Veterans of the Hoch- und Deutschmeister Division/44 Infanterie Division.
Oberleutnant Paul Broschk - Infanterie-Regiment 134.
As the fighting raged in Stalingrad throughout September and October, there were significant engagements to the northwest of the city as 6. Armee fought to protect its left flank from Soviet pressure. Among the units fighting in the area during that fateful autumn was 44. Infanterie-Division of XI. Armeekorps. Originally formed in Vienna in 1938, the division comprised three main regiments, including Infanterie-Regiment 134 which was a direct descendant of the original Hapsburg Hoch-und Deutchmeister Regiment of 1696. From as far back as the Eighteenth Century, the Regiment was a substantial part of Viennese culture. Its membership was desired for the sake of improving one's stature in Austrian society. The regiment fought with distinction through many of the European wars; it fought during the Austro-Hungarian wars against the Turks during the 1700s and later fought during the Napoleonic wars of Liberation. By World War I, the regiment was heavily engaged on the Eastern Front and ultimately suffered significant losses as a result of a major Russian offensive in July 1915. The regiment was rebuilt and transferred to the Italian front where it served for the remainder of the war. Following World War I, however, it lost much of its stature with the demise of the Hapsburgs.
With the incorporation of Austria into the Reich, 44. Infanterie-Division was formed as part of a reorganization of the Austrian military. The division’s first role with the new Wehrmacht was to participate in the march on Czechoslovakia in October 1939. It fought in the Polish campaign and with Army Group B in France before serving with Army Group South in the summer of 1941 in the Soviet Union. As part of the summer offensive of 1942 and the push to Stalingrad, 44. Infanterie-Division fought on the northern flank of 6. Armee. By September, the division was heavily engaged with the Soviet 65th Army, first in the area of the River Chir and later along the River Don northwest of the city. During this fighting, on October 4, 1942, Oberleutnant Paul Broschk, was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class as a commanding officer within II. Batallion, Infanterie-Regiment 134.
Following receipt of his Iron Cross, Oberleutnant Broschk continued to serve as commander of 7th Company, IR134. During the Soviet counteroffensive of November 19, 1942, 44. Infanterie-Division retreated to a temporary position in the Kalach area in order to hold back Red Army attacks. As Soviet pressure grew and the Germans were ultimately surrounded, the division was ordered to retreat closer to the city where it was to combat and contain Soviet penetrations from the west. As casualty and supply issues grew, the division suffered heavily as it now occupied unprepared positions on the frozen Russian steppe outside the city.
On December 2, the first major attack on the surrounded Kessel took place. XI. Armeekorps suffered heavy losses with heaviest casualties among the units of the 44. Infanterie-Division. Among the casualties was Oberleutnant Broschk, wounded on the 2nd and flown out shortly after. Throughout the next two months, the Germans in and around Stalingrad suffered continuously from Soviet pressure, dwindling supplies and the effects of winter. The Kessel collapsed at the end of January and was officially overrun by February 2, 1943. 44. Infanterie-Division, along with various other divisions, independent and headquarters units, was completely destroyed. Broschk’s wound of early December ultimately saved his life.
Following the catastrophe in Stalingrad the division was reformed in February 1943. In June, the newly formed Grenadier-Regiment 134 was added and the division became known as (44.) Reichsgrenadier-Division Hoch- und Deutschmeister. It was among the first of the destroyed divisions from Stalingrad to be reinstated and it was this unit that authorized the commemorative “Stalingrad” cross to be worn on the epaulettes of certain members of the division. Broschk was promoted to Hauptmann and was awarded the Black Wound Badge on July 22, 1943 by a Reserve Hospital in Vienna.
Note that the Black Wound Badge citation lists the incorrect regimental number. It was not uncommon for hospital personnel to get unit data wrong on award documents during the war.
Major i.G. Walter Birk, Aufklärungs-Abteilung 44.
Major Birk, 31/10/1913 – 24/07/1967) began his military career in 1937 serving as a Leutnant & Zugführer in 3rd Schwadron.Kavallerie-Regiment 11. In 1939 he was transferred to Stockerau to become C.O. of the newly formed 2rd Radfahr-Schwadron/Aufklärungs-Abteilung 44 of the 44. Infanterie-Division. In this position Birk participated in Polish campaign in 1939 in which he earned the Iron Cross 2nd Class in September followed by the Iron Cross 1st Class on 6/10/1939. Serving later in Russia he was awarded the Knights Cross on the 2/11/1941 as Oberleutnant & C.O. of the 2nd Kompanie/Aufklärungs-Abteilung 44.
On 1/1/1943 he was given the command of Radfahr-Lehr-Abteilung (later named Schule für Schnelle Truppen) in Kramnitz (this would imply that he was either evacuated out of Stalingrad or had already been transferred out of the Division which at this time was entrapped in the city). In March 1943 he was transferred into ‘Führerreserve’, shortly thereafter Birk became a Staff Officer in Generalstab of 1st Panzerarmee. Placement at the Kriegsakademie for further Staff Officer training followed during the period 6/12/1943 to 6/05/1944, during this time at the academy he was promoted to Major i.G. (im Generalstab) on 1/02/1944. On the 25/06/1944 he became I.b. (Operations Officer) of the 7th Infanterie-Division, serving with the division until November 1944. His final assignment was as Chief of Staff of the 83rd Infanterie-Division on 10/04/1945.
Jürgen Diederichsen, Hauptmann (Captain), Pionier-Bataillon 80.
Date of Birth: November 25th, 1910 (Westerlinnet/Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)
Date of Death: January 30th, 1943 (Stalingrad, Soviet Union)
Jürgen Diederichsen was reported missing in action at Stalingrad on January 30th, 1943. His name was recorded in the register and on a monument at the German War Cemetery Rossosjka.
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold - awarded April 11th, 1942
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
(Allgemeines) Sturmabzeichen (Ohne Zahlen), I. Stufe - ((General) Assault badge (without numbers))
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Schwarz - (Wound Badge in Black)
Deutsches Reiterabzeichen in Bronze - (German Equestrian Badge in Bronze)
Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 1. Oktober 1938 - (Sudetenland Commemorative Medal October 1st 1938)
Dienstauszeichnung der Wehrmacht 4.Klasse, 4 Jahre - (Long Service Medal 4th Class, 4 Years)
Willi Hilss, Panzerjäger-Abteilung 46.
Unteroffizier Willi Hilss, was awarded the Knight's Cross on 19/1/1941 whilst serving as a Geschützführer in Panzerjäger Abteilung 46, 44-Infanterie-Division.
The photograph shows Willi in the rank of Oberfeldwebel.
Karl-Heinz Noak, Panzerjäger-Abteilung 46.
Karl-Heinz Noak (30 July 1916 – 14 November 1978) was a highly decorated Major in the Wehrmacht during World War II and an Oberst in the Bundeswehr. He was also a recipient 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.
Awards and decorations:
Iron Cross (1939)
2nd Class (6 November 1939)
1st Class (26 June 1940)
Wound Badge in Black
Eastern Front Medal
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
Knight's Cross on 5 August 1940 as Leutnant and Zugführer (platoon leader) in the 2./Panzerjäger-Abteilung 46
63rd receipient of Oak Leaves on 16 January 1942 as Oberleutnant and chief of the 1./Panzerjäger-Abteilung 137
German Cross in Gold on 6 January 1945 as Major in the schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 654
See the page on this website regards the Division's participation in the French campaign 1940 to see a brief description of how Noak was awarded the Knight's Cross as Zugführer (platoon leader) of 2./Panzerjäger-Abteilung 46.
Oberfeldwebel Eitel Brock, Pionier-Bataillon 80.
Oberfeldwebel Brock was a platoon commander in 2./Pi.Btl.80 who took charge of the pioneers attached to Sturmkompanie 44, Stalingrad 1942.
Brock was born on 19 April 1915 in Langenberg and was killed in action in Stalingrad on 11 November 1942.
The photograph here shows Brock in the rank of Feldwebel.
Source: Island of Fire: The Battle for the Barrikady Gun Factory in Stalingrad by Jason Mark.
Major Eberhard Pohl, Infanterie-Regiment 134.
