Huß, Walter

Date of birth:
December 26th, 1915 (Sporitz/Komotau, Austria-Hungary)
Date of death:
January 29th, 1945 (Schönfeld/Heiligenbeil, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant der Reserve (1st Lieutenant of Reserves)
Unit:
2. Batterie, I. Abteilung, Artillerie-Regiment 240, 170. Infanterie-Division, Heer
Awarded on:
March 29th, 1943
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Hauptmann der Reserve (Captain of Reserves)
Unit:
Kommandeur, I. Abteilung, Artillerie-Regiment 240, 170. Infanterie-Division, Heer
Awarded on:
September 21st, 1944
Action:
Sometime in late 1943 / early 1944, the Soviets managed to break through the thin lines of the German 170. Infanterie-Division in several places and appeared in front of the firing positions of the I./Artillerie-Regiment 240, commanded by Hauptmann Huß. Huß immediately deployed his gunners and whatever infantry were nearby for close-in defense, and was able to acquire temporary respite through personally led counterattacks. However no amount of bravery was able to prevent the Soviets from bypassing his unit in the dense terrain, and soon the Abteilung was encircled.

The Germans however wanted to save their guns, and so while Huß tied down the Soviets in infantry combat, his other comrades managed to extricate both Batteries present and set up a new firing position, after which Huß also pulled back.

On the evening of this day the Division began to further displace towards a new defensive line. Hauptmann Huß had the mission of holding a village with his Abteilung long enough for this movement to be carried out. The first hours of this task already saw the Abteilung fend off several strong enemy attacks, after which Huß was given the order to pull back. However he recognized that doing so at that moment would bring about a dangerous situation for the whole Division, and for that reason decided to disregard his orders until such a time as a safe retreat could be conducted.

The Soviets, now attacking the village from all sides, managed to penetrate into the German perimeter. In response Huß created an assault group from both gunners and infantry and launched a counterattack that was able to recapture the entire village following bitter house to house fighting. Only then did Hauptmann Huß give the order to retreat, an order which was carried out almost unhindered by the enemy.

For his brave and successful actions during this battle, Huß would receive the Knight’s Cross.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources