- Second World War (1939-1945)
- SS-Obersturmführer der Reserve (1st Lieutenant of Reserves)
- Führer 1. / SS-Panzerjäger Abteilung 12 / 12.SS-Panzer-Division "Hitlerjugend" / 6.Panzer-Armee / Heeresgruppe B
- Awarded on:
- October 16th, 1944
Hurdelbrink’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…
“On the 08.08.1944, at 11:30, the 1.(schw.)/Pz.Jg.Abt. 12 ‘HJ’ under the command of SS-Obersturmführer Hurdelbrink was attached to Kampfgruppe Prinz on orders from the commander of the Pz.Jg.Abt. 12 ‘HJ’. The Kompanie’s mission was to sally forward along with the Panzers of the Kampfgruppe.
1st Attack Objective: St. Aignan
2nd Attack Objective: Garcelles
The attack began at 11:50. The Kompanie launched a swift thrust around the right side of the Roberts Mesnil homestead, and penetrated into the village of St. Aignan from the east. In the process 6 enemy tanks were destroyed. During this time enemy tanks moved into position about 1.5 km east of St. Aignan. Immediately after being recognized they were successfully brought under fire on the orders of SS-Obersturmführer Hurdelbrink from the hill and the depression. 18 enemy tanks were destroyed, and the remaining tanks fled the area. SS-Obersturmführer Hurdelbrink and 1 other Panzerjäger then moved over to the village, and here SS-Obersturmführer Hurdelbrink destroyed a further 5 enemy tanks from its northern edge.
The positions that had been attained were held until 22:00. At this point however the enemy artillery and infantry fire from the left flank grew to a point where the Kompanie was forced to fall back. The Kompanie, together with Waldmüller’s Infanterie-Bataillon, pulled back to Soignolles via Sylvain-le-Bui while taking along all wounded men.
On this day Hurdelbrink’s Kompanie destroyed 29 enemy tanks, of which SS-Obersturmführer Hurdelbrink himself was responsible for 11.
The Bataillon Waldmüller (to which the 1.(schw.)Pz.Jg.Abt. 12 ‘HJ’ was attached) received orders at 05:30 to take up positions on the high ground south of Renemesnil. However before they reached these positions the Bataillon was attacked by enemy tanks. The 1. Kompanie immediately deployed for defense and took over security for the ongoing march of the Bataillon. During the whole day heavy artillery, mortar and infantry fire plastered our positions. At 22:00 the Bataillon Waldmüller resolved to pull back from the enemy. In the middle of this withdrawal movement, enemy tanks moving in the direction of Soignolles suddenly appeared. SS-Obersturmführer Hurdelbrink immediately perceived the danger to the Bataillon. He moved against the enemy flank with another Panzerjäger and was able to annihilate the enemy except for 2 tanks that managed to escape.
The Kompanie destroyed 22 tanks on this day.
The 1.(schw.)Pz.Jg.Abt. 12 ‘HJ’ was attached to the Panzer-Regiment 12 ‘HJ’. They received the order to relocate from their position at Maizieres via Poitgny to the road fork 1.5 km east of Fontaine during the morning hours. From there they received the order to move into position at Hill 195 and provide security to the north. For this task Hurdelbrink’s Kompanie was given 6 Sturmgeschütze and 6 ‘P 4’ remote controlled demolition vehicles.
After reaching the road fork it was learned that Hill 195 was already occupied by enemy tanks. In response SS-Obersturmbannführer Wünsche, commander of the Panzer-Regiment 12 ‘HJ’, ordered an immediate attack against the hill. At first the Kampfgruppe made good progress without enemy fire, however it was not long before sudden and strong enemy artillery blocking fire prevented any further frontal advance.
SS-Obersturmführer Hurdelbrink made the following decision: While the 6 Sturmgeschütze tied down the enemy from the front, 2 Panzerjäger 39 (one of these under his personal command) would try to continue forward while swinging to the right. After a swift advance the two Panzerjägers managed to get into the flank of the slowly retreating enemy, and were able to destroy all enemy tanks. The Kampfgruppe then went into appropriate positions to maintain control over Hill 195.
The successes of the Kompanie on this day amounted to 13 tanks destroyed, of which SS-Obersturmführer Hurdelbrink personally accounted for 10.
Through the outstanding leadership of SS-Obersturmführer Hurdelbrink, the Kompanie was able to reach a total of 86 tank kills in the time period 08.08.-16.08.1944. Of these, SS-Obersturmführer Hurdelbrink was responsible for 36.”