Klemm, Hans

Date of birth:
September 27th, 1916 (Stolp/Pommerania, Germany)
Date of death:
December 9th, 1996 (Bad Godesberg/Northrhine-Westphalia, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Unteroffizier (Corporal)
Unit:
Gruppenführer II. / Infanterie-Regiment "Großdeutschland" (motorisiert)
Awarded on:
December 10th, 1942
Action:
Klemm’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…

“On the 30.09.1942, the 2. Kompanie found itself on the left wing of the I./Infanterie-Regiment 1 'Grossdeutschland' in the attack against the bitterly-defended ravines of the Gostischka bottom land southeast of Tschermassowo.

Within minutes of the beginning of the attack the company commander and his deputy were killed by heavy enemy rifle fire. When the company commander and second-in-command of the company on the right were killed within minutes of each other, the attack by the two now leaderless companies threatened to bog down short of its objective.

In this extremely serious situation the enemy launched a counterattack from Boltino supported by two tanks in an attempt to throw I. Battalion back to its starting position.

At that point Unteroffizier Klemm took command of both companies, got the attack moving and reached the objective. There he realised that the regiment on the right (Infanterie-Regiment 2), which was supposed to advance past I. Battalion towards Boltino, was making no progress. On his own initiative, Klemm decided to follow up behind the failed Russian counterattack through the well-fortified enemy positions with the limited forces available to him and take the high ground south of Belogurowo, 500 metres west of Boltino, and there go over to the defensive.

As a result of this daring decision the division was able to reach the assigned objective even though the regiment on the right (Infanterie-Regiment 2) was held up. This act, which demonstrated Unteroffizier Klemm's personal bravery and decisiveness in difficult situations, brought the division the success it was seeking."

The Infanterie-Division 'Großdeutschland' was able to report the following enemy losses on the 30.09.1942 destroyed or captured:

- 288 prisoners
- 525 enemy dead
- 1 infantry gun
- 8 heavy machine guns
- 27 light machine guns
- 19 anti-tank guns
- 19 mortars
- 5 anti-tank rifles
- 389 rifles
- 21 submachine guns
- 14 tanks
- 7 artillery pieces
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources