Keck, Karl

Date of birth:
January 20th, 1914 (Zürich, Suisse)
Date of death:
July 11th, 1944 (near Avenay/Basse-Normandie, France)
Buried on:
German War Cemetry St. Desir-de-Lisieux
Plot: 2. Row: 46. Grave: 1085.
German (1933-1945, German Reich)


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Second World War (1939-1945)
SS-Hauptsturmführer / Hauptmann der Schützpolizei
Führer 15.(Pionier) / SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 21
Awarded on:
August 23rd, 1944
Keck’s Knight’s Cross recommendation reads as follows…

“I would like to request the award of the Knight’s Cross to the Iron Cross for SS-Hauptsturmführer Karl Keck, born on the 20.01.1914 in Zürich (Switzerland). This is because on the 29.06.1944, following the successful attack of the II. Bataillon against Gavrus, he launched a counterthrust on his own initiative against enemy forces who were attacking the left wing of the Bataillon. He smashed this attempt and by this closed the gaping frontline gap adjoining the left neighbour (positioned in the Odon sector) with his Pionier-Kompanie.

Hauptsturmführer Keck’s instructions from the Regiment were only to try to restore contact with the left neighbour (the 9. SS-Pz.Div. ‘Hohenstaufen’) with a reconnaissance patrol. However as soon as he recognized the great threat posed by the frontline gap to the left of the II. Bataillon, he immediately attacked the enemy on his own initiative. By his model imperturbability and bravery he inspired his men forwards, eliminated the enemy (who were in strength of at least two companies) and captured a great quantity of weapons and equipment. His actions laid the groundwork for the successful holding of Gavrus, and indirectly were responsible for the holding of the decisive Hill 112.

On the night of the 10-11.07.1944, as Hauptsturmführer Keck led an independent counterthrust against enemy forces that had penetrated to the top of Hill 112, he was mortally wounded.

Hauptsturmführer Keck was the model of a brave, decisive and successful Kompanie commander. In light of his heroic death he is in the fullest measure worthy of receiving the high award of the Knight’s Cross to the Iron Cross.”
Awarded posthumously.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes


  • - Fellgiebel W.P., Elite of the Third Reich, The recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939-1945: A Reference, Helion & Company Limited, Solihull, 2003, ISBN 1-874622-46-9
    - Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945
    - Microfilm Publication A3343. US National Archives.