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Klatt, Paul

Date of birth:
December 6th, 1896 (Kroppen-Hoyerswerda/Silesia, Germany)
Date of death:
July 3rd, 1973 (Olching/Bavaria, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, Third Reich)

Biography

With the ourbreak of the First World War, Paul Klatt entered service as Offiziersanwärter with the 2. Oberschlesische Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 57. After an officers training het was placed with the 4. Niederschlesischen Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 51 with which he took part on the Westfront. Her he was seriously wounded on May 18th, 1915, after which he was back at the front in December 1915. Paul Klatt became British POW on April 9th, 1917, from which he was released on October 26th, 1919.

For his services during World War One he received the Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse (February 4th,1916), Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse (March 12th, 1920) and the Verwundeten Abzeichen im Schwarz (December 30th, 1919).

After the First World War, Pual Klatt entered service with the Reichswehr and was placed with the 3. (Preußisches) Infanterie-Regiment and later the 2. (Preußisches) Infanterie-Regiment. After service with the Wehrkreiskommando I he ended up with the 1. (Preußisches) Pionier-Bataillon and later with the 13. (Preußisches) Reiter-Regiment. Short before outbreak of the Second World War he ended up with the Gebirgspionier-Bataillon 83, 3. Gebirgs-Division.

With the 3. Gebirgs-Division he took part in the Second World War, until he became Soviet POW on May 8th, 1945, from which he was released in October 1955.

Promotions:
November 11th, 1914: Fahnenjunker-Gefreiter;
December 24th, 1914: Fahnenjunker-Unteroffizier;
April 18th, 1915: Fähnrich;
June 18th, 1915: Leutnant;
July 31st, 1925: Oberleutnant;
February 1st, 1931: Hauptmann;
January 1st, 1936: Major;
February 1st, 1939: Oberstleutnant;
December 17th, 1941: Oberst;
February 20th, 1944: Generalmajor;
January 15th, 1945: Generalleutnant.

Career:
August 3rd, 1914: 2. Oberschlesische Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 57;
December 14th, 1914 - 13 februari 1915: Offizierslehrgang Kriegsschule Döberitz;
March 17th, 1915: 4. Niederschlesischen Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 51;
May 18th, 1915 - October 5th,1915: wounded in Hospital;
October 5th, 1915: I. Ersatz-Bataillon / 4. Niederschlesischen Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 51;
December 27th, 1915 - January 10th, 1916: Kompanieführerlehrgang;
May 10th, 1916: Adjutant II. Bataillon / 4. Niederschlesischen Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 51;
April 9th, 1917 - October 26th, 1919: British POW;
December 23rd, 1919: 9. Kompanie / Reichswehr-Infanterie-Regiment 11;
April 11th, 1920: Adjutant IV. Bataillon / Reichswehr-Infanterie-Regiment 11;
September 27th, 1920: 2. Kompanie / 3. (Preußisches) Infanterie-Regiment, Marienwerder;
October 1st, 1921: 10. Kompanie / 2. (Preußisches) Infanterie-Regiment, Rastenburg;
January 3rd, 1922 - October 1st, 1924: Sportausbildungsoffizier III. Bataillon / 2. (Preußisches) Infanterie-Regiment, Rastenburg;
October 1st, 1924: Wehrkreiskommando I, Königsberg;
April 1st, 1926: 1. (Preußisches) Pionier-Bataillon;
September 29th, 1927:Adjutant 1. (Preußisches) Pionier-Bataillon;
October 1st, 1927: Standortkommandantur Insterburg;
March 1st, 1929: 1. (Preußisches) Pionier-Bataillon;
October 1st, 1930: Chef 2. Kompanie / 1. (Preußisches) Pionier-Bataillon;
March 1st, 1933: Pionierführer Standortkommandatur Oppeln;
April 1st, 1933: Pionierführer 13. (Preußisches) Reiter-Regiment, Hannover;
October 1st, 1934: Reichswehrministerium, Inspekteur der Pioniere und Festungen;
November 10th, 1938: Kommandeur Gebirgspionier-Bataillon 83;
August 15th, 1941: m.d.F.b. Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 138;
October 1st, 1941: Kommandeur Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 138;
December 24th, 1942: Wounded in Hospital;
January 1st, 1943: Führerreserve;
July 3rd, 1944: Kommandeur 3. Gebirgs-Division;
May 8th, 1945 - October 5th, 1955: Soviet POW.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Hauptmann (Captain)
Awarded on:
1934
Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major
Unit:
Inspekteur der Pioniere und Festungen, Reichswehrministerium
Awarded on:
October 2nd, 1936
Dienstauszeichnung der Wehrmacht 4.Klasse, 4 Jahre
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major
Unit:
Inspekteur der Pioniere und Festungen, Reichswehrministerium
Awarded on:
October 2nd, 1936
Dienstauszeichnung der Wehrmacht  3.Klasse, 12 Jahre
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major
Unit:
Inspekteur der Pioniere und Festungen, Reichswehrministerium
Awarded on:
October 2nd, 1936
Dienstauszeichnung der Wehrmacht  2. Klasse, 18 Jahre
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant-colonel)
Unit:
Kommandeur, Gebirgs-Pionier-Battalion 83, 3. Gebirgs-Division, Heer
Awarded on:
March 30th, 1940
Had already received the Iron Cross 2nd Class on 4th February 1916.
1939 Spange zum Eisernen Kreuzes 2er Klasse 1914
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant-colonel)
Unit:
Kommandeur, Gebirgs-Pionier-Battalion 83, 3. Gebirgs-Division, Heer
Awarded on:
December 8th, 1940
Had already received the Iron Cross 1st Class on 12th March 1920.
1939 Spange zum Eisernen Kreuzes 1er Klasse 1914
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant-colonel)
Unit:
Kommandeur, Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 138, 3. Gebirgs-Division, Heer
Awarded on:
December 12th, 1941
Awarded with swords.
Vapaudenristin 3.luokka (VR 3)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberst (Colonel)
Unit:
Kommandeur, Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 138, 3. Gebirgs-Division, Heer
Awarded on:
April 14th, 1942
Award 106/35.
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberst (Colonel)
Unit:
Kommandeur, Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 138, 3. Gebirgs-Division, Heer
Awarded on:
January 4th, 1943
Klatt’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…

