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R.I.P. SS-Pz Rolf Diercks

Article about: I was recently doing some research on Herr Dr. Prof. Rolf Diercks because i have a framed photo of him and realized he had passed away on Feb.16th 2012. I was a little bummed out because I r

  1. #11
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    Default Re: R.I.P. SS-Pz Rolf Diercks

    SS Number 80 149 , EK II 22/9/39 , EKI 30/6/40 ,ISA 1/4/41 , VWA Schwarz 1941 , VWA Silber 12/3/43 .

    An RK could be won for one single action or command period where as a DKiG took several acts of bravery to be awarded , the award process like many other top awards was weird and wonderful !!
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  2. #12

    Default Re: R.I.P. SS-Pz Rolf Diercks

    thanks for the great post that made a very interesting read.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: R.I.P. SS-Pz Rolf Diercks

    Thanks for additional info,Paul. mauser9,you are welcome, and I am very grateful I paid homage to this fine warrior and his brave deeds against the enemy.Prost!
    R.I.P. Rolf Diercks .
    -Dean

  4. #14

    Default Re: R.I.P. SS-Pz Rolf Diercks

    Ruhe In Frieden Rolf. It's sad that all these great veterans are gone. Haha December 17th is my best friends birthday, interesting.

    Evan

  5. #15
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    Default Re: R.I.P. SS-Pz Rolf Diercks

    That's cool, Espiteri! Thanks for the kind words.Looks like you live close to me!
    Dean.

  6. #16

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    Quote by big ned View Post
    A nice little vignette Dean, thanks. For those interested here is the official reccomendation for the award of his Deutsche Kreuz in Gold.

    "On July 1, 1941, the III./Deutschland, as advance detachment of the Division, had the task to reach Jakschitzy and capture the bridge over the Beresina River. A few kilometers before Jakschitzy the route worsened, making impossible any further advance. In this situation the assault guns, reinforced by a heavy machine-gun platoon, were sent ahead to build a bridgehead. Obersturmführer Diercks, Chief of the 12./Deutschland, took leadership of this platoon.

    When the assault guns were at the point of entering the bridge, the enemy blew it up. Some of the assault guns fell down with the bridge and the others were damaged by the explosion. The opponent, hidden along the western bank, immediately launched a counterthrust for building a bridgehead and holding their own positions. Realizing this danger, and above all to protect the disembarked crews of the assault guns, Diercks and his platoon joined the fight. At close range and partially from open positions, they engaged in a violent machine-gun fire duel that was won after a short time thanks to his superior leadership. The enemy retreated to the river embankment and took up positions, but was then destroyed by Diercks in a counterattack. In fierce close combat, Diercks himself stayed well-ahead of his men and entangled in the brawl.

    Through his action, as quick as lightning he annihilated completely the enemy along the west bank of the Beresina River. Immediately afterwards, he built on the west bank a powerful front with heavy machine-guns and anti-tank guns reinforced with captured weapons. Diercks opened fire against the east bank, in doing so providing for the following elements of the battalion a strong covering fire. Shortly after that, Diercks created the conditions for the construction of a bridgehead on the east bank of the Berersina River.

    On March 20-21,1942, during the winter battles near Rshew, the enemy managed to open a breach 15 kilometers wide. Their goal was to establish contact with the troops that had broken through south of the Rshew-Olinino railroad line. They were trying with this movement to encircle and destroy the battlegroup of SS-Division Reich as well as elements of the 5.Panzer-Division and other Army troops.

    Sensing the situation, the battle group attacked in an east-west direction with the Ski-Company of Deutschland as right flank protection. In an audacious attack, the Ski Company took Panowo, a key position in this undertaking. There the company leader fell in combat. The 40 men strong company prepared for defense, because the enemy tried immediately to recover possession of the village. After the enemy's repeated attacks became stronger and the situation became untenable, the acting company leader asked for assistance. Diercks, at that time regimental adjutant, realized the importance of this position. He immediately gathered together some men and took command of the Company. Through clever and stubborn defensive measures he faced progressively stronger enemy assaults. The opponent, attacking in regimental strength, lost within the defensive positions of Diercks´s Company 482 men killed and countless weapons. The enemy disengaged from the Company completely beaten. With this bold and brave action, combined with masterful leadership, Diercks created the conditions for the following offensive successes of the regiment. Later the majority of the enemy was encircled.

