Johannmeyer, Willy

Date of birth:
July 27th, 1915 (Iserlohn, Germany)
Date of death:
April 14th, 1970 (Kelkheim, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

Major and later promoted to Oberstleutnant with the Generalstab.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
June 10th, 1940
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
June 29th, 1940
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant
Unit:
Führer II. / Infanterie-Regiment 503
Awarded on:
May 16th, 1942
Action:
On the 03.05.1942, Johannmeyer led his Bataillon and elements of another in a counterattack against the village of Nikolskoje, taking half of the village. A Soviet counterattack pushed them out however, leading to a second German attempt that got to the southern edge of the village. However these gains too were erased, and Nowo Derewnja was also lost. A third counterattack also miscarried, and the Germans then had to repel 4 Soviet attacks.

The next day, following a total of 6 Soviet attempts, Johannmeyer’s men were forced to pull back from their defensive line. A last-ditch counterthrust with support from the 10./Infanterie-Regiment 26 was however able to retake it.

On the 05.05.1942, 7 more attacks were repulsed. Then an enemy force of 4 battalions and 3 tanks broke through Johannmeyer’s Bataillon and reached the Tuganowo—Naljutschi road. Johannmeyer rallied all available troops and pushed the enemy back behind the Objessna river up to the edges of Nikolskoje and Derewnja. By this action the German frontline was saved, with important consequences for not just the Division but also the whole II. Armee-Korps and ultimately the supply road to Demyansk. For his achievements here Johannmeyer would receive the Knight’s Cross.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Hauptmann
Unit:
Kommandeur II. / Grenadier-Regiment 503
Awarded on:
November 18th, 1943
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
Action:
On the 11.11.1943, near Newel, the Soviets began an assault along the road towards Dolissy and, to the left of here, the German positions in front of the Dollissy river. Johannmeyer alerted his Bataillon (at the time the divisional reserve) and then drove with his car into the middle of the attacking enemy. He was able to hold them in check long enough for his Bataillon to arrive. He then led his men in a counterattack and after 4 hours of battle the old defensive line was firmly in his hands.

By this action Johannmeyer had succeeded in preventing an enemy breakthrough, and for doing so in such an audacious manner he would be awarded the Oakleaves.
Details:
329th Award

Sources