Knaup, Ludwig

Date of birth:
January 16th, 1920 (Grosshausen/Hesse, Germany)
Date of death:
March 18th, 1945 (near Kreuzburg/Easternprussia, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

Ludwig Knaup was killed on March 18th, 1945 as Bataillonsführer with Panzergrenadier-Division "Grossdetuschland".

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Hauptmann der Reserve (Captain of Reserves)
Unit:
Chef 2. / Sturmgeschütz-Brigade 904
Awarded on:
October 4th, 1944
Action:
In the sector of the 129. Infanterie-Division, south of Lomza, a gap had opened in the frontline and a Kampfgruppe was assembled with the intent of closing it. Among the combat elements present were parts of the Sturmgeschütz-Brigade 904. However following a surprise Soviet artillery barrage, the German assembly area came under attack from a group of several battalions and 12 tanks. The barrage had created casualties of the majority of German officers in the Kampfgruppe.

It was at this stage that Hauptmann Knaup, himself wounded in five places by shell splinters, took action against the enemy. Rallying his Batterie along with whatever Grenadiers could be found, he counterattacked the Soviet force and smashed their attack. He then launched a new counterattack on his own initiative in order to retake the lost territory as per the original German plan, and was able to complete this successfully and close the frontline gap. He then had to be brought to the main dressing station in light of his total exhaustion and injuries.

For this outstanding performance here he would be later be decorated with the Knight’s Cross.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources