Speckenheier, Helmut

Date of birth:
May 29th, 1915 (Arnsberg/Westfalen, Germany)
Date of death:
January 14th, 1943 (Stalingrad, Soviet Union)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Chef 12. Batterie/IV. Heeres-Flak-Abteilung/Heerestruppe
Awarded on:
October 7th, 1942
Action:
Here follows an excerpt from the divisional history of the 3. Infanterie-Division (mot) detailing the action on 03.09.1942 which led to the award of the Knight's Cross for Oberleutnant Speckenheier...

"Utilizing a huge number of mortars, Katyushas, artillery and aircraft the Soviets are able to crush our anti-tank weapons. They then break through the positions of the 3. Kompanie/Kradschützen-Bataillon with 140 tanks, capturing Hill 129.6 and thrusting three kilometres southwards to Hill 139.7. At this point Oberleutnant Speckenheier (3./Flak 312) with a force of light Flak, armoured cars and motorcycle troops begins a counterattack. The sudden appearance of these forces bewilders the Soviet forces on Hill 129.6, they begin to halt their advance and then retreat. Now there are German counterattacks on all sides. The Soviet tanks on Hill 139.7 rush in to help but cannot reverse the situation, and are instead forced to retreat themselves. 23 enemy tanks were destroyed..."

For the recapture of Hill 129.6 with his hastily assembled force, Speckenheier was awarded the Knight's Cross.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources