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WH (Heer) Medical Officer's Visor Cap to KC Recipient 'Dr.Heinrich Hüls'


WH (Heer) Medical (Arzt) Officer's Visor Cap (Schirmmütze). Visor caps were a standard item for all armed forces personnel during the Third Reich period. Although enlisted personnel were issued their caps from government supplies they were also permitted to purchase privately tailored caps. This is a nice privately purchased Officer's example. Complete with celluloid manufacturers sweat-diamond ('Raute'). The cap has no visible size markings, the size is approximately 56cms. The Visor cap is piped in the blue 'Truppenfarbe' (branch-colour) for Medical personnel. The leather sweatband is in good condition. The cap is complete with its original aluminum cap-eagle and cocarde. The cap shows only minimal traces of usage and wear and is in overall very good condition, the cap has a great shape. The cap is named to 'Dr.Heinrich Hüls' who was one of the few medical officers awarded with the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eiserenen Kreuz). He served as an assistant doctor with the Panzer-Regiment 11 when he was killed in action on 16 August 1944, he was awarded posthumously with the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross on 21 September 1944 and the Honor Roll Clasp on 5 October 1944.

The following press article, dated 15.12.1944, describes why Oberarzt Hüls was awarded the Knight’s Cross:

Oberarzt Dr. Heinrich Huels, an Abteilungsarzt in a Westphalian Panzer-Abteilung, gave his life during the fighting around Raseinen in the highest fulfillment of duty so as to save about 40 wounded men. For his exemplary, brave and decisive action to the last breath, the Führer later awarded him the Knight’s Cross to the Iron Cross.”

Here follows a letter written by Hauptmann Klaus Michaelis of the Panzer-Regiment 11 (dated 19.08.1944) to the deceased’s parents, from which we can learn more about his actions:

“On the 16.08.1944 the Abteilung began an advance from the area around Asmoniskiai (7 km northwest of Schirwindt, on the German border) in a generally southern direction. The attack, in which the outstanding Dr. Hüls was present in a halftrack, initially progressed at a good speed. However this all changed when an overwhelming enemy AT defense, firing mostly from the flank of the attacking formation, began to knock out one Panzer after another. Through selfless and exemplary action, Dr. Hüls attended to a great number of wounded comrades under the strongest of enemy fire. Surrounded by enemy soldiers, he continued to work in the same old calm and collected manner as he always did, to the admiration of all.

In the end, at around 09:30, his SPW was also knocked out. Dr. Hüls managed to survive with minor injuries and continued with his Samaritan’s work. During an attack by about 100 Russians against his assorted group, he set up the MG and defended his wounded charges with great success.

Now all that remained was to reach friendly lines, an operation that brought almost insurmountable difficulties with it due to the need to bring along the vast numbers of wounded men. Dr. Hüls and another officer carried the wounded Abteilung commander, Hauptmann Schmidt, for multiple kilometers. They had to constantly take cover from the hostile shelling, and deter the relentlessly pursuing Russians with the MG. While taking cover in a trench with other wounded troops, Dr. Hüls was wounded by a shell splinter in his right thigh. He bandaged this wound and continued his medical services with help from his likewise wounded medics. He denied any help for himself in the continued march. During a bound through a cornfield, he became engaged in close combat with a Russian soldier and was killed by a headshot.”

Stunning original piece of history!

More information can be found here: https://www.tracesofwar.com/Dr-med-Heinrich

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