SS-Wiking Officers Hack and Heder (Kovel encirclement)

Franz Hack - The Face of Courage
Eberhard Heder as SS-Hauptsturmführer
Left image: SS-Sturmbannführer Franz Hack, commander of SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment Germania 9  of the 5.SS-Panzer-Division Wiking, after the breakthrough to Kovel. A combined panzer and infantry assault facilitated a breakthrough on wide axis, allowing the positions in the city to be reinforced. Out of the millions who fought for Germany in World War II, only 98 received both the Knight's Cross and the Close-Combat Clasp in Gold. Franz Hack was one of them. He wrote in the preface to the classic photo album Panzergrenadiere Der Panzerdivision Wiking im BildVolunteers of almost every European nation, fought in the companies of the regiment, and – here it shall not be forgotten – as loyal comrades in arms, they thereby gave for the first time practical embodiment to the European ideal. The brave men of Wiking need no additional glorification. Hack ended the war as an SS-Obersturmbannführer and died aged 82 on June 9 1997 in Schleswig-Holstein. Source: The Face of CourageRight image: SS-Sturmbannführer Eberhard Heder joined the SS-Pionier-Bataillon 5 in Dresden in November 1937. He served with the Wiking Division in Operation Barbarossa and was awarded the German Cross in Gold after the breakout through the Korsun-Cherkassy pocket. He was then given command of the SS-Pionier-Bataillon 5 and was awarded the Knight's Cross in November 1944 for his actions in the fighting for Warsaw. Heder ended the war as an SS-Sturmbannführer and joined the West German Bundeswehr in 1955 and reached the rank of Oberst. Eberhard Heder is still alive as of 2018 at age 100. Images: Commons Bundesarchiv.

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