Riefkogel, Waldemar

Date of birth:
January 7th, 1913 (Sarstedt/Hannover, Germany)
Date of death:
July 30th, 1944 (Kisielany-Kuce, Poland)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Obersturmführer
Unit:
Führer 1. / SS-Panzer-Regiment 3 "Totenkopf"
Awarded on:
July 11th, 1943
Action:
Riefkogel’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…

"In the fighting to take Tschugujew SS-Obersturmführer Riefkogel was with his Panzer Konzpanie during the night of 16. and 17.03.1943, while attached to the I./SS.-Pz.Gren.Rgt. 'Totenkopf'. The Russians launched strong attacks against Tschugujew during the night with tank support in order to take possession of this important city. The enemy succeeded in breaking in.

SS-Obersturmführer Riefkogel, whose Kompanie consisted of only 2 useable Panzers, moved against this break-in without infantry support. He shot up 2 enemy tanks and forced the accompanying enemy infantry out through his lightning-quick and successful action. An immediate enemy counter-attack also failed due to the courageous defense of the hero SS-Obersturmführer Riefkogel.

Some hours later came a new strong enemy tank attack, followed behind by truck-borne infantry. SS-Obersturmführer Riefkogel, who at that time was occupied with the salvaging of an unusual tank, took the immediate decision to use his two operational tanks against the counter-attack. After he had shot up a further 4 T-34s, he noted that the enemy infantry were preparing to attack the positions of the 3. Kompanie. SS-Obersturmführer Riefkogel gave the order to eject the enemy infantry and boldly led his few men against this enemy counter attack, destroying a large part of the attacking Russian force.

Through his immediate and brave intervention SS-Obersturrnführer Riefkogel broke up the Bolsheviks completely. During this fighting SS-Obersturmführer Riefkogel did not leave his men, despite being wounded by mortar shrapnel. His actions prevented an enemy break-in to the important city of Tschugujew.

I please ask that SS-Obersturmführer Riefkogel, in recognition of his heroic courage and its' connected result, be awarded the Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross."
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources