- Karl Decker
Infobox Military Person
died=death date and age|1945|4|21|1897|11|30|df=y
German Empire(to 1918)
Weimar Republic(to 1933)
Nazi Germany(to 1945)
rank=General der Panzertruppe
World War I World War II
awards=Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (posthumous)
Karl Decker (
30 November 1897– 21 April 1945) was a German generalin the infantry, serving during World War II. Trapped in the Ruhr Pocket, Decker committed suicide on 21 April 1945.
Karl Decker was born on
30 November 1897as son to an officer in Borntin-Neustettin in Pomerania. In the beginning of World War Ihe initially served in the "Infanterieregiment 54" as an " Unteroffizier". He was promoted to an officer candidate for bravery before the enemy and also was awarded the Iron Cross(1914) 2nd Class. Decker was again promoted in 1915 to Leutnant and shortly afterwards received the Iron Cross 1st Class. He then served as "Zugführer" of a machine gununit after he was transferred to the "Feldkriegsschule" of the 8. Armee in 1916. He then held the position of an adjutant to a Battalion. During 1918 he was assigned to the "Infanterieschule" in Döberitzas a weapons instructor.Berger 1999, p. 52.]
After the capitulation of the
German EmpireDecker was accepted into the Reichswehrand served with the "Reserve-Jägerregiment 29", and the "Jägerregiment 5" and in the "Reiterregiment 6". He was promoted to " Oberleutnant" and " Hauptmann" during these assignments. As a majorhe was transferred to the "Stab" of the "Kavellerieregiment 15" together with Horst Niemack. Shortly afterwards he was reassigned again, this time to the "Panzerabwehrabteilung 38" in Mühlhausen. He later held the commanding offers position with this unit.
This unit was subordinated to the 2. Panzerdivision during the
Invasion of Polandand fought under the command of Decker near Krakauand the Jablonkapass.
Battle of France, Decker commanded the I. Abteilung of the Panzerregiment 3 in the 2. Panzerdivision. This unit fought at the Maas, near Sedan, St. Quentinand Abbeville. Decker was awarded both clasps to the Iron Cross (1939) for his personal bravery and also promoted to " Oberstleutnant".
Balkans Campaignhis Regiment fought its way through Yugoslavia, northern Greece, occupied Athensand crossed the channel of Corinth. Karl Decker always always leading his unit from the front was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Crosson 13 June 1941for his personal bravery and for the achieved success.
Karl Decker was put in command of Panzerregiment 3 before
Operation Barbarossabegan. His Regiment fought hard in the battles at Wjasma, Brjanskand near Moscow. Decker was promoted to " Oberst" on 1 February 1942. A few months later he was transferred to the "Stab" of the 9. Armee. In April 1943 he again was ordered to the front as commander of the 5. Panzerdivision. Decker distinguished themselves multiple times, for instance at Shisdra, in the relief of the cauldron of Koweland at Operation Zitadelleand was promoted to " Generalmajor" on 1 December 1943. Decker also distinguished himselves many times during the retreat of " Heeresgruppe Mitte". He was awarded the 466th Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross on 4 May 1944and promoted to " Generalleutnant".
For his leadership capabilities Decker was made commanding general of the XXXIX. Panzerkorps. Deckers Corp fought successfully under the command of the 3. Panzerarmee in multiple defensive and retreating battles. Decker was promoted to General der Panzertruppen on
1 January 1945.
After his unit was relocated to the Western front, his Corp fought the Americans at
Uelzenand in the Elsaß. Here the 5. Panzerarmee was subordinated to "Heeresgruppe B". General der Panzertruppen Karl Decker committed suicide on 21 April 1945after total defeat and the encirclement of the Heeresgruppe in the Ruhr Pocketin April 1945. Decker was posthumously awarded the 149th Swords to the Knight's Cross on 26 April 1945.
Wound Badgein Black
Iron Cross(1914) 2nd and 1st Class
* Clasp to the Iron Cross (1939)
** 2nd Class (
22 October 1939)
** 1st Class (
16 September 1941)
Panzer Badgein Silver
German Crossin Gold ( 1 August 1942)
* Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
** Knight's Cross (
13 June 1941)
** 466. Oak Leaves (
4 May 1944)
** 149. Swords (
26 April 1944) (posthumous) [The German National Archives hold no records for the presentation of the Swords. It is assumed that the presentation fell into the timeframe 20 April 1945to 29 April 1945. It is assumed that the award was granted on 26 April 1945. Fellgiebell 2000]
* Mentioned four times in the
* Berger, Florian. "Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges". Wien, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger, 2006. ISBN 3-9501307-0-5. de icon
* Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer. "Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945". Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas, 2000. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5. de icon
* Patzwall, Klaus D. and Scherzer, Veit: "Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II" (The German Cross 1930–1945: History and holders, vol. 2). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall, 2001. ISBN 3-931533-45-X. de icon
* [http://www.ritterkreuztraeger-1939-45.de/Infanterie/D/Decker-Karl.htm Karl Decker @ Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS 1939-1945]
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