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Heroic acts, acts above and beyond the call of duty in WW2


I have this idea for a long-long time now, and I made a similar topic in the Hungarian sub-forums, but I decided to make an Unofficial Historical Article topic after I read and saw the topic about the reward system, honoring the 28 Panfilovtsev. I pointed out there (and as I read, some of you are agreeing with me), that there is few or no official posts about heroes of the Axis forces. Well, this topic isn't only for them either. I'd like to ask all of you, who read this, to post here any, and I really mean ANY heroic acts, or acts above and beyond the call of duty. I really would like to see stories that are not made up to propagandal reasons, or if it's one,  would like you guys to write down the truth too, if you can find it. Since I'm the one, who started this, and I already searched many such acts from my nation's (Hungary) soldiers, I will post first. Since most of my sources are books and archive data that doesn't come out in english nor other languages, you have to bear with me. By the way, I'll write down the hungarian soldier's name as they are in Hungarian (family name first, given name second), but add their ranks before their names.

 

Sgt. Csizmadia János

 

During a time, when the 2nd Hungarian Army fought at the Don river, on September 9th 1942, at the time of the third bridgehead battle of Uryv-Storozhevoye, Sgt. Csizmadia, a dedicated soldier of the 2nd Army's 30th Tank Regiment, destroyed a T-34 Soviet tank with multiple point-blank shots at the back with his Pz.Kpfw. 38(t), which managed to get behind allied German infantry troops and attacked them during the street fights of the village Storozhevoye. This was one of only two known Hungarian cases, when a T-34 was destroyed by a 37mm tank cannon. After he destroyed the tank, Sgt. Csizmadia left his vehicle and destroyed two Soviet bunkers made from earth and wood with hand grenades, and captured 30 enemy soldiers. For his acts, he was awarded with the Hungarian Silver Medal of Valor.

 

Source: Becze Csaba: "On the edge of hell..." The bridgehead battles of the Royal Hungarian 2nd Defence Army at the Don (July-September 1942), a hungarian book for which the author used many russian, german and hungarian archive datas

Edited by Hebime
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1st Lt. Csapó József and his fellow soldiers

 

On January 6th 1939, on the day of Epiphany, the Czech forces under the command of general Lev Prchala launched a surprise attack against Hungarian territories, which were given back to Hungary by the First Vienna Award, and marched towards the city of Mukacheve. 1st Lt. Csapó, armed with only a pistol, rushed to the bridge above the Latorica river, with 7 more soldiers. On the other side of the river, there were 600 Czech soldiers with artillery and 3 armored vehicles. The Hungarian soldiers started to attack, and 1st Lt. Csapó laid out the first armored vehicle with the help of WO Rozs József. They jumped on it, and shot in through the driver's hatch. The other two armored vehicles retreated. They disassemled the machine gun from the ditched vehicle and opened fire. Meanwhile, more than 30 armed civilians rushed to help the Hungarian soldiers. Because the Czech forces pushed their attacks towards the bridge, it must have been held at all costs. The Hungarians fought on the bridge without any or little cover, while their enemies shot at them from covers. Only one solution remained: to charge the enemy on plain field. 1st Lt. Csapó showed a personal example, as he rushed towards the enemy's posts first and the Hungarians managed to take these positions. 1st Lt. Koncz was wounded during the battle, 1st Lt. Csapó immediately rushed to help his fellow soldier. He pulled the wounded to cover, while he recieved a deadly shot, 1st Lt. Koncz didn't survived either. Meanwhile, Sgt. Szarka István destroyed a Czech machine gun post at the lumber-yard, but he fell mortally wounded. Cpt. Kiss E., 1st Lt. Somsich J., 2nd Lt. Bardócz I., 2nd Lt. Görgey J. and WO Rozs József  also died in the battle. The heroic charge was not in vain, the Czech forces retreated. 1st Lt. Csapó was later awarded with the Knight's Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit, on war ribbon with swords. WO Rosz József and Sgt. Szarka István were awarded with the Hungarian Gold Medal of Valor.

