"In total, he and his Panzerjägern destroyed 31 tanks in the Eastern campaign. However he particularly distinguished himself during the fighting between Orel and Belgorod in the most recent weeks. The Soviets had succeeded in breaking through the German position. The key position of Hill X was being held only by a brave party of soldiers under the leadership of Hauptmann Zilger. Although the Soviets launched repeated attacks against the hill in up to battalion strength, the group was able to repulse all assaults despite being encircled on all sides. Small periods of respite were won via counter-thrusts up until the time when the brave soldiers here were eventually relieved by Sturmgeschütze. These courageous Westphalians proved to be a rock that the Bolsheviks could not dislodge, with the result that the enemy were prevented from rolling up the entire friendly artillery positions." from his Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross citation, awarded on August 4th, 1943 as Hauptmann of the 1st company, Panzerjäger-Abteilung 186, 86th Infantry Division.
Another enemy elite,