- Second World War (1939-1945)
- SS-Standartenführer (Colonel)
- Kommandeur SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 1 „Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler“ / Heeresgruppe Süd
- Awarded on:
- March 1st, 1943
Witt's recommendation for the Oakleaves to his Knight's Cross reads as follows...
"I recommend the commander of the 1st Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment of the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, SS-Standartenführer Fritz Witt, for the award of the Oakleaves to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for:
1. Klidi Pass: After the lunge forward of our forces towards the south of Yugoslavia and the crossing of the Greek frontier by Florina, the Leibstandarte was assigned the task to open the heavily defended Klidi Pass, which would enable the further advance of our tank forces towards the south.
Through the courageous intervention of the then Commander of the I Battalion, SS-Standartenführer Witt, that under difficult conditions personally reconnoitered the assembly area of his battalion and after the arrival of the battalion managed to repel the toughly and bitterly fighting Englishmen in a hard struggle that lasted several hours. The enemy lost numerous dead and considerable amounts of war material.
With this success, which was achieved through the excellent, brave example of the commander that repeatedly rallied on his men to attack, the door for the successful assault into the heart of Greece was opened. SS-Standartenführer Witt thereby had an essential part in the ensuing success of the campaign against Greece.
2. Capture of Nowo Archangelsk: On 1.8.41 SS-Standartenführer Witt received from General Kempf the written order to attack Nowo Archangelsk and, since it was a key position, to take it firmly into our hands. After the appropriate wide deployment of the battalion by Witt, it attacked the far superior enemy at once. In heavy house fighting which lasted for hours, the enemy was expelled and Nowo Archangelsk taken. In spite of the strongest counterattacks of the opponent, Nowo Archangelsk was held. With this another condition was met for the closing of the cauldron. Witt distinguished himself again through superior leadership and personal bravery.
3. Crossing over the Mius: The enemy tried to hinder the continuation of the pursuit of the Soviets defeated in Mariupol, building a strong bridgehead over the Mius west of Taganrog. Despite the strongest enemy defense from strong and well-built positions on the east bank of the Mius Witt; initially only with weak forces, managed to win a crossing over the Mius. In spite of the strongest enemy counterattacks, the enemy was not able to pierce this bridgehead. SS-Standartenführer Witt created with it the conditions for resuming the pursuit that resulted in the capture of Taganrog on 17.10.41.
4. Rostov: The attack on Rostov was brought to a standstill because of the extraordinarily bad weather conditions and the III. Panzer Korps switched over to the defense. SS-Standartenführer Witt created, through the tireless, planned use of his reconnaissance, the favourable conditions for the later attack on Rostov. When this attaick began on 17.11.41 it was also Witt who, at the head of his battalion, rallied forward with his men against the hardest enemy resistance.
When the outskirts of Rostov were reached on 20.11.41 after heavy house-to-house fighting. Witt penetrated at a good pace as far as the Don at the head of his considerably weakened Battalion, and with his few men destroyed strong enemy columns. Crowning this success, especially great in light of the far superior enemy, his 3. Kompanie managed to build a bridgehead over the Don the very same day.
5. Defensive fighting east of Kharkov: In the defensive fighting near Chuguev, east of Kharkov, Witt and his regiment performed extremely well. The Kompanies and Battalions were immediately thrown into the battle from the unloading stations. This skillful leadership, combined with the ruthless action of his own person, is to be thanked that the advance of the very strong and superior opponent into the defensive sector (32 kilometres wide) that was assigned to the Regiment (with two battalions) found a position ready for defense. Through counterthrusts from these defensive positions bloody losses were inflicted on the enemy, and those who had infiltrated into the main line of resistance were destroyed.
6. Merefa: Kampfgruppe Witt moved forward from the area east of Merefa with the objective to shield the left flank of the reinforced SS-Regiment "Der Führer", operating on the north flank of the Russian 6. Guards Cavalry Corps. On the very first day Witt achieved good successes with his Kampfgruppe, and in the course of the attack on Taranowka smashed...
3 tanks, 2 armoured scout cars, 600 Russian dead
In the continuation of the attack Taranowka (which was strongly occupied by the enemy) was cleared, and the opponent was thrown back to the north part of Bereka. Together with the reconnaisance detachment, advancing from the area of Jefremowka towards the east, SS-Standartenführer Witt played an essential part in the annihilation of the 6. Guards Cavalry Corps, whose rear communications were severely threatened by the advance on Bereka.
As on 20.2.43 the Russians tried with strong forces to break through the defensive front of SS-Infantry-Regiment 1 of the LSSAH, and through the capture of Wodolaga to reach the rear of the Army's north flank. It was the merit of SS-Standartenführer Witt, who had to defend a sector 20 kilometers wide with only very small fighting forces, that all the massive attacks of the opponent (partially supported with tanks) were repelled. When the opponent managed to penetrate the strongpoint Hf. Bulachi east of Nowaja Wodolaga, Witt gathered together the last reserves of his Regiment, and in a counterattack, succeeded in destroying completely the opponent that had penetrated there (namely strong parts of the three Regiments of the 1. Russian Cavalry Division).
Through the skillful leadership of his Regiment and special bravery before the enemy, Witt has distinguished himself in every fight. I consider SS-Standartenführer Witt, owing to his evidently excellent feats described in the preceeding report, worthy of the high award of the Oakleaves to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.