Germany - Third Reich: The superb and extremely well documented Second World War Russian Front River Narew Austovo 10th September 1944 Unteroffizier’s personal counterattack Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross group awarded to Unteroffizier later Feldwebel Albert Schott, 1st Battalion, 1077th Grenadier Regiment, 542nd Grenadier Division, who as a section leader, when his company position was overrun by overwhelming Soviet infantry yelling ‘Urra’ at 2 am and the defenders overwhelmed, then led a four man counterattack, and as a subsequent newspaper

Price: £18,500.00


Product ID: CMA/25233
Condition: Good Very Fine
Availability: IN STOCK
Description:

Germany - Third Reich: The superb and extremely well documented Second World War Russian Front River Narew Austovo 10th September 1944 Unteroffizier’s personal counterattack Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross group awarded to Unteroffizier later Feldwebel Albert Schott, 1st Battalion, 1077th Grenadier Regiment, 542nd Grenadier Division, who as a section leader, when his company position was overrun by overwhelming Soviet infantry yelling ‘Urra’ at 2 am and the defenders overwhelmed, then led a four man counterattack, and as a subsequent newspaper article confirms, ‘jumping, into the trenches they pressed the Soviets from left and right with hand grenades and withering fire from their new assault rifles, forcing them, metre-by-metre, back through the trench system. The enemy were thrown back in wild flight with severe losses in under 20 minutes, leaving the position firmly in German hands.’ Schott, a locksmith from Gevelsberg in Wesphalia, had originally served with the 3rd Battalion, 311th Infantry Regiment, 217th Infantry Division, had been originally decoration with the Iron Cross 2nd Class for his actions during the opening stages of Operation Barbarossa - the invasion of Russia, during June 1941, and had then gone on to fight on the Baltic and Leningrad Fronts during 1941 to 1943, being four times wounded and also awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class, the latter, quite possibly for his battalion’s epic fight in and around the village of Koporye and its historic fortress during the winter of the 1942 to 1943.

Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross 1939, ‘800’ marked beneath ring on reverse, and additionally marked on the ring ‘800’ and then ’65’ for Klein & Quenzer of Idar-Oberstein. The cross weights in at 28.9 grammes, and the ring weighs in at 1.6 grammes. Housed in its original fitted presentation case, and together with the ‘Adolf Hitler’ forwarding card which accompanied the cross on issue.

Iron Cross 1939 1st Class, tapered pin, no makers marks.

Iron Cross 1939 2nd Class, not ring stamped.

Infantry Assault Badge in Silver, mid-late war example, makers mark ‘FZS’ for Fritz Zimmerman und Sohne of Ludenscheid, needle pin fitting, slight convex and scalloped form, solid reverse.

Wound Badge 1939, 2nd type, Silver Grade, later war zinc form, needle pin, no makers mark.

Eastern Front Winter War Medal 1941-1942, not ring stamped.

Together with the following original documentation:

Field issue Preliminary Award Certificate for the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross 1939, issued to: ‘Unteroffizier Schott, Zugführer 1./Gren.Rgt.1077’, with the date of the award for 10th September 1944, and the certificate dated 23rd September 1944, this being signed in ink by Generalleutnant Wilhelm Burgdorf. (Wilhelm Burgdorf, the Chief of the Army Personnel Office and Chief Adjutant to Adolf Hitler. and a recipient of the Knight’s Cross, had on 14th October 1944, together with General Ernst Maisel, arrived at the household of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, and informed Rommel of the charges against him for his part in Operation Valkyrie, the plot to kill Hitler. On the instruction of Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, Burgdorf offered Rommel a choice – take poison, receive a state funeral, and obtain immunity for his family and staff, or face a trial for treason. Rommel drove away with Burgdorf and Maisel and ten minutes later his family received a phone call notifying them of his death in the car from suicide. Burgdorf committed suicide on the night of 2nd May 1945 in the Fuhrer bunker in Berlin, when he together with Hans Krebs, Hitler’s Chief of Staff, committed suicide together by gunshot to the head.)
542nd Infantry Division Order of the Day No.13 for 16th September 1944, notifying the division of the award of the Knight’s Cross to Unteroffizier Schott of 1st Battalion, 1077th Grenadier Regiment he ‘was appointed by the Fuhrer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces for his outstanding and decisive battle in the woods north of Austowo on 10th September 1944’.

