Treptau, Max

Date of birth:
January 24th, 1925 (Weichselmünde/Danzig, Germany)
Date of death:
November 12th, 2003 (Lohr am Main, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Gefreiter (Lance Corporal)
Unit:
3./Panzer-Pionier-Bataillon 86
Awarded on:
March 11th, 1945
Action:
The following press article describes the action that led to the awarding of Treptau's Knight's Cross, which took place near the end of November 1944...

"Daring act of three German soldiers - lone fighters of the Pioniere take a North American company prisoner - Berlin.

After a thrust against an enemy bunker in the Geilenkirchen area, the 19-year-old Max Treptau from Danzig secured a railway embankment. Towards the morning, as the enemy increased his fire, the Pionier together with two comrades (the 23-year-old Franz Hennes from Vienna and the 21-year-old Jakob Schmitt from Heppenheim an der Bergstraße) attacked the North American positions on their own. They responded with machine-gun fire, wounding Treptau. Nevertheless he and his comrades pressed the attack with grenades and SMG fire, until the enemy ceased their resistance and surrendered. An entire North American company, 53 men and a captain, were captured by these three men. In this surprise attack the Pioniere also managed to free a wounded German officer and three soldiers who were being held prisoner by the Americans. They also captured a truck with valuable equipment, material and ammunition."
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources