Hillebrand, Franz

Date of birth:
December 19th, 1920 (Bozen/South-Tirol, Austria)
Date of death:
January 8th, 1944 (Winnyzja/Ukrain, Soviet Union)
Nationality:
Austrian (1918-1938, Republic)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberjäger (Corporal)
Unit:
Gruppenführer 1. / Gebirgsjäger-Bataillon 94
Awarded on:
April 5th, 1944
The following press article, taken from a Berlin newspaper of the date 22.06.1944, describes the Knight’s Cross action of Oberjäger Hillebrand as follows…

“East of Vinnitsa the Bolsheviks launched an attack with two battalions against the positions of the 1./Gebirgs-Jäger-Bataillon 94, in which Oberjäger Franz Hillebrand commanded a squad. The enemy concentrated their efforts on Hillebrand’s squad. 2 T-34s and 3 assault guns, followed by 400 riflemen, turned towards Hillebrand’s resistance nest. Despite the almost comically bad odds stacked against them, Hillebrand and his squad took up the fight. After the last man of his squad had fallen, he himself took up the machine-gun and engaged the Bolshevik attackers all on his own. He was able to hold them in check until, with the greatest devotion to duty, he became the last to die a heroes’ death. The fearless Oberjäger, who helped to secure a decisive victory for his Württemberg-Baden Gebirgsjäger-Division through his grim determination and courageous actions, was later awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross by the Führer.”
Awarded posthumously.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberjäger (Corporal)
Unit:
Gruppenführer 1. / Gebirgsjäger-Bataillon 94
Awarded on:
April 27th, 1944
Ehrenblattspange des Heeres und Waffen-SS
Awarded posthumously.

Sources