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  1. #1

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    Panzerjagdkommando Krause

    From Axis History Forum • View topic - Awardholders / unit

    "HJ (/Volkssturm) units:
    German Cross in Gold
    Krause, Rudolf ("Rudi"), 08.05.1945, Leutnant d.R., Führer Panzerjagdkommando Krause
    [= formation (and sent into action by) of HJ-Gebietsführer 5, Stettin (HJ-Gebiet Pommern, Gebietsfhr. Gerd Wegner)]
    [action at PYRITZ, southeast of STETTIN, 1.-9. Feb 45 ; attached to Kampfgruppe Weiss / XXXII. AK / Pz.AOK 3]


    Here's a short summary of the story of this unit [transl. by me] :
    Facing the Soviet advance towards the ODER in late Jan 1945 it became obvious that the cut-off of the retreating troops in Pommerania and the taking away of the Oder bridges at Stettin would cause a very critical situation. Especially for the trecks with thousands of civilians on their way westwards.
    As part of the defensive measures taken, the Volkssturm was called to form hastily. The nucleus of Panzerjagdkommando Krause comprised of 48 Hitlerjungen from Stettin and Stralsund ; so-called HJ-Volkssturm, Jahrgang 1928. Leutnant d.R. Rudi Krause, a former Panzerjäger Lt. (Eastern Front) was given command of this Kdo. at Stettin. With receiving cloth, weapons, ammunition, a short weapons instruction during this first night the boys, 16 to 18 years of age, were sent south-eastwards towards PYRITZ on 31 Jan 45 with trucks. Their task, as part of other ad-hoc defensive troops, was not less than to stop the Soviets (2. Garde-Pz.Armee) attacking towards Stettin from south-east direction. The heaviest weapon they were equipped with was the Panzerfaust. From 1 Feb until 9 Feb 1945 (relieved and marched back to Stettin, Kdo. dissolved until end of Feb finally) the Kdo. fought a successfull hand-to-hand and house-to-house battle at PYRITZ. The city couldn't be taken and overrun by the Soviets during these first days of february.
    Attached to Kampfgruppe Weiss = Kampfkommandant PYRITZ (Oberst Otto Weiß, Lw, OL holder) the average strength of the unit was around 100 men and comprised of :
    - appr. 48 HJ boys , from Stetting and Stralsund
    - appr. 40 Hitler-Jugend-Schüler , from Tilsit (those volunteered to join the Kdo., when met on the march towards Pyritz)
    - appr. 20 men from Unteroffiziersschule Stargard , some experienced NCOs (joined the Kdo.)
    - one U-Boot crew, appr. 20 men with two officers (sent from Stetting to strengthen the Kdo.)
    - a number of older Volkssturm men

    Krause reports that his deputy cdr. George Straßburg (received the EK1 for Pyritz) was amongst those Volkssturm and HJ men who were at Berlin to visit and to be honoured by Hitler, when the last Wochenschau was recorded on 22 March 45 (he himself was in a Lazarett seriously ill at that time).

    The report contains the original German Cross in Gold proposal for Krause
    - Korps level , based on the proposal by Kampfgruppe Weiss, Stettin, 14 Feb 1945 -
    with positive comment by Gen.Kdo. XXXII. AK (Gen. Schack), March 45 .

    It is to state, that a presentation of the award is not mentioned as well as further "paper work" is not shown. Is it the humbleness of the author Krause, or is it (most likely) he wasn't well informed or aware of the award - award has to be regarded as finally confirmed via Patzwall/Scherzer, with date 08.05.1945.

    Source (memories / first hand account by the cdr. himself) :
    Rudi Krause, "Noch Vierzig Kilometer bis Stettin " - Februar 1945 - Kampf eines Panzerjagdkommandos in Pyritz/Pommern, 1. Aufl. 1989, pojkart Verlag, Harry Turné, Lübeck (ISBN 3-924616-18-3)
    highly recommended booklet ; / courtesy of Jan-Hendrik , many thanks !
    / Bernd"


  2. #2

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    Primary sources can teach us so much.

  3. #3

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    Panzerjagdkommando Krause
    Here seems to be Leutnant Rudi Krause on photo during battle in Pyritz (second from right side) with young boys from HJ:


    Regarding to:
    " Kriegsmarine U-Boat crew, appr. 20 men with two officers (sent from Stetting to strengthen the Kdo) .."

    - any idea from which unit, U-boot this crew ? Which U-boot was at harbor in Stettin this time February-March 1945?

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