Friday, January 10, 2014

Enemy Elite Friday: Heinz Angelmaier (Germany)

"Angelmaier was the commander of Sturmgeschütz-Brigade 279 during the fighting in East Prussia in early 1945.  On the 19.01.1945 Angelmaier took two batteries from his ribgade to support the defense of Breitenstein.  It was imperative that this city be held until 19:00 on this day in order to enable the 56th Infantry Division to complete its withdrawal over the Inster river.  When Angelmaier arrived at 12:30 he found that those flak guns charged with covering the retreat were themselves in the process of dismantling.   The German infantry had given up Bartenstein without a fight and pulled back along the road to Moulinen.  Angelmaier immediately ordered the German infantry to return to their posts and directed the flak to not abandon their positions.  After he had shuttled the infantry into favorable defensive positions he then regrouped and used some of his forces to create a Kampfgruppe with both grenadiers and 6 Sturmgeschützen.  He then personally led this Kampfgruppe in a bold counter-thrust, and in the process of doing so he succeeded in recapturing the northeastern part of Breitenstein and ejecting the Soviets from the Breitenstein estate.  Angelmaier and his force withdrew from the village according to plan at 19:00. Afterwards he placed himself and his operational sturmgeschütze at the disposal of the 56th Infantry Division.  In this capacity he helped to secure the withdrawal of the division’s last elements over the Inster river at Scherden from the hotly-pursuing Soviets.   The ability of the 56th Infantry Division to cross the Inster river unimpeded would have been rather doubtful with the intervention by Angelmaier and his Sturmgeschütze.  Not only this, but the brigade was very successful throughout all the combat in the Breitenstein—Insterburg area during the second half of January 1945.  In this time the Brigade’s 19 operational Sturmgeschütze destroyed:
5 IS-2 tanks (as well as another 3 immobilized)
5 KV-85 tanks
35 T-34 tanks
5 assault guns (12.2 cm)
61 heavy anti-tank guns
3 tractors
29 trucks
7 artillery pieces (12.2 cm).
Hauptmann Angelmaier would receive the Knight’s Cross for both his Brigade’s successes during this time period and his own personal total of 23 tanks destroyed by this point."  from his Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross citation, awarded on February 18th, 1945 as Hauptmann in Sturmgeschütz Brigade 279, 1st Fallschirm Panzer Division “Hermann Göring”.
Another deadly enemy elite,

No comments:

Post a Comment