Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Léon Gillis

Léon Gillis was born on 11 February 1913, in Charleroi, Belgium. He joined the Walloon Legion in 1941. When the Walloon Legion was transferred from Heer to Waffen-SS, he was appointed as a SS-Untersturmführer and served as a Panzerjäger Zugführer in 5.SS-Freiwilligen Sturm-Brigade "Wallonie". In August 1944, Gillis and other Walloon SS soldiers marched to the vicinity of Dorpat in Estonia, where they were thrown into a fluid, confused muddle of German units attempting to contain the Soviet breakthrough at Pskov. For three weeks, they fought against Soviet infantry, tank, artillery, and air assaults. Gillis lead his men to stop a strong Soviet tank forces which attacking along the road south of Dorpat. For his successful military leadership, Gillis was awarded the Knight's Cross and promoted to SS-Obersturmführer.

Léon Gillis survived the war and died on 24 March 1977 in Brussels.

Copyright © 2010 by Nino Oktorino

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