- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Oberleutnant (1st Lieutenant)
- Chef, Pionier-Kompanie, III. Bataillon, Jäger-Regiment 28, 8. Jäger-Division, Heer
- Awarded on:
- April 30th, 1945
On the 04.04.1945 strong Soviet forces broke into the German line at Priewtz and thrusted towards Bojnice. In response the Jäger-Regiment 28, positioned to the south of the town, were forced to dispatch a swiftly assembled force (Gruppe Hofer) to cover their left wing facing north and prevent the Soviets attacking their rear. Among the troops comprising Gruppe Hofer was the Pionier-Kompanie led by Oberleutnant Machowsky.
The next day at 09:00 the Soviets began an attack on the left wing of the Pionier-Kompanie and the Kompanie to its left with at least 2 battalions (about 400-500 men). On the left wing of the Pionier-Kompanie they succeeded in achieving several break-ins. In response Oberleutnant Machowsky, despite being hindered by an old leg wound, moved from the right wing with a reserve squad towards the break-in areas. In a furious counterattack he managed to throw back the enemy, and regain the sections of frontline which had been lost.
However the Soviets brought up reinforcements, beginning a fresh attack with 2 new battalions after a short time. After he had observed that the main enemy attack was against the Kompanie on the left, he handed over control of his Kompanie to the HQ squad leader and rushed to the neighbouring Kompanie, overcoming the pain in his leg and the heavy fire of the enemy. As the Kompanie had no officers left he took over its leadership, assembled all available reserves hastened to an enemy break-in at the left wing of the Kompanie (which was in turn the key to the important Hill 504). He immediately launched an energetic flank attack into the break-in area, inspiring the soldiers of the unfamiliar Kompanie by his example. The enemy suffered heavy losses and were forced to fall back.
Yet as all this was happening the enemy managed to get around the left wing of the Regiment and cut off the connection between Machowsky’s two Kompanien and the rest of Kampfgruppe Hofer. Thus Machowsky was forced to fight only with what he had available. Even so he continued to repel several enemy attacks from the southeast, east and north. He held his position for the rest of the afternoon, tying down about 300-400 enemy soldiers.
In the evening he received the order to fall back. In order to save the two motorized Flak guns that were part of his defending force, he decided to break through the enemy lines along the main road. By skillfully employing his forces he smashed through the Soviet blocking position west of Hill 612 and thereby ensured the Flak guns could be recovered.
By his defensive stand here Oberleutnant Machowsky ensured that the attempted enemy advance with 4 battalions, which had the aim of interdicting the main supply road of the Regiment (running from Vrbany to Dobrocna), was halted. It also meant that the Regiment could conduct an orderly withdrawal with all of its heavy weapons and artillery from the area. By the end of the battle the following enemy losses were counted in the sector of Oberleutnant Machowsky…
- 300 confirmed dead
- 400 more estimated dead
- 3 trucks
- 1 heavy AT gun
- 1 infantry gun
Machowsky’s own losses were 2 dead and 10 wounded. For his outstanding defensive victory here Machowsky would be decorated with the Knight’s Cross.