|Born||23 September 1917|
|Died||15 January 1993(aged 75)|
|Place of birth||Stettin|
|Commands held||Kampfgruppe 1001 Nights|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Gustav-Adolf Blancbois (23 September 1917 – 15 January 1993) was a major in the Wehrmacht in World War II. He is most noted for his exploits on the Eastern Front in 1944 and 1945. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
World War II[edit | edit source]
Blancbois distinguished himself during Operation Bagration in 1944, when he led a kampfgruppe from the 12th Panzer Division that rescued 15-20,000 soldiers of the German Ninth Army who had been encircled near Bobruisk. For this exploit, he received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. Blancbois' action was the only successful German relief operation during Bagration.
In March 1945, Blancbois was placed in command of the peculiarly-named Kampfgruppe 1001 Nights, a mobile reserve force for Ninth Army. The kampfgruppe took part in the desperate defense of the Oder River line, in particular at the Battle of Seelow Heights. After taking heavy losses, it was dissolved near Müncheberg.
After the war[edit | edit source]
Blancbois survived the destruction of Kampfgruppe 1001 Nights. He, along with a few of his men, escaped the Red Army and managed to flee to the west and surrender to the Western Allies. He died in Germany on 15 January 1993.
Awards[edit | edit source]
- Iron Cross
- 2nd class (28 July 1941)
- 1st class (3 October 1941)
- Wound Badge
- Black (5 February 1942)
- Silver (2 November 1942)
- Gold (29 July 1944)
- Close Combat Clasp in Bronze (30 July 1943)
- Panzer Assault Badge (27 August 1941)
- German Cross in Gold (11 March 1943)
- Mentioned in Wehrmachtbericht (21 August 1944)
- Certificate of approval of the Commander of the Army (Anerkennungsurkunde des Oberbefehlshabers des Heeres) (25 December 1944)
- Eastern Front Medal (1 August 1942)
- Sudetenland Medal
- Tank Destruction Badge (1 May 1942)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (20 July 1944)
Ranks[edit | edit source]
- Gefreiter (1 October 1939)
- Unteroffizier (1 January 1940)
- Feldwebel (1 August 1940)
- Offiziers-Anwärter (1 December 1940)
- Leutnant der Reserve (1 October 1942)
- Oberleutnant (1 October 1943)
- Hauptmann (1 June 1943)
- Major (1 August 1944)
References[edit | edit source]
- 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.