Wilhelm Bach

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Wilhelm Bach
Born 5 November 1892
Died 22 December 1942(1942-12-22) (aged 50)
Toronto, Canada
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany (to 1942)
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1914–36
Rank Oberstleutnant of the Reserves (Posthumously)
Commands held I./Schützen-Regiment 104

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Wilhelm Bach (5 November 1892 – 22 December 1942) was a highly decorated Oberstleutnant of the Reserves in the Wehrmacht during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. His defence of Halfaya Pass gave rise to his nickname (alluding to his peacetime occupation as a Lutheran minister), 'the Pastor of Hellfire Pass'. Wilhelm Bach was captured by British troops in Libya and was taken to South Africa and later Canada. He died after cancer surgery at Chorley Park military hospital in Toronto and was posthumously promoted to the rank of Oberstleutnant der Reserve.

Afrika Korps commander Rommel (left) conversing with Wilhelm Bach (centre in white shirt) in 1941

Awards and decorations[edit]



  1. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 197.
  2. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, pp. 119, 484.


  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. 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. 
  • 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 Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 

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