Specht, Karl-Wilhelm

Date of birth:
May 22nd, 1894 (Herdecke, Germany)
Date of death:
December 3rd, 1953 (as Soviet POW in Camp Voikovo near Moscow, Soviet Union)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Awarded on:
January 22nd, 1915
Eisernes Kreuz 2.Klasse (1914)
Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Awarded on:
April 28th, 1917
Eisernes Kreuz 1.Klasse (1914)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
December 21st, 1939
1939 Spange zum Eisernen Kreuzes 2er Klasse 1914
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
June 9th, 1940
1939 Spange zum Eisernen Kreuzes 1er Klasse 1914
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberst (Colonel)
Unit:
Kommandeur Infanterie-Reigment 55
Awarded on:
September 8th, 1941
Action:
Before the large-scale German attack in the direction of Gomel in August 1941, Oberst Specht and his regiment seized a particularly strong enemy strongpoint at Weliky-Log and held it against fierce enemy counterattacks. Later on, he was able to break through the fortified positions at Rekta after only two hours via a flank attack, afterwards thrusting to a depth of 20 km into enemy territory.

By these actions he was able to contribute significantly to the German breakthrough battle north of Gomel, which in turn resulted in the encirclement and destruction of a considerable number of Soviet troops around and east of Rogachev. Specht was thus awarded the Knight's Cross.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberst (Colonel)
Unit:
Kommandeur Infanterie-Reigment 55
Awarded on:
January 16th, 1942
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
Action:
Following the battles of Gomel, Kiev and Bryansk-Vyazma Specht proved to be a determined leader, continuing to command his troops despite shrapnel wounds to his hand and knee during the crossing over the Ugra river. Later his regimental command post was hit by fire three times and Specht lost consciousness due to carbon dioxide poisoning. After being treated with oxygen and regaining consciousness he immediately hurried back to the front again. On 15.11.1941, while stalking a group of soldiers to see if they were his or the enemy, he received a headshot from 5 m by an opponent that was already in the village. However they were fought off, and the enemy suffered losses of 500 dead (including their regimental commander), 200 prisoners, 3 guns and 60 machine guns.

For the brave leadership of his regiment during this time Specht received the Knight's Cross.


Details:
60th Award.

Sources