Nugiseks, Harald

Date of birth:
October 22nd, 1921 (Kayaküla/Särewere, Estonia)
Date of death:
January 2nd, 2014 (Pärnumaa, Estonia)
Nationality:
Estonian (1918-1940, Republic)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
February 27th, 1944
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Waffen-Untersturmführer der SS
Unit:
Zugführer 1. / Freiwillingen-Grenadier-Regiment-SS 46 (estnisches Nr. 2) / 20.Freiwillige-Grenadier-Division-SS / III.(Germanische) SS-Panzer-Korps
Awarded on:
April 9th, 1944
Action:
Harald Nugiseks was a junior officer in the 20th SS (Estonian) Grenadier division during the fighting at Narwa in early 1944. On February 29th of that year the Germans made their move to crush the Soviet Vaasa-Vepskula-Siiverts bridgehead over the Narwa river, and the next day Nugiseks’ unit went into the attack. A few hundred meters short of Soviet lines they came under heavy small-arms and artillery fire, and suffered heavy losses as they inched closer to the Soviet trenches. They were able to get to about 50 meters away, but by then the officers had become casualties and the attack was in danger of stalling. At this point Nugiseks took over a group of about twenty men and they finally broke into the Soviet trenches, taking them over in close combat. They were then able to beat off Soviet counterattacks that lasted the next several days. Nugiseks, whose actions were able to bring the battle to a victorious conclusion when the outcome seemed certain, was awarded the Knight’s Cross as the first Estonian soldier of the Waffen-SS to be so decorated.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources

  • Photo 1: Willi Schumacher Collection
  • Photo: Willi Schumacher Collection
  • - MOONEY, PETER, Waffen-SS Knights and their Battles, Schiffer Military History, 2016.
    - Fellgiebel W.P., Elite of the Third Reich, The recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939-1945: A Reference, Helion & Company Limited, Solihull, 2003, ISBN 1-874622-46-9
    - Schneider J.W., Their Honor was Loyalty!, R. James Bender Publishing, 1977
    - Ritterkreuz Archiv II/2009, Veit Scherzer, Ranis, Juni 2009, ISSN 1866-4709
    - Ritterkreuz Archiv, I/2014, Scherzers Militaer-Verlag, Bayreuth, 2012
    - Norwegians in the Waffen-SS

Photo