Military Wiki
Joachim Boosfeld
Nickname Jochen
Born 1 June 1922(1922-06-01) (age 100)
Place of birth Aachen, Germany
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen-SS
Bundeswehr Kreuz.svg Bundeswehr
Years of service 1940–1945 Waffen SS
1956–1981 Bundeswehr
Rank Hauptsturmführer, Waffen SS
Oberst, Bundeswehr
Unit SS-VT
8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer
11th Panzergrenadier Division
1st Panzergrenadier Brigade
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 Gold
Wound Badge
General Assault Badge
Eastern Front Medal

Joachim Boosfeld (born 1 June 1922) was a Hauptsturmführer (Chief Storm Leader/Captain) in the Waffen-SS during World War II. He 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. He was also one of only 631 men to be awarded the very rare Close Combat Clasp in Gold.[1] It was awarded for 50 days hand to hand or close combat.

Early life

Boosfeld was born on 1 June 1922, in Aachen.[2] After he had graduated from school in 1939 aged 17 years he volunteered to join the SS-VT (SS number 362.256), he was selected to become a tank commander and attended the SS NCO's school.[3]

World War II

In May 1941 he was recommended to become an officer and sent to the SS-Junkerschule which he graduated from in December 1941. He was then posted to the 1st SS Cavalry Regiment as a platoon commander and later served as a Battalion Adjutant.[3]

His regiment was involved in Operation Barbarossa the invasion of the Soviet Union and by January 1942 was on the outskirts of Moscow, involved in the heavy fighting around Ilmensee and Rzhev, where he earned a reputation for his leadership.[3]

In May 1942 he was posted as an instructor to the SS Cavalry School at Braunschweig and in November 1943 was promoted to Obersturmführer (First Lieutenant) and returned to the Eastern Front to the newly formed 8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer.[3]

From December 1943 he was given commanded of the 4th Squadron, 16th SS Cavalry Regiment and led his Squadron during the fighting in Romania and Hungary.[2][3]

In November 1944, together with the rest of the Division, Boosfeld was involved in the Battle of Budapest and assigned the defence of the village of Vesce and counter attacks on the villages of Kiraly and Terebes. For his bravery in holding the front line he was awarded the German Cross in gold.[2][3]

At the end of December his Squadron was located in Budapest defending the Golf course below the Schwabenland mountain, which was the only location left where the Luftwaffe could land their aircraft.[3]

On 15 October 1944 he was wounded in the heel but remained in command of his squadron which was now located to defend Farkasréti Cemetery.[3]

On 11 February 1945 the order was given to attempt to break out of the encirclement of Budapest. Leading a small Kampfgruppe Boosfeld managed to lead his men to the new German front line by 14 February.[3]

Soon afterwards on the 21 February together with Hermann Maringgele Boosfeld was ordered to report to Berlin, where he was awarded the Knight's Cross in person by Adolf Hitler, promoted to Hauptsturmführer and awarded the Close Combat Clasp in Gold for 57 days of hand to hand fighting.[2][3]

He then returned to the SS Cavalry School at Göttingen where he was captured by the advancing allied forces.[3]

Post war

In 1956 Boosfeld was one of the few former Waffen SS officers to be allowed into the Bundeswehr with the rank of Hauptmann. He attended one of the first General staff courses between 1956 and 1959. Promoted to Major he served on the staff of the new 11th Panzergrenadier Division in Oldenburg.[3]

In 1970 he was the deputy commander of the 1st Panzergrenadier Brigade and in 1972 moved to Bonn to serve on the General staff.[3]

He retired from the Bundeswehr with the rank of Oberst on 31 September 1981.[3]



  • Berger, Florian (2004) (in German). Ritterkreuzträger mit Nahkampfspange in Gold [Knight's Cross Bearers with the Close Combat Clasp in Gold]. Vienna, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 978-3-9501307-3-7. 
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) (in German). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches]. Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Mitcham, Jr.Samuel (2007). Retreat to the Reich. Stackpole books. ISBN 0-8117-3384-X.
  • Mitcham Samuel (2007). The German Defeat in the East, 1944-45. Stackpole Books. ISBN 0-8117-3371-8.
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001) (in German). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2]. Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. 
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007) (in German). 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]. Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.