Wendorff, Helmut Max Ernst

Date of birth:
October 21st, 1920 (Grauwinkel/Brandenburg, Germany)
Date of death:
August 14th, 1944 (Maizieres/Calvados, France)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

Helmut Wendorff is reported missing in action since August 14th, 1944 (Source: Volksbund).

Promotions:
June 21st, 1942: SS-Untersturmführer;
January 1944: SS-Obersturmführer.

Destroyed a total of 95 tanks over the course of the war.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
September 14th, 1941
Details:
Silver version.
Panzerkampfabzeichen (ohne Zahl)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
September 14th, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
September 16th, 1943
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Untersturmführer (2nd Lieutenant)
Unit:
Zugführer, 13.(schwere) Kompanie, SS-Panzer-Regiment 1, 1. SS-Panzer-Division "Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler", Waffen-SS
Awarded on:
February 12th, 1944
Action:
Wendorff's Knight's Cross recommendation reads as follows...
"SS-Untersturmführer Wendorff has, as a platoon leader in the 13.(s)/SS-Panzer-Regiment 1 "LSSAH," acted with resolute and excellent composure in all of the battles of the company. Even in the most critical moments he was calm and acted with caution. With his dynamic approach and exemplary use of tactics with his platoon he mastered all of the situations put to him.
In the Christmas days, the division was in the area of Korosten executing a forced march in the area southeastward of Shitomir, moving in a line including Staroselye - Staraya-Kotelnja and the railway line between Zhitomir - Fastov, providing short security points on the right flank. In the early morning hours of 27.12.1943 SS-Untersturmführer Wendorff, who was in Ivankovo with his platoon (4 Tigers), was instructed to intercept and destroy the Russian armored spearheads advancing out of the forest north of the main road to protect the division's withdrawal into the area south of Gujwa during the night. In the course of a series of attacks against these armored spearheads, SS-Ustuf Wendorff distinguished himself through exceptional daring and outstanding bravery. He positioned himself in an ambush location at the crossroads north of Ivankovo. After destroying two Russian T-34s he allowed to approach before opening fire, he was instructed to carry out a driving attack on a strong armored group in Tschubarowka.
In a dashing approach along the railway line he drove into the village from the northeast and destroyed eleven T-34s there. After his return, he was sent against enemy tanks that had broken out of Jusefowka and destroyed three more enemy tanks there. In the afternoon, the enemy broke into Staroselye and seized the bridges in the area; the only avenue of retreat for the division's heavy weapons was through Ivankovo. Attacking with several armoured spearheads, the enemy attempted to seize these crossings as well, thus threatening the withdrawal of the elements of the division positioned in the Wolossowo - Staraya - Kotelnja area.
This advance of the Russians was held by SS-Untersturmführer Wendorff with his remaining three Tigers. His stand allowed the artillery battalion and one of the P.G.W. battalions to retreat and also meant that some of our damaged tanks could be recovered from the main battle line. As the last one to disengage from the fighting, around midnight, he brought his three vehicles to the south bank of the Guiwa.
On 28.12.1943, strong enemy groups of armor advanced on the security force in Antopol - Boljarka and broke into the town. With four Tigers (some of which were barely serviceable) SS-Untersturmführer Wendorff threw himself against these enemy tanks. He shot up eleven T-34s during the heavy tank fighting, preventing the enemy from breaching the division's flank.
On 27. and 28.12.1943, Wendorff shot up a further ten T-34s with his battle tank, raising his personal total of destroyed enemy tanks to fifty-eight."
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources