KC Winner Staff Hugo Primozic Postcard
KC Winner Staff Hugo Primozic Postcard - Printed in black and white, with address backer, 103 mm x 148 mm, moderate creasing and soling, better than fine. Footnote: Hugo Primozic (February 16, 1914 – March 18, 1996) was one of Germany's Sturmgeschutz (assault gun) aces during World War II and was noted for his quick reactions, clever tactical use of ground and the icy nerve, which in tense situations enabled him to hold his fire until his opponent had closed to point-blank range. In a five-month period of fighting, he was awarded the two grades of the Iron Cross, the Knight's Cross and the Oakleaves. Primozic became the first non-commissioned officer in the history of the German Army, and seventh in the Wehrmacht, to be awarded the Knight's Cross with Oakleaves. In the late summer of 1942 he was Wachtmeister (Sergeant) and squad leader of the 2nd Battery of the Sturmgeschutzabteiling 667. Born in 1914 to a Slovenian father and German mother, Primozic joined the Reichswehr and fought in the French campaign as a field artillery gunner. In 1942 he joined the 667th Sturmgeschutz Battalion which was sent to the Eastern Front. On September 15, 1942, his three-gun troop, fighting in isolation, routed a determined Russian breakthrough attempt at Rzhev, destroying a total of 24 enemy Soviet tanks. Allowing the Russian tanks to advance, the StuG crews aimed at the most dangerous opponents first, killing them with one round at a short distance. By January 1943, Primozic had 60 personal kills to his credit and after an equally gallant action on the 28th, he was awarded the Oakleaves, being simultaneously commissioned with the rank of Lieutenant. As noted at the time, "Wachtmeister Primozic destroyed tanks day after day during an enemy offensive. One the fourth day, he had to cover the flank of his division, but during that day he fired his last shell... He had to retreat to escape from encirclement by breaking through... There was another StuG, immobilized, and while the Russians were closing in, Primozic came out of his vehicle to connect both vehicles, and drove both back to their own lines..." Primozic was able to connect both vehicles of his platoon with a steel wire rope, and had to fight off the surrounding Russian infantry with a machine gun. For this action he was awarded the Iron Cross First Class. In September 1942 a large Russian army (including the Stalin Tank Brigade) tried to attack the town and area of Rzhev. As Primozic stated: " On September the 15th we had only two StuGs ready, when the Russians wanted to break through. There was heavy artillery fire, and we had to hide in trenches until the storm was over. When the artillery barrage ended, the first enemy tanks already passed our positions, while we still had to climb aboard our guns." Moving from position to position, the StuG platoon was fighting both tanks and infantry. Primozic destroyed 24 tanks on that particular day, first those who had broken through, often with one shot, totalling 45 Soviet tanks. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on September 19, 1942 and promoted to Staff Sergeant. On January 25, 1943 Oberwachtmeister (Staff Sergeant) Hugo Primozic, was the first NCO to be awarded the Oakleaves after his destroying 60th Panzer.