Telegram notify Unteroffizier Albert Schott of the award of his Knight’s Cross, the telegram being dated fro 11th September 1944, one day after the indecent for which he earned it.

Letter of congratulations on his award of the Knight’s Cross, typed document from the commanding officer of the 542nd Grenadier Division, Generalleutnant Karl Löwrick (Knight Cross and Oakleaves recipient, killed in an accident on 8th April 1945), signed in pencil, dated 16th September 1944.

Letter of congratulations on his award of the Knight’s Cross, written in ink by the regimental commander of the 1077th Grenadier Regiment, dated 16th September 1944.

Letter of congratulations on his award of the Knight’s Cross, written by a fellow Unteroffizier, this undated.

Forwarding letter for the Preliminary Field Award Certificate for the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross 1939, as forwarded to Albert Schott by his company commander, dated 12th October 1944.

Original wartime press photograph of the recipient wearing his Knight’s Cross.

Four original photographs of the occasion when the recipient was decorated by General of the Artillery Helmuth Weidling, the Commander of the 41st Panzer Corps.

Three original newspaper cutting’s detailing the award of the Knight’s Cross to Albert Schott. Two cuttings have images of the recipient wearing his awards. On of the articles is titled: ‘Die schneidige tat des Feldwebels Schott gevelsbergs zweiter ritterkreuzträger wurde is der gestrigen ratsherrnsitzung geehrt’ - ‘The dashing act of the Sergeant Schott - Gevelsberg's second Knight’s Cross winner was honored at yesterday's commander's meeting’. One article carries the full citation for his award.

A most unusual request form from the Commander in Chief of the 2nd (Middle) Army to Unteroffizier Albert Schott to be issued with 12 bottles of wine, 3 bottles of spirits, 50 cigars and 150 cigarettes, in celebration of the award of his Knight’s Cross, dated 29th September 1944. Another similarly dated, this for 20 bottles of wine, 5 bottles of cognac, 1 pack of cigarettes and 1 box of cigars. The first bearing the divisional stamp of the 542nd Grenadier Division.

Award Certificate for the Iron Cross 1939 2nd Class, issued to: ‘Oberschützen Albert Schott, 3./J.R.311’, award dated 27th June 1941, signed in ink by the Commanding Officer of the 217th Infantry Division, Generalleutnant Richard Baltzer (recipient of the German Cross in Gold on 31st January 1942).

Award Certificate for the Infantry Assault Badge in Silver, issued to: ‘Unteroffizier Albert Schott, 3./I.R.311’, dated 3rd January 1942, signed in ink by the Oberst and Regimental Commander.

Award Certificate for the Wound Badge 1939 Black Grade, issued to: ‘Uffz. Schott, Albert 3.J.R.311’ for a wound received on 10th April 1942, award dated 27th May 1942.

Typed letter from Albert Schott’s surgeon, Dr Quasig, reference Albert Schott having been wounded in action and treated, having been put into a plaster case, he was due to be returned to a home based hospital shortly, dated 1st August 1942. Sent to his wife, Luise Schott, who lived at 43 Lerchenstrasse, Gevelsberg in Westfalen.

Wehrmacht-Ein Frachtbrief Waybill for a rail journey made by Feldwebel Albert Schott, under the allocation of a Knight’s Cross holder, he was entitled to discounted rail travel, this journey being authorised on 16th October 1944 for his return home to Gevelsberg. Presumably after his award of the Knight’s Cross he was sent home for propaganda purposes in his home district of Gevelsburg in the Ruhr.

An original newspaper cutting detailing the awards of the Swords to the Knight’s Cross awarded to General of the Artillery Helmuth Weidling, this being dated 2nd December 1944. Weidling had previously decorated Schott with the Knight’s Cross, as confirmed by the original annotated photographs of the award ceremony.

