Reich’ received the order to attack on the left wing of the XXXXVI. Pz.Korps in orderly to relieve the hard-pressed 10. Pz.Div. With this unit it would then launch a swift forward advance toward the Dnieper via Belynitschi and School. In order to fix and destroy the enemy (who had skillfully pulled back to the east), on the evening of the 07.07.1941 the divisional commander decided to dispatch the reinforced Kradschützen-Bataillon forward in an advance against Esmon. They were to place themselves before the retreating enemy in the Oslik passage and block the route through it. The bulk of the division would launch a frontal attack.
The enemy offered heavy resistance against the reinforced SS-Regiment ‘Der Führer’ at Somry. The divisional commander rushed to the forward Bataillonen in order to obtain a personal glimpse of the enemy strength and dispositions. As the attack moved through the village he was lightly wounded by a shell splinter from a shell that landed a few meters away from him, however he stayed in command of the Division. By bringing down the bulk of the available artillery the divisional commander succeeded in getting the attack going again despite tough enemy resistance in forested terrain that had limited visibility. The enemy force was the 100th (Moscow) division, one of the best Russian divisions. The skillful and active leadership of the divisional commander succeeding in throwing back and largely annihilating the enemy that was attacking from all sides in the extremely difficult terrain.
The thrust from the Beresina to the Dnieper, one that brought with it the destruction of some of the best Russian troops, was chiefly responsible for the enemy’s inability to organize further resistance behind the Dnieper. As such the swift crossing over the Dnieper by the Korps and the early, deep pursuit thrust of the 10. Pz.Div. was enabled. This was of great importance for the course of friendly operations.
During the Western campaign the SS Div. ‘Reich’, under the command of Gruppenführer Hausser, participated decisively in the following actions:
A) All on its own, the Division captured the island of Walcheren in a battle against Dutch and French troops that lasted for three days. In doing so the early capitulation of the Fortress Antwerp was forced, a fortress that had been flanked by the capture of Vlissingen and was therefore unusable to the enemy as a harbour.
B) During the fighting in Flanders the Division fought under the control of Panzergruppe Kleist in the Nieppe forest against English forces. Though these fought bravely, the Division was ultimately able to capture the forest after a 4-day battle and in doing so had a major share in the encirclement of the English-French troops in Flanders.
C) During the thrust of the armoured troops to the Langres Plateau, the Division had the task of securing the deep left flank of Gruppe Kleist. At the upper Seine river it thrusted against the French troops from the Maginot Line that were fleeing to the southeast, attacking these in the Chatillon area and fully eliminating them. In just one day the Division captured 20000 prisoners, 14 batteries and countless amounts of materiel.”