Germany – Third Reich: An extremely rare Commander in Chief of the German Army’s Unit Commendation Certificate, issued by the HQ Army High Command on 1st November 1941 to 209th Infantry Regiment for the Regiment’s outstanding achievements on the battlefield near Uritzk on 8th October 1941.
Commander in Chief of the German Army’s Unit Commendation Certificate issued by Headquarters Army High Command on 1st November 1941 for the Regiment’s outstanding achievements on the battlefield near Uritsk on 8th October 1941.
Facsimile signature of von Brauchitsch as Commander-in-Chief of the Army.
Kurt von Zydowitz’s book ‘Der Geschichte der 58. Infanterie Division 1939-1945’ briefly describes the achievements of 209th Infantry Regiment which led to it being awarded the Commander in Chief of the German Army’s Commendation Certificate and a special mention in the L Army Corps Commander’s Order of the Day. An extract is translated as below:
‘The situation in front of 209 Infantry Regiment is likewise further critical on 8th October. It succeeded in fending off all attack attempts. Heavy artillery fire is again deployed on 9th October. Tanks move further on the riverside road without that being taken. Just as well that they are forced to stay on the road because of their weight. Our own artillery fire prevents the intention of the enemy to start an assault with his Infantry. There are only 3 tanks on the move and they are slowly rolling towards Uritzk. It now becomes serious. A field gun of 9 Battery under Unteroffizier Jacobsen, which is pushed forward as anti-tank cover towards Uritzk, succeeds in knocking out the most forward tank. The others turn away. The palaver is other with his. The Russians deploy in depth in the next days. Women and children drag building timber and munition into position and dig trenches there. There is now quiet in front of the Division. 209th Infantry Regiment received special praise from the Commander-in-Chief of the Army. The Corps Commander writes in an Order of the Day:
‘The 58th Infantry Division under the energetic leadership of its proven Commander, Generalmajor Dr Altrichter, has fought in an outstanding and brave manner in the heavy defence battles against the breakout attempts of the encircled enemy near Uritzk from 7th to 10th October 1941. All attacks were fended off and the positions of the Division and the whole front held despite very heavy artillery fire of all calibres, numerous tank attacks and advances of enemy Infantry always renewed with very greatly ferocity with the support of numerous air attacks.’
I express my complete special recognition for the success of these days to 209th Infantry Regiment under command of its proven Commanding Officer Oberst Kreipe which had carried the main burden of the battle.
Also all the remaining troops of the Division have taken an outstanding part in the defensive success in co-operation with Army artillery.
We respectfully remember our fallen and greet our wounded.
In firm confidence in the tenacity of the German soldier, the Corps will also prevent with all means in the future every penetration attempt of the enemy.’
Only 22 of these certificates were ever presented, making this an extremely rare item, they were given to units of all levels from Divisions down to Companies.