|Born||18 November 1897|
|Died||11 January 1978(aged 80)|
|Place of birth||Magdeburg|
|Place of death||Lensahn|
|Years of service||1939–45|
|Unit||3rd Panzer Division|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Hermann Zimmermann (18 November 1897 – 11 January 1978) was a German infantry commander and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Major Zimmermann commanded II./Schützen-Regiment 3 during the battle of France. During the latter stages of the battle, on the evening of 14 June, his battalion along with Panzer-Regiment 5 had reached a point approximately 15 km north of the city of St. Florentin. He received an order to capture the city along with its key bridges as soon as possible. Upon hearing favourable intelligence he decided the best strategy was a coup de main, and sent out a reinforced company first. Intermingling with the fleeing refugees and French soldiers they went unnoticed for some time, and when they were recognized opened fire at close range. Despite the mass of vehicles and people that had clogged the roads, and despite Zimmermann himself being wounded in the course of the fighting, his soldiers were able to seize all the bridges intact and held them against counterattacks. The victory was a tremendous one, with Zimmermann’s battalion capturing 112 officers, 2,360 NCOs and enlisted men, over 500 vehicles including 4 tanks and 4 armored cars, 21 various artillery pieces and a depot with six million litres of fuel. For this action Zimmermann was awarded the Knight’s Cross.
Awards & decorations
- Iron Cross
- 2nd Class
- 1st Class
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 4 September 1940 as Kommandeur II./Schützen-Regiment 3
- German Cross in Gold on 28 July 1943 as Kommandeur Pz.GR 3
- Veterans of the 3rd Panzer Division (2012). Armoured Bears: Volume One. Stackpole Books. p. 105-107.
- 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 Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.