- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Kommandeur II. / SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment "Germania"
- Awarded on:
- September 12th, 1943
Juchem’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…
“On the 17.07.1943, as part of their offensive against the middle Don, the enemy crossed the river with strong forces between Ssemenowka —Bol. Garaschewka (west of Izyum) and penetrated into our defensive positions. The following night the enemy stood ready in their new bridgehead, with strong infantry and tank forces, to force a breakthrough towards Barwenkowo.
In order to seal off this penetration and prevent a breakthrough, the reinforced SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. ‘Germania’ was dispatched to the Barabaschewka area on the 17.07.1943.
On the 18.07.1943 the II. Bataillon, commanded by SS-Hauptsturmführer Juchem, received the order to cover the attack of the I. Bataillon (aimed at Bol. Garaschewka) in the area around and east of Kolchos against enemy moves from the east and north. During this attack the enemy began their own offensive moves simultaneously, with the focus of these being against the villages of Sawodskoje and Ssrednij. After a strong fire preparation by aircraft, artillery, Katyushas and mortars, the tank-supported enemy attack succeeded in breaking into these villages.
As our own troops pulled back from these villages in response, the success of the Waffen-SS attack was thrown into doubt by the new threat from the flank. There was also now a danger of an enemy breakthrough south of Sawodskoje. SS-Hauptsturmführer Juchem immediately decided to intervene.
He sent parts of his Bataillon to attack the commanding Hill 186.9 (just south of Sawodskoje) and then moved to prevent the further retreat of our soldiers coming from the villages by any means necessary. A swiftly conducted thrust succeeded in occupying the hill and the retreating troops were soon back in the fight. The enemy now launched an attack against the newly won high ground, which the Bataillon fended off after a tough and bitter battle.
Through this swift, independent action by SS-Hauptsturmführer Juchem the impending enemy breakthrough was averted and an important hill position won, which would later be of invaluable aid in the later attack against Sawodskoje. At 19:00 the II. Bataillon received orders to attack from the new positions in a surprise night thrust so as to retake the village of Sawodskoje.
In the ensuring bitter night battle for the village, SS-Hauptsturmführer Juchem showed outstanding bravery and fighting spirit. He personally took control of the point Kompanie and, while fighting at the front, penetrated into the village with this unit. Wherever the attack threatened to stall the commander appeared and inspired his men forwards with his incredible energy. By 23:00 the village was firmly in our hands. With this the enemy bridgehead in this area had been broken through in a critical spot.
Juchem, who has already displayed great bravery and skill in previous battles as a Bataillon commander, thus was able to seal off the enemy breakthrough and in a later attack take back a village that was decisive for the continuation of the hostile attack. These actions were conducted on his own initiative. The Regiment thereby recommends him as worthy for the award of the Knight’s Cross to the Iron Cross.”