8 x wartime postcards produced for the 3rd Battalion, 311th Infantry Regiment, and commemorative of their time of the Russian Front during the winter of 1941 to 1942, when they were in action in and around the village of Koporye and its historic fortress, which lies on what was the Leningrad Front and some 100 kilometres west of Saint Petersburg and some 8 kilometres from the Baltic Sea. the cards show images of the location as well as graves and a wreath laying ceremony. A named grave bears the name of ‘Oblt H. Riechert’ who was a recipient of the Knight’s Cross, along with two images of the Riechert one, a photograph of him wearing his Knight’s Cross standing with two other officers, one an artists impression of him wearing his awards and firing his sidearm. Some of the cards having printed annotations on the reverse hence relevant identifications. Oberleutnant Hans-Georg Reichert, an officer with the 3rd Battalion, 311th Infantry Regiment, who was awarded the Knight’s Cross on 1st September 1942.

Recipient’s wartime tunic medal ribbon bar for the Iron Cross 1939 2nd Class and Winter War Medal 1941-1942.
Some further wartime correspondence relating to Schott, four Feldpostkarte’s in total, two of which have hand done comic sketches.

VDK Verband der Kriegs und Wehrdienstopfer Behinderten und Sozialrentner Deutschlands 25 Year Faithful Membership Badge in Gold and matching Award Certificate, issued to Albert Schott of the Landesverband Nordrhein-Westfalen - Regional Association North Rhine-Westphalia. Together with another similar pin badge, and two examples of the the silver grade of the badge.

Provenance: this entire set of insignia and documents was originally purchased by the London Medal Company directly from the family, the set being sold by the recipient’s grandson, Enrik Schott.

