Lummel, Hans

Date of birth:
October 22nd, 1922 (Hagen (Westphalia), Germany)
Date of death:
January 26th, 1971 (Hagen (Westphalia), Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Obergefreiter (Corporal)
Unit:
Kompanie Truppmelder 1./Grenadier-Regiment 333
Awarded on:
October 16th, 1944
Action:
During the middle of September 1944, during the heavy defense battles east of Riga, the Soviets launched a regiment-sized attack against the I./Grenadier-Regiment 333 and with strong artillery support were able to break through the line. One of the results was that the leftmost Zug of the 1. Kompanie was cut off from the rest of the unit, and in response Obergefreiter Lummel received the order to restore contact with the Zug.

As he made his way towards the cut-off Zug, Lummel noticed a Soviet company occupying a hill just behind the German line. From his experience he knew that the seizure of this hill would have horrible consequences for the whole Division, and further perceived that the Soviet forces already in place would be reinforced soon.

On his own initiative, Lummel ignored his original order and rallied 15 Grenadiers to him. He immediately launched an attack on the hill, catching the Soviets there off guard. Despite their numerical superiority they were driven off the hill in disorder. Lummel and his handful of soldiers pursued them, capturing an enemy AT gun and turning it on its former owners. They fired round after round at the fleeing enemy until the gun jammed.

With the cannon now silent, the enemy had a chance to reorganize and in light of their numerical superiority began a renewed attack. By now Lummel had only 8 soldiers left, the rest having been wounded. He thus pulled back to the hill, and directed its defense despite being wounded in the left hand himself. The Soviets attacked a total of 5 times in company strength, but were repulsed with bloody losses each time. In this way Lummel and his small force held until until the evening, when reinforcements arrived and the situation was finally stabilized.

Through this bold and independent action Lummel succeeded in sealing off the Soviet breakthrough, by which he greatly contributed to the overall combat situation of the whole Division. In recognition of this success he would receive the Knight’s Cross.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources