Translated from original SS publications. The articles include Klaus Stoertebecker, Andreas Hofer, Captain Friedrich Hensel, General von York, SS-Obergruppenführer Eicke, Corporal Ofenbach, an unnamed assault gun crew, SS-Unterscharführer Christiensen and SS-Brigadeführer Fritz Witt.
The detachment had received the order to pull back. Slowly and carefully, the men left their cover. The wounded are distributed on sleds. Camouflaged with snow shirts and heavily laden, the men push toward the distant forest.
Only one assault gun remains as the last one in the abandoned position. A non-commissioned officer and four men have the task to cover their comrades’ withdrawal with this gun. The cold had gotten much worse around dawn. Cowering in a gulley, the men and their gun observed every enemy movement.
Now the enemy has noticed the withdrawal. Already the first shots whistle, already the first shells whine in. A deep roar becomes audible. The Unterscharführer pulls the binoculars from his eyes. He notices five T-34s, approaching in a curve the small German battle group in order to cut them off from the forest and shot them up on the open snow surface.
One assault gun faces five enemy tanks. The fight is not even. The Unterscharführer knows that he saves the lives of over a hundred comrades, if he takes up the uneven fight.
The enemy tanks have meanwhile neared the forest where the comrades have hidden with their sleds. The first shells of the Russian tanks already whip into the forest. The grenadiers throw themselves into the snow. A few reach for their hand-grenades. Then they hear a sharp muzzle retort and see a snow fountain shoot up just in front of the foremost enemy tank. They see their assault gun advance, turn and fire.
The gun leader of the German assault gun has ordered the attack. He must beat the enemy to it. The Soviet tank canons flash. A hot battle begins. The roaring and whistling of discharges and strikes fills the air. Mighty explosions resound. Tongues of flame shoot high.
Suddenly, the battle noise breaks off. On the churned snow field the grenadiers find not only four shot up and burning T-34s, but also, engulfed in reddish-yellow flames, the German assault gun. An Unterscharführer and four enlisted men have remained behind on the field as the law commanded it.