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Zierhofer, Karl

Date of birth:
February 12th, 1924 (Mollram, Austria)
Date of death:
April 1st, 1945 (near Horn, Germany)
Austrian (1919-1934, Republic)


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Second World War (1939-1945)
Gefreiter (Lance Corporal)
1./Panzergrenadier-Regiment 126
Awarded on:
October 4th, 1944
On 08.08.1944 the Soviets advanced with strong forces into the town of Podleszany, west of Mielec. The I./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 126 launched a counterattack that pushed the Soviets out of the city but were stopped when they came within range of the Soviet heavy weapons. The Soviets then renewed their attack and drove the Germans back to Podleszany.

At this moment Gefreite Zierhofer, a German machine-gunner in the 1./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 126, dashed across an open street and crawled one hundred yards closer to an enemy held collective farm. From there he eliminated a Soviet MG nest and its crew, and with his fire support his comrades were able to move within assault distance of the farm. Zierhofer then took part in the final attack, and firing his MG from the hip he and his comrades took control of the collective farm in close combat. The seizure of this position enabled his company to succeed in capturing its attack objective.

For his decisive influence on the course of this battle Zierhofer was awarded the Knight's Cross.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes