Holzapfel, Karl-Heinz

Date of birth:
July 5th, 1915 (Hadamar/Hesse, Germany)
Date of death:
February 15th, 2003 (Bad Hersfeld/Hesse, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

Karl-Heinz Holzapfel finally reached the rank of Major.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (1st Lieutenant)
Unit:
3. / Pionier-Bataillon 29 (motorisiert) / 29. Infanterie-Division "Falke"
Awarded on:
November 29th, 1941
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Hauptmann (Captain)
Unit:
Kommandeur Pionier-Bataillon 29 (Motorisiert) / 29. Panzergrenadier-Division
Awarded on:
September 11th, 1943
Awarded for his successes commanding the Pionier-Bataillon (mot) 29 during its demolition and mining missions along the road that ran parallel to the northern coast of Sicily. In this time he would repeatedly distinguish himself by not just doing those missions he was assigned, but also through his mining/demolition of routes that were not present on any maps and that only he knew about.

On one occasion he also played a major role in enabling friendly forces to retreat. After a bridge over a dry riverbed (which had been heavily mined) was destroyed by allied naval guns, he and a handful of Pionieren created a lane through the dry riverbed that permitted all German vehicles and heavy weapons to pass through in spite of strong enemy attempts at interference. On another occasion he engaged and halted an allied pursuit thrust, bringing heavy losses to the enemy forces involved.

For the sum of these successes he would be awarded the Knight’s Cross.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources