Rettemeier, Josef-Wilhelm

Date of birth:
September 17th, 1914 (Niederdollendorf/Rhineprovince, Germany)
Date of death:
December 19th, 1997 (Bad Nauheim/Hesse, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

Josef-Wilhelm Rettemeier finally reached the rank of Major. After the Second World War he served form 1956 until 1972 with the Bundeswehr and there finally reached the rank of Oberst.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Hauptmann (Captain)
Unit:
Kommandeur Panzer-Abteilung 5
Awarded on:
December 5th, 1943
Action:
Awarded for his actions during the fighting in the sector of Heeresgruppe Mitte during mid-November 1943, as described in the following chronology…

14.11.1943: Deployed with his battalion on the left wing of the Division west of Kirijewa, where he was employed successfully in the recapture of the old main battle line here.

15.11.1943: Destroyed 24 enemy tanks with his battalion.

16.11.1943: Destroyed/disabled a further 14 enemy tanks.

17.11.1943: Deployed to a 1 km gap in the German frontline near Novo Selo. The infantry there had been forced to abandon their small arms while retreating through the thick mud. Rettemeier ordered his tanks to remove their MGs, SMGs, grenades and small arms munitions and give them to the infantrymen. Their officers having fallen, he then led them in a counterattack that retook the old main battle line. The Soviets then attacked this position again in 3 waves from Novo Selo, but were crushed by the defenders.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Hauptmann (Captain)
Unit:
Kommandeur Panzer-Abteilung 5
Awarded on:
March 13th, 1945
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
Action:
The Panzer-Abteilung 5 was placed in support of the 267. Infanterie-Division during its defensive battle near Stary Bychoff (north of Rogatschew) on 02.03.1944. 8 enemy divisions were employed against this 1 German division. However an enemy breakthrough was prevented and all attacks of the Soviets were smashed. 20 enemy tanks were destroyed in this battle. Rettemeier and his Panzer-Abteilung were crucial for the German victory here, and in recognition of this fact the 267. Infanterie-Division recommended him for the Oakleaves to his Knight’s Cross.
Details:
425th Award.

Sources