Eberhard Pohl was born on 23 November 1908 in Sagen, Niederschlesien (now called Zagen in Poland). Pohl joined the Bremen Shütze Polizei as an Officer cadet 5 February 1928, he later enlisted in the Wehrmacht initially serving as an adjutant in Infanterie Regt 65 with the rank of Leutnant. After the Austrian Anschluss on the 1st June 1938 he became a company commander in the Austrian Infanterie Regt 13, garrisoned in Hainberg, this regiment was soon absorbed into Infanterie Regt 134 "Hoch- und Deutschmeister" garrisoned in Wien (Vienna), and he became commander of the 1st Battalion of that Regiment, taking part in the Polish, French and Russian campaigns culminating in his participation in the battle for Stalingrad, where the 6th Army was destroyed.It was during the Russian campaign that he won his Deutsche Kreuz in Gold on the 2 April 1942. On the 17 December 1942 he was awarded the Knight's Cross. He went into Soviet captivity following the capitulation of German forces in Stalingrad & was eventually released from Soviet captivity in 1953. Pohl later went on to serve in the Bundeswehr and passed away in 1997.
It is rumoured that he took his Knight's Cross with him in captivity & kept it with him up until 9 November 1945 when he is said to have "broken it up" and sent it with a returning soldier to Germany. It is said that on return to Germany upon release from Soviet captivity he was reunited with it!
The colour portrait shown here was apparently done when he was in hospital in Kharkov early 1942 and that he later had the Knight's Cross painted on it.
Oberleutnant Karl Gruner, Artillerie-Regiment 96 - 4th Battery commander, II. Abteilung, 96. Artillerie-Regiment.
Oberleutnant Karl Gruner, a decorated 23 year-old battery commander, II/96th Artillerie Regiment.
Gruner’s battery contained four 75mm Skoda mountain guns & was located on a hillside below Colle Abate on the 25th January 1944. Gruner’s gunfire was directed by radio but he could see North African troops creeping up the mountainsides. It left him feeling very exposed as he could not see any trace of his own infantry & the proximity of the French eventually drove him back to other positions. ‘The last reserves of our infantry regiment, a platoon of infantry & pioneers arrived to help us to entrench our field pieces in new positions’ he recalled. “With our guns & artillery of the 5th Gebirgsjäger Division on our left we were able to inflict serious losses on our opponents”. Gruner’s 75mm battery remained vulnerable until 28th January when just before dawn further German reinforcements arrived. ‘I warned an officer that the North African contingent on top of Colle Abate, a very short distance from us, could easily carry our position,’ recalled Gruner, ‘so again we moved our guns and opened fire at close range. Our concentrated fire surprised & defeated the Tunisian detachments; a patrol of our infantry meanwhile managed to win back Colle Abate, taking many prisoners.’ Later on the 28th, more French reinforcements arrived and were able to start to push the Germans back off the heights on the 29th January, though the Colle Belvedere changed hands twice more before nightfall, which saw the French finally in possession.
Karl Gruner remembered the setback: ‘On 29th January, the Tunisians took a hill from which they could train their guns on us. Then it was no longer possible to maintain our position, which we abandoned on the night of 29th/30th and took our guns along the twisting roads towards Terelle.’ The town marked Gruner’s fourth or fifth change of location, by which time the French seemed to be perched on the mountains all around. At this point his CO, Hauptmann Rudi Heger, who had been awarded a Knight’s Cross at Stalingrad, was hit by a shell and killed instantly; it was a loss that Gruner felt keenly. At the same time as Heger was killed, Leutnant Janout & Leutnant Behrens were wounded, with the former succumbing to his wounds shortly thereafter & the latter only suffering light wounds.
Gruner managed to survive the hell of Cassino, however on the 16th June 1944, alongside his men he was taken prisoners by Indian troops after his battery had been surrounded & cut-off by British tanks. Gruner was sent to a POW camp in Egypt and survived the war and returned to visit Colle Abate, Terelle & Cassino many years later. Before returning to Rome Gruner visited the German Military Cemetery on Colle Marino, 3 km north of Cassino. He wanted to go there to see the grave of his friend Heger who was posthumously promoted to the rank of Major and shares his final resting place to two other soldiers.
Sources: Monte Cassino - Ten Armies in Hell (Peter Caddick-Adams) & http://www.dalvolturnoacassino.it/
Leutnant Fritz Janout - 96th Artillerie Regiment.
