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Date: Wednesday, 21 April 1943
Place: Mius, Stalino, Ukraine
Gefreiter Werner Rausch (left) receiving a heartfelt congratulation from his Zugführer (platoon commander), Unteroffizier Herbert Ruhnke (right), after his Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes verleihung (ceremony) in 21 April 1943. Actually, Rausch (Geschützführer of 3.Kompanie/Panzerjäger-Abteilung 294/294.Infanterie-Division/XVII.Armeekorps/6.Armee/Heeresgruppe Süd) had been awarded this prestigious medal from 26 March 1943, but the ceremony itself taken place almost a month later. This he received as a recognition for his tremendous achievement as an outstanding Panzerjäger (tank-hunter) gunner: he destroyed no less than 12 Russian tanks in the fierce three-hour battle at großen Donbogen (Great Don bend) in the previous winter! Leipziger Rausch (born in Leipzig in 27 January 1916) would end the war as an Unteroffizier. He passed away in his beloved hometown, Leipzig-Großzschorer, in 8 July 1998. Herbert Ruhnke (born 10 April 1914 in Berlin-Charlottenburg) also a fellow Ritterkreuzträger (Knight's Cross holder) like Rausch. He received it in 8 February 1943 as a Geschützführer in 3.Kompanie/Panzerjäger-Abteilung 294/294.Infanterie-Division/XVII.Armeekorps/6.Armee/Heeresgruppe Süd. Ruhnke would KIA in March 1945 in Silesia, Germany.
NAFA Bildarchiv 17055004