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Eberhard Heder
Born June 30, 1918 (1918-06-30) (age 91)
Eberhard Heder1.jpg
Place of birth Neustettin, Pommerania
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen SS
Years of service 1937–1945 Waffen SS
1955–1976 Bundeswehr
Rank Sturmbannführer
Unit 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
German Cross in Gold
Iron Cross 1st Class
Iron Cross 2nd Class
Close Combat Clasp in Silver
Infantry Assault Badge
Wound Badge in Black
Eastern Front Medal 1941/42 [1]

Eberhard Heder (born 30 June 1918) was a Sturmbannführer (Major) in the Waffen SS during World War II who was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross which was awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership by Nazi Germany during World War II. After World War II he was admitted into the Bundeswehr and obtained the rank of Oberst (Colonel).


Early life

Eberhard Heder was born on 30 June 1918 in Neustettin, Pommerania. [1][2 ] He volunteered to join the Waffen SS and joined the SS Pionier Battalion in Dresden on the 1 November 1937.

World War II

He was later selected to become an officer and posted to the SS-Junkerschule in Braunschweig in 1939 and after graduation he was given command of a company in the 5th SS Pionier (Engineer) Battalion, SS Division Wiking. [1][2 ]

He deployed with them in Operation Barbarossa the invasion of the Soviet Union and was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd class in August 1941 and the Iron Cross 1st class in January 1942. [1][2 ]

He was awarded the German Cross in Gold in March 1943, when in command of the Estnisches SS-Freiwilligen-Panzer-Grenadier-Battalion Narwa during the Battle of Kharkov, Battle of the Cherkassy Pocket and the "Battle of Kowel". [1][2 ]

He was then given command of the 5th Pionier Battalion and was awarded the Knight's Cross in November 1944 for his actions in the fighting for Warsaw. [1][2 ]

Post War

Eberhard Heder survived the war and later joined the West German Bundeswehr in 1955 and reached the rank of Oberst (Colonel) on the 30 September 1976.


Further reading

  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas, 2000. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Hamilton Charles Leaders and Personalities of the Third Reich, R James Bender Pub 1997 , ISBN 0912138270
  • Kurowski Franz Panzer Aces II Stackpole Books, 2004, ISBN 0811731758
  • Mitcham, Jr.Samuel, Retreat to the Reich, Stackpole books 2007. ISBN 081173384X
  • Henschler Henri & Fay Will, Armor Battles of the Waffen-SS, 1943-45 Stackpole Books, 2003. ISBN 0811729052
  • Mitcham Samuel, The German Defeat in the East, 1944-45,Stackpole Books, 2007. ISBN 0811733718


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