Death notification for Leutnant Fritz Janout who was fatally wounded alongside Hauptmann Heger on the 30th January 1944 & died the following day which reads:
'Schmerzerfüllt geben wir hiermit Nachricht, dass unser lieber Sohn und Bruder Fritz Janout, Leutnant der Reserve eines Art-Rgt der Reichsgrenadier-Division Hoch U. Deutschmeister, inhaber des Eisernes Kreuz I & II Klasse, des Verwundeten-Abzeichens, und sonstiger auszeichnungen; im Kampfe um Cassino am 30 Januar 1944 schwer verwundet wurde und am 31 Januar 1944 seinen Verletzungen erlegen ist und im Divisions-Friedhofe Roccasecca begraben wurde. Er fiel im 30 Lebensjahre im festen Glauben an Deutschlands Zukunft. Wir unseren Fritz kannte, wird ermessen, was wir verloren. Thomas und Marie Janout, Eltern. Gertrude, Gretl und Elfriede, Schwestern.'
A rough translation is as follows:
'We are sorry to announce that our dear son and brother Fritz Janout, Leutnant der Reserve of an Art-Rgt of the Reichsgrenadier Division Hoch U. Deutschmeister, holder of the Iron Cross I & II class, the wound badge, and other awards; was seriously wounded in the battle for Cassino on January 30, 1944 and died on January 31, 1944 and was buried in the division’s cemetery at Roccasecca. He fell in the 30th year of his life with a firm belief in Germany's future. As we knew our Fritz, we will measure what we lost. Thomas and Marie Janout, parents. Gertrude, Gretl and Elfriede, sisters.'
Hauptmann Rudolf Heger - Commander of the II. Abteilung, Artillerie-Regiment 96.
Rudolf ('Rudi') Heger was born on 1st June 1917 in Wolframitz in the Sudetenland. In 1936 he joined the Austrian Bundesheer as a one-year volunteer. In 1937 he was decommissioned as a Kadett-Korporal and after the annexation of Austria to Germany he was recalled as an Unteroffizier in the Artillerie-Regiment 96 in Znojmo, shortly after which he was appointed as an officer candidate. In 1940 he was promoted to the rank of Leutnant.
On 21st June 1941, Heger was deployed to the Eastern Front with Artillerie-Regiment 96 of the 44th Infantry Division as part of Operation Barbarossa – Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union. On the 2nd July 1941 Heger received the Iron Cross 2nd Class which was followed by the Iron Cross 1st Class on the 28th November 1941.
In 1942 he was promoted to the rank of Oberleutnant and in December 1942 he fought as commander of the 4th Batterie, Artillerie-Regiment 96 near Stalingrad, and after running out of ammunition, he fought with his unit as infantry. During this period, he was seriously injured and in January 1943 he was flown out of the Stalingrad ‘Kessel’ by plane. For his commitment and bravery at Stalingrad, Oberleutnant Heger received the Knights Cross on the 20th January 1943. He received this award whilst still hospitalised.
After recovery, Oberleutnant Heger reported back to the newly reformed 44th Infantry Division (soon to be redesignated as the Reichsgrenadier Division ‘Hoch- und Deutschmeister) and on the 1st April 1943 he was promoted to the rank of Hauptmann and appointed commander of the II. Abteilung, Artillerie-Regiment 96. In July 1943, the division was moved to Italy following the Allied invasion of Sicily & the fall of Mussolini from power in Italy. In early November 1943, the Reichsgrenadier Division was assigned to 10. Armee of Generaloberst Heinrich von Vietinghoff, and soon after, the entire division was moved by rail to the "Reinhardt Line", to relieve the 26. Panzer-Division and its battalions were immediately deployed to these positions forward of Cassino itself, eventually falling back to defensive positions on the Gustav Line in & around Monte Cassino in late 1943. It was during this time following repeated attacks from French forces that Hauptmann Heger was killed by mortar shellfire in the region of Terelle (near Cassino) on the 31st January 1944. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of Major. Heger is buried in the German Military cemetery at Monte Cassino.
Medal of Remembrance on March 13, 1938
Medal of the Order of 1 October 1938
Iron Cross (1939) 2nd and 1st class
2nd Class 2.7.1941
1st Class 28.11.1941
General Assault Badge
Medal "Winter Battle in the East 1941/42"
Verwundetenabzeichen (1939) in Silber
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes 20.1.1943 as Oberleutnant and commander of the 4th Batterie / Artillery Regiment 96.
Hauptmann Arnulf Abele, Kdr, I /HuD Regiment
Awarded the Knight Cross 12 February 1944 & a promotion to Major 20 April 1944.
