Lohrey, Christian

Date of birth:
August 3rd, 1927 (Schonungen/Bavaria, Germany)
Date of death:
March 20th, 1996 (Schonungen/Bavaria, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Gefreiter (Lance Corporal)
Unit:
Kompanietrupp Melder 3. / Panzergrenadier-Regiment 41
Awarded on:
March 11th, 1945
Action:
During the fighting on the eastern front in the final stages of the war, the Soviets succeeded in taking the strategically significant, 430 m high “Sarg mountain”. In light of the place’s importance the Germans tried many times to retake it, and the hill changed hands several times over the next few days. By the 06.03.1945 however the hilltop was once again under Soviet control, and due to the presence of a small group from the neighbouring Division just below the hilltop the Germans could not risk bombarding the position with artillery. Without artillery preparation a conventional assault on the hilltop would likely be a very costly proposition.

In light of this situation, Gefreiter Lohrey was assigned to be the leader of a probing operation. He reached the hilltop and unexpectedly entered the Soviet trenches with his men. After throwing a grenade salvo Lohrey and his troops stormed the position. Those Soviets who were not dead or wounded fled, and the Germans once again were in command of the top of the Sarg mountain.

For this decisive act, by which he spared the Division a likely unavoidably costly attack, Gefreiter Lohrey would be decorated with the Knight’s Cross. At the age of only 17.5 years old he would also be one of the youngest Knight’s Cross holders of the Wehrmacht.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources