- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Oberfeldwebel (Flight Sergeant)
- Zugführer 4./JägRgt "Hermann Göring"
- Awarded on:
- August 8th, 1944
Heinrich Schäfer received the Knight's Cross for his defensive success in the closing stages of the North African Campaign. Schäfer and his platoon were charged with defending an important area of high ground dubbed "Cactus Farm". The first major allied attack on this position came on 29 April 1943, and was repulsed. The allies launched multiple attacks the next day with air support, but with the help of supporting artillery fire Schäfer's men repulsed the attack, destroying many tanks with explosives and hollow charges in the process. Following additional attacks the next day, all of which were repulsed, Schäfer's platoon withdrew along with the rest of the battalion. Prior to departure the Germans counted 37 knocked-out allied tanks surrounding their positions. Schäfer was recommended for and awarded the Knight's Cross for this action, but only received the award in a US POW camp on 8 August 1944 through the Red Cross.
The award was given to him while in captivity in Texas.