|Born||1 June 1922(age 99)|
|Place of birth||Aachen, Germany|
|Years of service||
1940–1945 Waffen SS|
Hauptsturmführer, Waffen SS|
8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer
11th Panzergrenadier Division
1st Panzergrenadier Brigade
|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
General Assault Badge
Eastern Front Medal
Joachim Boosfeld (born 1 June 1922) was a Hauptsturmführer (Chief Storm Leader/Captain) in the Waffen-SS during World War II. He 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 to be awarded the very rare Close Combat Clasp in Gold. It was awarded for 50 days hand to hand or close combat.
Early life[edit | edit source]
Boosfeld was born on 1 June 1922, in Aachen. After he had graduated from school in 1939 aged 17 years he volunteered to join the SS-VT (SS number 362.256), he was selected to become a tank commander and attended the SS NCO's school.
World War II[edit | edit source]
In May 1941 he was recommended to become an officer and sent to the SS-Junkerschule which he graduated from in December 1941. He was then posted to the 1st SS Cavalry Regiment as a platoon commander and later served as a Battalion Adjutant.
His regiment was involved in Operation Barbarossa the invasion of the Soviet Union and by January 1942 was on the outskirts of Moscow, involved in the heavy fighting around Ilmensee and Rzhev, where he earned a reputation for his leadership.
In May 1942 he was posted as an instructor to the SS Cavalry School at Braunschweig and in November 1943 was promoted to Obersturmführer (First Lieutenant) and returned to the Eastern Front to the newly formed 8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer.
In November 1944, together with the rest of the Division, Boosfeld was involved in the Battle of Budapest and assigned the defence of the village of Vesce and counter attacks on the villages of Kiraly and Terebes. For his bravery in holding the front line he was awarded the German Cross in gold.
At the end of December his Squadron was located in Budapest defending the Golf course below the Schwabenland mountain, which was the only location left where the Luftwaffe could land their aircraft.
On 11 February 1945 the order was given to attempt to break out of the encirclement of Budapest. Leading a small Kampfgruppe Boosfeld managed to lead his men to the new German front line by 14 February.
Soon afterwards on the 21 February together with Hermann Maringgele Boosfeld was ordered to report to Berlin, where he was awarded the Knight's Cross in person by Adolf Hitler, promoted to Hauptsturmführer and awarded the Close Combat Clasp in Gold for 57 days of hand to hand fighting.
He then returned to the SS Cavalry School at Göttingen where he was captured by the advancing allied forces.
Post war[edit | edit source]
In 1956 Boosfeld was one of the few former Waffen SS officers to be allowed into the Bundeswehr with the rank of Hauptmann. He attended one of the first General staff courses between 1956 and 1959. Promoted to Major he served on the staff of the new 11th Panzergrenadier Division in Oldenburg.
Awards[edit | edit source]
- Wound Badge in Black
- Infantry Assault Badge in Silver
- Iron Cross 2nd and 1st Class
- German Cross in Gold on 30 December 1944 as SS-Obersturmführer in the 4./SS-Kavalerie-Regiment 16
- Close Combat Clasp in Gold on 21 February 1945 for 57 days in close combat
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 21 February 1945 as SS-Obersturmführer and chief of the 4./SS-Kavalerie-Regiment 16
References[edit | edit source]
- Berger 2004, p. 6.
- "frontkjemper". http://www.frontkjemper.info/show_person.php?P_ID=593.
- "ritterkreuztraeger". http://www.ritterkreuztraeger-1939-45.de/Waffen-SS/B/Boosfeld-Joachim.htm.
- Berger 2004, p. 36.
- Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 52.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 234.
- 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.
- Mitcham, Jr.Samuel (2007). Retreat to the Reich. Stackpole books. ISBN 0-8117-3384-X.
- Mitcham Samuel (2007). The German Defeat in the East, 1944-45. Stackpole Books. ISBN 0-8117-3371-8.
- 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.