|Born||April 24, 1920|
|Died||3 February 1991(aged 70)|
|Place of birth||Free City of Danzig|
|Place of death||Clenze|
|Years of service||1939–1945|
|Unit||1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
German Cross in Gold
Iron Cross 1st Class
Iron Cross 2nd Class
Close Combat Clasp in Gold
Eastern Front Medal
Wound Badge in Gold
Georg Preuß (24 April 1920 — 3 February 1991) was a Hauptsturmführer (Captain) in the Waffen-SS who was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on the 5 February 1945, for his part in the Ardennes Offensive, he was also one of only 631 members of the German armed forces to receive the Close Combat Clasp in Gold.
During the operations around the Falaise Gap he gave this report:
A report from SS-Obersturmfόhrer Preuss, 10.Kp./SS-Panzergrenadierregiment 2 describes the impossible situation:
"It is true that one fighter bomber we shot down landed on a Panzer and destroyed it. Most other Panzer and Schützenpanzer, however, fell victim to this intensive air bombardment, which lasted hours. Those Grenadiere still able to fight had spread themselves out to the left and right through the terrain's many hedges. They were happy to see that the bombers swarming like bees over our heads were finding more rewarding targets than individual men. I agreed with them. I heard that Peiper had suffered a heart attack. Diefenthal (the commander of the III./2) lost his hearing when a bomb fell right next to him. Kuhlmann was unable to get the attack moving forward again. My brave messenger, Sturmmann Horst Reinicken, was killed as he tried to reach the command post of the Heer Panzerabteilung to which we were subordinated. He was trying to bring the Panzerabteilung the news that its commander and Adjutant lay dead not far from our hedge." After that it was over with the campaign in Normandy; Leibstandarte got encircled by the Americans and Brits in what would be called the Falaise pocket, but by then the unit was reduced to several small Kampfgruppen. Hausser, commander of 7. Armee was told by von Kluge (commander in chief West, as successor to von Rundstedt) to withdraw II. SS-Panzerkorps (Hohenstauffen and Frundsberg), his motors and his administrative personnel from the pocket. The Führer had still not given orders to withdraw at this point, so it all depended on the will of the units themselves to get out. Leibstandarte withdrew from the pocket with Unterführer and Führer each taking the lead of a small Kampfgruppe and smashing through the ring, on 22 August, after which no combat ready tanks or artillery pieces were reported. The whole campaign caused some 5.000 casualties to the LSSAH. 
War Crimes[edit | edit source]
At the end of the war Preuß was captured by the Americans and put on trial for war crimes committed during the Battle of the Bulge (Malmedy Massacre), he was found guilty and sentenced to death which was later changed to life imprisonment, he was released in 1956 together with Joachim Peiper and Josef Diefenthal the last members of the LSSAH to be released from captivity.
Awards[edit | edit source]
- Close Combat Clasp in Gold on 1 April 1945 for up to 60 days in close combat
- Infantry Assault Badge in Silver
- Wound Badge in Gold
- German Cross in Gold on 1 April 1945 as SS-Hauptsturmführer in the III./SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 2 "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler"
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 5 February 1945 as SS-Obersturmführer and leader in the 10.(gp.)/SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 2 "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler"
References[edit | edit source]
- The 1st SS Panzer Division in the Battle of the Bulge By Steve Kane p.148
- "frontkjemper". http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=no&u=http://www.frontkjemper.info/show_person.php%3FP_ID%3D514&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=9&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3DGeorg%2BPreu%25C3%259F%26start%3D10%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1T4ADBF_en-GBGB232GB232%26sa%3DN.
- "waffenss". http://www.waffen-ss.no/SS-Panzer-Division-Leibstandarte-SS-Adolf-Hitler.htm.
- The 1st SS Panzer Division in the Battle of the Bulge By Steve Kane p.149
- Berger 2004, p. 370.
- Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 359.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 604.
- Berger, Florian (2004) (in German). Ritterkreuzträger mit Nahkampfspange in Gold [Knight's Cross Bearers with the Close Combat Clasp in Gold]. Vienna, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 978-3-9501307-3-7.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) (in German). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches]. Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6.
- Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001) (in German). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2]. Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007) (in German). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives]. Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
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