- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Obergefreiter (Corporal)
- Gruppenführer 10./Grenadier-Regiment (mot) 60
- Awarded on:
- November 12th, 1943
In Mid-October 1943 the 16. Panzergrenadier-Division participated in the fighting for the Zaporozhye bridgehead. In the midst of these battles, by which time part of the division had already crossed over to the west bank, Thumbeck and his squad formed part of the covering forces. The hard pressing Soviets managed to break into the German main defensive line, but in a masterfully conducted counterattack Thumbeck and his squad were able to recapture what had been lost and thereby buy more time for the withdrawal. For this Thumbeck was awarded the Knight's Cross.