Friday, March 22, 2013

Enemy Elite Friday: Hinrich Ahrens (Germany)


"Hinrich Ahrens commanded a Pak 36 gun crew during a major Soviet attack against his division’s sector on the 16.10.1944.  Positioned just to the north of Wirballen, he continued to fight with his Pak gun even after his entire crew had been wiped out by Soviet artillery fire.  He inflicted heavy losses on the attacking Soviet infantry by firing high explosive rounds, and he continued to fight them off with hand grenades as the attackers pushed past him on either side and attacked from the rear.  A group of 10 tanks then approached him.  Ahrens knocked out the first one with the Panzerfaust and thereby forced the remainder to fall back.  After expending his ammunition he resolved that the gun would not fall into Soviet hands under any circumstances.  He fought his way through the enemy ring back to his battalion command post, picked up some explosives and then headed back.  Along the way he was badly wounded in the thigh, however he continued to storm forwards against the bewildered Soviets along with two other soldiers.  He managed to blow up his gun and thereafter fight his way back to friendly lines with his two comrades.  Ahrens’ bravery here significantly contributed to the prevention of a Soviet breakthrough here."  from his Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross awarded on January 9th, 1945 as a unteroffizier with the Grenadier-Regiment 1141, 561 Volksgrenadier Division.

Another deadly enemy elite,

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