Image size: 1125 x 1600 pixel. 496 KB
Date: Monday, 12 January 1942
Heinrich Springer (November 3, 1914 – October 27, 2007) in his formal portrait on the award of the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes (Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross), January 1942. Unlike many "Aces" who won this award by accumulating a "score", Springer earned his for a single infantry combat action where he displayed exemplary personal bravery, leading a charge on a heavily defended bridge over the river Don. He was a Hauptsturmführer (Captain) in the 1. SS-Division "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler". He went to the Gelehrtenschule in Meldorf. Springer trained as a civil engineer and an architect and also served as a Hitlerjugend leader. As a youth in the Weimar Republic he trained to be volunteered for the Waffen-SS and attended the SS officers training school at Bad Tölz, after graduation he was posted to the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. He went on to command the 3rd company in 1941 with the rank of Obersturmführer (First Lieutenant). It was while in command of the 3rd company that he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. During the Battle of Rostov he seized a vital bridge over the River Don. He later commanded the 1st Company LSSAH from June 1942 to February 1943 with the rank of Hauptsturmführer (Captain). Further information on Springer is sparse. After suffering multiple wounds he was awarded the Verwundetenabzeichen in Gold (Golden Wound Badge). He then spent some time at the OKW as the Waffen SS Liaison officer working with General Alfred Jodl. He was then posted to the headquarters of the Army Group B, under Field Marshal Walter Model, where he stayed during the Normandy Invasion and the Ardennes offensive. He was then the officer in charge of ordnance for Army Group Vistula. He then spent some time in captivity before being released and returning to his family. Springer died in Oelixdorf, Germany in 2007.