Waldemar von Gazen
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|Waldemar von Gazen|
6 December 1917|
Hamburg, German Empire
|Died||13 January 2014
|Years of service||1936–45|
|Rank||Major im Generalstab|
|Unit||13th Panzer Division|
|Commands held||Pz.Gren.Rgt. 66|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords|
|Other work||Lawyer and Notary|
Waldemar von Gazen genannt von Gaza (6 December 1917 – 13 January 2014) 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 (German: Ritterkreuz), and its variants were the highest awards in the military and paramilitary forces of Nazi Germany during World War II.
Early life and career
Von Gazen was born on 6 December 1917 in Hamburg, a state of the German Empire. He was the son of the Oberst a.D. (Colonel retired; a.D.—außer Dienst) Oskar von Gazen. Following his graduation with the Abitur from the Gymnasium, a secondary school with a strong emphasis on academic learning, in Bergedorf, he completed his compulsory Reichsarbeitsdienst (Reich Labor Service).
He joined the military service in the Wehrmacht with Infanterie-Regiment 66 (66th Infantry Regiment) near Magdeburg as a Fahnenjunker (Cadet) in 1936. Infanterie-Regiment 66 was subordinated to the 13th Infantry Division which later reorganized into the 13th Panzer Division. He was promoted to Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant) on 1 September 1938.
World War II
In the Invasion of Poland and the Battle of France, he served as a Zugführer (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.
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.
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.
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. In February 1945, he was transferred again and was appointed Ia (operations officer) of the 2. Panzer-Division in February 1945. Von Gazen was taken prisoner of war in the Böhmerwald at the end of hostilities in Europe.
- Iron Cross (1939)
- Panzer Badge in Bronze (3rd Class)
- Wound Badge in Silver
- Tank Destruction Badge
- Kuban Shield
- German Cross in Gold on 15 November 1941 as Oberleutnant in the 2./Schützen-Regiment 66
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
- Knight's Cross on 18 September 1942 as Oberleutnant and chief of the 2./Panzergrenadier-Regiment 66
- 182nd Oak Leaves on 18 January 1943 as Hauptmann and leader of a Kampfgruppe of the 13. Panzer-Division (I./Panzergrenadier-Regiment 66)[Note 1]
- 38th Swords on 3 October 1943 as Major and leader Panzergrenadier-Regiment 66
- Mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht on 3 October 1943
- According to Scherzer as leader of I./Panzergrenadier-Regiment 66.
- Obituary at HNA Trauer.de (in German). Retrieved 22 January 2014.
- Stockert 2012, p. 333.
- "Waldemar von Gazen". Lexikon der Wehrmacht (in German). Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Stockert 2012, p. 337.
- Thomas 1997, p. 190.
- Berger 1999, p. 81.
- Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 131.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 328.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 192.
- Von Seemen 1976, p. 136.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 65.
- Von Seemen 1976, p. 32.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 41.
- Von Seemen 1976, p. 15.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, p. 574.
- 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 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.
- Higgins, David R. (2014). Behind Soviet Lines: Hitler's Brandenburgers capture the Maikop Oilfields 1942. Oxford, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-1-78200-600-8.
- 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.
- Stockert, Peter (2012) . Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2 [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2] (in German) (4th ed.). Bad Friedrichshall, Germany: Friedrichshaller Rundblick. ISBN 978-3-9802222-9-7.
- 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.
- Von Seemen, Gerhard (1976). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 : die Ritterkreuzträger sämtlicher Wehrmachtteile, Brillanten-, Schwerter- und Eichenlaubträger in der Reihenfolge der Verleihung : Anhang mit Verleihungsbestimmungen und weiteren Angaben [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 : The Knight's Cross Bearers of All the Armed Services, Diamonds, Swords and Oak Leaves Bearers in the Order of Presentation: Appendix with Further Information and Presentation Requirements] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7909-0051-4.
- 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.