||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (January 2013)|
23 September 1917|
|Died||15 January 1993(aged 75)|
|Commands held||Kampfgruppe 1001 Nights|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Gustav-Adolf Eugen Johannes Erich Blancbois (23 September 1917 – 15 January 1993) was a major in the Wehrmacht in World War II. He is most noted for his exploits on the Eastern Front in 1944 and 1945. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
World War II
Blancbois distinguished himself during Operation Bagration in 1944, when he led a kampfgruppe from the 12th Panzer Division that rescued 15-20,000 soldiers of the German Ninth Army who had been encircled near Bobruisk. For this exploit, he received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. Blancbois' action was the only successful German relief operation during Bagration.
In March 1945, Blancbois was placed in command of the peculiarly-named Kampfgruppe 1001 Nights, a mobile reserve force for Ninth Army. The kampfgruppe took part in the desperate defense of the Oder River line, in particular at the Battle of Seelow Heights. After taking heavy losses, it was dissolved near Müncheberg.
After the war
Blancbois survived the destruction of Kampfgruppe 1001 Nights. He, along with a few of his men, escaped the Red Army and managed to flee to the west and surrender to the Western Allies. He died in Germany on 15 January 1993.
- Sudetenland Medal (1 October 1938)
- Iron Cross (1939)
- Panzer Assault Badge (27 August 1941)
- Wound Badge (1939)
- Close Combat Clasp in Bronze (30 July 1943)
- German Cross in Gold on 11 March 1943 as Oberleutnant in the 4./Panzergrenadier-Regiment 25
- Eastern Front Medal (1 August 1942)
- Tank Destruction Badge (1 May 1942)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 20 July 1944 as Hauptmann and commander of the I.(gepanzert)/Panzergrenadier-Regiment 25
- Mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht (21 August 1944)
- Certificate of approval of the Commander of the Army (Anerkennungsurkunde des Oberbefehlshabers des Heeres) (25 December 1944)
- Gefreiter (1 October 1939)
- Unteroffizier (1 January 1940)
- Feldwebel (1 August 1940)
- Offiziers-Anwärter (1 December 1940)
- Leutnant der Reserve (1 October 1942)
- Oberleutnant (1 October 1943)
- Hauptmann (1 June 1943)
- Major (1 August 1944)
- Thomas & Wegmann 1992, p. 91.
- Thomas & Wegmann 1992, p. 90.
- Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 44.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 224.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 134.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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; Wegmann, Günter (1992). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Teil III: Infanterie Band 2: Bi–Bo [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the German Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Part III: Infantry Volume 2: Bi–Bo] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-1734-3.
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