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Hermann Buchner
File:Herman Buchner.jpg
Born 16 January 1917
Died 17 November 1944(1944-11-17) (aged 27)
Place of birth Nürnberg
Place of death Killed in action near Modlin, Poland
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen SS
Years of service 1933–1944
Rank Sturmbannführer
Unit 3rd SS Panzer Division Totenkopf
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
German Cross in Gold
Close Combat Clasp in Gold
Iron Cross 1st Class
Iron Cross 2nd Class
Infantry Assault Badge in Silver
Wound Badge in Gold
Eastern Front Medal
Demyansk Shield
War Merit Cross with Swords
Tank Destruction Badge in Silver [1]

Hermann Buchner was a Sturmbannführer (Major), in the Waffen SS during World War II who was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, which was awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership by Nazi Germany during World War II. He was also one of only 631 men awarded the very rare Close Combat Clasp in Gold.[1][2]

Early Life and SS Career[edit | edit source]

Hermann Buchner was born Jan. 16, 1917. He attended college to be a pharmacist, and eventually joined the Waffen-SS. He enlisted in the SS on October 4. 1937, at the rank of SS-Anwarter. He was promoted to SS-Sturmman on 20. December, 1937. He attended officer candidate school, but dropped out once, and barely passed his second attempt.

Totenkopf, Demjansk and Russia[edit | edit source]

After graduation, he was assigned to SS-Totenkopf-Infanterie-Regiment 1. He served as an adjutant to 3. Battalion through the campaigns in France, and saw combat, winning the Iron Cross 2 Class. In the early parts of Operation Barbarossa he was involved in heavy close combat fighting. During the Demjansk encirclement he was again in close combat, and was wounded by shrapnel, but returned to his unit. He was awarded the Demjansk shield. He also recorded many days of close combat or "melee days."

When he earned the Knight's Cross he was the 3. Battalion Kommandeur. He led an infantry attack on a heavily defended position without any heavy armor or artillery support. He not only succeeded, but took comparatively minimal casualties, and hundreds of Russian prisoners. He was also awarded the Tank Destruction Badge, German Cross in Gold, the Wound Badge in Gold and the rare Close Combat Clasp in Gold!

Fate[edit | edit source]

He was one of few men in the entire German army to be awarded every single bravery medal. He was also the 4th member of the German armed forces to win the prestigious Close Combat Clasp in Gold, eventually recording over 60 "melee days" or days spent in close combat. In July and August 1943 alone, he recorded 20 days of melee.

He was killed in action, West of Warsaw in November 1944, when he was hit in the back by shrapnel.

Although he did poorly in his officer classes, he was still promoted quickly, and ended the war as a Major, or SS-Sturmbannfuhrer. He also was one of few SS Knight's Cross Winners who never joined the Nazi Party, and apposed many of Hitler's policies. His quick climb up the ladder is truly a testament to his excellent service with SS-Division "Totenkopf"

Awards[edit | edit source]

Promotions[edit | edit source]

Commands[edit | edit source]

  • 9th Company, SS Totenkopf
  • III. Battalion, 5th SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment Totenkopf
  • II. Battalion, 5th SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment Totenkopf [1]

References[edit | edit source]

  • Kurowski Franz, Infantry Aces, Stackpole Books, 2005, ISBN 0-8117-3202-9
  • Florian Berger (2004), Ritterkreuzträger mit Nahkampfspange in Gold, ISBN 3-9501307-3-X
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas, 2000. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Mitcham, Jr.Samuel, Retreat to the Reich, Stackpole books 2007. ISBN 0-8117-3384-X
  • Henschler Henri & Fay Will, Armor Battles of the Waffen-SS, 1943-45 Stackpole Books, 2003. ISBN 0-8117-2905-2
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