Friday, May 14, 2010

Enemy Elite Friday: Josef B. Bremm (Germany)

"On the morning of the 22.12.1941 Leutnant Bremm and his depleted 5. Kompanie repelled a strong Russian attack against the Orelje barracks bridgehead following a tough battle.  After he had brought the attack to a halt he launched a counter thrust on his own initiative, leading at the head of his troops and breaking into the enemy force.  Using his machine-pistol and hand grenades, he killed a desperately defending commissar who was the soul of the enemy resistance.  This counter thrust by a weak Kompanie partially destroyed an enemy Bataillon, and the remainder were totally shattered."  from his Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross citation, awarded on February 18, 1942.

"Oberleutnant Josef Bremm already received the Knight’s Cross on the 18.02.1942 as a Leutnant.  With this award he was rightfully recognized for his outstanding bravery during the hard defensive combat in the winter of 1941/42.  He would go on to repeatedly distinguish himself as a particularly brave and energetic officer during the heavy combat southeast of Lake Ilmen.  At the end of September, while leading at the head of an assault troop, he penetrated into an enemy blocking position with the full element of surprise and rolled it up in a bold follow-up action.  It was solely thanks to this action that his attacking Regiment was able to reach its ordered day’s objective.  A few days later he and his subordinated Bataillon shielded the Division’s flank all by themselves against the oncoming Bolsheviks.  In the process he was wounded for the fourth time, however he did not give up his command until all the enemy attacks had been broken."  from his Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves citation, awarded on December 23, 1942.

"1. During December 1944, while preparations were being conducted for the winter offensive in the west, Oberstleutnant Bremm and his Regiment had the task of moving out from the existing frontline in the area west of Stadtkyll and capturing a jump-off position for the future offensive.  In executing this task the fighting proved to be very difficult and costly.  The desired jump-off position was located on the far side of a dense forest, and so the battle had to be fought through this very unsuitable terrain. Oberstleutnant Bremm led this attack while constantly changing the point of main effort through the repositioning of forces, and this flexible employment of offensive tactics led to a total success.  Throughout this time Oberstleutnant Bremm served as an inspiring example for his soldiers due to his own brave and ruthless commitment to his duty.
2. In January 1945 the enemy thrust into our own deep flank near Elsenborn with strong forces.  In the process the 3. Fallschirmjäger-Division was badly battered.  Oberstleutnant Bremm received the task of conducting a counter thrust into the enemy flank with his Regiment despite the strong enemy superiority.  Oberstleutnant Bremm was able to achieve even this difficult operation through his outstanding devotion to duty and his flexible, skillful and decisive leadership.  Following bitter combat he wrested a commanding hill from the enemy which had been intended to be a jump-off point for a future hostile armored attack.  This offensive success by Oberstleutnant Bremm brought significant relief for the entire frontline sector, as it created opportunities for a friendly regrouping and brought the enemy’s major attack to a halt for 2 days.
3. On the 30. and 31.03.1945 Oberstleutnant Bremm led his ad-hoc Kampfgruppe forwards in the area south of Kassel with both initiative and ruthless determination.  He gathered up those troops there that were in the process of moving and created a new frontline that played a major role in the establishment of a new, coherent defensive front for the Korps.  This success was also solely due to the fearless and energetic intervention by Oberstleutnant Bremm at a critical spot.  In order to support this new front near a commanding hill he was later assigned a few Tiger tanks.  He personally got into one of the Tigers and led his Kampfgruppe in multiple counterthrusts which, in some cases, penetrated several kilometres deep into enemy territory.  During the fighting on both of these days Oberstleutnant Bremm destroyed 9 enemy tanks with his Kampfgruppe.
4. Throughout this April, due to his reputation as an outstanding regimental commander, Oberstleutnant Bremm has constantly been employed at the hotspots of the combat with any combination of his own, subordinated or newly-built Kampfgruppen.  He has consistently led his troops to success even while carrying out the most difficult tasks, a feat attributable to his skillful leadership, personal readiness for duty and inspiring bravery.  Within the area of the Korps the word “Kampfgruppe Bremm” has acquired a very respectable ring to it, as everyone knows that this Kampfgruppe can be relied upon and furthermore that its commander can achieve victory wherever he is employed."  from his intended Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords citation for May 9, 1945.

"Josef Bremm's nomination by the troop was rejected by Major Joachim Domaschk on 30-4-1945 and instead recommended for the German Cross in Gold.  Just like all other nominations, which at this point in time were related to members of the 11. Armee, the nomination was not further processed since the 11. Armee had capitulated on 21-4-1945 and presentations to prisoners of war or missing in action were prohibited.  In all other instances of similar circumstances a note on the nomination can be found stating: "postpone AOK 11" or "postpone according to AHA 44 Ziff. 572.  The entry date noted on the nomination list for the higher grades of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross is 28-4-1945.  The list indicates a note "deferred".  The Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (OdR) claims that the award was presented in accordance with the Dönitz-decree.  This is illegal according to the Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt) and lacks legal justification.  The sequential number "159" was assigned by the OdR.  The presentation date was assigned by Fellgiebel.  Bremm was a member of the OdR."
An experienced and capable enemy elite, 

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