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Feßmann, Fritz

Date of birth:
December 25th, 1913 (Urbach/Württemberg, Germany)
Date of death:
October 11th, 1944 (Pakamonen near Tilsit/East Prussia, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, Third Reich)

Biography

1935 Soldat
1936 Gefreiter und ROA
1937 Unteroffizier d.R.
1939 Feldwebel d.R.
1940 Leutnant d.R.
1941 Oberleutnant d.R.
1943 Hauptmann d.R.
1944 Major d.R. (posthum)

Feßmann was killed in action on 11 October 1944. He had just debarked from his vehicle when a Soviet shell exploded before him, throwing him back into the vehicle and killing him instantly. He was posthumously awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords and promoted to Major of the Reserves.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leutnant der Reserve (2nd Lieutenant of Reserves)
Unit:
Zugführer 1. / Panzeraufklärungs-Abteilung 7 / 4.Panzer-Division
Awarded on:
May 1940
Awarded in May/June 1940 for military merit during the battle of France. Exact date unknown.
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leutnant der Reserve (2nd Lieutenant of Reserves)
Unit:
Zugführer 1. / Panzeraufklärungs-Abteilung 7 / 4.Panzer-Division
Awarded on:
June 1940
Awarded somewhere in June/July 1941 for military merit during the invasion of the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa). Exact date unknown.
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leutnant der Reserve (2nd Lieutenant of Reserves)
Unit:
Zugführer 1. / Panzeraufklärungs-Abteilung 7 / 4.Panzer-Division
Awarded on:
October 27th, 1941
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Awarded for inflicting lasting damage on the strategically important Kiev—Kursk railway line (located deep in Soviet territory) to both the east and west of Bachmatsch on the 08.09.1941. He conducted this operation with two armoured car units, and all this time he was able to successfully navigate through the Soviet columns in the vicinity through his tactical skill.
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant der Reserve (1st Lieutenant of Reserves)
Unit:
Chef 1. / Kradschützen-Bataillon 64
Awarded on:
January 4th, 1943
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
The following newspaper article (dated 12.01.1943) describes why Feßmann received the Knight’s Cross…

“An Oakleaves Holder at the age of 30 - Brave reserve officer recognized

As already reported, the Führer has awarded the Oakleaves to the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross to Oberleutnant der Reserve Fritz Feßmann, Kompanie commander in a Kradschützen Bataillon.

The 30 year old officer has distinguished himself in the eastern campaign as a brave and determined leader of his motorcycle troops. However recently he has given an especially good account of himself during the heavy defensive combat between the Don and Volga rivers. Acting independently, he thrust forward against the massed attacking Bolsheviks with his Kompanie. He inflicted bloody losses on the enemy and tied them down long enough for a new defensive line to be built. Though he was himself wounded in this fighting, Oberleutnant Feßmann decisively contributed to containing the Soviet attack and ensuring that an important bridgehead was held.”

As far as specific details are concerned, it is known that Oberleutnant Fessmann and his Kompanie ejected enemy forces from Ljabitschew twice on the 23.11.1942. Furthermore, by feigning German Panzers with the noise of their armoured cars, the Kompanie was able to save the supply troops of the 14. Panzer-Division along with several battalions.
170th Award.
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Hauptmann der Reserve (Captain of Reserves)
Unit:
Kommandeur Panzeraufklärungs-Abteilung 5
Awarded on:
October 23rd, 1944
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern
Awarded for the outstanding achievements of Fessmann and his Abteilung during the fighting in Lithuania and along the Memel river in the late summer and early fall of 1944. The recon results the Abteilung produced saved the 5. Panzer-Division from destruction on repeated occasions. Fessmann would particularly distinguish himself on the 08.10.1944, when he and his Abteilung had to fight their way through to the Division from a point 8 km south of Sidale.
103rd Award.
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (1st Lieutenant)
Awarded on:
November 30th, 1942
severely WIA in Stalingrad
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Silber

Sources

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