Hetzenauer, Matthäus

Date of birth:
December 23rd, 1924 (Brixen im Thale/North-Tirol, Austria)
Date of death:
October 3rd, 2004 (Brixen im Thale/North-Tirol, Austria)
Nationality:
Austrian (1918-1938, Republic)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
September 1st, 1944
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
November 9th, 1944
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Schwarz
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
November 13th, 1944
Silver version.
Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
November 25th, 1944
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
December 3rd, 1944
Scharfschützenabzeichen 3.Stufe
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Gefreiter (Lance Corporal)
Unit:
Scharfschütze, 7. Kompanie, II. Bataillon, Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 144, 3. Gebirgs-Division, Heer
Awarded on:
April 17th, 1945
Hetzenauer’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…

“Gefreiter Hetzenauer has distinguished himself through his outstanding devotion to duty and well-honed military abilities as a sniper. In the time 01.09.1944-10.03.1945 he has achieved 172 confirmed sniper kills. Hetzenauer, a simple and modest soldier, has fought daily in independent actions with exemplary bravery and without regard for the prolonged periods of danger to his life. As a result of his bold operations as a lone fighter he is well-known throughout the Division. Most of his kills were achieved from locations forward of our own lines and just before the enemy positions. From these, without regard for friendly or hostile artillery, or enemy attacks/patrols, he sought out his victims.

In exactly this manner, lying just in front of enemy lines, he achieved 18 kills during an enemy offensive operation on the 02.02.1945. Over the course of his duties he has ultimately eliminated the equivalent of 2 battle-worthy enemy companies all on his own, and by his own actions has thereby achieved a success that has influenced his local area of operations.”
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

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