Schneidereit, Alfred

Date of birth:
October 29th, 1919 (Insterburg/Eastern Prussia, Germany)
Date of death:
February 21st, 1999 (Donauwörth/Bavaria, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
August 6th, 1942
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
November 12th, 1943
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Unterscharführer
Unit:
SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 1 / 1.SS-Panzer-Division “Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler” / Heeresgruppe Süd
Awarded on:
December 20th, 1943
Action:
Schneidereit’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…

"SS-Rottenführer Alfred Schneidereit, 8./SS-Panz.Gren.Rgt.1 "LSSAH", was first assigned to the field troop of the LSSAH in November 1939 and was utilized as an infantryman (MG squad and messenger). He was deployed in Greece, the Russian campaign 1941/42, the Third Battle of Kharkov, the battle of Kursk and the occupation of Italy and has applied himself with complete bravery.

For his attitude and special achievements he has been decorated with the Iron Cross Second Class and the Close Combat Clasp in Bronze. The Second Class Iron Cross was awarded on the 06.08.1942 whilst he was employed with the Division in France, and the honour of the Iron Cross First Class came after the New Year and the summer fighting of 1943.

After the fighting along the railway line Kasatin-Fastoff on the 12.11.1943, starting north of the railway from Kornin, he was assigned with his Kompanie and proved himself again with the use of his anti-tank rifle on the battlefield, being decorated with the Iron Cross First Class.

On the 18.11.1943 the 8. Kompanie was the spearhead during the battle at Kotscherowo, and were deployed east of the main road from Shitomir-Kiev. Schneidereit was the anti-tank rifle Troop Leader and he advanced with his anti-tank rifle and inserted himself in the lead. The first of eight attacks put in against the positions of the I. & II. Battalions/SS-Panz.Gren.Rgt. 1 by the Russians were supported by 6 T-34s, with the latter firing their high explosive shells from a long range. Schneidereit's firing position was recognized and was shot at by an enemy tank. Schneidereit allowed the tanks to roll up to within sixty metres and then attacked this T-34, but then another enemy tank destroyed his anti-tank rifle with a direct hit with fragments of this caused him head wounds. His position was then rolled up by another tank.

Schneidereit collected his Troop and placed it on the edge of the Kompanie. Since the Kompanie Leader was wounded during this attack, he made the independent decision to lead the Zug and begin a further attack. Although there were still four enemy tanks firing in front of their positions, he succeeded with his Zug in taking back the high ground from the enemy infantry as well as the old positions of the Kompanie. As a result of this attack, the rest of the Kompanie and the neighbouring Kompanie were able to restore the original position.

The next battle wasn't long in coming and after two hours the Russians starting attacking again with infantry and tanks, but Schneidereit halted them in front of his position and forced the infantry to ground. They tried again with the covering support of three T-34s in the rear. It was during this attack that all of the Führer and Unterführer fell. Schneidereit took overall lead of the Kompanie and gathered the remaining men together. With these men he then began to attack into the flank of this enemy attack. During this attack, he was wounded by shell splinters in his left hand and it was almost severed (the fingers in the middle of this hand will probably be lost). Despite his injuries, he alone made it possible for the remainder of the Kompanie to take up their old positions.

As a result of his two attacks, which reached the open flank of the Russian infantry, the left neighbouring Kompanie gave up and moved themselves to the rear. With both of these attacks and by his independent resolution, through which he made the decision to employ the Kompanie with all of his willpower, he once again brought us into the old positions and prevented the rolling up of the Battalion flank to the rear.

I hold that SS-Rottenführer Schneidereit, through his personal attitude, his record with his Troop, and his proven bravery in the field of battle as described above (all on account of his own resolve), is worthy of the high honour of the award of the Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross. I please ask that he be awarded this."
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

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