7 September 1920|
|Years of service||1939–45|
|Unit||3rd Panzer Division|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Paul-Georg Kleffel (7 September 1920 – present) was a German mechanized infantry commander and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Oberleutnant Kleffel was a company commander in the reconnaissance battalion of the 3rd Panzer Division during early 1944. During the division’s defense of Orhei, on 13 April, the Soviets succeeded in reaching a defile in regimental strength just short of a patch of woods to the east of Orhei. From where his company was positioned Kleffel determined if the Russians made it to the woods they would be in a position to compromise the division’s entire defensive position. He launched a counterattack with his eight APCs, and despite fire from Russian AT guns he was able to reach the defile and opened fire, scattering the Russian infantry that were gathered there. He continued to pursue the Russian regiment across the bridge where it had come from, inflicting heavy losses, and pulled back across before the Russians were able to take countermeasures. For his successful spoiling attack Kleffel was awarded the Knight’s Cross.
Awards & decorations
- Iron Cross
- 2nd Class
- 1st Class
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 14 May 1944 as Chef 4./Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 3
- German Cross in Gold on 16 November 1943 as Oberleutnant 4./Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 3
- Veterans of the 3rd Panzer Division (2012). Armoured Bears: Volume Two. Stackpole Books. p. 230.
- 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 Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. Unknown parameter
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