Matzke, Othmar

Date of birth:
March 30th, 1914 (Bärnkopf/Neder-Oostenrijk, Austria)
Date of death:
January 16th, 1999 (Mautern an der Donau/Neder-Oostenrijk, Austria)
Austrian (1918-1938, Republic)


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Second World War (1939-1945)
Kommandeur, Pionier-Bataillon 211, 211. Infanterie-Division, Heer
Awarded on:
November 18th, 1944
Following a massive Soviet attack on the 11.10.1944 the 211. Infanterie-Division was forced to fall back to the so-called Las Line, lying between the villages of Las and Szelkow and just in front of the Rozan - Pultusk road. Here the Pionier-Bataillon 211 under the commander of Major Matzke was in position on the far left of the Division, with the II./Grenadier-Regiment 317 to its right.

The next morning the Soviets launched another heavy attack, which penetrated at the seam of the Pionier-Bataillon 211 and the II./Grenadier-Regiment 317, which could only be contained by the German Pioniers. At midday the 2./Pionier-Bataillon 211, along with the rest of the Grenadier-Regiment 365 and some Sturmgeschütze, launched a counterthrust commanded by Major Matzke. This move threw back the enemy and the Germans were able to advance against furious enemy resistance up to Rostki-Stroze.

This counterattack bought vital time in which the hard-fought Division could gather up its stragglers and create a new blocking position near Makow. For this act, as well as a previous success in which he was able to prevent an imminent enemy breakthrough at the last moment, Major Matzke would receive the Knight’s Cross.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes