On the road to Malmedy

SS-Obersturmführer Goltz
SS-Obersturmführer Leidreiter
SS-Obersturmführer Heinz Goltz from Schnelle Gruppe Knittel at the Kaiserbaracke Crossroads, east of St. Vith and Malmédy, on December 18 1944. An image sometimes identified as SS-Obersturmführer Hans-Martin Leidreiter. Leidreiter also served under SS-Sturmbannführer Gustav Knittel as company commander in the Ardennes Offensive. Schnelle Gruppe Knittel operated near Stavelot behind SS-Kampfgruppe Peiper. SS-Kampfgruppe Peiper got closest to the Meuse/Maas but got encircled in La Gleize. SS-Kampfgruppe Hansen made an attempt to break the encirclement but failed. The other SS-Kampfgruppen tried to free the supply route which had also been cut by Allied Forces (by taking Stavelot). 
Heinz Goltz was born in 1921 in Allenstein (Ostpreußen). He joined the Waffen-SS in 1939 and participated in both the Balcans Campain and in the Operation Barbarossa. After the abandonment of the Ardennes Offensive the Leibstandarte SS was transferred to Hungary to take part in Operation Spring Awakening (Unternehmen Frühlingserwachen). Goltz survived the battles on the Eastern and Western Fronts. He was later accused of having given the order to shoot Belgian civilians for sheltering American troops in the vicinity of Stavelot (December 19-20 1944). Moreover, on December 23, 24 and 25 1944 Malmedy was bombed repeatedly by the U.S. Air Force killing approximately 200 Belgian civilians despite the fact it was actually under control of U.S. troops. A trial held in Liège ended on July 31 1948 with the conviction of Ostuf Heinz Goltz. He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment but served less. First image source: U.S. War Department Film. Second image: Commons: Bundesarchiv.

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