Ludwig Bauer (officer)

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Ludwig Bauer
Born (1923-02-16) 16 February 1923 (age 99)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany (to 1945)
 West Germany
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1940–45
Rank Leutnant (Wehrmacht)
Oberstleutnant of the Reserves (Bundeswehr)
Unit Panzer-Regiment 33
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Ludwig Bauer (born 16 February 1923) was a Leutnant in the Wehrmacht during World War II and a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (the Knight's Cross), the highest award made by Nazi Germany to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or outstanding military leadership. Bauer was a tank crewman/commander who participated in numerous significant tank battles during World War II.

Tank Leutnant Bauer was not related to infantry Feldwebel Ludwig Bauer, who also was awarded a Knight's Cross.

World War II action

Bauer was featured in the television series Greatest Tank Battles[1] season 2, Episode 7. In the program Bauer describes his experiences as a Panzer crewman from training to his baptism of fire with the 9th Panzer Division in the Battle of Moscow. Wounded in that battle, Bauer returned to his unit for the German offensive in the Caucasus. When the 9th Panzer Division was transferred to the Western Front, Bauer was again in the thick of the action during the Ardennes Offensive, commanding a StuG tank destroyer in the 9th's drive to help out the stranded 2nd Panzer Division on the east bank of the river Meuse. Bauer ended the war commanding a Panther tank, his tank was positioned as recon front recon, however when Bauer went to sleep he found himself in a tank, with U.S. soldiers on top thinking his Panther was abandoned, after nearly running the soldiers over he returned to the German side after being hit by three bazookas. However he was mistaken for a U.S. tank and fired on by one Hetzer, surviving his burning Panther to end his war, the ninth time he'd managed to bail out of a burning tank.

Awards and decorations


  1. No evidence of the award can be found in the German Federal Archives. Von Seeman stated that the tradition club of the 9. Panzer-Division informed him of the presentation of the Knight's Cross to Ludwig Bauer in 1954.[3] The I./Panzer-Regiment 33, to which the 1st company was subordinated, was destroyed on 17 April 1945 under the leadership of Hauptmann Simon in the Ruhr Pocket (Heeresgruppe B). The receipt of a nomination by the troop with the Heerespersonalamt (HPA—Army Staff Office) or the Außenstelle of the Heerespersonalamt (HPA/A—Branch of the Army Staff Office) cannot be verified. A Heerespersonalamt-Verleihungsvorschlag (HPA-VV— Army Staff Office Nomination Recommendation) was definitely not created. Also, the responsible official at the time would have deferred the nomination from Heeresgruppe B after its capitulation after 17 April according to AHA 44 Ziff. 572. A presentation on 29 April via the HPA or the HPA/A is very unlikely. A statement provided by the 1st scribe of the 9. Panzer-Division from 1957 to the Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR) is inconclusive it states: "...I have to assume that this Knight's Cross was intended for ... Leutnant ... Bauer". Bauer is a member of the AKCR.[4]



  2. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 106.
  3. Von Seemen 1976, p. 378.
  4. Scherzer 2007, p. 119.


  • 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)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<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)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Von Seemen, Gerhard (1976). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 : die Ritterkreuzträger sämtlicher Wehrmachtteile, Brillanten-, Schwerter- und Eichenlaubträger in der Reihenfolge der Verleihung : Anhang mit Verleihungsbestimmungen und weiteren Angaben (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7909-0051-4. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links