- Second World War (1939-1945)
- SS-Untersturmführer (2nd Lieutenant)
- Führer, Stabsschwadron, SS-Kavallerie-Regiment 16, 8. SS-Kavallerie-Division "Florian Geyer", Waffen-SS
- Awarded on:
- April 21st, 1944
Kirchner’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…
"The 1. and 3. Squadrons of SS-Kavallerie-Regiment 16 had the task of occupying and holding the forest line Sukhaia - Gomolscha - Bol. Gomolscha. On the 28.08.1943, the enemy attacked this sparse line held by 1. and 3. Squadrons with several battalions in three waves after artillery and repeated mortar fire. They managed to break through deep into the forest in several places with strong forces. The danger of a swift enemy thrust upon Verchne - Bischkin was certain.
SS-Untersturmführer Kirchner was placed as regimental reserve with two motorcycle platoons (the strength of these motorcycle platoons was sixty men). He was placed close to Hill 168.4 and shielded Bol. Gomolscha and the valley south of there from the enemy. With his shock troops, he joined the encircled 1. and 3. Squadrons, resulting in him holding a line stretching from the decisive heights of Hills 168.4 through to 177.7. Because of this decision, it was possible to repeatedly push forward with his troops during an eighteen-hour battle. Meantime, the enemy had become very strong. Untersturmführer Kirchner led a raiding party against the south end of the valley from Bol. Gomolscha and made contact with the strong enemy, forcing them from Hill 188.6. He engaged these hostile forces in their flank and inflicted heavy losses of 120 men and 21 MGs, as well as a mortar squad, in a display of personal heroism.
He managed to escape the threat of encirclement and the line from Hill 168.4 to Hill 177.7, all the way up to Hill 188.6. He exchanged places with the enemy and his own weak forces by repeatedly confusing him during surprise shock attacks. During the twilight hours the enemy managed to insert their own forces. Untersturmführer Kirchner made an independent decision and repeatedly smashed into these men with the exceptional and audacious employment of his trapped troops. He was once again able to inflict severe losses upon the opponent so that, in the melee of this forest battle, he destroyed several vehicles from the enemy battle armada amongst other things.
The prudent and skillful leadership of Untersturmführer Kirchner, who launched surprise attacks out of the forest on his own initiative and with the remaining elements of the 1. and 3. Squadrons, meant that the enemy intent to take the line from Hills 168.4 through to 188.6 was frustrated. Without disrupting the existing blocking position (the Anna position), he also was able to make an extension to this line west to Hill 203.3 with a field replacement battalion of the army.
Untersturmführer Kirchner, who has participated in all attacks of the SS-Kavallerie-Division and has repeatedly distinguished himself through outstanding bravery, is worthy of receiving the Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross."