- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Oberfeldwebel (Warrant Officer)
- Zugführer 2./Panzer-Regiment 10 / 8. Panzer-Division / 3. Panzerarmee / Heeresgruppe Mitte
At the start of January 1943 a German Kampfgruppe launched an attack SW of Toropez supported by the Panzer-Regiment 10, among which was the Zugführer Oberfeldwebel Mahn. He led his Zug at the head of the Kompanie deep into the enemy defense.
However as the attack seemed to be making good progress it came under well aimed fired from a Soviet gun battery, which brought the German forces to a halt. In this situation Oberfeldwebel Mahn took the independent decision to remove this threat. With only 2 Panzers he approached the enemy battery. Despite being wounded in the process he did not give up his plan. The first gun was destroyed with a direct hit, the remainder were shot up/crushed and the crews eliminated.
By this action the lynchpin of the Soviet defense was removed, allowing the attack to recommence and reach its specified objective. For his decisive role in ensuring its success Oberfeldwebel Mahn would be awarded the Knight’s Cross.