Hauser, Hans (Waffen-SS)

Date of birth:
January 31st, 1916 (Innsbruck/Tirol, Austria)
Date of death:
November 21st, 2001 (Gaggenau, Germany)
Nationality:
Austrian (1918-1938, Republic)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Sturmbannführer (Major)
Unit:
Kommandeur I./SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 4 "Der Führer"
Awarded on:
May 6th, 1945
In March 1945, near the Austrian capital city of Vienna, Sturmbannführer der Waffen-SS Hans Hauser led a small but highly experienced Kampfgruppe into defensive positions in the village of Münchedorf. Their mission was to defend the German homeland and slow the advancing Soviets moving west. Unaware of Hauser's defenses, 3 unsupported Soviet T-34 tanks approached the German positions. At the foot of the bridge that led into the village, the lead tank was destroyed and made the bridge impassable. The two remaining tanks withdrew under a deluge of small arms fire.

After strengthening their positions, the Kampfgruppe was attacked a second time shortly before midnight. Artillery barrages and Katyusha rockets pulverized the village and defensive positions that killed Hauser's adjutant and orderly officer. The Soviets launched their second attack, in which another T-34 was destroyed. News came that Hauser's Kampfgruppe was holding a gap that separated the two SS Regiments Der Führer and Deutschland, both belonging to the 2. SS-Panzer-Division Das Reich. Hauser's Kampfgruppe was ordered to hold the gap for 3-4 days to prevent a Soviet penetration and allow the Division to regroup.

Knowing the Soviets would attempt to exploit the gap, the defensive positions were reinforced and a third Soviet attack by T-34 tanks successfully thwarted. After repeated but futile Soviet attacks that drained the strength of the German defenders, the Soviets finally managed to gain a foothold on the village of Münchedorf. Completely outnumbered, Hauser's Kampfgruppe had lost half the village by the fourth day. Having provided the division the time needed to regroup, Hauser was ordered to disengage and withdraw to friendly lines. Reporting to the Der Führer regimental commander, Obersturmbannführer der Waffen-SS Otto Weidinger, Hauser was placed in command of I. Bataillon after his predecessor had been killed in action. Weidinger would subsequently Hauser for the Knight's Cross in recognition for his gallant stand at Münchedorf.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources

  • Photo 1: Willi Schumacher Collection
  • Photo: Willi Schumacher Collection
  • - Schneider J.W., Their Honor was Loyalty!, R. James Bender Publishing, 1977

Photo