Thulke, Willi

Date of birth:
September 22nd, 1916 (Gumbinnen/Easternprussia, Germany)
Date of death:
September 4th, 1998 (Lippstadt/North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

Willi Thulke finally reachted the rank of Oberstleutnant during the Second World War. After the war he served until 30th September 1972 with the Bundeswehr, there also finally reaching the rank of Oberstleutnant.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
July 22nd, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
December 17th, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant der Reserve (1st Lieutenant of Reserves)
Unit:
Chef 6. / Grenadier-Regiment 501 / 290.Infanterie-Division / II.Armeekorps / 16.Armee / Heeresgruppe Nord
Awarded on:
January 7th, 1943
Action:
On 28.11.1942 the Soviets launched an assault against the 290. Infanterie-Division, which at the time was one of the units defending the corridor to the Demyansk salient. On the division's right flank, at the so called "Panzereck", the III./GR 501 held out like a rock in the storm against this offensive. Thulke and his 6. Kompanie particularly stood out in this battle, and for his accomplishments here Thulke was decorated with the Knight's Cross.
Details:
1419th Award.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Hauptmann der Reserve (Captain of Reserves)
Unit:
Kommandeur I. / Grenadier-Regiment 501 / 290.Infanterie-Division / X.Armee-Korps / 16.Armee / Heeresgruppe Nord
Awarded on:
March 13th, 1944
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
Action:
In early March 1944, Thulke and his battalion were holding positions north of the Gora height when they were encircled by the enemy. The divisional command ordered the battalion to break out, and over a two-hour slog it succeeded in reaching a new defensive position on a hill 3 km to the west. Thulke, who had been shot through the shin, nevertheless remained to command his troops (he was moved around on a sled). In 13 days, Thulke and his battalion had fought off 33 attacks in this area. For his defensive accomplishments Thulke was awarded the Oakleaves.
Details:
424th Award.

Sources

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