Ullrich, Karl

Date of birth:
December 1st, 1910 (Saargemünd/Alsace-Lorraine, Germany)
Date of death:
May 8th, 1996 (Bad Reichenhall/Bavaria, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Hauptsturmführer (Captain)
Unit:
Chef 3./SS-Pioniersturmbann/SS-Verfügungsdivision
Awarded on:
May 18th, 1940
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Hauptsturmführer (Captain)
Unit:
Chef 3./SS-Pioniersturmbann/SS-Verfügungsdivision
Awarded on:
July 1st, 1940
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Sturmbannführer (Major)
Unit:
Kommandeur Pionier-Bataillon/SS-Division “Totenkopf”/10.Oberkommando/16.Armee/Heeresgruppe Nord
Awarded on:
February 19th, 1942
Action:
Awarded for actions at the Demjansk pocket. His Knight's Cross recommendation reads as follows...

"SS-Sturmbannführer Ulirich, commander of the Kampfgruppe at Koblykino, fought with exemplary bravery and battled for more than two weeks with what weak forces could be gathered in decisive positions against an often superior opponent. Being encircled himself several times, he has so far repelled all enemy attacks (even against heavy tanks) and inflicted severe losses in both men and material."
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant-colonel)
Unit:
Kommandeur SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 6 “Theodor Eicke”/3.SS-Panzer-Division “Totenkopf”
Awarded on:
May 14th, 1944
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
Action:
Ullrich's Oakleaves recommendation reads as follows...

"1) On 19.03.1943, SS-Regiment "Totenkopf" had the task of attacking from the area of Murow to reach the Donez River from both sides of Ivanovka and to cut off the crossing areas over the river. Due to the stubborn resistance of the enemy, which put up a tough defense from well-built positions, the attack faltered. In this situation SS-Obersturmbannführer Ulrich, as commander of IIl./"Totenkopf," distinguished himself through his personal bravery. Constantly staying with the forward elements of his battalion, he was the first to penetrate with them into the Russian positions and rallied his men to continue with the energetic attack to a complete success. Through his personal initiative he managed early in the night of 19.03.1943 to take the villages Orguzevo, Botkino, and Ivanovka, capturing the crossings located there. With it, the escape route for the strong Russian forces still on the west bank of the Donez was closed and the conditions for their destruction in course of the ensuing battle were created.

2) On 10.07.1943, the Division started an attack to build a bridgehead over the Psel River. From well-built positions that dominated the terrain the Russians shelled our attacking elements with heavy artillery and mortar fire. Our attack came to a standstill. In spite of severe casualties SS-Obersturmbannführer Ullrich, through his exemplary personal bravery, pushed his battalion forward again. By 19:00 hours the town Krassnyj-Oktjabar was occupied and a small bridgehead had been built over the Psel. Then, the ensuing attacks carried out by the opponent with strong infantry and tank forces were held by SS-Obersturmbannführer Ullrich and his weak forces for an entire week. SS-Obersturmbannführer Ulrich was the soul of the resistance in this sector, which was hammered day and night by heavy artillery fire. Every time the enemy succeeded in breaking into the German lines he was beaten back by the counterattacks implemented by Ullrich and his final reserves. Thanks to this remarkable feat, SS-Obersturmbannführer Ullrich set the conditions for an ensuing advance in the direction of Kursk. On 17.07.1943, following superior orders, the bridgehead had to be evacuated.

3) In the first hours of 14.11.1943, the Russians managed to break through the positions of one of our infantry divisions. SS-Panzergrenadier Regiment "Theodore Eicke," under the command of SS-Obersturmbannführer Ullrich, was deployed near that sector. With a daring counterattack, he snatched back the ground gained by the vastly superior enemy forces. Ullrich and his unit then repelled several counterattacks the same day. On the 15.11.1943, with the deployment of newly brought-up units and the support of a strong artillery barrage, rolling air attacks, and the support of forty-eight tanks, the Russians launched an attack. While the main fighting line could be held in the sector of II. Battalion, the enemy managed to push back III. Battalion to the eastern edge of Bairak, despite courageous friendly resistance. In this critical situation, SS-Obersturmbannführer Ullrich gathered together his last men and with a bold counter attack relieved the heavily engaged III. Battalion. By the evening of 15.11.1943, the old main fighting line was once again firmly in our hands. SS-Obersturmbannführer Ullrich thus hindered a Russian breakthrough thanks to his brave intervention and flexible leadership.

4) The fighting elements of Regiment "Eicke" — with II. Battalion transported by air and III. Battalion and regimental units by railway from Nov-Ukrainka to the area of Balta — reached the assembly area on foot under difficult weather conditions. They were able to annihilate a growing enemy bridgehead at Olgopol and built a bridgehead over the Ssawarankabach River near Tschetschelnik. In the following days the regiment remained engaged in hard defensive battles, where the excellent personal action of the regimental commander — always at decisive points — strengthened the will of his men to resist.
The breakthrough of the enemy on 19.03.1944 to the right and the advance of the Russians south to Ljubomirka and west to the main road Olgopol-Ssawranka seriously threatened the entire sector. By the personal decision of the regimental commander, the enemy force (600-800 men) was first stopped by a replacement unit on the western edge of Ljubomirka and to the east of the main road. A counterattack was carried out on 20.03.1944 in two directions that afterwards was reassembled for an assault towards the north. SS-Obersturmbannführer Ullrich, personally standing in the focal point of the attack, especially distinguished himself through his prudent leadership and bravery. This allowed the destruction of the enemy break-in, and with this the preconditions were met for:

A) The further holding of the Ssavranka sector.
B) The later orderly withdrawal movements owing to the general situation.

SS-Obersturmbannführer Ullrich is a model, brave SS leader who has been in the battlefield since the first days. He has proven himself in an exemplary fashion on all fronts. His never-diminishing readiness for action, superior leadership abilities, and his personal behavior designate him as an officer whose character grows in the face of every situation. I ask that SS-Obersturmbannführer Ullrich, in recognition of his extraordinary bravery and the great successes he has accomplished, be awarded the Oakleaves to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
Details:
480th Award.

Sources

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