 

rozs2.jpg

The ditched Czech armored vehicle

 

Source: Ludovikás Levente 1939, hungarian military journal of the time

Edited by Hebime
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1st Lt. vitéz Brambring Imre

 

He started his field service as a young artilleryman on the spring of 1942, in the 2nd Hungarian Army which advanced towards the Don river, then fought there. After the Russian breakthrough, on January 29th 1943, in the city of Novy Oskol, he himself layed the lead gun of the battery for fire direction when engaded in serious street fights. During the battle, the other 3 soldiers of the crew died, while 1st Lt. Barmbring's right arm was hit by mortar shrapnel and remained paralyzed for the rest of his life. Because he was crippled, he was sent back to Hungary to work as a drill officer. But in 1944 he requested to be sent to the front again. He became a battery commander in the 19th Artillery Regiment, which fought in the foregrounds of the Carpathians. During the heroic fights alongside the Strypa river (a tributary of the Dniester), his fire position was engaged in close combat in which he recieved a serious leg shot. Despite his serious wound he didn't left his battery, he continued to fight in the defense battles, he led the close combat in the most endangered situations as a gun layer. On July 27th 1944 he covered the retreat of the Hungarian and German troops with his battery, and after the last unit left, he started the re-positionings of half-sections. He fought at the most dangerous point of the defense, which was engaged in close combat three times already. Meanwhile, Russian soldiers, dressed in Hungarian and German uniforms, managed to infiltrate into the rearguards, and suddenly opened fire on the battery with their submachine guns, after they approached it to 40-50 meters. Again, 1st Lt. Brambring layed the gun himself, but he had the chance for only one, direct shot, because the shrapnels damaged the gun too. A serious close combat broke out, and the enemy's numerical superiority became more and more bigger. The heroic, crippled battery commander fought side-by-side with his crews in this fierce battle of rifle and submachine gun fire and hand grenade explosions,  until his last breath, when another rapid fire of a submachine gun killed him. 1st Lt. Brambring Imre died 26 years old, on the very same battlefield where his father died in WWI.

 

Source: Hadak Útja journal, January 1956

Edited by Hebime
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Waffen-Feldwebel Heinz Stahlschmidt (Henri Salmide)

 

Birth Name Heinz Stahlschmidt, was a german naval officer. He volunteered and joined in 1939 the Kriegsmarine, surviving in the following progress of war 3 times the sinking of his ships. Later he was stationed in Bordeaux. As the situation turned worse, he got the on the 19th August the order to prepare the demolition of the harbour of Bordeaux, stretching about 7 miles. Three days later, he demolished the depot with the demolitions, killing multiple german soldiers with the explosion. He fled to the Résistance and was hidden from german and french police forces.

He saved with his action the live of about 4'000 civilians. In afterwar germany, he was (and is) considered a traitor, removed from the list for pension.

 

He received later (in 2000) the honour of a Knight of the Légion d'honneur

 

Source largely daily mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1253775/German-sailor-Heinz-Stahlschmidt-refused-Nazi-orders-blow-Bordeaux-dies-aged-91.html

 

 

 

 

 

If you would be okay with it, I would be post some (short) informations about female soviet soldiers, esp. some more unknown ones.

Would be largely based on the book Heroines of the Soviet Union by Henry Sakaida.

Edited by Wenin
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If you would be okay with it, I would be post some (short) informations about female soviet soldiers, esp. some more unknown ones.

Would be largely based on the book Heroines of the Soviet Union by Henry Sakaida.

That's why this topic was created.  ;)s Any nation's, be it Axis, Allies, USSR, or neutral men and women should be here, who did something heroic, or something above and beyond the call of duty. :salute:

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I remember to have read Soviet bomber crews having a good discipline in the sense that Soviet bomber formations often did slow their speed and and trying to cover a damaged bomber under an attack from enemy fighter. At least Finnish fighter pilots reported often of this behaviour and said that they admired it because it showed good nerves, discipline and team spirit. 

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Maj. vitéz Mikecz Kálmán and his hussars

 

http://youtu.be/nYZvq_pPeqg

After reading the story, you will know why I posted this music here. It just makes me imagine the situation.

 

On August 16th 1941, the German XXXXVIII Motorized Corps entered Nikolayev from the east, while the Hungarian Rapid Corps continued fighting its way through the northern suburbs. The Hungarian 2nd Motorized Brigade moved south from Sebino, while the 1st Cavalry Brigade and 1st Motorized Brigade encountered though opposition from Soviet rearguards at Ingulka and Peresadovka. On this day, the Hungarian cavalry made its last real mounted charge, which is recorded as "the last successful major hussar charge of history". With this charge, they repelled the Soviet forces from the flank of the German 79th Infantry Regiment, which couldn't do anything with the resisting enemy.

