- Second World War (1939-1945)
- stellvertretender Gruppenführer 3. / Pionier-Battaillon 342
- Awarded on:
- October 4th, 1944
East of Cholm the 3./Pionier-Bataillon 342 had the mission of securing the division's 7 km long open flank. Before the security line was complete the Soviets succeeded in breaking through and capturing a section of the road leading to Cholm. The Pioniers had to fight hard in the course of these battles.
One of these individuals was Gefreite Fritz Vehse. He first held a position with his MG with fierce determination until he ran out of ammunition. After he had returned to the rear to acquire more, he joined a counterattack being launched in the area. Fighting at the front of the formation, and shooting his MG from the hip, he eliminated several Soviet MG nests despite the heavily wooded terrain.
In a further counterattack he was able to take out the crew of a Soviet AT gun that was holding up the advance of his comrades through well aimed bursts of fire. Following this Gefreite Vehse and his men turned around the gun and, despite having no training in its operation, were able to figure out how it worked and used it to defeat several enemy counter thrusts.
For his accomplishments in this battle Vehse was decorated with the Knight's Cross.