“Oberst Klatt, commander of the reinforced Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 138, has accomplished decisive operational-level results during hard defensive battles (starting on the 29.11.1942) through outstanding bravery and clear tactical leadership.

On the 30.11.1942 Oberst Klatt fended off the heavy attacks of the 46th and 9th Guards divisions near Tschernosjem through his inspiring example, despite being wounded in the foremost line. In the most difficult situations his unshakeable calm and force of will encouraged his men to reach the highest heights of bravery, which allowed his counterthrust towards the northeast to succeed. His superior leadership meant that the strongpoint of Tschernosjem, of great local importance, could be held and serve as a beacon for the encircled Regiment 257 (reinforced). This unit was able to break out and thus avoid destruction by linking up with Gruppe Klatt here on the 02.12.1942.

The leadership of his Kampfgruppe was made especially difficult due to the fact that the Division could only be contacted via radio, and thus Oberst Klatt was often forced to rely on his own decisions in pressing situations. The decisive importance of smashing the attacking power of the 46th Guards Division is also evident from the fact that documents written by their divisional commander could be captured in the aftermath of the battle.

In the time from 27.11.-05.12.1942 Oberst Klatt launched counterthrusts on his own initiative against enemy forces that had broken through the line Ssenkina — Gora-Teterino. During one such attack in the direction of Nowossokolniki Klatt and his men got into the rear of the attacking Russian 18th (mot.) Brigade, inflicting very heavy losses on them and severing the connection to their supply road Brjuchny—Gromowo—Baschmakowo—Petrowa. Later statements from prisoners and deserters confirmed that the enemy believed himself to be under threat from encirclement as a result, and thus called off their advance.

Thus the enemy pressure on the defenses at Nowossokolniki were decisively eased up.

This outstanding and energetic leadership, extraordinary bravery and ruthless devotion to duty inspired his men to their highest achievements, despite fighting in coverless terrain with much ice and snow. His subordinated units destroyed 68 tanks and captured 565 prisoners, 20 heavy machine guns, 29 light machine guns, 7 anti-tank rifles, 15 sub-machine guns, 11 mortars, 4 trucks and 2 field kitchens.

By holding on to Sossina Gora and Teterino, in the direction of Nowossokolniki, he had on the basis of his own initiative clearly grasped the importance of these points early on and their future role as cornerstones of the later defense front. By maintaining control over these villages he produced an important prerequisite for the deliberate corps-directed attack of the 291. Infanterie-Division, launched between the front of the 83. Infanterie-Division and Nowossokolniki.”
1410th Heeres Award.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberst (Colonel)
Unit:
Kommandeur, Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 138, 3. Gebirgs-Division, Heer
Awarded on:
January 9th, 1943
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Silber
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Generalmajor (Brigadier)
Unit:
Kommandeur, 3. Gebirgs-Division, Heer
Awarded on:
August 28th, 1944
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Generalmajor (Brigadier)
Unit:
Kommandeur, 3. Gebirgs-Division, Heer
Awarded on:
September 29th, 1944
Silver version.
Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Generalmajor (Brigadier)
Unit:
Kommandeur, 3. Gebirgs-Division, Heer
Awarded on:
October 4th, 1944
Wehrmachtbericht
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Generalmajor (Brigadier)
Unit:
Kommandeur, 3. Gebirgs-Division, Heer
Awarded on:
November 5th, 1944
Wehrmachtbericht
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Generalleutnant (Major-general)
Unit:
Kommandeur, 3. Gebirgs-Division, Heer
Awarded on:
December 26th, 1944
The following press article, dated 30.12.1944, describes the actions by Klatt that would be deemed worthy of the reception of the Oakleaves…

“On the 26.12.1944 the Führer awarded the Oakleaves to the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross to Generalleutnant Paul Klatt, commander of the 3. Gebirgs-Division, as the 686th soldier of the German Wehrmacht to be so honoured. Generalleutnant Klatt and his Division have a major share in the successful breakthrough battles northwest of Debrecen, which led to the destruction of three Soviet mobile corps near Nyiregyhaza. Later he stood with his Gebirgsjägers in the area around Miskolc and here as well as further north prevented the strong Bolshevik forces from achieving their desired breakthrough towards the north. Though Generalleutnant Klatt is hindered by his heavy wounds, he always inspired his men to ever greater heights through his personal example. He and his Division were named in Wehrmachtbericht supplements on the 04.10. and 05.11.1944.”
686th Award.
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub

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