Thiessen, Hans

Date of birth:
November 13th, 1916 (Hamburg/Hamburg, Germany)
Date of death:
February 18th, 1945 (Bartenstein/Easprussia, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

Hans Thissen was recommended to receive the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes as Leutnant and Führer 2. Batterie / Heeres Flak-Abteilung "Grossdeutschland". The awarding was recognized by the Ordensgemeinschft der Deutschen Ritterkreuzträger and the awarding date of May 9th, 1945, without any formal comfirmation of the awarding.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant)
Unit:
Führer 2./Heeres-Flak-Artillerie-Abteilung "Großdeutschland"
Awarded on:
May 9th, 1945
Action:
Thiessen's Knight's Cross recommendation reads as follows...

"On 18.02.1945, following strong preparatory fire, about 5 Soviet divisions with heavy armour support attacking from the Mehlsack area towards the north and northwest. They achieved a substantial break-in into the German lines. To widen their breakthrough, the enemy also attacked to the west along the railway. The 8.8 cm Flak Batterie of Leutnant Thiessen (from the Heeres-Flak-Abteilung GD), which was in position between the railroad and the forest, had the mission of holding up the enemy advance until the breakthrough could be sealed off. The battered Panzergrenadier-Regiment 51 was was only able to give limited infantry support to the battery.

After Leutnant Thiessen had defeated several strong infantry attacks (during which he inflicted heavy losses), the enemy initiated a pincer movement with tanks against the main position of the battery. While 3 tanks suppressed the battery from a range of 2 km, 2 tanks and 2 assault guns would attack the battery from the rear using the forest as cover. After they began their attack the covering forces also advanced towards the battery.

Aware of the importance of his mission to the integrity of the division's sector, Thiessen took up the fight with exemplary calm and resolve. In the bitter battle which followed Thiessen destroyed 2 tanks and 2 assault guns with gunfire, and a further 2 were eliminated with Panzerfausts. The Soviet infantry following the tanks also suffered severe losses and were forced to break off their attack. Thus it was the self-sacrificing attitude of Leutnant Thiessen and his gunners (whose displayed a high sense of duty through their personal valour) that resulted in the enemy being unable to achieve their intended breakthrough. It also meant that the continued occupation of the 18. Panzergrenadier-Division's current frontline was enabled.

On the same day a short while later, Thiessen was killed while leading a subordinated Alarmkompanie."
Details:
Not substantiated in the German Federal Archives.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources