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Birnbacher, Heinz

Date of birth:
May 26th, 1910 (Villach/Kärnten, Austria)
Date of death:
December 5th, 1991 (Villach/Kärnten, Austria)
Nationality:
Austrian (1919-1934, Republic)

Biography

Promotions:

Kriegsmarine
09-10-1930 – Seekadett
01-04-1931 – Gefreiter
01-01-1932 – Fähnrich zur See
01-04-1934 – Oberfähnrich zur See
01-10-1934 – Leutnant zur See
01-06-1936 – Oberleutnant zur See
01-04-1939 – Kapitänleutnant
01-04-1943 – Korvettenkapitän

Bundesmarine
16-08-1956 – Fregattenkapitän
18-09-1960 – Kapitän zur See
07-08-1963 – Flottillenadmiral
02-10-1968 – Konteradmiral

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant zur See
Awarded on:
September 20th, 1939
Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 1. Oktober 1938
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant zur See
Awarded on:
December 20th, 1939
Dienstauszeichnung der Wehrmacht 4.Klasse, 4 Jahre
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Kapitänleutnant (Luitenant ter Zee 2e Klasse)
Unit:
Flottillenchef, 1. Schnellbootsflottille, Kriegsmarine
Awarded on:
April 9th, 1940
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Kapitänleutnant (Luitenant ter Zee 2e Klasse)
Unit:
Flottillenchef, 1. Schnellbootsflottille, Kriegsmarine
Awarded on:
April 20th, 1940
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Käpitanleutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Flottillenchef, 1. Schnellbootsflottille, Kriegsmarine
Awarded on:
May 15th, 1940
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Schwarz
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Käpitanleutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Flottillenchef, 1. Schnellbootsflottille, Kriegsmarine
Awarded on:
June 17th, 1940
The following press article, dated 25.06.1940, describes why Birnbacher was awarded the Knight’s Cross…

“The Führer and Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht has awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross to Kapitänleutnant Birnbacher, commander of a Schnellbootsflottille, at the recommendation of the Supreme Commander of the Kriegsmarine, Großadmiral Dr.h.c. Raeder.

Kapitänleutnant Heinz Birnbacher has distinguished himself as the commander of a Schnellbootsflottille during the fighting near Norway and the English coastline by leading his formation with tactical skill and boldness despite his youth. His example and daredevilry inspires both his captains and crews alike. During the Norwegian Operation he led his formation during the capture of Bergen and the battles in the fjords, sinking a Norwegian torpedo boat and scattering convoys of tankers and troop transports. Over the course of six out of seven sallies against the English fleet his Flottille sank 4 enemy destroyers under the most difficult of circumstances, one of which was sunk by his own command boat.”
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Käpitanleutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Flottillenchef, 1. Schnellbootsflottille, Kriegsmarine
Awarded on:
December 16th, 1940
Schnellboot-Kriegsabzeichen ohne Brillianten
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Käpitanleutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Flottillenchef, 1. Schnellbootsflottille, Kriegsmarine
Awarded on:
March 9th, 1941
Wehrmachtbericht
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Kapitänleutnant (Luitenant ter Zee 2e Klasse)
Unit:
Flottillenchef, 1. Schnellbootsflottille, Kriegsmarine
Awarded on:
November 10th, 1942
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Käpitanleutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Flottillenchef, 1. Schnellbootsflottille, Kriegsmarine
Awarded on:
November 4th, 1941
Vapaudenristin 3.luokka (VR 3)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Korvettenkapitän (Lieutenant Commander)
Unit:
I.O. Zerstörer Z 23, Kriegsmarine
Awarded on:
April 27th, 1943
Zerstörer-Kriegsabzeichen

Sources

Photo