This might be one of the reason why the Allies had a hard time against some of the Germans. This story tells about one solder was quite committed to his duty.
It kind of impressive, considering he fought for the other side.
Dr. jur. Erich Göstl was a member of the Waffen SS who was awarded the Knight's Cross, which was awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
In WWII, he was a member of the 6th Company, 1st SS Panzergrenadier Regiment, deployed near the French town of Tilly, a few kilometers from Caen.
Then a 19 year old, Göstl was a machine gunner, manning a MG-42, defending his position against a British (possibly Canadian) attack.
During heavy fighting he was shot in his left eye. Shrapnel then wounded him in his upper left arm. Undaunted he continued to fire and was then hit in the other eye, which "almost tore his head off".
Even then, completely blinded, he continued to return fire from his machine gun post, alone and shooting at what he could hear, as he was completely unable to see anything.
He continued to hold out behind his machine gun and received another hit in his right cheek and nose area of his torn-up face. Göstl held until
the enemy attack was ultimately repelled, but it is believed that only because of a jam in the machine gun was Göstl's machine gun silenced.
His friend Elmar Bonn worked his way forward to him and with the help of some other men was able to bring him back to a safe position, while under fire.
Throughout, he "was suffering horrible pain" and was bleeding heavily from the face.
Göstl survived and was sent to a field hospital before being evacuated
to Germany. He was in the school for the War Blind in Cerninpalast, Prague when he was awarded the Knight's Cross.
Erich Göstl later described his actions as, "only doing my duty". He would also say of staying at his position, "I couldn't do anything else at the time".
Along with all Axis military personnel at the end of hostilities, he would become a prisoner of war and was released in April 1946.
He would go on, with great assistance from his wife, to earn a Doctorate Law Degree from the University of Vienna. He died, at the age of 65.
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