- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Kompanie Trupp-Führer 3. / Pionier-Bataillon 6
- Awarded on:
- August 16th, 1943
Here follows an excerpt written by General Großmann, describing how Gefreiter Roos would receive the Knight’s Cross…
“On the night of 05.08.1943 the Soviets launched concentrated attacks against Glinki Süd with infantry and tanks. In the early morning a battalion of the Grenadier-Regiment 582 (of the 383. Infanterie-Division) supported by Tigers and Sturmgeschütze succeeded in stabilizing the situation and throwing the Soviets back across the Kroma river. At 04:00 the next day the Soviets began their preparatory barrages in anticipation of further attacks. They pounded the foxholes of the Division with artillery, Pak and mortars.
At about the same time a pioneer team consisting of 1 Unteroffizier and 3 men, belonging to the 3./Pionier-Bataillon 6, began executing a special mission. They were to ride on an assault gun forwards, dismount and blow up a bridge over the Kroma river (located some 300 meters forward of the German lines) that the Soviets had retreated over the previous day. Though they succeeded in attaching charges to the structure, they failed to detonate due to the heavy enemy fire that had smashed the cords. In the barrage the squad leader as well as 2 men were wounded, and Gefreiter Roos himself has hit by three pieces of shrapnel in his nose and left hand.
Despite these injuries Roos voluntarily chose to crawl back 300 meters to the bridge. While still 250 meters out he was shot in the lung, but carried on forward. He brought his 2 mines, combined these with 5 already at the bridge, and set these off along with another charge found at the bridge. All of this was done while he was badly wounded and under the strongest enemy defensive fire. Nevertheless the bridge was still blown sky high, meaning no more enemy tanks could cross the bridge.
Roos then crawled back, albeit slowly due to the amount of blood he had lost. A T-34 rolled toward him, so he played dead. The T-34 thus did not pay him any attention. Roos then continued his crawl back, and upon seeing the Sturmgeschütz he signalled to them to help. The crew lifted him onto their vehicle, after which Roos lost consciousness. Soon afterwards, this brave soldier received the Knight’s Cross.”