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Krombholz, Franz-Josef

Date of birth:
August 13th, 1920 (Ober-Politz, Czechoslovakia)
Date of death:
December 13th, 2000 (Schenna/South-Tirol, Austria)
Nationality:
Austrian (1919-1934, Republic)

Biography

Franz-Josef Krombholz entered service on May 3rd, 1940.

Promotions:
?: SS-Hauptsturmführer der Reserve (RDA November 9th, 1944).

Career:
November 2nd, 1944: Kommandeur III. Bataillon / SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 14 "Skanderbeg".

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
December 31st, 1940
Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 1. Oktober 1938
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
July 30th, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
November 19th, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
April 20th, 1942
Silver version.
Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
April 20th, 1942
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Schwarz
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
April 20th, 1943
Red Zeljeni Trolist Fourth Class Cross
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Obersturmführer der Reserve (1st Lieutenant of Reserves)
Unit:
7. Kompanie, III. Bataillon, SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 14 "Skanderbeg", 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen", Waffen-SS
Awarded on:
April 24th, 1944
The unit was in this period serving in V. SS-Armeekorps, 2. Panzerarmee, Heeregruppe F.
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Obersturmführer der Reserve (1st Lieutenant of Reserves)
Unit:
7. Kompanie, III. Bataillon, SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 14 "Skanderbeg", 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen", Waffen-SS
Awarded on:
May 18th, 1944
Nahkampfspange in Bronze
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Obersturmführer der Reserve (1st Lieutenant of Reserves)
Unit:
7. Kompanie, III. Bataillon, SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 14 "Skanderbeg", 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen", Waffen-SS
Awarded on:
September 20th, 1944
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Silber
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Obersturmführer der Reserve (1st Lieutenant of Reserves)
Unit:
7. Kompanie, III. Bataillon, SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 14 "Skanderbeg", 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen", Waffen-SS
Awarded on:
October 25th, 1944
Nahkampfspange in Silber
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Hauptsturmführer der Reserve (Captain of Reserves)
Unit:
Kommandeur III. Bataillon, SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 14 "Skanderbeg", 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen", Waffen-SS
Awarded on:
March 28th, 1945
Krombholz’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…

“The SS-Hauptsturmführer and battalion commander Krombholz is the model of a true SS leader. His unbending will and fanatical belief in our great cause has been passed on to every last one of his troops, with the result that his Bataillon has been able to accomplish some seemingly impossible tasks in the last weeks and months.

On the 03.01.1945 the SS-Geb.Jg.Rgt. 14 launched an assault from the old frontline near Otok against Komletinci. Krombholz and his Bataillon (III./Geb.Jg.Rgt. 14) had the task of breaking through the enemy line, pushing past Komletinci and setting up a blocking position to the east of the village. In the shortest time he and his Bataillon were able to break through the enemy positions and after 1.5 hours of heavy fighting were already 2.5 km southeast of Komletinci. On his own initiative he then immediately pushed on ahead of the Bataillon with a group of 3 Panzers and 20 mounted infantry, overrunning several enemy anti-tank gun positions, shattering the enemy, capturing the village of Nijemci and then holding it until the rest of his Bataillon caught up. He then formed a line along the river and held it against overwhelming attacks from the east, southeast and northeast.

His personal devotion to duty was clear to see here and he was himself the beacon of the incredible attacking spirit displayed. Through his independent decisions and actions he carried along his whole battalion with him. The enemy not only sustained heavy losses as a result, but also could not evacuate any heavy weapons from the area around Komletinci. The enemy lost 615 counted dead, 22 AT guns/7.62 cm cannons as well as large quantities of other war materiel. Furthermore his far advanced Bataillon permitted the occupation and construction of a new and better frontline east of Komletinci, from which the village of Nijemci could be held for 3 days against the most trying attacks.

Among many other outstanding battlefield achievements the breakthrough from Zvornik to Bijelina on the 20.12.1944 is particularly noteworthy. On the night of 19-20.12.1944 and during the whole day the enemy moved strong forces onto the west bank of the Drina in the Janja area (10 km south of Bijelina). At the same time the 28th Partisan Division advanced from the west to the east, trying by all means to prevent the retreat of our own forces.

Positioned at Branjevo (21 km south of Bijelina) Krombholz received the order to make an emergency march with his Bataillon to a point 14 km west of the main road. From here they were to catch and destroy the enemy in the Studenac area (7 km southwest of Janja) by attacking their rear. This objective was achieved to the full extent. About 1500 enemy men stood in the Studenac area ready to fight. At the head of his men Krombholz charged into the middle of the partisans. A two hour battle was resolved in the Germans’ favour. The enemy lost several hundred dead as well as considerable quantities of weapons and equipment captured. The remaining partisans fled in disorder to the west.

By this crushing blow the movements of our own troops in the direction Bijelina - Brcko could proceed without any major difficulty, and were able to establish contact with other friendly forces.”
The unit was in this period serving in XXI. Armeekorps, E. Armee, Heeregruppe F.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources

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