Saalbach, Rudolf

Date of birth:
March 18th, 1911 (Grossenhain, Germany)
Date of death:
April 30th, 1945 (Berlin, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Hauptsturmführer (Captain)
Unit:
SS-PzAufklAbt 11 "Nordland"
Awarded on:
March 12th, 1944
Action:
Saalbach’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…

"Deeds of valour by SS-Hauptsturmführer Saalbach, SS-Pz.Aufkl.Abt. 11

On 26.01.1944 the enemy attacked with a tank brigade (comprising 54 tanks) and accompanying infantry at Gubanizy. Saalbach and his subordinate battalion, with all of its heavy weapons, was very effective in repulsing all of the attacks that were put in during critical day against his battalion. He was always at the focal point of the battle, fighting without care for himself, attacking constantly and mastering all situations. With the heavy weapons his battalion destroyed 34 tanks on this day, 28 of which were T-34's.

On 27.01.1944 the enemy attacked all day long with heavy forces. Saalbach was found repeatedly at the focal point of the fighting, without consideration for risk to himself. He restored the situation and was a role model to his men. When the enemy pressed into one spot on the main battle line Saalbach arrived there rapidly with a collection of forces and personally restored the situation.

On 29.01.1944 the enemy attacked 2.5 km forward of the main battle line in Opolje using strong forces fighting with tank support. Again, Saalbach was always at the focal point of the fighting and fought with his few men, bringing all enemy attacks to a standstill until the other friendly-held parts of the main battle line were strong enough. Upon orders, he skillfully positioned himself close to the enemy and because of this two tanks were destroyed; then he managed to withdraw himself from the enemy."
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources