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Karl Bastian
Born 12 February 1915
Died 11 August 1944(1944-08-11) (aged 29)
Place of birth Oberhausen, Germany
Place of death Normandy, France
Allegiance Flag of German Reich (1935–1945).svg Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag of the Schutzstaffel Waffen-SS
Years of service 1936–1944
Rank Hauptsturmführer
Unit SS-VT
SS Division Totenkopf
10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Iron Cross I Class
Iron Cross II Class
Wound Badge
Infantry Assault Badge
Eastern Front Medal 1941/42

Karl Bastian (12 February 1915 — 11 August 1944) was a Hauptsturmführer (Captain) in the Waffen-SS during World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, which was awarded to recognize outstanding battlefield bravery or successful military leadership by Nazi Germany during World War II.

Early lifeEdit

Karl Bastian was born on the 12 February 1915 in Oberhausen on the Rheinland. After finishing elementary school he volunteered to join the SS-VT in October 1936. He was assigned to the 5th Company, 2nd SS Totenkopf Infantry Regiment.[1][2]

World War IIEdit

At the start of World War II he was still serving with the 2nd SS Totenkopf and took part in the Battle of France and the campaign in the Balkans, (Operation Marita).[1]

By April 1944 he had been promoted to Hauptsturmführer and was the commander of the II.Battalion, 21 SS Panzergrenadier Regiment, 10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg.[1][2] In June 1944, they were serving on the Western Front in Normandy in the Caen area. In an attempt to improve their own front line a company attack was ordered on a small hamlet in July. On the night on the 22 July Hauptsturmführer Bastian joined his men in the attack using hand grenades to clear houses and bunkers they engaged the defenders in hand to hand combat. The attack was successful and 67 prisoners were taken and maps and other documents captured, which they used to improve their own positions around Hill 112.[1]

Karl Bastian was killed in action shortly after during fighting in the Cui region on the 11 August 1944.[1][2]

For his leadership and bravery during the attack Karl Bastian was awarded a posthumous Knight's Cross.[1][2]


Further readingEdit

  • 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, Samuel W (2007). Retreat to the Reich : the German defeat in France, 1944. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-3384-7. 
  • Henschler Henri & Fay Will, Armor Battles of the Waffen-SS, 1943-45 Stackpole Books, 2003. ISBN 0-8117-2905-2
  • Mitcham Samuel, The German Defeat in the East, 1944-45,Stackpole Books, 2007. ISBN 0-8117-3371-8
  • The Combat History of the 10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg
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