Mauz, Otto

Date of birth:
April 24th, 1915 (Ehingen/Württemberg, Germany)
Date of death:
April 27th, 1980 (Ehingen/Baden-Württemberg, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberfeldwebel (Warrant Officer)
Unit:
Zugführer, 3. Kompanie, Pionier-Bataillon 671, Heer
Awarded on:
December 9th, 1944
In October 1944, in the area SE of Libau, Oberfeldwebel Mauz received the order to form a rearguard with 12 men in order to protect the retreat of the Division. As he was doing so a bridge to his rear was blown up a few hours earlier than planned, resulting in his isolation on the wrong side of the river. Nonetheless Mauz led his troops over the remains of the blasted bridge, eliminated a group of 50 Red Army soldiers in close combat, destroyed 3 vehicles and was able to make his way back to friendly positions under almost hopeless circumstances, and without losing any men at that.

Later, near Ginuzi in the area around Vartaja, Oberfeldwebel Mauz heard engine noises that he immediately recognized as belonging to enemy tanks. As the Division continued its retreat along the road, Mauz snuck towards the source of the noise with 3 men in support. At the section of road where the enemy tanks were, Mauz worked his way up to within a few metres of them. He then destroyed a Soviet heavy tank with a Panzerfaust, during which the truck immediately behind it was also knocked out in the blast. With a second and third Panzerfaust he also destroyed two more fully loaded trucks. A Soviet heavy tank right behind these tried to turn around but got bogged down in a swamp; it’s bailed out crew was eliminated and Mauz blew up the tank with two hand grenades. The following 12 enemy tanks turned around and fled.

In recognition of his success on these two occasions, which helped to cover the withdrawal movements of his Division, Mauz would be decorated with the Knight’s Cross.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources