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Erwin Reichel

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Erwin Reichel

Erwin Reichel
File:ErwinReichel.jpg
Born 11 March 1911
Vienna, Austria
Died 28 February 1943(1943-02-28) (aged 31)
Kharkov, Russia
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Waffen-SS
Years of service 1939–1943
Rank Sturmbannführer
Unit SS-VT
5th SS Panzer Division Wiking
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Iron Cross 1st Class
Iron Cross 2nd Class
Eastern Front Medal 1941/42
Anschluss Medal
Sudetenland Medal with Prague castle bar
Wound Badge

Erwin H. Reichel (11 March 1911 — 28 February 1943) was a Sturmbannführer (Major) in the Waffen SS during World War II who was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross; which was awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership by Nazi Germany during World War II.

Early life

Erwin Reichel was born on the 11 March 1911 in Vienna, Austria his father was a university professor. In 1929 he joined the Freikorps Oberland (German for Highlands, Thuringia). After serving in the Austrian Army for a few months, he volunteered to join the SS-VT in 1934, one of the early members (SS number 58.074) and the NSDAP (Party number 5.020.865).

As a member of the SS-VT he participated in the Anschluss of Austria and the occupation of the Sudetenland in 1938, and the annexation of Bohemia and Moravia in March 1939.

World War II

In World War II he was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd class during the Polish Campaign in October 1939 and the Iron Cross 1st class Battle of France in May 1940.

Reichel was awarded the Knights Cross for his actions during the Third Battle of Kharkov in February 1943. In command of the 10th SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment Westland (5th SS Panzer Division Wiking), after tough fighting he pinned down a Soviet tank battalion and destroyed or pinned down the stronger force.

He was injured and died in a field hospital on 28 February 1943.

References

Further reading

  • Henschler Henri & Fay Will, Armor Battles of the Waffen-SS, 1943-45 Stackpole Books, 2003. ISBN 0-8117-2905-2
  • Mitcham Samuel, The German Defeat in the East, 1944-45,Stackpole Books, 2007. ISBN 0-8117-3371-8


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