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Utgenannt, Richard

Date of birth:
February 15th, 1915 (Braunsberg/Easprussia, Germany)
Date of death:
February 14th, 1968 (Yellowknife, Canada)
Service number:
422 171 (SS Nr.)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
June 18th, 1940
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
August 21st, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant der Schützpolizei
Unit:
14. Kompanie, III. Bataillon, Polizei-Schützen-Regiment 2, SS-Polizei-Division, Schützpolizei
Awarded on:
August 26th, 1942
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Hauptsturmführer (Captain)
Unit:
Chef, 3. Kompanie, SS-Panzer-Abteilung 4, 4. SS-Polizei-Panzergrenadier-Division, Waffen-SS
Awarded on:
November 16th, 1944
Utgenannt’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…

“On the 02.10.1944 SS-Hauptsturmführer Utgenannt received the order to support the attack of the III./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. 8 against Gross-St.-Nikolaus with 12 Sturmgeschützen from his Abteilung. However as the attack saw no success when conducted frontally and from the south, he decided to conduct a wide flanking maneuver to the right in order to attack the city from the north. In a smoothly led attack Utgenannt penetrated into the city at the head of his Sturmgeschütze and thereby enabled the SS-Panzergrenadiers to occupy the city. 30 prisoners were captured along with 5 heavy Paks, 10 trucks, over 50 horse-drawn vehicles and a regimental command post with important documents. 6 heavy and 4 light Paks, 5 trucks and several horse-drawn vehicles were destroyed. By his decision to attack from the north, Utgenannt succeeded in interrupting the Russian withdrawal and turning it into a disordered flight.

Utgenannt showed the same fearlessness and bravery on the following day during the capture of Deutsch-Tsanad. In cooperation with the III./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. 8 he advanced at the head of his Sturmgeschütze into the strongly fortified enemy city. In the process he eliminated 3 heavy and 4 medium Paks, several trucks and horse-drawn vehicles and a number of light and heavy infantry weapons.

Through the capture of both Gross-St.-Nikolaus and Deutsch-Tsanad Utgenannt enabled…

1. The resupply of the Division via Szeged, which in the meantime had been lost by the Russian capture of Gross-Kikinda.

2. The orderly withdrawal of the Division towards the west via Szeged in the face enemy forces to the south, east and northeast.

On the 14.10.1944 Utgenannt, with his force of 8 Sturmgeschütze, received the order to seize the city of Kisujszallas at any cost in order to establish the groundwork for establishing contact with the 13. Panzer-Division, which was fighting further to the east.

At 10:00 that morning he thrusted into the heavily occupied city of Kisujszallas with his usual exemplary fearlessness. With his Sturmgeschütze he eliminated 3 enemy tanks, 2 heavy and 4 medium Paks as well as numerous light and heavy infantry weapons. The infantry rushing far ahead, he moved past the railway embankment towards the northeast out of Kisujszallas. He then silenced an enemy battery and thereafter engaged the enemy forces retreating from the city (which included heavy weapons and Katyushas), bringing them heavy material and personnel losses.

Through this he created the groundwork for the occupation of the south and southeast part of the city with the weak infantry forces on hand and its successful defense on the 14.-15.10.1944. Cut off from any resupply, the Kampfgruppe Utgenannt repelled all Russian attacks on these two days and launched their own powerful counterthrusts against the enemy forces that had reentered the city on the night in between.

He led this counterthrusts undaunted by his own losses and the lack of infantry support until he received the order to retreat. Utilizing the results of one of these successful counterthrusts, he and his Kampfgruppe succeeded in breaking through the enemy encirclement ring around the city with minimal losses and reached friendly lines.

During the capture and holding of Kisujszallas, as well as the capture of Gross-St.-Nikolaus and Deutsch-Tsanad, SS-Hauptsturmführer Utgenannt repeatedly displayed enormous personal bravery. His solid tactical skills that brought about the resupply and withdrawal of the Division, as well as the seizure and two-day holding of Kisujszallas, enabled the construction of a security/strongpoint line opposite the attacking enemy forces that were coming from the south and east against Szolnok, Torök-Szt.-Miklos and Szararfalu.

SS-Hauptsturmführer Utgenannt has previously shown himself as one of the best and brightest in the SS-Polizei-Division during the fighting in Russia and has already once been recommended for the Knight’s Cross. During the operations of the Division in Banat and Hungary he has once again proven to be a leader with qualities of great fearlessness and bravery. As a result he is worthy of being reconsidered for the award of the Knight’s Cross to the Iron Cross.”
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Sources