Laebe, Heinz-Oskar

Date of birth:
February 5th, 1913 (Peine/Prussia, Germany)
Date of death:
February 15th, 1999 (Peine/Lower Saxony, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

Heinz Oskar Laebe joined the Hamburg Polizei in 1932 and the 12.Kompanie, Infanterie-Reigment 44 in 1935 where he became Chef of the 5.Kompanie on 1st October 1937. He was transferred as its Chef to 8.Kompanie on 1st January 1940 and became Führer of I.Bataillon on 1st January 1943. From 1st November 1944 he was Kommandeur of the Grenadier-Regiment 44.

Promotions:
1st January 1935: Leutnant der Preußischen Landespolizei;
15th October 1935: Leutnant;
1st October 1937: Oberleutnant;
1st November 1940: Hauptmann;
1st January 1943: Major;
1st August 1944: Oberstleutnant;
30th January 1945: Oberst.

Career:
1932: Preußischen Landespolizei;
15th October 1935: Zugführer des Begleitzuges12. / Infanterie-Regiment 44;
1st October 1937: Kompaniechef 5. / Infanterie-Regiment 44;
1939: Kompaniechef 8. / Infanterie-Reigment 44;
1st January 1943: Bataillonskommandeur I. / Grenadier-Regiment 44;
1st August 1944: Regimentsführer Grenadier-Regiment 23 / 11.Infanterie-Division;
30th January 1945: Regimentskommandeur Grenadier-Regiment 44 / 11.Infanterie-Division.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (1st Lieutenant)
Unit:
Chef 8. / Infanterie-Regiment 44 / 11.Infanterie-Division
Awarded on:
October 2nd, 1939
Action:
Received during the campaign in Poland.
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (1st Lieutenant)
Unit:
Chef 8. / Infanterie-Regiment 44 / 11.Infanterie-Division
Awarded on:
July 10th, 1940
Action:
Received for action during the campaign in france.
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major
Unit:
Kommandeur I. / Grenadier-Regiment 44 / 11.Infanterie-Division
Awarded on:
February 25th, 1943
Details:
Silver version.
Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major
Unit:
Kommandeur I. / Grenadier-Regiment 44 / 11.Infanterie-Division
Awarded on:
March 17th, 1943
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Schwarz
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major
Unit:
Kommandeur I. / Grenadier-Regiment 44 / 11.Infanterie-Division
Awarded on:
March 28th, 1943
Action:
Received for excellent achievements on thebattlefield at Tschernischewo, near Leningrad.
Details:
1650th Award.
Ehrenblattspange des Heeres und Waffen-SS
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major
Unit:
Kommandeur I. / Grenadier-Regiment 44 / 11.Infanterie-Division / L.Armee-Korps / 18.Armee / Heeresgruppe Nord
Awarded on:
March 7th, 1944
Action:
On the 25.01.1944 Major Laebe received the order to take the currently available elements of his Bataillon (some 80 men) and move to the small village of Peri. From here he was to cover the retreat route of a German division positioned further north against strong enemy forces coming from the west. Major Laebe and his small force were able to hold the village for eight hours against a much superior enemy, and thereby permitted the orderly withdrawal of other German forces as planned. After this Laebe and his men broke through the enemy lines and reached the new German frontline successfully. For this act Laebe would receive the Knight’s Cross.
Details:
2779th Award.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major
Unit:
Kommandeur I. / Grenadier-Regiment 44 / 11.Infanterie-Division
Awarded on:
June 8th, 1944
Nahkampfspange in Bronze
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberst
Unit:
Kommandeur Grenadier-Regiment 44 / 11.Infanterie-Division
Awarded on:
April 20th, 1945
Action:
For participating in six battles in Kurland.
Ärmelband Kurland
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberst (Colonel)
Unit:
Kommandeur Grenadier-Regiment 44 / 11. Infanterie-Division / II. Armee-Korps / 18. Armee / Heeresgruppe Kurland
Awarded on:
April 29th, 1945
Action:
Awarded for his actions throughout late 1944 and early 1945, as described in the following chronology…

31.10.1944: While positioned at the western edge of the forest north of the Tirs swampland (near Pumpuri and W.Dunikas) Oberst Laebe prevented the cutting off of his Division.

24.11.1945: During the Second Battle of Courland, he cleaned up a breakthrough at the II. Bataillon of his Regiment near Gobzemji at the head of his regimental reserve (consisting of its bicycle platoon and some messengers). By this an enemy breakthrough to the Schrunden-Frauenburg road was foiled.

21.02.1945: During the Fifth Battle of Courland, as Laebe and his Regiment were positioned near Vartaja, the enemy penetrated the frontline of the right neighbour at Springeni and advanced towards Balozi. Despite the heavy frontal attacks on his own Regiment, Oberst Laebe took his last regimental reserves (2 squads of its bicycle platoon and some soldiers in its regimental staff) and cleaned up this threat to his flank. In doing so he averted the danger of a breakthrough to the Libau-Frauenburg road.

17.03.1945: On this day his Regiment was deployed along the line Jegles-Dambji-Maeenieki against two Guards Rifle Divisions of the Soviet 10th Guards Army. Here the enemy achieved a deep penetration at the seam between the 16. and 18. Armee in the direction of Grebutnieki. The next day they also broke into the positions of Laebe’s I. Bataillon. With only 20 men of his bicycle platoon Oberst Laebe eliminated the enemy here in an hours-long close quarter battle by attacking them in the rear with the help of some Sturmgeschütze that were attached to him at the last minute.
Details:
854th Award.
Awarding prepared bij Haupt Personal Amt and accepted by the Ordensgemeinschaf des Ritterkreuzes. Awarding date estimated by the OdR.
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
August 1st, 1942
Medaille

Sources

  • Photo 1: Wilco Vermeer
  • Photo: Wilco Vermeer collection, the Netherlands
  • - THOMAS, FRANZ & WEGMANN, GÜNTER, Die Eichenlaubträger 1940-1945, Biblio-Verlag, 1998.
    - Kwasny A., Kwasny G., Die Eichenlaubträger 1940-1945 (CD), Deutsches Wehrkundearchiv, Lage-Waddenhausen, 2001
    - Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer, Elite of the Third Reich - The Recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939-45: A Reference, Helion & Company Limited, England, 2003
    - Buxa, W., Weg und Schicksal der 11. Infanterie-Division, Nebel Verlag GmbH, Eggolsheim, Deutschland, 2004
    - Vorläufiges Besitzzeugnis RK

Photo