SS HAUPTSCHARFUHRER KURT SAMETREITER. Wars take their decisive turns from the human element rather than the technical. The advance in weaponry stands mute before the man who must decide. In the Battle of Stalingrad it was shown how the best army in the world, the German Army, with hundreds of highly trained officers and thousands of highly disciplined men, was just not enough. It was realized that they would be beaten, it was not enough to have intelligent or clever associates. These people can often fall to pieces, as it was shown at the Battle of Stalingrad with General Paulus. Something else was needed, that only the unshakable faith in a high ideal could overcome the situation. It was then that was called on the newly created SS Panzer Korps of the Waffen SS to fill in the gap and boost morale. Immediately the SS Panzer Korps held fast on the Russian front, right through the war the Waffen SS never retreated, they would rather die than retreat. The SS Panzer Korps had gauged the willpower which they had displayed on the Russian front. They had shown character and guts, The SS knew that only sheer energy and guts, the refusal to surrender, the will to hang tough against all odds would win the situation. After Stalingrad, when many thought that all was lost, when the Soviet forces poured across the Ukraine, The SS Panzer Korps stopped the Soviets dead in their tracks. They re-took Kharkov and inflicted a severe defeat on the Soviet army. This was a pattern, the SS Panzer Korps would over and over turn reverses into victories. Without the heroism of the Waffen SS, Germany would have been annihilated by 1943. Austrian-born SS Hauptscharfuhrer Kurt Sametreiter, of the 1st SS Panzer Korps LSSAH, at the Battle of Kursk, proved to be a symbolic figure, true to the saying that the Austrian temperament produces superior fighters..... he held off an attack by 40 Russian tanks, his section alone destroyed 24 tanks, and then beat back the Russians with an infantry attack. With unshakable fighting spirit, his section made way against the oncoming flood of destruction. In close combat, in the truest sense of that expression, every weapon was aimed at the attacking tanks....Grenadiers, using their close-quarter anti-tank weapons, jumped on to the tanks, and put many out of commission. Soon the fighting raged under a blanket of heavy smoke, which covered the battlefield, torn by the flashes of exploding shells. The bitter fighting raged under its veil. Kurt Sametreiter couldn't guess how long it lasted until he knew that his section, fighting for its very survival, was gaining the upper hand. In the gigantic clash of armor at Prochorowka on July 12 1943, the 1st SS Panzer Korps LSSAH knocked out 192 Russian tanks. The performance expected of the 1st SS Panzer Korps LSSAH was simply phenomenal. And SS Hauptscharfuhrer Kurt Sametreiter, the rampaging warrior who displayed fearless energy, guts and spirit, had played a significant and decisive role, for which he was decorated with the Knight's Cross on July 31st, 1943. Kurt Sametreiter was one of the first of the many recipients of this prestigious award to be honored in the fighting of the Kursk salient in the summer of 1943.