Friday, April 12, 2013

Enemy Elite Friday: Hermann K. Alber (Germany)

"At around 08:00 on the 02.08.1944 a British force of infantry and 5 escorting tanks began an advance along the road le Bény-Bochage—Cathéoles—Montchauvet.  Along the way they encountered a Heer unit on both sides of the road near Mühle Auteloy, and this was quickly pushed back.  In response the Germans sent in a counterattacking force that consisted of 3 Panzer IVs from the 6./SS-Pz.Rgt. 9 and the Company HQ squad of the 9./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. 20.  At this time Hermann Alber was serving as a messenger in the Company HQ squad.  As the counter-thrust was ongoing he rounded up 9 leaderless Heer soldiers from the Gren.Rgt. 752 on his own initiative.  Then, without any orders to do so, he led them in a counterattack against the commanding Hill 221, located south of Arclais.  The British forces occupying it were pushed back, and Alber’s party pursued them to the village edge of La Vauteliere (located at the base of Hills 221 and 220).  He they found the village occupied by at least an infantry company as well as 6 tanks.  In response they pulled back to Hill 221, but not before Alber had destroyed a Cromwell tank with hand grenades.  Alber was later killed at around 19:30 while trying to storm Hill 176, located northeast of Le Desert.  He thus did not live to see his Company eventually capture the hill even so.  However he would still receive both classes of Iron Cross as well as the Knight’s Cross posthumously in recognition of his bold actions earlier on in the day.  This placed him among the most junior soldiers in the entire German army to be awarded the Knight’s Cross."   from his Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross citation, awarded on December 26th, 1944 as SS-Sturmman with the 9th SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment 20 of the 9th SS Panzer Division "Hohenstaufen".
Another deadly enemy elite,

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