Friday, November 5, 2010

Enemy Elite Friday: Fritz Hermann Michael Bayerlein (Germany)

"Awarded for his battle-deciding leadership achievements in North Africa, particularly during the November battles around Sidi Rezegh and the withdrawal towards El Agheila.  In this time he distinguished himself for both his achievements as a staff officer and a battlefield commander.   After the commanding general of the Afrika-Korps had fallen out he led the Korps for over 3 weeks through very difficult situations.  In this time he did a masterful job of fulfilling his missions."  from his Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross citation, awarded on 26 December 1941.
 "Awarded for his achievements while assisting the efforts of the 1st Italian Army in holding up British forces on the southern Tunisian front.  He particularly distinguished himself during a major Allied offensive against the Enfidaville Line that began on the 20.04.1943.  Following hard combat, the Allies captured the commanding western part of the position at Djebel-Garci.  In response Generalmajor Bayerlein personally led a counter thrust with two Kampfgruppen and succeeded in ejecting the Allies from the heights.  By doing so he prolonged the time period in which the Enfidaville Line could be held onto."  from his Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves citation, awarded on 6 July 1943.
"Awarded for distinguishing himself with his Division during the fighting on the Normandy front. He and his men particularly distinguished themselves over the course of 3 weeks of heavy fighting in the Tilly-Hottot area.  Here, particularly on the 14., 19. and 25.06.1944, Bayerlein mastered numerous crises and managed to prevent breakthroughs by British forces at the last moment."  from his Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords citation, awarded on 20 July 1944.  

Another capable enemy elite,

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