On January 27th 1944 the North Africans of the French Expeditionary Corps had snatched back Colle Abate and height 862 once again before 90th Pz. Grenadier Division under Colonel Baade could be inserted to stabilize the front. I /134 HuD under Hauptmann Abele, were sent from San Angelo (behind the Garigliano) by lorry via Pontecorvo - Roccasecca in the Belmonte area and via the 'Neumann-Weg' - a supply road created by the Pionier Battalion 80 - to the Terelle Valley, between Colle Abate and Monte Castellone, to close the gap. Another battalion promised to support the I/ 134 HuD did not arrive, so Hauptmann Abele's battalion remained on its own. Under the leadership of Lt. Hollenz, the personnel of the first two trucks that arrived climbed the heights. However, at the same time the Tunisians arose up from the eastern side of the heights. A man-to-man fight broke out on the summit. While hand grenades predominated, Hauptmann Abele managed to use a mountain gun from an old artillery position to fire into the rear of the Tunisians and thus prevent their reinforcements. When Lt Hollenz and his men ran out of grenades, they threw stones at the enemy. The enemy took cover in anticipation of the detonations and the front assault group used that moment to jump in, overcome and capture the first Tunisians. The men arriving on the following trucks then strengthened the ranks of the Deutschmeister troops so that the summit could be taken. The following days were filled with attacks from hilltop to hilltop. However, it was not possible to reach the old HKL on the eastern slope to the Rapido, because the opponent was constantly strengthening. After the fighting ended, it turned out that there was an entire French regiment in front of the battalion.
As the enemy attacks increased more and more, the men literally had to dig into the mountain to be able to hold it. A still deployed Pi.Kp (under the leadership of Oberleutnant Kitzmüller) as well as the men of the combat Pi. and Radf. platoons also performed extremely well. However during the course of the increasingly fierce fighting the defenders had to retreat to the Colle Abate summit. Reinforced once again by members of all possible remaining units (such as the butchery and bakery company), the position could be maintained until the arrival of Pz Gren Rgt 200 (90th Pz Gren Div). After their detachment, the remains of the battalion - 36 men, no officers - were temporarily assigned to the regimental staff in Terelle. Hauptmann Abele was awarded the Knight's Cross for his performance in leading the battalion and the soldiers around Lt Hollenz were awarded close combat clasps for the battles on Colle Abate during the 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th of January, which contributed significantly to the defence of this position against the French.
Source: Monte Cassino – Ein Rückblick nach 60 Jahren – Dr. Manfred Schick (rough translation).
Leutnant Otto Hollenz, Commander 4th Company, Hoch- und Deutschmeister Regiment.
Hollenz led the last successful counterattack on the summit of Colle Abate on the January 27, 1944. In the days that followed his Company managed to successfully hold off repeated Allied attacks. In the following passage he recalled his final day on Colle Abate when his Company was finally relieved & sent into reserve:
“January 29, 1944: From Btl.Gef.Std*. we learn that Hauptmann Koziol, C.O. of Btl. II/134 HuD, had fallen near the serpentine path to Terelle the previous day. In our section, the situation initially calmed down and stabilized on this day. From Battalion comes the message that the Americans are preparing to attack on both sides of Colle Abate.
Suddenly, we are under fire from the enemy. Heavy Artillery fire hits parts of the 8th/134th HuD positions, commanded by Oberleutnant Nowotny, who are positioned nearby us on the western slope of the mountain. The US Rgt. 142 had broken in & already taken the last stone wall before the positions of Btl. II/134 HuD. The enemy was thrown back. After two hours four soldiers carried their fallen C.O.passed us in a tarpaulin, down into the valley.
Then the battle for the Abate began again, "Your friend is badly wounded". Which friend? I asked. I go & find out that it was Gefreiter Ganss, a friend from my youth, who lies on the way to the hollow with a broken thigh. I must get back - as soon as possible. I come into the position at just the right time: The Americans had approached unnoticed and were already within grenade range before our blocking position. We were in a safe position on the reverse side of the mountain ridge: the attack - despite all signs of fatigue from my men - could be stopped with great loss for the opponent. (Message to Btl) Control: No own losses, thank goodness.
No sooner had the attackers withdrawn to safety than our positions were attacked by the enemy. Artillery fire covered and shot them up. It was hell! And if the impacts were also aimless, the boulders still flew off the mountain around our heads. Those were our last hours at Colle Abate. When darkness fell, our positions were taken over by units of the 90th Pz.Grenadier Division. The remains of the 4th/134th HuD were pulled out and gathered in the mountain valley below Terelle”.
*Btl.Gef.Std = Bataillonsgefectsstand (Battalion command post).
Source Monte Cassino – Ein Rückblick nach 60 Jahren – Dr. Manfred Schick (roughly translated).
Major Otto Hollenz, (retired), attending a memorial service at Colle Abate, May 2001.
Wilhelm "Willy" Nagel - Oberst and commander of Grenadier-Regiment 131.
(Born: June 12, 1898, Tübingen, Died: April 23, 1980, Zell im Wiesental)
1916 as an entry into the German army Fahnenjunker
1919 after the war in Vorläufige Reichswehr
February 1, 1922 entry into Schutzpolizist Stuttgart
April 1, 1932 the commander of Mg-Hundertschaft Panzerwagen und Stuttgart
15.05.1933 until 20.05.1933 Führerlehrgang Stuttgart
1934 commander of the 1st MG-Hundertschaft, Württembergischen Landespolizei, MG-Inspekteur
March 15, 1936 entry into the Wehrmacht
April 1, 1936 the commander of the 8th Kompanie, 109 Infantry Regiment, Karlsruhe
1937 assistant teacher at Lehrgang für MG-Offizier, Infanterieschule Doberitz
1938 Ersatz-Bataillon commander, Infantry Regiment 34, Heilbronn
March 1, 1939 Ersatz-Bataillon commander, Infantry Regiment 56, Ulm
September 1, 1939 Commander II. Bataillon, 460 Infantry Regiment, Biberach
April 1942 Commander of Infantry Regiment 353
October 15, 1942 commander Grenadier Regiment 353
February 24, 1944 to September 14, 1944 the commander of Grenadier Regiment 131, 44. Reichsgrenadier-Division "Hoch- und Deutschmeister" fighting against partisans in Italy and the battle for Monte Cassino
October 19, 1944 until November 15, 1944 15th Divisionsführer-Lehrgang in Hirschberg
January 25, 1945 the commander of the 78th Volks-Sturm-Division
May 1, 1945 to April 15, 1946 in American custody.
Ranks achieved & when:
December 23, 1916 - Leutnant
February 1, 1922 - Polizeileutnant
April 1, 1923 - Polizeioberleutnant
April 1, 1930 - Polizeihauptmann
March 15, 1936 - Hauptmann
October 1, 1936 - Major
February 1, 1940 - Oberstleutnant
March 3, 1942 - Oberst
April 1, 1945 - Generalmajor
Eisernes Kreuz (1914) II. und I. Klasse
Königliche Württembergische Goldene Militärverdienstmedaille
Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer
Wiederholungsspange (1939) zum Kreuz Eisernen II. und I. Klasse (1914)
Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen in Silber
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold January 29, 1943 as Oberst and commander Grenadier Regiment 353
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes June 12, 1944 as Oberst and commander of the Grenadier Regiment 131.
Major Hans-Georg Kwisda, Aufklärungs-Abteilung 44.
Major Hans-Georg Kwisda, was a highly decorated commander of Aufklärungs Abteilung 44 who was captured on the 14th May 1944 when his command post was overrun. He managed to escape his captivity & return back to the Division on the 18th May 1944. He was subsequently awarded the German Cross in Gold on the 17th August 1944.
Source: “Monte Cassino – Ein Rückblick nach 60 Jahren” – Dr. Manfred Schick.
Leutnant Josef Glatz, Company Commander 1. Kompanie/ Panzerjäger-Abteilung 46.
1. / Pz.Jäg.Abt. 46 (Kdr: Oberleutnant Jakob) took up position in Aquino in late MAy 1944 to repel a tank attack by the English. For 4 days the company (which along with a subordinated platoon of Italian volunteers uer the command of a lieutenant) held up the enemy who was unable to take possession of Aquino. In the bitter struggle they managed to destroy 6 tanks and cause considerable losses to the attacking battalion. Feldw. Keller and Uffz. Blasie received commendation for their bravery. The English asked for an hour's truce in order to be able to retrieve their dead and wounded. The order to withdraw was received the following night and the company made its way to the Melfa Bridge; 7 Sherman tanks were destroyed in the early hours while still in retreat. The brave platoon of Lt. Glatz was mentioned in the Wehrmacht report and he received the German Cross in Gold for this action.
Lt Glatz was also awarded the Knights Cross 12/1/1945.
More to follow...