Werner Wolff

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Werner Wolff was an Obersturmführer (First Lieutenant), in the 1. SS Panzer Division ‘Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler’ (LSSAH) of the Waffen SS, who was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross.

Wolff was awarded the Knight’s Cross on 7 August 1943 while serving as Joachim Peiper‘s Adjutant in the III.(gep.) Battalion of 2nd SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment. Peiper recommended Wolff for the his actions after he took command of the leaderless 13th Company, following the wounding of its commander, during the Battle of Kursk in early July, and stopped a Russian tank attack. Wolff destroyed one tank single handed and refused to give ground to the Russian attack.

In November 1943 Wolff was shot through the thigh and was due to have the leg amputated. However when the medical orderly arrived to take Wolff to be operated on, he drew his pistol and warned the orderly he was not losing his leg, even firing a warning shot into the ground. Wolff made a complete recovery.

In the Normandy Campaign (Operation Overlord) he particularly distinguished himself during the defense of Tilly, and was awarded the Wehrmacht‘s Honour Roll Clasp of the Army as a result.

Wolff was killed during Operation Spring Awakening, in Hungary on 19 March 1945.

Published in: on December 28, 2016 at 10:32 am  Leave a Comment  

‘Land of Mine’

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Martin Zandvliet’s Danish drama ‘Land of Mine’ tells the story behind the land mine clearance of around two million land mines that were buried along the west coast of Denmark during World War II.

Once the war had ended, the Danish authorities used German prisoners of war to begin the massive clearing of the mines.

Zandvliet, the director and screenwriter of the film, has focused on a small group of those German prisoners of war, who were told that if they cleared the mines they would be sent home. At the time most of them were just teenagers.

The group are taught how to defuse the land mines, but they have to operate under the constant threat of being killed in an explosion.

The situation became dire for the prisoners as they were provided with little food or were blown up by the land mines.

The film charts the changing attitude of a Danish guard towards his prisoners. He begins to see them as simply young boys who want to return home, rather than prisoners of war.

The film sympathizes with the young prisoners’ plight and movie goers will see the bond between prisoners and guard develop over the course of the film.

Around half of those prisoners who participated in the land mine clearance died doing so.

Land of Mine is to be submitted as Denmark’s submission for the Foreign Language Film Academy Award.

Published in: on December 28, 2016 at 9:34 am  Comments (2)