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Hubert Brinkforth
File:Hubert Brinkforth.jpg
Born (1916-04-15)April 15, 1916
Died 5 June 1942(1942-06-05) (aged 26)
Place of birth Marl
Place of death Pogostje, Russia
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1938 - 1942
Rank Unteroffizier
Unit 14.(Panzerjäger)/Infanterie-Regiment 25
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Hubert Brinkforth (15 April 1916 – 5 June 1942) was a highly decorated Unteroffizier in the Wehrmacht during World War II. He was the first enlisted soldier to receive 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.

Career[edit | edit source]

Hubert Brinkforth served as a Richtschütze (aiming gunner) during the Battle of France. In the heavy defensive battles in the vicinity of Abbeville, his regiment was ordered to take on an advanced position, securing the beachhead, six kilometers from the main battle line. At the southern rim of Huppy his gun repulsed a British tank attack on 27 May 1940. He succeeded in destroying nine enemy tanks during the course of the 20 minute battle. For this feat he was promoted to Gefreiter (private) and received the Iron Cross 2nd Class. General Erich von Manstein also nominated him for the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. Brinkforth received the Knight's Cross on 1 April 1941 from General Josef Harpe at the training grounds in the Tucheler Heide. Brinkforth was killed on 5 June 1942 by Soviet artillery near Pogostje, Russia.

Awards and decorations[edit | edit source]

Reference in the Wehrmachtbericht[edit | edit source]

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Tuesday, 28 May 1940 An der Südfront wurden einzelne mit Panzern geführte feindliche Angriffe an der unteren Somme abgewiesen. Dabei wurden dreißig feindliche Panzer vernichtet, allein neun hiervon durch den Schützen Brinkforth.[2] On the southern front, single enemy attacks with tanks were repulsed on the lower Somme. Here thirty enemy tanks were destroyed, nine of which by the private Brinkforth.

References[edit | edit source]

Citations
  1. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 123.
  2. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, pp. 172-173.
Bibliography
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945 (in German). Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • 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. 
  • (in German) Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, 1. September 1939 bis 31. Dezember 1941 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 1, 1 September 1939 to 31 December 1941]. München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 
  • Huß, Jürgen (2009). Ritterkreuzträger im Mannschaftsstand 1941 - 1945. Zweibrücken: VDM Nickel. ISBN 978-3-86619-042-9. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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