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Augsberger, Franz Xaver Josef Maria "Franz"

    Date of birth:
    October 10th, 1905 (Vienna, Austria)
    Date of death:
    March 19th, 1945 (Neustadt/Upper Silesia, Germany)
    Service number:
    360 700 (NSDAP-Nr.)/139 528 (SS-Nr.)
    Nationality:
    German (1933-1945, Third Reich)

    Biography

    Franz Augsberger finally reached the rank of SS-Brigadeführer and Generalmajor der Waffen-SS.
    He was killed on March 19th 1945 by Soviet anti-tank gun fire while leading his divisional staff in a breakout from Soviet encirclement.

    NSDAP-Nr.: 360 700 (Joined October 30th 1930)
    SS-Nr.: 139 528 (Joined April 20th 1932)

    Promotions:
    April 20th 1932 SS-Anwärter
    February 1934 SS-Mann
    April 20th 1934 SS-Unterschrführer
    June 1st 1934 SS-Oberscharführer
    April 1st 1935 SS-Hauptscharführer (another source gives April 20th 1935)
    January 30th 1936 SS-Standartenoberjunker
    April 20th 1936 SS-Untersturmführer (effective from June 1st 1935)
    July 1st 1936 SS-Obersturmführer
    June 1st 1937 SS-Hauptsturmführer
    August 1st 1939 SS-Sturmbannführer
    March 21st 1940 SS-Hauptsturmführer der Waffen-SS (effective from June 1st 1937)
    December 1st 1941 SS-Sturmbannführer der Waffen-SS (effective from August 1st 1939)
    April 20th 1942 SS-Obersturmbannführer der Waffen-SS (effective from April 1st 1942)
    July 1st 1943 SS-Standartenführer der Waffen-SS (effective from June 21st 1943)
    January 30th 1944 SS-Oberführer der Waffen-SS
    May 25th 1944 SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS (effective from June 21st 1944)

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    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Hauptscharführer (Warrant Officer)
    Awarded on:
    December 16th, 1935
    Julleuchter der SS
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Hauptsturmführer (Captain)
    Awarded on:
    December 1st, 1937
    DRL Sportabzeichen in Bronze
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Hauptsturmführer (Captain)
    Awarded on:
    December 1st, 1937
    Bronzes SA-Sportabzeichen
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Hauptsturmführer (Captain)
    Awarded on:
    December 1st, 1937
    Ehrendegen des Reichsführers-SS
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Hauptsturmführer (Captain)
    Awarded on:
    December 1st, 1937
    SS-Ehrenring
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Hauptsturmführer (Captain)
    Awarded on:
    1938
    Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 13. März 1938
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Hauptsturmführer (Captain)
    Awarded on:
    July 4th, 1941
    Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Hauptsturmführer (Captain)
    Awarded on:
    September 15th, 1941
    Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Hauptsturmführer (Captain)
    Awarded on:
    December 1st, 1941
    Vapaudenristin 3.luokka (VR 3)
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Sturmbannführer (Major)
    Awarded on:
    January 15th, 1942
    Bronze version.
    Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Sturmbannführer
    Unit:
    Führer SS-Infanterie-Regiment 7 (motorisiert)
    Awarded on:
    May 30th, 1942
    Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Sturmbannführer (Major)
    Awarded on:
    July 20th, 1942
    Medaille
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Standartenführer (Colonel)
    Awarded on:
    October 30th, 1943
    Vapaudenristin 2.luokka (VR 2)
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Oberführer
    Awarded on:
    March 9th, 1944
    Wehrmachtbericht
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Brigadeführer / Generalmajor der Waffen-SS (Brigadier)
    Awarded on:
    1945
    Ehrenblattspange des Heeres und Waffen-SS
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Brigadeführer / Generalmajor der Waffen-SS (Brigadier)
    Unit:
    Kommandeur 20.SS-Grenadier-Division (Estnischer Nr. 1) / Heeresgruppe Mitte
    Awarded on:
    March 8th, 1945
    Augsburger’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…

    “1.) When the Division arrived in the Oppeln area the enemy had already crossed the Oder along a broad front. In order to cover the northern flank of Fortress Oppeln, the divisional commander made the independent decision to take the villages of Birkenthal, Halbendorf and Preisdorf, all of which lay outside his assigned sector. These villages were taken despite hard enemy resistance. With this the enemy was pushed back towards the north, and the northern flank of Fortress Oppeln was secured through the creation of a defensive line here.

    2.) On the 03.02.1945 strong enemy tank forces managed to create and swiftly expand a bridgehead across the Neisse river near Frohnau. In the village of Lossen Brigadeführer Augsberger personally assembled the only slowly arriving alarm units and straggler groups for an attack on the night of the 03./04.02.1945. But a hostile thrust into the flank of this friendly attack smashed the handful of battle-worthy elements and led to a new, very critical situation. Brigadeführer Augsberger thus personally organized a defense in the villages of Lossen, Johnsdorf and Jeschen. He personally apprehended stragglers and was able to restore the situation only because of the personal example he set. Through this the thrust of enemy tank forces to the south was prevented, and the groundwork for the Neisse-Front’s sustainable consolidation was laid.

    3.) The toughness with which the men of the 20. W.Gren.Div. der SS (estn. Nr.1) and their largely Estonian leaders fought deserves particular commendation. These men continued to fight despite their being far from their lost homeland and the lack of a tangible goal to fight for. The leadership difficulties that this created were balanced out by the skillful leadership and brave personal example of the divisional commander.”
    Recommended on February 16th 1945 and signed by OB Heeresgruppe Mitte, Generalfeldmarschall Ferdinand Schörner; approved by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler.
    Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

    Sources

    Photo