23 November 1914
|Died||27 February 1999(aged 84)|
Weimar Republic (to 1933)
|Years of service||1933–45|
|Commands held||Panzer-Regiment "Großdeutschland"|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves|
|Other work||Director of Bayer AG|
Bruno Kahl (23 November 1914 – 27 February 1999) was an Oberstleutnant in the Wehrmacht during World War II, and one of only 882 recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Born in Cologne on 23 November 1914, Bruno Kahl commenced his military career in July 1933 after the usual service with the Reichsarbeitsdienst. Kahl became an Officer Candidate with a motorised unit in Münster. In April 1935, he was commissioned as a Leutnant and posted to an anti-tank Unit in Hanover as a Platoon Commander. In 1936, Leutnant Kahl joined Panzerjäger Abteilung 9, where he became Unit Adjutant. He was promoted to Oberleutnant in the summer of 1938 and shortly afterwards assigned to Gebirgs-Panzer-Abwehr-Artillerie 48. He took part in the Occupation of Czechoslovakia with this unit.
On the outbreak of war in September 1939, Oberleutnant Kahl was serving with the same unit on the southern sector of the front during the Polish Campaign. Kahl also saw action with his Unit at Narvik before voluntarily transferring to the Panzer Arm in August 1940 and was assigned to Panzer Regiment 21.
On 1 June 1941, Kahl was promoted to Hauptmann and took part in Operation Barbarossa with the 20 Panzer Division as part of Panzergruppe Hoth in the Central Sector of the Russian Front. On 8 July 1941, he was awarded the Iron Cross Second Class and two days later, the Black Wound Badge for his first wound in action. Just over three months later, Hauptmann Kahl received the Iron Cross First Class and the German Cross in Gold followed in September 1942, for his actions on the Eastern Front.
In January 1943, Kahl was promoted to the rank of Major. On 8 February 1943, he was decorated with the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for his success in commanding the 3-Kompanie/Panzer Regiment 21 during actions around Toropez in the Central Sector of the Eastern Front. During the summer of that same year, Kahl was posted to the Army's Schwere Panzerjäger Regiment 656 and served with this unit during the Kursk Offensive. For his successful command of the Regiment during the ill-fated Offensive, Kahl was awarded the 270 Knight's Cross with Oak leaves on 8 August 1943. Major Kahl then spent some time as Commander of the Panzerschule at Erlangen before being appointed to command Panzer Regiment Grossdeutschland on 1 October 1944.
At the end of hostilities, Kahl, who had been promoted to Oberstleutnant on New Year's Day 1945 went into American captivity and was released in June 1945.
He died in 1999.
Awards and decorations
- Sudetenland Medal
- Iron Cross (1939)
Wound Badge (1939)
- in Black
- in Silver
- in Gold
- Eastern Front Medal
- Panzer Badge
- General Assault Badge
- German Cross in Gold (20 September 1942)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
- Thomas 1997, p. 340.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 204.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 62.
- Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag.
- Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag.
- Lexikon der Wehrmacht
- World War 2 Awards.com
- Ritterkreuztraeger 1939-1945