Friday, September 3, 2010

Enemy Elite Friday: Horst Niemack (Germany)

"Rittmeister Horst Niemack led his Aufklärungs-Abteilung with bravery, boldness and skill.  At midday on the 11.06.1940 he decisively influenced the fighting in his area by deciding to thrust into the rear of enemy forces at Damery (on the Marne river), as a frontal advance was not possible.  Such an aggressively executed envelopment demoralized the enemy, and it enabled the friendly leadership to cut off major enemy elements by swiftly committing additional troops to the action.  This maneuver also enabled the Marne river to be swiftly reached."  from his Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross citation, awarded on 13 July 1941.
"Awarded for the outstanding leadership of his Abteilung during the first days of Operation Barbarossa. On 22.06.1941 Niemack, while commanding the divisional Vorausabteilung, took a detour off the main road, cut through Serijai and by this was able to reach the Niemen river at Krikstonjai.  On 27.06.1941 he then thrust towards the Niemen at Orla.  During this action he made a bold decision… His Reiterschwadron was to advance via Szczara, through Korole and into the area NE of Piaski.  The rest of the Abteilung was to advance via Korole.  In executing this move Hill 132 (2 km south of Korole) was taken in addition to the area assigned to the Reiterschwadron at Szczara.  This helped to seal off the escape route of those Soviet soldiers trapped in the Bialystok-Grodno pocket."  from his Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves citation, awarded on 10 August 1941.
"At the beginning of the campaign in the Soviet Union the former Rittmeister, along with his Aufklärungs-Abteilung, played a major role in the swift seizure of a crossing over the Niemen.  On the 2nd of May 1944 the enemy commenced a decisive attack east of the Sereth.  The Panzer-Füsilier-Regiment “Großdeutschland”, under its commander Oberst Niemack, held the enemy assault at bay.  In this time a group of 34 enemy tanks suddenly appeared at the command post of Oberst Niemack and from here threatened an important crossroads.  Oberst Niemack only had his staff, the communications platoon and some drivers at his disposal.  At the head of this small band he threw himself against the enemy.  8 enemy tanks were destroyed in close combat.  The regimental commander was the soul of the resistance here and personally dispatched the Soviet command tank and with it the leader of the whole enemy group. With this the enemy attack in this sector was repelled."  from his Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords citation, awarded on 4 June 1944.
Another capable enemy elite!

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