Eugène Vaulot

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Eugène Vaulot
EugeneVaulot.jpg
Born 1 June 1923
Paris, France
Died 2 May 1945 (1945-05-03) (aged 21)
Berlin, Germany
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Waffen-SS
Years of service 1941–45
Rank SS-Unterscharführer Collar Rank.svg Unterscharführer
Unit 33rd Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Charlemagne (1st French)
Battles/wars World War II
Awards

Eugène Vaulot (1 June 1923 – 2 May 1945) was a Frenchman with the rank of Unterscharführer in the Waffen-SS during World War II, who was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.

Life[edit]

Eugene Vaulot was born in Paris in 1923. He trained to be an electrician, then volunteered to join the Legion of French Volunteers Against Bolshevism (L.V.F.), taking part in the fighting at Lake Djukovo on the outskirts of Moscow in the winter of 1941/42.[1] He was then involved in anti-partisan duties on the central Eastern Front, before being partially disabled from wounds which forced him to leave the L.V.F. in 1943 with the rank of Obergefreiter.[1]

Not content with civilian life in 1944 he again volunteered for service, this time with the German Navy and was made a squad leader with 3rd Platoon, 4th Company, 28th Schiffstammabteilung, which would be incorporated virtually intact into the 33rd Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Charlemagne (1st French) in the autumn of 1944.[1]

Awards[edit]

During the subsequent battles for Elsenau, Pomerania and Kolberg he was awarded the Iron Cross 1st class for his fearless and dynamic conduct.[1] Vaulot proved to be an expert at close combat and was a skilled practitioner of anti-tank warfare with hand-held weapons. He was held in high esteem by his commanding officers.[1]

During the Battle of Berlin, after Vaulot destroyed two tanks in the Neukoelln sector, he jested to his comrades that he had done so "just to get in shape for the battles yet to come."[2] In the following battles he personally destroyed another six tanks that had been advancing on the Reich Chancellery and the Führerbunker.[2][3] This deed brought him the nomination of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross by SS-Brigadeführer Wilhelm Mohnke[3] which was personally bestowed upon him on 29 April 1945 by SS-Brigadeführer, Gustav Krukenberg.[2]

  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 29 April 1945 as Waffen-Unterscharführer and as group leader in the 33. SS-Freiwilligen-Division "Charlemagne" (franz. Nr. 1) in the combat area Groß Berlin (greater Berlin)[4][5]

Death[edit]

In the early hours of 2 May, Vaulot was part of a group comprising a few dozen SS (French, German and Scandinavian) that with the support of two Panzer Tigers' were trying to operate a retreat out of Berlin. After crossing the Tiergarten, the group met a strong Soviet resistance along the avenue to Charlottenburg. Here, according to the testimony of SS-Brigadeführer Krukenberg, Eugene Vaulot was killed in action by a Red Army sniper just two days after being awarded the Knight's Cross,[2] and a few hours before Berlin's official surrender.

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Richard Landwehr p. 152
  2. ^ a b c d Richard Landwehr p. 153
  3. ^ a b Thomas Fischer p. 47
  4. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 429.
  5. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 756.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [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. 
  • Fischer, Thomas (2008). Soldiers Of the Leibstandarte. J.J. Fedorowicz Publishing, Inc. ISBN 978-0-921991-91-5.
  • Landwehr, Richard (1989). French Volunteers of the Waffen-SS. Merriam Press. ISBN 091818407X.
  • Le Tissier, Tony (2010). Charlemagne - The 33rd Waffen-SS Grenadier Division of the SS. Pen & Sword. ISBN 1-84884-231-7 or ISBN 978-1-84884-231-1
  • 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.