Leipzig, von, Hellmut

Date of birth:
July 18th, 1921 (Keetmannshop, German Southwest-Africa)
Date of death:
October 24th, 2016 (Namibia)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leutnant der Reserve (2nd Lieutenant of Reserves)
Unit:
Zugführer Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung "Brandenburg"
Awarded on:
April 28th, 1945
Action:
In April 1945 the Panzergrenadier-Division “Brandenburg” was in action around Bautzen. On the 24.04.1945 Leutnant Leipzig and his Zug were in reserve north of Milkel when they received the alarm. The Soviets had succeeded in breaking into the German frontline around the Milkel castle with strong forces. Recognizing the situation, Leutnant Leipzig led his men into battle around 12:00 on that day and was able to seal off the enemy penetration.

During this counterthrust Leipzig took note of further enemy forces that were approaching the German positions from a streambed to the north. He decided to launch a flank attack into this group. The surprised enemy were defeated in close combat and forced back to their jump off positions with heavy losses. This was in spite of the fact that Leipzig and his men were almost out of ammunition and had to fight mostly with melee weapons. Leipzig himself used his last MPi magazine to eliminate the crew of a knocked out enemy tank.

The result of this battle in the streambed was between 20-30 Soviet dead, for the cost of three wounded from Leipzig’s Zug. More importantly however the crisis in the German frontline in this area had been resolved by the bold counterattack of Leutnant Leipzig and his men. For this act he would be decorated with the Knight’s Cross.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources