Waldemar von Gazen

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Waldemar von Gazen
Waldemar von Gazen.jpg
Waldemar von Gazen
Born (1917-12-06)6 December 1917
Hamburg, German Empire
Died 13 January 2014(2014-01-13) (aged 96)
Göttingen, Germany[1]
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1936–1945
Rank Major im Generalstab
Commands held Pz.Gren.Rgt. 66
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
Other work Lawyer

Waldemar von Gazen called Waldemar von Gaza (6 December 1917 – 13 January 2014)[1] was an Officer in the German Wehrmacht and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Military career[edit]

Von Gazen joined the military service with Infanterie-Regiment 66 (66th Infantry Regiment) as a Fahnenjunker (Cadet) in 1936. He was promoted to Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant) on 1 September 1938. In the Invasion of Poland and the Battle of France, he served as a platoon leader (Zugführer). He was promoted to Oberleutnant (1st Lieutenant) on 1 September 1940. He was tasked with the leadership of the 2nd company of Schützen-Regiment 66 on the Eastern Front.[2]

Von Gazen was promoted to Hauptmann (Captain) and received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) on 18 September 1942 for his achievements in summer of 1942 and the assault on Rostov. Shortly afterwards he was made leader of the I. Bataillon (1st Battalion) of the regiment. In early 1943 he distinguished himself again in combat as the leader of a Kampfgruppe (combat formation) in the Kuban bridgehead. For these actions he received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub) on 18 January 1943.[2]

Von Gazen was made leader of Schützen-Regiment 66 in April 1943 and was officially commander of the regiment on 28 August 1943. His regiment succeeded in holding the German lines in the vicinity of Melitopol against numerous attacks by the Red Army at the end of September 1943. Von Gazen was severely wounded in these battles. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern) on 3 October 1943 for the achievements of his regiment.[2]

After a period of convalescence he was transferred to the Generalstab des Heeres (General staff of the Army) on 1 July 1944. Here he received a general staff traineeship. He was appointed Ia (operations officer) of the 13. Panzer-Division stationed in Hungary in early September 1944. He was transferred again and appointed Ia of the 2. Panzer-Division in February 1945. Von Gazen was taken prisoner of war at the end of hostilities in Europe and released in 1946.[2]

Awards[edit]

Wehrmachtbericht reference[edit]

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
3 October 1943 Bei den Abwehrkämpfen südostwärts Saporoshje zeichneten sich das Jägerregiment 138 unter Führung des Oberstleutnants Graf von der Goltz, eine unter Führung von Major von Gaza stehende Panzergruppe sowie die Sturmgeschützabteilung 243 und die Heeres-Panzerjägerabteilung 721 besonders aus.[9] The Jägerregiment 138 under the leadership of Oberstleutnant Graf von der Goltz, a Panzer group under the command of Major von Gaza as well as Sturmgeschützabteilung 243 and the Heeres-Panzerjägerabteilung 721 distinguished themselves in the defensive battles south east of Zaporizhia.

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ a b Obituary at HNA Trauer.de (in German). Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d "Waldemar von Gazen". Lexikon der Wehrmacht (in German). Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Thomas 1997, p. 190.
  4. ^ Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 131.
  5. ^ a b c Scherzer 2007, p. 328.
  6. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 192.
  7. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 65.
  8. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 41.
  9. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, p. 574.
Bibliography
  • Berger, Florian (1999). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges [With Oak Leaves and Swords. The Highest Decorated Soldiers of the Second World War] (in German). Vienna, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 978-3-9501307-0-6. 
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). 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] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. 
  • Schaulen, Fritjof (2003). Eichenlaubträger 1940 – 1945 Zeitgeschichte in Farbe I Abraham – Huppertz [Oak Leaves Bearers 1940 – 1945 Contemporary History in Color I Abraham – Huppertz] (in German). Selent, Germany: Pour le Mérite. ISBN 978-3-932381-20-1. 
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). 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] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6. 
  • Williamson, Gordon; McGregor, Malcolm (2005). German Commanders of World War II. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-596-1. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 2, 1 January 1942 to 31 December 1943] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 

External links[edit]