- Second World War (1939-1945)
- SS-Sturmbannführer (Major)
- Kommandeur, III. Bataillon, SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 9 Germania, 5. SS-Panzer-Division "Wiking", Waffen-SS
- Awarded on:
- May 14th, 1944
Hack’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…
“During the night attack on the 17.04.1944 against Hill 189.5 and the high ground south of it (1.5 km southwest of Kovel) SS-Sturmbannführer Hack, commander of the III./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. Germania, particularly distinguished himself through outstanding bravery before the enemy.
The enemy was entirely aware of the importance of Hill 189.5, from which it was possible to have a commanding view of the ‘Fortress’ Kovel, the only supply road that led to the city as well as the entire area to the north and northwest of the place. With this in mind they had heavily fortified the hill, and its defenders would fight bitterly for it.
The capture of this commanding enemy position was very much necessary in order to fully bring about the relief of ‘Fortress’ Kovel. Due to the strong enemy defenses both here and on the eastern and western flanks, the only way this could be achieved was by a night attack.
After assembling at Gleisdreieck (west of Kovel), the Bataillon Hack received the order to thrust southwards along the Kovel-Wlodzimicrz railway line in a night attack. The enemy strongpoints along both sides of the railroad would be seized via surprise attack, and thereafter the enemy position on Hill 189.5 would be attacked, captured and held.
The surprise attack against the first strongpoint at the railway bridge, conducted by 2 assault groups, became pinned down in the Soviet barbed wire obstacles. Fire support by heavy weapons was no longer possible as both our troops and the enemies’ were now too close together. Knowing that everything depended on the success of this first phase of the attack, Hack rushed to the forefront of both assault troops. He bombarded enemy resistance nests that had been cleverly positioned between the bridge abutments with 5 Panzerfausts. Then, after a hand grenade salvo, he was the first to penetrate into the enemy strongpoint with one of the two assault troop leaders.
Through this exemplary and ruthless commitment to the battle, Hack brought the two assault troops forward and cleared out the enemy positions while personally participating in the fighting with his own machine-pistol and hand grenades.
Here he was wounded by hand grenade splinters in the face and right hand. However Hack continued the attack undaunted by his wounds, capturing the second strongpoint during the breakthrough. After a swift assembly of the follow-up units of the Bataillon, he led the assault against Hill 189.5, where the Soviets were prepared to defend with grim determination.
However the enemy couldn’t resist the attacking spirit of the Bataillon, with the commander himself fighting in the forward line. After a short, hard close-quarter battle the enemy was thrown out of his positions at Hill 189.5 and forced to retreat to the south. In a swift pursuit thrust, recognizing its importance for the continuation of the attack, Hack attacked further south along the railway line on his own initiative, wresting control of one Soviet strongpoint after another. By first light the Bataillon had captured and occupied the enemy positions at the overpass 400 metres to the southwest of Hill 188. An enemy counterthrust launched shortly afterwards from the southwest was defeated, and over the course of the day the newly conquered position was prepared to take on further enemy counterattacks.
Only now, after he had organized the defense, did Hack allow himself to be treated for his wounds. Through his prudent leadership and personal daring he has a decisive share in the success of this offensive operation, one of great importance for the relief of ‘Fortress’ Kovel.
Hack has been wounded six times in this war, and is a holder of the German Cross in Gold, Close Combat Clasp in Bronze and the Wound Badge in Gold.
Hack is worthy to be awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross.”