Maurer, Heinrich (Panzergrenadier-Regiment 125)

Date of birth:
December 9th, 1914 (Duisburg/Rhineprovince, Germany)
Date of death:
April 26th, 1945 (Eastfront)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

Heinrich Maurer reached the rank of Underoffizier. He was reported missing in action at the Eastfront on April 26th, 1945 and was declared dead in 1950.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Obergefreiter (Corporal)
Unit:
Stabskompanie, Panzergrenadier-Regiment 125, 21. Panzer-Division, Heer
Awarded on:
October 6th, 1944
Action:
On the 03.08.1944, as the Stabskompanie of the Panzergrenadier-Regiment 125 was ordered to pull back to a new position west of Falaise and hold it, the Allies launched a battalion-strength attack with 15 tanks in support. They thrusted into the Kompanie on the left wing of the Stabskompanie, on the edge of which was an MG position held by Obergefreiter Maurer. The enemy’s intent was to envelop the totally open flank and launch a deep penetration in order to roll up the whole front of the German Korps.

In this critical situation Maurer would rely on all of his acquired experience to have a fighting chance. He engaged the enemy with his MG while constantly changing positions, despite the steady fire from enemy tanks and artillery. His MG fire, both close range and accurate, separated the enemy infantry from their tanks, forcing the former to retreat after they’d sustained heavy losses. Without their infantry support the hostile armour also turned back.

As his Kompanie conducted an orderly withdrawal, Maurer once again kept the attacking enemy infantry in check and was ultimately able to prevent an enemy breakthrough. By this brave and decisive action Maurer permitted elements of the whole Division, as well as the hard pressed neighbouring Kompanie, to pull back to the new line without significant enemy interference. For this action Maurer would be decorated with the Knight’s Cross.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources