- Date of birth:
- March 26th, 1915 (Brieg/Silesia, Germany)
- Date of death:
- April 14th, 1992 (Vallendar/Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany)
- German (1933-1945, Third Reich)
June 1st, 1943: Leutnant;
June 1st, 1944: Oberleutnant;
?: Hauptmann (Bundeswehr).
April 1st, 1934: 4. Kompanie, Infanterie-Regiment 7;
1935: 8. Kompanie, Infanterie-Regiment 28;
?: 4. Kompanie, Infanterie-Regiment 28;
1942: Zugführer, 4. Kompanie, Jäger-Regiment 28;
?: Führer, 2. Kompanie, Jäger-Regiment 28;
?: Führer, 9. Kompanie, Jäger-Regiment 28;
April 1945: Führer, III. Bataillon, Jäger-Regiment 28;
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- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Oberfeldwebel (Warrant Officer)
- Führer, 2. Kompanie, I. Bataillon, Jäger-Regiment 28, 8. Jäger-Division, Heer
- Awarded on:
- January 4th, 1943
Awarded the Knight's Cross for the defensive successes of his company near Demyansk in November/December of 1942. The Soviets began launching a series of assaults against Witschel's parent division (8. Jäger-Division) on 28.11.1942 in the area of the Ssutschan swamp. On November 30 Witschel's company, deployed in an sector known as the "Landzunge", bore the brunt of the Soviet attack. They were able to hold their ground, and in doing so prevented a Soviet breakthrough that would've rolled up the whole western flank of the Jäger-Regiment 28 and brought the attackers to within striking distance of an important road. On 01.12.1942 the Soviets attacked Witschel's company again in several waves. Using their last reserves the Germans were able to eject all the attackers that had broken through and finished the battle fully in control of their main defensive line.
In early February 1945 the Soviets and their subordinate Romanian formations were trying to break through the high ground north of Lest. Together with a forward observer from 8. Batterie / Artillerie-Regiment 8, Feldwebel Thomas and 6 other soldiers Witschel occupied a dominant piece of high ground (Hill 304?) and from there they smashed a large number of attacking Soviet forces. It is unclear whether it was through their own weapons, directed artillery fire or both. For this success Witschel would receive the Oakleaves.
- Photo 1: Russ Nummer
- - FELLGIEBEL, W.P., Elite of theThird Reich, Helion & Company Limited, Solihull, 2003.
- THOMAS, FRANZ & WEGMANN, GÜNTER, Die Eichenlaubträger 1940-1945, Biblio-Verlag, 1998.
- Lexikon der Wehrmacht