- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Major zur Verwendung (Major)
- Kommandeur Pionier-Bataillon 292
- Awarded on:
- January 9th, 1944
On the 10.11.1943 the 292. Infanterie-Division, while in the process of relieving the 4. Panzer-Division north of Chernobyl, was attacked by enemy forces who had been alerted to the move. It was broken up into several Kampfgruppen, one of which was the reinforced Pionier-Bataillon 292 led by Major Johanns.
In this context, on the 14.11.1943, Kampfgruppe Johanns received the order to take up a blocking position on both sides of the Retschiza—Kalinkowstschi road near Pradischtsche. However while moving to this position, they were raided by enemy forces near Bonda (an area that was supposed to be clear of the enemy), and took heavy losses while breaking through to the road at Korowatschitschi. Here they took up an all-round defensive position, as they had by then been separated from most of the Division.
The Soviets launched vicious assaults against this hedgehog position but the Kampfgruppe fought equally hard. They knew that if the Soviets broke through here they would soon reach the bridge over the Pripet at Mosyr and endanger the retreat of the entire 2. Armee. The Kampfgruppe thus held out in fierce defensive fighting until they were finally relieved and reinforced by Kampfgruppe Schmidthuber (of the 2. Panzer-Division) two days later.
For this important feat-of-arms Major Johanns would receive the Knight’s Cross.