Lorenz, Erich

Date of birth:
August 31st, 1905 (Wattenscheid/Westphalia, Germany)
Date of death:
December 10th, 1984 (Bochum/North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
August 25th, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
September 26th, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major der Reserve
Unit:
Kommandeur I. / Grenadier-Regiment 287 / 96.Infanterie-Division / 18. Armee / Heeresgruppe Nord
Awarded on:
November 14th, 1943
Action:
On the 03.10.1943 the Soviets attacked the sector of the I./Grenadier-Regiment 287 (commanded by Major Lorenz) with their reinforced 53rd Shock Brigade. Up until the 15.10.1943 the battalion fended off all attacks near Lesno and Selenzy. Major Lorenz fought everywhere to ensure his men won their battles. On the night of 03-04.10.1943 he personally led an assault team in order to relieve the strongpoint “Salzburg” (NE of Lesno). On the 06.10.1943 the enemy launched a renewed attack against the whole sector of the battalion. A break-in near Lesno was sealed off, while the 3. Kompanie held its position at the Handtuchwald (east of Selenzy). Ultimately only the strongpoint “Straßburg” was given up completely on the 09.10.1943.

For conducting a largely successful defense of this area over such a prolonged time, Lorenz would be decorated with the Knight’s Cross.
Details:
2326th Award
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberstleutnant der Reserve (Lieutenant-colonel)
Unit:
Führer Grenadier-Regiment 287 / 96. Infanterie-Division / 4. Panzerarmee / Heeresgruppe Nordukraine
Awarded on:
May 1st, 1944
Nahkampfspange in Silber
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberstleutnant der Reserve (Lieutenant-colonel)
Unit:
Führer Grenadier-Regiment 287 / 96. Infanterie-Division / 4. Panzerarmee / Heeresgruppe Nordukraine
Awarded on:
May 4th, 1944
Action:
In March 1944 the Soviets created a bridgehead on the south bank of the Bozek river, near Tereschewzy. This posed a great threat to the important German crossing over the Bug at Proskurov, and had to be dealt with. On the 12.03.1944 Lorenz and his Grenadier-Regiment 287 were dispatched to cover the east flank of Tiranowka. The Regiment was simultaneously security for the assembly area of elements of the 6., 19. and 2. SS Panzer divisions, which were assembling to attack the bridgehead.

The Soviets managed to infiltrate this assembly area during a night attack. In response Oberstleutnant Lorenz personally launched a counterattack with his Pionierzug, entering into close combat with the enemy. He managed to throw them into confusion and enable further counterattacks against them. His Regiment would eventually push the Soviets back over the high ground east of Tiranowka and held them here until the planned German armoured attack advanced through their positions the next morning.

For averting an emergent crisis and protecting the assembly of the Panzers, Lorenz would be decorated with the Oakleaves.
Details:
467st Award.
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberst der Reserve (Colonel)
Unit:
Kommandeur Grenadier-Regiment 287 / Divisionsführer-Lehrgang
Awarded on:
March 12th, 1945
Nahkampfspange in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Details:
Silver version.
Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen

Sources

  • Photo 1: Deutsches Wehrkundearchiv
  • Photo: Deutsches Wehrkundearchiv
  • - THOMAS, FRANZ & WEGMANN, GÜNTER, Die Eichenlaubträger 1940-1945, Biblio-Verlag, 1998.
    - Die Ordensträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht (CD), VMD-Verlag GmbH, Osnabrück, 2002
    - Kwasny A., Kwasny G., Die Eichenlaubträger 1940-1945 (CD), Deutsches Wehrkundearchiv, Lage-Waddenhausen, 2001
    - Bender R.J., Breyette T., Tank Killers, RJ Bender Publications, 2000, ISBN 0-912138-83-1
    - Berger, F., Ritterkreuzträger mit Nahkampfspange in Gold, Selbstverlag Florian Berger, Wien, Österreich, 2004
    - Dörr, M., Die Träger der Nahkampfspange in Gold - Heer*Luftwaffe*Waffen-SS 1943-1945, Zeller Verlag, Osnabrück, Deutschland, 1996
    - Fellgiebel W.P., Elite of the Third Reich, The recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939-1945: A Reference, Helion & Company Limited, Solihull, 2003, ISBN 1-874622-46-9

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