- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Obergefreiter (Corporal)
- MG-Schütze, 6. Kompanie, II. Bataillon, Panzergrenadier-Regiment 12, 4. Panzer-Division, Heer
- Awarded on:
- January 9th, 1945
Franz Ertolitsch wrote the following first-hand account describing his Knight’s Cross related actions…
“Along with my assault squad, I was assigned to reinforce the Zug that was defending Hill 511.4. I had barely spent a day there when the Zug commander was wounded, after which I took over command of the entire defense. As I had been assigned this task by the divisional staff itself, I was fully aware of the importance of this hill. I was told that this position was not to be yielded to the enemy under any circumstances, as this would deny the entire Division the possibility of retreat or resupply. From this hill one could see far across the landscape, a fact which the enemy knew all too well. I often engaged in close combat with my small unit 3-4 times per day, and the losses in men and materiel were accordingly high. I had to defend this hill all alone against all enemy attacks for three days, as no friendly men or equipment were brought up to aid me. After the third day a spoiling attack was launched at another position to draw the enemy’s attention and give me some relief. Then an infantry unit that had been sent by the Division came to replace me. As I was at the end of my strength, I was brought to the divisional command post, from which I could inform the officers present of the enemy’s strength and situation.
From there I was brought to the Armee HQ to once again give a detailed report. I would then be awarded the Knight’s Cross to the Iron Cross a few days after this.”