Helmut Wendorff

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Helmut Wendorff
Nickname(s) Bubi
Born 20 October 1920
Grauwinkel
Died 14 August 1944(1944-08-14) (aged 23)
Merzieres, France
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen SS
Years of service 1939–1944
Rank Obersturmführer
Unit 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler
101st SS Heavy Panzer Detachment
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Iron Cross 1st Class
Iron Cross 2nd Class
Eastern Front Medal
Panzer Badge

Helmut Max Ernst Wendorff was an Obersturmführer (First Lieutenant) in the Waffen SS. He was issued with the SS number 365 017 and was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.

Wendorff was born on 20 October 1920 in Grauwinkel. In 1931, his family moved to Damme, in the Uckermark, where his father leased a farm.[1]

In the autumn of 1939, Wendorff graduated from the Numburg National-Political School and volunteered for military service when war broke out and joined the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH) on 4 September 1939.[2]

On 6 November 1939, Wendorff joined up with the Regiment in Prague, where it had temporarily taken up quarters after the Polish Campaign. Wendorff was assigned to the 11th Company, but was transferred to the Sturmgeschütz (Assault Gun) Battery in June 1940. He saw action in the Balkans and the Soviet Union with this Company.[3]

On 14 September 1941, Wendorff was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class; he was also promoted from Sturmmann to Oberscharführer (Technical Sergeant).[4] On 1 November 1941, Wendorff was sent to the SS Junkerschule in Bad Tölz and returned to the Sturmgeschütz battalion in April 1942, as an Untersturmführer (Second Lieutenant).[5]

On December 24, 1942, Wendorff was reassigned to the 13 (Tiger) Company, SS Regiment 1 LSSAH, at Fallingbostel, where he Commanded a platoon in the 2nd Company.[6]

In the early spring of 1943, Wendorff’s old friend, Michael Wittmann joined the Tiger company. During Operation Citadel the LSSAH was located in the southern sector of the bulge. On the first day of action, Wittmann destroyed two anti-tanks guns and thirteen T-34s, while saving Helmut Wendorff's platoon, which ran into trouble. He was awarded the Knight's Cross on 12 February 1944.[7] When his tank versus tank victories had reached 58.[8]

He was killed in action on 14 August 1944, when his Tiger was knocked out 3 kilometres west of Merzieres.[9] At the time of his death he had been credited with 84 tank kills.[10]

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