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Knöchlein, Fritz

Date of birth:
May 17th, 1911 (Munich/Bavaria, Germany)
Date of death:
January 28th, 1949 (Hamelin/Lowersaxony, Germany)
Service number:
87.881 (SS-Nr) / 157.016 (NSDAP-Mitglieds-Nr)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

Fritz Knöchlein was after the war convicted and executed by hanging for war crimes committed on May 27th, 1940 at Le Paradis.

Promotions:
?: SS-Obersturmführer;
?: SS-Hauptsturmführer;
1942: SS-Sturmbannführer;
March 14th, 1944: SS-Obersturmbannführer

Career:
?: SS-Junkerschule Braunschweig;
?: SS-Totenkopfstandarte I „Oberbayern";
1939: 3. Kompanie, 2. SS-Totenkopf-Regiment (mot.), SS-Division Totenkopf;
?: 5. Kompanie, 2. SS-Totenkopf-Regiment (mot.), SS-Division Totenkopf;
1941: SS-Flakabteilung 3;
?: Kommandeur III. Bataillon, SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 36, 16. SS-Panzergrenadier-Division „Reichsführer SS";
April 1944: Kommandeur, 23. SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment „Norge", 11. SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Division „Nordland";
February 10th, 1945: Kommandeur SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 49, 23. SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Division „Nederland".

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
May 31st, 1940
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
June 15th, 1940
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Sturmbannführer
Unit:
1. / SS-Infanterie-Regiment 3 "Totenkopf"
Awarded on:
November 15th, 1942
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant-colonel)
Unit:
Kommandeur SS-Freiwillige-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 23 "Norge"
Awarded on:
November 16th, 1944
Knöchlein’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…

“On the night of the 29./30.10.1944 strong Russian forces launched a surprise enveloping attack towards the west with the aim of bypassing the road junction at Preekuln. By this they would break out of a decisively important frontline sector.

Recognizing the significance of this move, SS-Obersturmbannführer Knöchlein made the decision to confront this danger on his right wing with a small number of cobbled-up men along with a concentration of his mobile anti-tank units.

Through a surprise night attack the oncoming crisis was rectified. The enemy also suffered such heavy losses that they were unable to execute a similar maneuver in this sector during the entirety of the following day.

During this time SS-Obersturmbannführer Knöchlein (a hard and determined SS man and regimental commander) repeatedly demonstrated the highest willingness to do his duty. He provided the leadership during this decisive 24 hour period, overseeing all the necessary countermeasures.

I thereby would like to submit SS-Obersturmbannführer Knöchlein for the high award of the Knight’s Cross to the Iron Cross.”
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
June 2nd, 1942
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Schwarz
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
June 15th, 1942
in Bronze
Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
July 19th, 1942
Medaille

Sources

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