 

It happened in early August 1941, south of Uman, in the area of Pervomajsk. German troops were pinned down behind a railway embankment by strong Red Army forces. German infantry attacked the enemy four times but were repulsed each time by superior forces. The battalion commander cursed and tried to push his men into a new attack in vain, as the Russians steadily held their positions. It was then, when instead of the artillery barrage we were repeatedly asking for, that a Hungarian cavalry squadron showed up. We were laughing. What do these guys want to do here with their sleek horses, armed only with swords? Suddenly, we were stunned by astonishment. These Hungarians went mad! Squadrons followed the others, coming from our rear. Following a loud command, the Huszárs drew their swords and charged the enemy, virtually glued to their horses, with the swords' metal blades shining in the sun. They were led by a middle-aged, sword-swinging colonel, with silver rank insignia sparkling on his uniform's collar. Several light armoured cars covered the flanks. Seydlitz must have charged in the same fashion, I thought! Forgetting the imminent danger, we stood up and watched the unbelievable scene. It looked like an extraordinary cavalry movie. The Russians initially fired at their unlikely attackers, but the shots became more sporadic and finally ceased. We watched in astonishment how the Soviet battalion, which thus far fanatically defended its positions, panicked and hastily retreated  under the pressure of the charging cavalry. The Hungarians, savouring their success, cut the running soldiers down with their swords. This time, incredibly, ancient weapons and war technique triumphed over modern technology.

- Erich Kern, eyewitness of the event, excrept from his Der Grosse Rausch

 

The Hungarian unit involved here was the 4/IInd Hussar Battalion, led by Maj. vitéz Mikecz Kálmán, Erich Kern was probably not familiar with the Hungarian ranks, as he mentioned a colonel. The charging units were the 4/5th and 4/6th Cavalry Companies, supported by three machinegun squads, two 20mm Solothurn anti-tank guns, and 4-5 Hungarian Csaba armored cars.

 

Source: Bene János: The hussars of Nyíregyháza

War diary of the hussars of Nyíregyháza

War chronicles of the Hadik hussars July 27th - November 3rd 1941.

Edited by Hebime
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2nd Lt. vitéz Merész László

 

In August 1941, German and Hungarian troops enclosed a major Russian force at Uman. On August 6th 1941, one of the Hungarian 1st Cavalry Brigade's armored car platoon went to a reconnaissance mission, under the command of Merész László, who was a Warrant Officer then. When they advanced on a drive, they suddenly met with the Russian cavalry, troted towards them. WO Merész ordered the two armored cars (as the third one of the platoon remained behind) to open fire. The effect was grousome, Russian soldiers and horses fell prey to the 20 mm AT rifles. They couldn't do much with the horde of surrending Russian soldiers, they reported the appearance of the Russians, then went back to the location of the battle. After a few hours, a convoy of 20 Russian trucks appeared on the very same drive. The armored cars of WO Merész opened fire again, and literally massacred the Russian infatnry, which jumped off of the recoiled, turning or ditched trucks. Shrtly, two russian tanks rolled on the road, and firefight evolved between the armored cars and the tanks. The periscope of one Csaba armored car was damaged, so the brave driver drived onwards with an open hatch, until he recieved a head injury. Even so, WO Merész managed to blind one of the tanks, which were more stronger than the armored cars, and the two Russian tanks retreated. The Hungarian armored cars returned to their unit, damaged and full of injured, but they brought new prisoners. After the interrogation of the prisoners, it was revealed, that the Hungarian armored cars just shattered a Russian break-out attempt from Uman. The intensity of the battle is charaterized by the fact, that the two armored cars shot 12.000 machine gun, and 720 AT rifle rounds in all. Instead of retreating and reporting, WO Merész stayed and fought, routed the Russian cavalry then infantry, forced the Russian tanks to withdraw, and brought in prisoners. For his valorous act, he was promoted out of turn to 2nd Lt., was awarded with the Knight's Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit on war ribbon with swords, the Hungarian Officer's Gold Medal of Valor, and became a member of the Order of Vitéz.

 

Source: v.Adonyi Ferenc: The Hungarian soldier in WW2

Illésfalvi Péter-Kovács Vilmos-Maruzs Roland: "For valor" Those who were decorated with the Hungarian Officer's Gold Medal of Valor in WW2

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