Nowotnik, Heinz

Date of birth:
March 29th, 1920 (Schmarse/Züllichau, Germany)
Date of death:
May 31st, 1999 (Wolffenbüttel/Lowersaxony, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
April 18th, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
December 3rd, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Untersturmführer der Reserve (2nd Lieutenant of Reserves)
Unit:
Kommandeur 14.(MG) / SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 1 / 1.SS-Panzer-Division “Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler” / Heersgruppe D
Awarded on:
May 14th, 1944
Action:
Nowotnik’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…

“On the 27.11.1943 the reinforced III. SS-Panz.-Gren.-Rgt. 1 'LSSAH' had the order to attack the enemy and eject him from Forst Bulyschety. To begin the attack, two Kompanies started out from the northeast part of the forest 1,500 m south of Bulyschety, with support from the Sturmgeschütze moving from the northeast of the forest south of Bulyschety. The 14.(MG)/SS-Panz.-Gren.-Rgt. 1 'LSSAH' had the order to take a route north from the southeast and drive into Bulyschety, acting as a base of fire for the attack of the battalion. The Kompanie went into position 500-600 m southeast of Bulysety.

As the assault got started the loss of multiple Sturmgeschütze from mines, the fire from heavy weapons and artillery, and the sudden onset of a heavy snowstorm (causing the loss of radio communications) all threatened to halt the attack of the battalion. Through this fire the enemy, who was no longer tied down, begin attacking the battalion with more artillery batteries, several rocket launchers, and numerous MGs. At 06:00, the closest positions on the southern part of this location were found to be under heavy fire from 7.62 cm guns.

SS-Untersturmführer Nowotnik recognized the difficulty of the situation and decided to use a platoon from 14. Kompanie to relieve the battalion, starting against the enemy's eastern positions. SS-Untersturmführer Nowotnik preceded his grenadiers while the enemy directed the mass of his fire against this platoon, especially the fire of their six 7.62 cm guns (the enemy gunners even aimed at individual men). In the face of this fierce defense the attack of Nowotnik's platoon almost faltered. In this difficult situation, SS-Untersturmführer Nowotnik mustered his own individual heroic bravery, and with his platoon far ahead of his Kompanie storming against the enemy position, he managed to rouse his men by his example and penetrate the opponent's position. This in turn facilitated the attack of the whole III. / SS-Panz.-Gren.-Rgt. 1 'LSSAH,' with the result that this location could be taken into our possession once more.

This elevated enemy position near Bulyschety dominated the terrain far on all sides. By his individual attack, Nowotnik overthrew the enemy and seized from them approximately 1,200 m of ground to the south of Bulyschety, up to the River Belka. The control of this key position was the prerequisite for the continuation of further determined attacks of the 1st Regiment, and by extension the whole 'LSSAH.' That the attack on Bulyschety came to an early success is only due to the excellence of SS-Untersturmführer Nowotnik.

SS-Untersturmführer Nowotnik was severely wounded on 08.12.1943. Nowotnik is a deserving soldier in every sense, of high moral worth and character, and is worthy of the proposed high award.”
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

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