Waldemar von Gazen

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Waldemar von Gazen
File:Waldemar von Gazen.jpg
Waldemar von Gazen
Born (1917-12-06)6 December 1917
Hamburg, German Empire
Died 13 January 2014(2014-01-13) (aged 96)
Göttingen, Germany[1]
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1936–45
Rank Major im Generalstab
Unit 13th Panzer Division
Commands held Pz.Gren.Rgt. 66
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
Other work Lawyer and Notary

Waldemar von Gazen genannt von Gaza (6 December 1917 – 13 January 2014)[1] was an Officer in the German Wehrmacht and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Early life and career

Von Gazen was born on 6 December 1917 in Hamburg, a state of the German Empire. He was the son of the Oberst a.D. (Colonel retired; a.D.—außer Dienst) Oskar von Gazen. Following his graduation with the Abitur from the Gymnasium, a secondary school with a strong emphasis on academic learning, in Bergedorf, he completed his compulsory Reichsarbeitsdienst (Reich Labor Service).[2]

He joined the military service in the Wehrmacht with Infanterie-Regiment 66 (66th Infantry Regiment) near Magdeburg as a Fahnenjunker (Cadet) in 1936. Infanterie-Regiment 66 was subordinated to the 13th Infantry Division which later reorganized into the 13th Panzer Division. He was promoted to Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant) on 1 September 1938.[2]

World War II

In the Invasion of Poland and the Battle of France, he served as a Zugführer (platoon leader) (Zugführer). He was promoted to Oberleutnant (1st Lieutenant) on 1 September 1940. He was tasked with the leadership of the 2nd company of Schützen-Regiment 66 on the Eastern Front.[3]

Von Gazen was promoted to Hauptmann (Captain) and received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) on 18 September 1942 for his achievements in summer of 1942 and the assault on Rostov. Shortly afterwards he was made leader of the I. Bataillon (1st Battalion) of the regiment. In early 1943 he distinguished himself again in combat as the leader of a Kampfgruppe (combat formation) in the Kuban bridgehead. For these actions he received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub) on 18 January 1943.[3]

Von Gazen was made leader of Schützen-Regiment 66 in April 1943 and was officially commander of the regiment on 28 August 1943. His regiment succeeded in holding the German lines in the vicinity of Melitopol against numerous attacks by the Red Army at the end of September 1943. Von Gazen was severely wounded in these battles. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern) on 3 October 1943 for the achievements of his regiment.[3]

After a period of convalescence he was transferred to the Generalstab des Heeres (General staff of the Army) on 1 July 1944. Here he received a general staff traineeship. He was appointed Ia (operations officer) of the 13. Panzer-Division stationed in Hungary in early September 1944. He was transferred again and appointed Ia of the 2. Panzer-Division in February 1945. Von Gazen was taken prisoner of war at the end of hostilities in Europe and released in 1946.[3]

Awards

Wehrmachtbericht reference

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
3 October 1943 Bei den Abwehrkämpfen südostwärts Saporoshje zeichneten sich das Jägerregiment 138 unter Führung des Oberstleutnants Graf von der Goltz, eine unter Führung von Major von Gaza stehende Panzergruppe sowie die Sturmgeschützabteilung 243 und die Heeres-Panzerjägerabteilung 721 besonders aus.[10] The Jägerregiment 138 under the leadership of Oberstleutnant Graf von der Goltz, a Panzer group under the command of Major von Gaza as well as Sturmgeschützabteilung 243 and the Heeres-Panzerjägerabteilung 721 distinguished themselves in the defensive battles south east of Zaporizhia.

References

Citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 Obituary at HNA Trauer.de (in German). Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Stockert 1997, p. 333.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Waldemar von Gazen". Lexikon der Wehrmacht (in German). Retrieved 26 November 2013. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Thomas 1997, p. 190.
  5. Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 131.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Scherzer 2007, p. 328.
  7. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 192.
  8. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 65.
  9. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 41.
  10. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, p. 574.

Bibliography

  • Berger, Florian (1999). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges (in German). Vienna, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 978-3-9501307-0-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • 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>
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Schaulen, Fritjof (2003). Eichenlaubträger 1940 – 1945 Zeitgeschichte in Farbe I Abraham – Huppertz (in German). Selent, Germany: Pour le Mérite. ISBN 978-3-932381-20-1. 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>
  • Stockert, Peter (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2 (in German). Bad Friedrichshall, Germany: Friedrichshaller Rundblick. ISBN 978-3-9802222-9-7. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Williamson, Gordon; McGregor, Malcolm (2005). German Commanders of World War II. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-596-1. Retrieved 26 November 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943 (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

  • "Waldemar von Gazen". World War II Awards. Retrieved 26 November 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • "Waldemar von Gazen". Lexikon der Wehrmacht (in German). Retrieved 26 November 2013. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>