Friday, June 25, 2010

Enemy Elite Friday: Otto Weidinger (Germany)

"In the heavy defensive battles east of Zhitomir, a reconnaissance detachment patrol under the daring leadership of Sturmbannfiihrer Weidinger proved itself repeatedly in outstanding performances.  On 22.11.1943, the patrol was engaged in a heavy defensive battle in the area around Negrebowka.  To the north of the patrol were two enemy regiments.  To the west, a strong force of anti-tank weapons blocked off and defended an enemy breakthrough towards the south near Sabalotsche.  When an enemy patrol breached the positions of the reconnaissance detachment in two places it was Weidinger who in personally conducted counterattacks cleaned up the advances of the enemy again and again.  In the afternoon, the enemy was able to gain a wide breakthrough at the neighboring position to the right and continued pushing until the entire detachment was encircled.  Even in this situation Weidinger kept a clear head and ordered a counterattack with his weak reserves.  Although to the west a five-kilometer deep flank had to be defended, Weidinger pulled out his reserve.  To halt the break in the counterattack he fought at night beside parts of 2. and 3. Kompanies.  With seventeen men, Weidinger personally threw himself against the enemy forces that had broken through the northern part of Negrebovka.  He stopped the attack, pushing the enemy back from the main line in a counterattack that inflicted severe Russian losses.  Although Weidinger had orders to avoid stronger enemy resistance, he held his positions until Panzergruppe Stadler brought relief.  Due to his initiative, determination, bravery, and setting a superior example, the bridgehead at Negrebovka could be held.  This was the basis for the successful attack of the 1. SS-Panzergrenadier-Division "Leibstandarte" and the 2. Fallschirmjäger-Division.  Personal bravery; prudent, agile leadership; and great decisiveness make SS-Sturmbannführer Weidinger worthy to wear this high award."  from his Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross citation, awarded on April 21, 1944.

"At 2345 on 19.08.1944 Weidinger's regiment (SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 4 "Der Führer") was ordered to advance west along the road Trun—St. Lambert with the objective of establishing contact with German forces in the almost sealed Falaise pocket, and thereafter assist them in their retreat to the east.  The next day Weidinger led his regiment (at the time with a fighting strength of just over 400 men) towards Champosoult.   In a rapid attack the regiment reached the road junction 1 km northeast of Goudehard at 12.00 with Weidinger himself leading his men in the point company.  He then attacked the Allies on their 6 km long northern flank and took the height of St. Leger.  They then held this position against all attacks and thus kept the road open for German forces fleeing the pocket."  from his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves citation, awarded December 26, 1944.
"Awarded for Weidinger's command achievements in the Ardennes Offensive and in Hungary during the closing months of the war."  from his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords citation, awarded on May 6, 1945.

According to several sources this awarding was not confirmed by the authorities.  Confirmation is made on the basis of a statement under oath to the Ordensgemeinschaft der Ritterkreuzträger made by Generaloberst der Waffen-SS Sepp Dietrich.
A true enemy elite,

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