- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Gefreiter (Lance Corporal)
- Gruppenführer, 1. Kompanie, I. Bataillon, Grenadier-Regiment 51, Heer
- Awarded on:
- April 7th, 1944
At the end of March 1944 the Soviets instigated a fierce battle between the Dnieper and Tschaussy rivers, in which the I./Grenadier-Regiment 51 (mot) was heavily involved. The Germans had by this time suffered heavy losses and after the 2. Kompanie of the battalion was no longer combat capable, it came down to the 1. Kompanie and its handful of Grenadiers to carry on the fight. Among these was the machine-gunner Gefreiter Langer.
When a Soviet battalion, soon followed by another, commenced an attack on the German Kompanie, Langer was forced to take over control of his squad after its commanding Unteroffizier had fallen out due to a nervous breakdown. Throughout that day and the following night however the squad was able to hold its ground despite the heavy odds. Their situation vastly improved when they finally received an ammunition resupply during the night.
In the end Langer and his squad managed to fend off all strong enemy attacks for four days, in battles that raged both in daylight and darkness. This success was largely on account of Langer’s bravery and decisiveness, and it contributed significantly to the overall defensive triumph of the battalion. Thus on the third night of the battle already (26.03.1944) Langer was awarded the Iron Cross First Class and his comrades the Iron Cross Second Class. Afterwards Langer would be recommended for and receive the Knight’s Cross.