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Siegfried Brosow
Born 10 December 1918
Died 18 November 2008(2008-11-18) (aged 89)
Place of birth Steinfelde, East Prussia
Place of death Oberkotzau
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen SS
Years of service 1937–1945
Rank Sturmbannführer
Unit 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Iron Cross 1st Class
Iron Cross 2nd Class
German Cross in Gold
Eastern Front
General Assault Badge
Wound Badge in Silver
Close Combat Clasp in Silver
Other work School Headmaster

Siegfried Brosow was a Sturmbannführer (Storm Unit Leader/Major), in the Waffen SS during World War II who was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. This was awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership by Nazi Germany during World War II.

Siegfried Brosow joined the SS-VT (auxiliary) in 1937 and was issued the SS service number SS 353059.[1] He was selected to be an officer and sent to the SS-Junkerschule at Brunswick from 1939 to 1940,[1] while he was at the school he joined the NSDAP in December 1939 being given the party number NSDAP-Nr: 7 145 966. During the Battle of France Untersturmführer (Storm Leader/Second Lieutenatnt) Brosow was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd class for bravery and the Iron Cross 1st class, during the first assault on Moscow and was promoted to Obersturmführer (Senior Storm Leader/First Lieutenant) on 30 January 1942.

He returned to the Das Reich Pionier battalion in January 1943 as the commander of the 1st Company, until he became the commander of the Divisional staff in October 1943.[1]

During the rebuilding of Das Reich in 1944 he became the temporary Pionier Battalion Commander and assumed full command during the Normandy Campaign. He led the Battalion until February 1945 when he was reassigned to the SS-Pionierschule as the commander of training and remained here until captured by the Russians in May 1945.[1]

Siegfried Brosow remained in Russian captivity until October 1955.[2] Upon his release he became a school teacher. Siegfried Brasow died on the 18 November 2008.[3]

Knight's Cross[edit | edit source]

On 13 September 1943, Hauptsturmführer (Captain) Brosow was ordered to establish unit-boundary security positions in the reserve sector between the SS-Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion Das Reich and the 344th Grenadier Regiment. This area signified the southwesterly height 188, just forward of a small wooded area north of Kraschantschen. This strategic point along the front had to be held, at all costs, against any Soviet penetrations.

Heavy Russian artillery and mortar fire was directed against the German strategic point and the remaining earthworks that lay 500 meters to the north. Once the barrages lifted, but with added strong support from tanks, the Russian infantry assaulted the German Division's lines from positions near Perekop. While the SS Reconnaissance Battalion had successfully knocked out 45 T-34 tanks and stopped the assault on the right, Russian infantry managed to breach the German lines in the area of the III. Battalion, 344th Grenadiers. Infiltrating the German trench system and moving 1200 meters forward, two Russian companies launched an attack against the reserve sector. The Russians were quickly tied down by the defending 1st Pionier Company, but tried again and again to gain ground along the street and tree line. Each time they were turned back.

Recognizing the immediate danger, regardless of his weak security reserve, Hauptsturmführer Brosow led a counterattack into the Russian flanks. With 45 men of the 1st Pionier Company, Brosow infiltrated the Russian occupied trenches under heavy fire. Close combat with submachine pistols and hand grenades ensued as they struggled to reclaim their ground, meter upon meter. After 700 meters and under Russian artillery fire, heavy German casualties and growing enemy resistance ground the German attack to a halt. Contact with their right flank could not be established. That night, Brosow and his men recaptured the remaining ground during a sweeping night-assault with flamethrowers. The German attack completely routed those Russian units that had breached the German lines, to include two Soviet battalions that were staging for an attack. Siegfried Brosow and his men not only ejected the Russian presence within the German lines, but they also removed the Russian threat of splitting the divisional forward positions of Das Reich in two. The Russians were denied use of the main road that led to the only bridge over the Worskla river.[2] [4] For this action Brosow was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 13 November 1944.

References[edit | edit source]

  • Mattson, Gregory SS-The realm. The History of the Second SS division, 1939-45. Staplehurst 2002, ISBN 1-86227-144-5
  • 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. 
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