Albert Schott was born on 25th April 1912 in Gevelsberg in Wesphalia, a part of the Ruhr. Having worked as a locksmith, he then saw service with the German Army during the Second World War from February 1940. Serving as an Oberschützen, the equivalent of a Senior Rifleman, and as a member of the 3rd Battalion, 311th Infantry Regiment, he saw service in his unit as part of the 217th Infantry Division. The 217th Infantry Division, under Generalleutnant Richard Baltzer, had taken part in the Polish campaign in 1939, and then towards of the end of the campaign in France in 1940 before being posted for border security duty in East Prussia.
However with Operation Barbarossa and the invasion of Russia on 22nd June 1941, the division crossed the German-Russian border at Heydekrug. It took part in the push towards Leningrad, and advanced up the Baltic coast, being present in action at Mitau, Riga and Wolmar, after which it pushed forward to Lake Piepus and was then present in the battle of Reval. The division then fought its way into the area in front of Leningrad.
It was for his bravery in action during the initial stages of the invasion of Russia that Schott was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class, the award certificate being dated 27th June 1941. From October 1941 the division was then present on the Gulf of Finland, on the western edge of Oranienbaumer Kessel. Having then spent the winter of 1941 to 1941 at the front, and been promoted to Unteroffizier, the equivalent of junior Sergeant, he was awarded the Eastern Front Medal, and having taken part in a number of infantry assaults, was awarded the Infantry Assault Badge in Silver on 3rd January 1942.
Schott was then wounded in action for the first time on 7th January 1942, before receiving his second wound on 10th April 1942, and his award of the Wound Badge 1939 Black Grade was made in an award certificate dated 27th May 1942. From April 1942 his division was present on the Leningrad Front, and on 15th October 1942 his regiment was retitled the 311th Grenadier Regiment, and then in the winter of 1942 to 1943 became involved in heavy fighting for the Leningrad Front. Despite having suffered a wound which necessitated Schott to be placed in a plaster cast and sent home for treatment, it would appear that he was back when his battalion was in action in and around the village of Koporye and its historic fortress. It was at Koporye, which lies on what was the Leningrad Front and some 100 kilometres west of Leningrad, now Saint Petersburg, and some 8 kilometres from the Baltic Sea, that the 3rd Battalion suffered heavy casualties, and the remnants were then split amongst the remaining battalion’s of the regiment.
Schott who went on to win the Iron Cross 1st Class, and was wounded for a third time on 28th September 1943. Schott’s division, which had remained on the Leningrad Front till August 1943, was disbanded on 2nd November 1943, and the remnants of his regiment was retitled the 311st Regimental Group.
Scott who had gained his Wound Badge 1939 Silver Grade, then found himself serving with the 1st Company of the 1077th ‘East Prussian’ Infantry Regiment, a unit of the 542nd Grenadier Division and once again present on the Eastern Front. The 542nd Grenadier Division was formed on 8th July 1944, and was then retitled the 542nd Infantry Division on 12th August 1944, when Generalleutnant Karl Löwrick assumed command.
It was during the defence of the River Narew against the Soviet 2nd Belorussian Front that Schott gained the Third Reich’s highest award, gained when serving as an Unteroffizier and section commander. It was for his outstanding and decisive battle in the woods north of Austowo on 10th September 1944 that he earned his award, in truly heroic circumstances, when a rifle squad position was overrun by Soviet forces in a thinly held sector of the German line, that he then counterattacked with three other men and retook the trenches and position.
A newspaper article from the time details his deed: ‘At 02.00 in the morning, under cover of total darkness, with a cry of Urra, in overwhelming superiority, a hundred strong Soviet company stormed forward the last few metres into a thinly held sector of the German main battle line, defended by only a rifle squad from the 1st Company, East Prussian 1077th Infantry Regiment. The machine gunner, and other defenders fired into enemy looming out of the darkness but, whilst resisting to the last against the ‘Red Flood’ pouring into their trenches, they were overwhelmed. The section commander, Unteroffizier Schott, immediately recognised the danger threatening the regiment with the Soviets continuing to push through their lines. Taking immediate charge of the situation he led, with only the support of another non-commissioned officer and two others, an instant counter-attack. Jumping, into the trenches they pressed the Soviets from left and right with hand grenades and withering fire from their new assault rifles, forcing them, metre-by-metre, back through the trench system. The enemy were thrown back in wild flight with severe losses in under 20 minutes, leaving the position firmly in German hands. For his bold, resolute and decisive action, Unteroffizier Schott, was promoted to Feldwebel and, on 10th September 1944, was awarded the Knight’s Cross.’
It was only one day later, on 11th September 1944, that Schott received notification of his award of the Knight’s Cross in a telegram, and it was officially announced in the 542nd Infantry Division Order of the Day No.13 for 16th September 1944, ‘for his outstanding and decisive battle in the woods north of Austowo on 10th September 1944’. Schott, who was wounded for a fourth time on 13th September 1944, received a number of letters of congratulations on his award, and his division went some way to making sure a suitable celebration of his award occurred in the form of an extensive order for alcohol and cigars / cigarettes. This celebratory order being placed on 29th September 1944, presumably in readiness for the presentation for his award which was present to him by General of the Artillery Helmuth Weidling, the Commander of the 41st Panzer Corps. Schott whose award certificate for the Knight’s Cross is dated 23rd September 1944, subsequently appears to have gone home on leave, and appears to have been then involved in some form of propaganda work for the German war effort, a newspaper article survives titled ‘Die schneidige tat des Feldwebels Schott gevelsbergs zweiter ritterkreuzträger wurde is der gestrigen ratsherrnsitzung geehrt’ - ‘The dashing act of the Sergeant Schott - Gevelsberg's second Knight’s Cross winner was honoured at yesterday's commander's meeting’. Schott was lucky in that he was not with his regiment nor division when it surrendered to the Soviet’s at Hela in April 1945, and he later became an active member of the VDK Verband der Kriegs und Wehrdienstopfer Behinderten und Sozialrentner Deutschlands, the veteran’s association, as a member of the Landesverband Nordrhein-Westfalen - Regional Association of the VDK for North Rhine-Westphalia, receiving the associations’ 25 Year Faithful Membership Badge in Gold.



Share: