|SS-Sturmbannführer Max Hansen|
In 1944 he participated in the bitter fighting of the Normandy Campaign and in the Ardennes and in 1945 in the German-Hungarian attempt to relieve the Soviet siege of Budapest. Hansen was wounded for the ninth time in the failed counteroffensive Spring Awakening in Hungary – even as a regimental commander, the SS-Obersturmbannführer Max Hansen led from the front. He collected enough close-combat days that he crossed the 50 standard for the Close Combat Clasp in Gold. He not only received that award in the hospital, but was also rewarded for the performance of his regiment in the Ardennes with the Oakleaves to the Knight's Cross. He was promoted SS-Standartenführer on April 20 1945. Hansen surrendered his forces.to the Americans at Linz after six difficult years of war. All that remained of what once had been one of the proudest elite divisions of the Waffen-SS were some 1,600 SS-Panzergrenadiers. After World War II, Max Hansen served as the manager of a mid-level company. The father of four died at his place of birth on March 7 1990. Credit: Florian Berger: The Face of Courage. Image: SS-Sturmbannführer Max Hansen. Commons: Bundesarchiv.