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Stars that died 2010

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Heinrich Sonne, German Waffen-SS member, recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, died he was 94.


Heinrich Sonne was a highly decorated Hauptsturmführer der Reserve in the Waffen-SS during World War II died he was 94.. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Sonne was born in Riga, Latvia to German parents.

(23 February 1917 – 3 December 2011)

World War II

Sonne served in the 1st SS Infantry Brigade as commander of the Krad-Schützen (motorcycle company). The 1 SS Infantry Brigade (mot) was a unit of the German Waffen SS formed from former concentration camp guards for service in the Soviet Union behind the main front line during the Second World War. They conducted anti-partisan operations in the rear of the advancing German army, and also filled gaps in the front line when called upon in emergencies. Heinrich Sonne won his Knight's Cross for his actions on the front line in the fighting around Smolensk during September 1943. Later, when the 1st SS Infantry Brigade was disbanded in early January 1944, the remaining soldiers, including Heinrich Sonne, were used to form a cadre for the 18th SS Volunteer Panzer Grenadier Division Horst Wessel.

Post War

Sonne was one of the very few former Waffen-SS soldiers allowed to join the Bundeswehr. This can be attributed to an unblemished military service record. He served from 1956 to 1973 in the Bundeswehr, eventually reaching the rank of Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel).

Awards and decorations

References


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