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Strehlau, Erwin

Date of birth:
April 18th, 1923 (Pultusk [Ostenburg], Poland)
Date of death:
June 7th, 2002 (Wolfsburg, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, Third Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Gefreiter (Lance Corporal)
Unit:
Gruppenführer 2./Panzergrenadier-Regiment 5
Awarded on:
June 9th, 1944
As the 12th Panzer division fought to contain powerful Soviet forces crossing the Velikaya (near Nevel), Strehlau proved himself a superb soldier of the division. On 14.03.1944, he occupied a strategically important hilltop on his own initiative. Here he took up position with an MG along with his no. 2. The Soviets also wanted to capture the hill and the result was a violent action. Despite the heaviest enemy fire Strehlau and his comrade proved to be the victors of this very uneven fight, coming under enemy attack multiple times. Eventually they were relieved with the arrival of friendly armoured forces.

The occupation of this hilltop position proved to be of major importance in subsequent battles. Because of this, as well as the great courage and skill Strehlau displayed during the fight for possession of it, he was decorated with the Knight's Cross.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources

Photo