Max Schäfer

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Max Schäfer
Born 17 January 1907
Karlsruhe, German Empire
Died 16 May 1987 (1987-05-17) (aged 80)
Baden-Baden, West Germany
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen-SS
Years of service 1933–45
Rank Standartenführer (Colonel)
Unit 5th SS Panzergrenadier Division Wiking
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
Iron Cross 1st Class
Iron Cross 2nd Class
General Assault Badge
Eastern Front

Max Schäfer (17 January 1907 – 16 May 1987) was a Standartenführer (Colonel) in the Waffen-SS, during World War II who was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.[1]

Early life

Schäfer was born on 17 January 1907 in Karlsruhe.

Military career

Schäfer joined the Waffen-SS in 1933, and became the head of the SS training system. In 1934, he was a teacher in the SS sports school at Fürth and later at Reutlingen.[1]

Schäfer then commanded a platoon in the 2nd Company, SS Pioneer Battalion during the Polish Campaign and the Battle of France. Late in 1940, he was promoted to command the 2nd Company, 5th SS Pioneer Battalion, which from June 1941 was involved in the invasion of Russia (Operation Barbarosa). From October 1941, he was commander of the 5th SS Pioneer Battalion, which at the time was operating in the Don and the Caucasus regions.[1]

Schäfer was awarded his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, for his command during the defence of the Stalinsky sector and the numerous battles his unit was involved in the period between January 1943 and early February 1943.

In May 1943, Schäfer became the commander of all pioneers in the III SS Panzer Corps serving with distinction at Leningrad and Oranienbaum.[1] He was awarded the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross in January 1945.[2]

Schäfer was made a prisoner of war by the advancing British forces on 14 May 1945 and released from captivity on 8 November 1948.[1]

Later life

Schäfer died in Baden-Baden, near his city of birth, on 16 May 1987.



  1. According to Scherzer as commander of SS-Panzer-Pionier-Bataillon 5.[5]
  2. According to Scherzer as SS-Obersturmbannführer.[5]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "ritterkreuztraeger" (PDF).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "personregister".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Thomas 1998, p. 246.
  4. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 373.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Scherzer 2007, p. 655.
  6. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 95.


  • 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>
  • Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>