SMGP-1112 Knights Cross Winner signature Karl Prumm
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Karl Pr?mm was awarded the Knights Cross for his actions in late March of 1943 southwest of Orel outside of Moscow. There was a dangerous Soviet flanking movement on the right of the German lines that was blocking their advance. The Soviets had the high ground on a plateau overlooking the German positions. It was later determined that there were 450 Soviet defenders on the plateau with a large amount of automatic weapons.
Before the enemy attack could continue in the morning, Karl Pr?mm led the decimated 7th company of Gren. Rgt. 105 along with the 5th company alongside (total of 17 grenadiers for both) in an attack on the entrenched Soviets. The 5th company’s attack was halted at the edge of the plateau. A bitter firefight ensued and Karl Pr?mm led his grenadiers of the 7th company to high ground inside of the Soviet Positions. Instantly they were hit with terrific fire from everywhere on the plateau and advance was nearly impossible. After continuous fighting the Russians started to fall back. Pr?mm saw the weakness in the enemy position and took advantage of it. He led the 16 grenadiers of 5th and 7th company in simultaneous charge yelling “Hurra.”
The Soviets feared it was the beginning of a much greater attack and were surprised. The heavy snow made it hard to tell how many Germans there were. Little by little, Karl Pr?mm and his grenadiers overran the enemy positions. Eventually they broke through the enemy defense system and attacked the Soviets from behind in bitter house-to-house fighting. Pr?mm stayed in command at the head of the attack although he had been wounded for the seventh time. Karl Pr?mm and his 16 grenadiers eventually took the plateau and captured 161 Soviet soldiers along with 17 grenade launcher and machine gun positions.
Karl Pr?mm was born on june 12, 1917 and was the son of a railway engineer. He went to gymnasium and was a competitive swimmer. After graduation he joined the Army (Freiwilliger – 19.1.37). He was in the 72. Infanterie-Division from 5.11.37 to 14.1.45. He was one of one a few officers of Gren. Rgt. 105 to survive the Cherkassy encirclement. He received the DKiG and Close Combat Clasp in Silver for his actions in the Cherkassy encirclement.
On 15.1.45, Pr?mm was transfered to “Schule VII fur Fhj. d. Inf. – Millowitz bel Prag – Lehrgruppe II” At the end of the war he was training soldiers in Prague. The Soviets were approaching the city from one side and the Americans from the other. Naturally, all of the Germans in the city wanted to make contact with the Americans and surrender to them instead of the Russians. He was captured by the Americans and was the German officer in charge at the POW camp. An American guard stole his Knights Cross and he demanded to the American officer in charge of the camp that it be returned. It was returned the next day.
Some of his promotions
1.7.40 – Feldwebel
1.2.41 – Leutnant
7.2.43 – Oberleutnant
1.11.44 – Hauptmann
West Wall Medal – 20.3.40
EKII – 31.8.41
EK1 – 25.11.41
Ostmedaille 41/42 – 17.7.42
Krimschild – 23.8.42
Ritterkreuz – 21.5.43
Close Combat Clasp in Silver – 20.1.44
Infantry Assault Badge in Silver – 21.9.41
Wound badge black – (unknown date)
Wound badge silver – 9.2.42
Wound badge gold – 5.8.42
German Cross in Gold – 24.12.43
grenade splinter in left arm – 7.4.41
grenade splinter in right arm – 14.8.41
Pak. splinters in eye, forehead, head – 4.11.41
Shot in leg – 15.1.41
grenade splinter in hip – 15.3.42
grenade splinter in (?) – 6.7.42
grenade splinter in (?) – 5.3.43 – Knight’s Cross Action
unknown wounds – 7.9.43
After the war he became a high school principle and died in the late 90s. With the exception of a couple minor conflicts (due to wounds), he took part in every other battle with the 72. Inf. Division until January 1945 including France, Romania, Bulgaria, Sevastopol, Krim, Orel, and Tscherkassy.
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