Awarded for preventing a Soviet breakthrough during the German stand along the Mius river in early 1943. The action is described in the words of Unteroffizier Reitscher himself as follows…
“During the whole night I heard the usual humming of tank motors as I lay in a strongpoint forward of our lines. This rumble made me quite literally nervous. We had heavily mined the area in front of us; and so surely not much could come to pass there. But soon we had a nice Christmas present. 4 T-34s were immobilized by track damage in the minefield, while a 5th T-34 moved back and forth like a bandsaw, firing on our strongpoint as it did so. The immobilized T-34s also made life difficult for us with their shelling. I told my Kompanie commander, “They have to go”. However the Pak guns could not be called upon to do this. However I thought of a different way to defeat them and hurried to the front with a truck that was loaded with jerry cans.
The jerry can was now my weapon! I ran to the first T-34, tore open the canister and allowed the contents to spill over the thick steel armour and into the motor. The crew could shoot all they wanted, it would only provide a short reprieve. After putting on an explosive charge afterwards the T-34 burned like tinder. In this way one after the other was destroyed! With a bang and a boom the T-34s blew up with both their ammo and crews. The danger to our positions was removed, and the enemy attack found its end.”