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

    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 read that he was very friendly and communicated with fans up to his death. I wish I would have had him sign my photo and wrote to him. A very strange thing also is, the day I decided to research him, it happened to be Dec.17th..his birthday!
    Not only his b-day, but it also happens to be my daughters birthday..weird.
    I would like to just give my respect to Herr Diercks and some of his accomplisments..

    SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Rolf Diercks was born Dec.17th , 1915 in Preetz.

    He was awarded several medals including the German Cross in Gold on April 24th,1943 as

    commander of the SS-Pz Div. "Deustchland" when he personally took lead of the division

    and secured a bridgehead and was severely wounded several times ,was awarded the

    wounded badge in silver.

    He did a lot more during the war than I have written here but I just wanted people who have never heard of him to at least get an idea of what he accomplished. He acquired his doctorate in 1952 in pest control and crop science.
    So, rest in piece, Rolf!
    Here's my photo of him.
    Dean.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Dean; 01-20-2013 at 01:01 AM.

  2. #2

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

    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.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  3. #3

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

    there are all slipping away,RIP.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: R.I.P. SS-Pz Rolf Diercks

    Thanks Ned, for the detailed recommendation for the DK In Gold. He was a great leader in the face of danger.
    Dean.

  5. #5

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

    Quote by Dean View Post
    He was a great leader in the face of danger.
    Dean.
    The fact that he and 40 men led by him rubbed out over 600 enemy and destroyed much of their equipment is in an unequivocal agreement with that.

    I wouldn't have liked to get on his bad side that's for sure!
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: R.I.P. SS-Pz Rolf Diercks

    Quote by Dean View Post
    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 read that he was very friendly and communicated with fans up to his death. I wish I would have had him sign my photo and wrote to him. A very strange thing also is, the day I decided to research him, it happened to be Dec.17th..his birthday!
    Not only his b-day, but it also happens to be my daughters birthday..weird.
    I would like to just give my respect to Herr Diercks and some of his accomplisments..

    SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Rolf Diercks was born Dec.17th , 1915 in Preetz.

    He was awarded several medals including the German Cross in Gold on April 24th,1943 as

    commander of the SS-Pz Div. "Deustchland" when he personally took lead of the division

    and secured a bridgehead and was severely wounded several times ,was awarded the

    wounded badge in silver.

    He did a lot more during the war than I have written here but I just wanted people who have never heard of him to at least get an idea of what he accomplished. He acquired his doctorate in 1952 in pest control and crop science.
    So, rest in piece, Rolf!
    Here's my photo of him.
    Dean.
    Dean just to clarify Rolf Dierks was the Adjutant of SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment 3 " Deutschland " which was part of the Das Reich Divison. He went on to be the Chief of Staff of II SS Panzer Korps at the end of the war and was very helpful to reseachers and active in Veterans organisations post war up until his death .

    cheers

    Paul
    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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: R.I.P. SS-Pz Rolf Diercks

    RIP
    Thanks for the info as well Guys.

    Greg

  8. #8
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    Default Re: R.I.P. SS-Pz Rolf Diercks

    Thanks for that biscuit , Paul! I really wish I could have talked to him.
    Cheers,
    Dean.

  9. #9

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

    after reading Neds great addition, I wonder what did a fellow of this kind needed to do in order to earn a RK? superb leadership under heavy close fire seems like screaming BINGO from my humble opinion

  10. #10
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    Default Re: R.I.P. SS-Pz Rolf Diercks

    I highly agree with that statement ,Otter!
    Dean.

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