Friday, April 7, 2023

Enemy Elite Friday: Žanis Ansons (Latvia)


"On the 26.12.1944 the enemy launched an attack in the sector adjacent to the left of Regiment 44.  With the help of both a strong artillery fire preparation and ground attack aircraft support, the assault succeeded in achieving a 2km deep penetration.  This created a frontline gap that provided the enemy with an opportunity to reach the vital road junction at Jānukrogs, located in the gap between two swamps.  Such a move would split the division’s sector and block its most important supply road.  Simultaneously, this frontline gap could have permitted the enemy to launch a flanking thrust to the east and thereby complete their intended encirclement of the division’s main body.  Waffen-Hauptscharführer Ansons, Zugführer in the 3./Regiment 44, recognized the gravity of the situation, and in this moment he distinguished himself through outstanding bravery.  He threw himself against the deeply broken-in enemy at the head of a few men, and after bitter counter-thrusts and hard close combat he was able to eject the foe.  He sealed off the penetration and managed to hold this new frontline in a heroic display of resistance against the repeated onslaughts of a superior opponent.  By this extraordinary act of bravery, Waffen-Hauptscharführer Ansons gave the regiment the opportunity to bring up reserves and eliminate the penetration completely.  With this a genuinely critical situation was mastered thanks to the heroic defensive effort led by Waffen-Hauptscharführer Ansons.  This outstanding deed of bravery deserves appropriate recognition.  It is therefore recommended that Waffen-Hauptscharführer Ansons be awarded the Knight’s Cross to the Iron Cross."  from his Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross citation, awarded on January 16th, 1945 as Waffen-Hauptscharführer in SS Grenadier Regiment 14 of the 19th SS Grenadier Division

Another deadly enemy elite,
Brian & Mel

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