Heinrich Sonne

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Heinrich Sonne
Born (1917-02-23)23 February 1917
Riga, Latvia
Died 3 December 2011(2011-12-03) (aged 94)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
 West Germany
Service/branch Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen-SS
Heer (Bundeswehr)
Years of service 1939–45
1956–73
Rank Hauptsturmführer
Oberstleutnant (Bundeswehr)
Unit 1st SS Infantry Brigade (mot.)
Commands held Krad-Schützen-Kompanie / SS-Infanterie-Brigade 1(mot)
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Heinrich Sonne (23 February 1917 – 3 December 2011) was a decorated Hauptsturmführer (Captain) in the Waffen-SS – the armed paramilitary branch of the Nazi Party's Schutzstaffel (SS) – during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, which was awarded to recognise battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Sonne was born in Riga, Latvia to German parents.

World War II

Sonne served in the 1st SS Infantry Brigade as commander of the Krad-Schützen (motorcycle company). The 1 SS Infantry Brigade (mot) was a unit of the German Waffen-SS, the armed force of the SS, formed from former concentration camp guards for service in the invasion of the Soviet Union. They conducted anti-partisan operations in the rear of the advancing German army, and also filled gaps in the front line when called upon in emergencies. Heinrich Sonne won his Knight's Cross for his actions on the front line in the fighting around Smolensk during September 1943. When the 1st SS Infantry Brigade was disbanded in early January 1944, the remaining soldiers, including Heinrich Sonne, were used to form a cadre for the 18th SS Volunteer Panzer Grenadier Division "Horst Wessel", where he was given command of the SS-Aufklärungs Abteilung 18 (Reconnaissance Battalion).

Post War

Sonne was one of the very few former Waffen-SS soldiers allowed to join the post-War German Army, the Bundeswehr. He served from 1956 to 1973, eventually reaching the rank of Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel).

Awards and decorations

References

Notes

  1. Scherzer 2007, p. 710.

Bibliography

  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Schneider J. W. Their Honor was Loyalty!, R. James Bender Publishing, 1977

External links