In October 1943, west of Melitopol, Thorey and his battalion had the mission of securing the flank of their division against enemy attacks. One day he detected a strong group of Soviet forces that were assembling for such a move. He decided the best course of action was to attack immediately, using available elements of two of his companies. They proceeded to smash this Soviet force in a flanking attack, with Thorey leading from the frontlines. He has later decorated with the Oak Leaves for this achievement.