Veith, Johann

Date of birth:
July 27th, 1916 (Albersweiler/Palatinate, Germany)
Date of death:
December 16th, 1944 (Ardennes)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
June 5th, 1940
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
June 30th, 1941
(Allgemeines) Sturmabzeichen (ohne zahlen), I.Stufe
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
April 26th, 1943
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
September 11th, 1943
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Silber
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Obersturmführer (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Führer 3./SS-Panzer-Regiment 2
Awarded on:
February 14th, 1945
Action:
Veith’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…

“SS-Obersturmführer Veith demonstrated great bravery and a willingness to fight during the course of the winter battle in the northern Ardennes. His decisive Kompanie leadership was of valuable help to the infantry and enabled successes that could not otherwise have been achieved.

During the attack on Manhay and Grandmenil (25.12.1944) SS-Obersturmführer Veith made the independent decision to attack in order to take advantage of a success in the neighbouring sector. Taking the Grenadiers with him, he captured Grandmenil in a boldly launched attack that saw his Kompanie destroy 20 Sherman tanks (of which he was personally responsible for 5). Through his independent action and the success of the attack, he created the conditions for further combat actions.

SS-Obersturmführer Veith particularly distinguished himself during the defensive battles around Beffe, were he fought with just 4 tanks. This small force destroyed 22 enemy tanks (of which Veith was personally responsible for 9 Shermans) and provided the backbone for the entire defense by this action.

When the enemy launched an attack on the 03.01.1945 with about 60 tanks along a very narrow front, our infantry were forced to displace and took heavy losses from strong artillery drumfire. The danger now existed that the enemy would be able to reach the key Laroche—Salmchateau road without encountering significant resistance, which would cut off major German elements. SS-Obersturmführer launched his own boldly led attack into the middle of the enemy tank formation and was able to force them to retreat after destroying several tanks. The enemy infantry sustained heavy casualties by his well-laid fire. Through this decisive action he enabled a new defensive line to be created just south of Beffe, and an enemy breakthrough was averted. SS-Obersturmführer Veith had a major share in this defensive success, which saw the enemy take bloody losses.

In the subsequent defensive battles SS-Obersturmführer Veith again distinguished himself through his great personal courage.

SS-Obersturmführer Veith was killed in action during this heavy fighting. The SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 3 ‘Deutschland’ requests that SS-Obersturmführer Veith be awarded the Knight’s Cross to the Iron Cross.”
Details:
Submitted on January 12th 1945. Awarded posthumously.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources

  • - Federl, C., Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Panzerdivisionen 1939-1945, VDM Heinz Nickel, Zweibrücken, Germany, 2000
    - 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
    - Die träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eiserne Kreuz 1939 - 1945
    - Microfilm Publication A3343. US National Archives.