    On March 21, 1942 Diercks and the Ski Company had the task to fight their way from the south through the so-called Stiefelwald (Boot forest) north of Owsjanikowo towards Kischkimo and support the regiment attacking from the west. Despite strong enemy resistance, Diercks pushed into the forest area occupied by more than 2,000 Russians and battled through it. Always the annihilation of the largest possible number of Russian troops was the only goal. In frantic hunting with his 40 men he sought out the enemy and inflicted on them the heaviest losses. Diercks, who was severely wounded that day, carried out the assigned task brilliantly and accomplished a success of far-reaching importance for the development of the military operations in this area. In this attack the enemy lost 614 men as well as a large amount of weapons and equipment.

    In the period from February 2 to March 12, 1943, in the course of the hard defensive battles in the Oskol-area and east of Kharkov, as well as during the ensuing persecution battles west of the Donez in the area around the city until the actual storming of Kharkov, Diercks served as regimental adjutant. The critical situations during the defensive battles, especially in the moments when Deutschland with attached elements bore the main weight of the fight, made it continuously necessary that the regimental commander went personally to the front lines to get information. In such situations Diercks was never afraid to bear the entire responsability for tactical leadership of the regiment.

    On March 12, 1943, when Deutschland was put into action for the direct assault on Charkov from the west, the forward elements became temporarily cut off from the regiment after breaking into the western outskirts of the city. Diercks was given the task to reach the isolated fighting positions, establish contact there, and give the additional orders for the attack on the center of the city. In the course of this action Diercks was severely wounded. Nevertheless, despite his wounds he got by without treatment and continued. Thanks to the unselfish and self-sacrificing behaviour of Diercks the further attack orders could be transmitted to the most advanced elements in time. The quick seizure of the city of Kharkov from the west was guaranteed."

    Regards, Ned.
    Hi all,

    I was in contact with Diercks because he helped me with my book. The German language Wiki entry about Diercks was written by me. Diercks was very well aware of the contents of his German Cross in gold recommendation and told me to take it all with a big grain of salt:

    "Übrigens muß ich darauf verweisen, daß die aufgeführten „Kriegstaten“ in der Vorschlagsliste mehr als übertrieben sind. So „heroisch“ dürfen Sie mich nicht einschätzen! Aber erfahrungsgemäß gibt es ja weder im Krieg noch im Frieden Auszeichnungen, wenn es den zuständigen Personalbearbeitern nicht gelingt, die Realität im „positiven Sinn“ meistens stark zu verfälschen." - Rolf Diercks, SS-Hauptsturmführer in the "Das Reich" Division, about his German Cross in gold in a letter dated the 7th of May 2005.

    My translation: Incidentally, I must point out that the listed "acts of war" in the proposal list are more than exaggerated. One should no assess me that "heroic"! But experience has shown that neither at war nor at peace there will be awards if the competent editors in the personnel office do not strongly distort reality in a “positive sense”.

    Rolf Diercks (SS-No. 80 149) was born in Preetz, in the Plön district of Schleswig-Holstein on the 15th of December 1915 and attended the ‘Nationalpolitische Lehranstalt’ (National Political Institution of Teaching, NAPOLA), a National-Socialist secondary boarding school, in Plön from Easter 1933 to Easter 1936, obtaining his Abitur. At the NAPOLA in Plön Gerd Bremer was a fellow student. Diercks joined the SS on the 1st of May 1933 and the NSDAP on the 1st of October 1937, the date he attended the SS-Junkerschule in Bad Tölz. He was inducted as SS-Untersturmführer on the 9th of November 1938 followed by promotion to SS-Obersturmführer on the 20th of April 1940 and to SS-Hauptsturmführer o the 9th of November 1942. Diercks was awarded the German Cross in Gold on the 24th of April 1943 as aide of SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment ‘Deutschland’. After the war he studied agriculture, graduated in 1950 and got his doctorate in 1952. After his habilitation thesis in 1965 he became an honorary professor at the Munich technical university until 1979. He was leader of the Department for Pest Control and vice-chairman of the Bavarian Department for Natural Resources and Crop Science. Professor Diercks died in Munich on the 16th of February 2012. He was very sceptical about his time in the Waffen-SS which he referred to as an 'Irrweg' (wrong track).

    Hope this helps

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