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Manfred Schönfelder

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Manfred Schönfelder

Manfred Schönfelder
Born 18 March 1912
Hellerau, Germany
Died 4 March 1983(1983-03-04) (aged 70)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Waffen-SS
Years of service 1933–1945
Rank Obersturmbannführer (lieutenant colonel)
Unit 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
German Cross in Gold
Iron Cross 1st Class
Iron Cross 2nd Class
Wound Badge
Infantry Assault Badge

Manfred Schönfelder (18 March 1912 — 4 March 1983) was an Obersturmbannführer (lieutenant colonel) in the Waffen-SS during World War II. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, which was awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership by Nazi Germany during World War II.

Biography

Manfred Schönfelder was born on the 18 March 1912 at Hellerau near Dresden.[1] After completing his high school education, he joined the SS and was one of the first members to attend the SS-Junkerschule at Bad Tölz.[1]

After graduation he was promoted to Untersturmführer (second lieutenant) and posted to the SS Standarte Deutschland.[1] He eventually became the Adjutant of the III. Battalion Deutschland Regiment and commander of the 12th Machine Gun Company, during the Polish Campaign and the Battle of France.[1]

In February 1941 he was given command of the Germania Regiment for the invasion of Russia, (Operation Barbarossa).[1] From September 1942 to January 1943 he was on the staff of the 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking.[2]

During fighting at the Cherkassy pocket, Schönfelder prevented the loss of the entire division's artillery, which enabled them to hold out for a further 24 hours and then made it possible for the division to withdraw over the rough terrain.[1]

They were also able to hold back the Russians, prevent the division from being trapped and allow them to breakout. For these actions on the 23rd February 1944 Manfred Schönfelder was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.[1][3]

Manfred Schönfelder survived the war and died on 4 March 1983.[1]

References

  • Mattson, Gregory. SS-The Realm: The History of the Second SS Division, 1939-45. Staplehurst 2002. ISBN 1-86227-144-5.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas, 2000. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.

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