Erich Schroedter

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Erich Schroedter
Born 1 May 1919
Munich, Germany
Died 7 December 1994(1994-12-07) (aged 75)
Lörrach, Germany
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1938–1945
Rank Major
Unit Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung "Großdeutschland"
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Erich Schroedter (1 May 1919 – 7 December 1994) was a German soldier born in Munich on 1 May 1919. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Military career[edit]

Schroedter commenced training as an Officer Cadet in the Kradschützen Bataillon of the 3. Panzer-Division in Bad Freienwalde and attended the Kriegsschule in Hannover during 1938 and 1939. August 1939 saw Schroedter commissioned as a Leutnant and platoon commander in the Kradschützen Bataillon of the 8 Schnelle (Fast) Division. He served in this capacity during the Polish Campaign, winning the Iron Cross Second Class on 5 October 1939. During the French Campaign, he served as Divisional Ordnance Officer, winning the Iron Cross First Class on 7 July 1940. Schroedter then saw action during the Invasion of Yugoslavia as Adjutant in the Kradschützen Bataillon of 8. Panzer Division. In this period he qualified for the Panzer Assault Badge in Bronze.

Taking part in the Invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, Schroedter saw intense action and was twice severely wounded, requiring long periods of hospitalisation. In October 1941, he was promoted to Oberleutnant.

In May 1942, Schroedter was posted as Squadron Commander to the Panzer Aufklärungs Abteilung Großdeutschland and was quickly back in the thick of the fighting. He again suffered severe wounds and was awarded the Wound Badge in Gold on 8 June 1944. The following month he was awarded the German Cross in Gold. During August 1944, Hauptmann Schrodter attended a training course for Battalion Commanders of Armoured Reconnaissance units and on 22 September he was appointed Commander of Panzer Aufklärungsabteilung Großdeutschland.

During the Soviet Offensive in Courland, Schroedter and his Panzer Aufklärungsabteilung were at the spearhead of a German counter-attack aimed at holding Soviet Forces and freeing encircled German Forces North-West of Memel. Schroedter's unit acquitted itself very well, allowing the German units to escape and causing heavy Soviet losses. For this he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 23 October 1944 and on 30 January 1945, was promoted to Major.[1]

In Mid-February, 1945, Soviet Forces were attempting to crush the German units around Königsberg, while units of the 2nd Belorussian Front had swept north, taking Elbing and cutting off German access to the west. The Soviets launched furious attacks on the encircled Germans. Almost impossible demands of the German soldier were made in those hectic days. Schroedter's Abteilung was no different; time and time again it launched itself at overwhelming Soviet forces and caused them heavy losses. During one ferocious engagement, Schroedter was responsible for destroying ten Soviet tanks. For his distinguished service during this phase of the battle, he was awarded the 808th Knight's Cross with Oakleaves on 28 March 1945.

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ Williamson, Gordon (1987). Knights of the Iron Cross: A History 1939-1945. Blandford Press. ISBN 0-7137-1820-X. 
  2. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 389.
  3. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 685
  4. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 100
Bibliography
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
External links