- Second World War (1939-1945)
- SS-Sturmbannführer (Major)
- Kommandeur I. / SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 1 / SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division “Leibstandarte SS-Adolf Hitler" / Heeresgruppe Süd
- Awarded on:
- March 3rd, 1943
Frey’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…
“I would like to once again recommend the commander of the I./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 1 ‘LSSAH’, SS-Sturmbannführer Albert Frey, for the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. Included is a resubmission of his Knight’s Cross recommendation from the 25.10.1941. In addition to these previous actions, he has also repeatedly distinguished himself through his personal bravery and outstanding leadership during the present heavy defensive battles and counterattacks on the southern sector of the Eastern front.”
This first Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…
“SS-Hauptsturmführer and Kompanie commander Frey has already been awarded both classes of Iron Cross for his personally bravery. Following the wounding of his Bataillon commander he took over leadership of the III. Bataillon, and in this role had an outstanding share in the creation of a bridgehead over the Mius (specifically 15 km north of Taganrog). His prudent leadership and bravery ensured that all attempts of the enemy to retake the bridge were bloodily smashed. Furthermore, as is clear to see from the attached combat report, SS-Hauptsturmführer Frey has again distinguished himself through his determined conduct, exceptional leadership and ruthlessness.
It is to his credit that the vital harbour city of Taganrog swiftly fell into our hands.”
Frey’s Oakleaves recommendation reads as follows…
“1. On the 05.07.1943, during Operation Citadel, the SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 1 under the command of SS-Obersturmbannführer Frey had the following mission: After capturing the combat outposts on the high ground west of Jachontoff, the Regiment was to take the tank ditch near Hill 220.5 and thereafter the village of Jakoblewo, which was located on the road.
The Grenadiers exited their jump-off points and worked their way to the anti-tank ditch under strong enemy artillery fire. Being in totally open terrain they suffered heavy losses to the defense fire of the enemy, who fought from deep trench systems. Even so the tank ditch was captured after a five-hour battle, and cleared of the enemy by storm troops. As the tank ditch and the terrain to the north of it was heavily mined and strewn with barbed wire, and as enemy artillery fire was being laid down with extreme efficiency, the attack threatened to bog down.
SS-Obersturmbannführer Frey immediately recognized the crisis of this battle day. He rallied a handful of Pioniere, blew a gap in the tank ditch and thereby enabled our Panzers to pass through. Now advancing alongside the Panzers, he personally led his Grenadiers forward and brought the assault back into motion.
The initiative, personal actions in the foremost line and outstanding bravery of SS-Obersturmbannführer Frey ensured that the entire attack of the Division beyond the tank ditch did not bog down. Instead on this and the next day the deeply fortified, mined and wired position at Hill 243.2 would be taken. The day’s objective of Hill 230.5 would likewise be captured following a tough battle for every entrenchment.
2. In the time period 15.11.-18.11.1943 the 1. SS-Panzer-Division ‘LSSAH’ thrust into the deep flank of the enemy that had advanced from Kiev to Zhitomir. During this time SS-Obersturmbannführer Frey and his armoured group (Panther-Abteilung, Stu.Gesch.Abt., II./Art.Rgt. and his SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. 1) had the mission of thrusting from Kornin northwards to Ssolowjewka. From there he was to break through towards the northwest as far as the Kiev-Zhitomir road, and thereafter set up a blocking position.
At 06:30 on the 15.11.1943 the armoured group commenced its advance from Kornin to Ssolowjewka. After the Panthers and Sturmgeschütze had crushed the Soviet Pakfronts and dug-in T-34s south of the village of Lissowka, the remaining elements pressed forward towards Lissowka and captured the village in spite of strong enemy artillery/anti-tank gun fire from the flanks.
SS-Obersturmbannführer Frey was present with the forward elements as they entered Lissowka. Along with them he forced his way through the village and then regrouped his Regiment in a very short time. After the heavy weapons and Artillerie-Abteilung had launched a coordinated barrage, both of his forward Bataillone began marching towards Ssolowjewka under his personal leadership.
In the days before the enemy had seized this village during a thrust from Fastov westwards towards Kornin, a flanking move that had not gone unnoticed by the Division. By now it had been built up like a fortress. Following the artillery barrage, and the destruction of a Pakfront on the southern edge of the village, the Panthers were dispatched in a wide flanking maneuver so as to come at the village from the northwest. Meanwhile SS-Obersturmbannführer Frey and his Grenadiers penetrated into the village from the south. The village was cleared out quickly and all resistance was crushed.
Along with the Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung and the mounted reserve Bataillon, SS-Obersturmbannführer Frey pursued the fleeing enemy towards the northwest. In the following night, after breaking enemy resistance at Wodoty, Pokryschew, Romanowka, Semmewka and Sdwischka, a surprise night attack was launched that seized the village of Wilnja. This success was again thanks to the outstanding bravery and personal leadership of SS-Obersturmbannführer Frey.
On the night of the 16./17.11.1943 the Kampfgruppe moved from Wilnja further towards the north. Advancing along his original assault axis towards Korostyjew, at dawn SS-Obersturmbannführer Frey and his forward elements reached the forest edge that ran parallel to the road. They found this to be heavily occupied by the enemy.
After a personal reconnaissance he got the impression that the enemy had succeeded in erecting a strong defensive front along the forest in a very short time. Deviating from his original attack objective, he decided to turn towards the northeast and capture the village of Kotscherowo. As it was necessary to block the road as soon as possible, he immediately put this plan into motion. He attacked this road junction (which was extremely important for the Russians) and had it firmly under control already by midday. As a result of this independent decision and its determinedly led execution, the blocking of the road had ben achieved without any loss of time!
From dawn to 16:00 on the 18.11.1943 SS-Obersturmbannführer and his Kampfgruppe (who had been greatly exhausted by the non-stop marches along the bad roads as well as the significant losses during its’ night battles) defended against 8 Russian attacks launched in battalion to regimental strength. All these attacks were fiercely conducted, as the Russians were resolved to hold open the road to Zhitomir under all circumstances. However all were defeated with heavy enemy losses. In several cases the Kompanien were forced to pull back into the houses of the village after being threatened in the flank by enemy tanks, but each time were eventually brought back forward again. It was only thanks to the spirited, personal leadership of SS-Obersturmbannführer Frey that these enemy attacks failed to achieve success. During each enemy penetration he would exploit any hostile weaknesses with an appropriate employment of force.
On the grounds of his outstanding leadership of the Regiment, as well as the demonstrated personal bravery he has exhibited in all days of battle, I hold SS-Obersturmbannführer Frey as worthy of being awarded the Oakleaves to the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. I ask that he receive this high honour.”