Bernhard Krause

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Bernhard Krause
Born 11 May 1910
Weimar, Germany
Died 19 February 1945(1945-02-19) (aged 34)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen-SS
Years of service 1934–1945
Rank Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel)
Unit 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler
12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Iron Cross I Class
Iron Cross II Class
German Cross in Gold
Eastern Front Medal

Bernhard Krause (11 May 1910 – 19 February 1945) was an Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) in the Waffen-SS during World War II. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, which was awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership by Nazi Germany during World War II.

Early life[edit]

Bernhard Krause was born on the 11 May 1910, in Weimar, Germany. After completing his schooling he volunteered to join the SS-VT in January 1934, and posted to the SS Standarte Deutschland. In 1935 he was selected to become an officer and sent to the SS-Junkerschule at Bad Tölz. Upon graduation he was promoted to Untersturmführer (Second Lieutenant) in April and further promoted to Obersturmführer (First Lieutenant) in April 1936. He was given command of the 5th Company, Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler and promoted to Hauptsturmführer (Captain) in January 1939.[1][2]

World War II[edit]

Krause took part in the early campaigns of the war the Polish Campaign and the Battle of France. He was awarded his first combat decoration, the Iron Cross II class, in April 1941, during Operation Marita the invasion of the Balkans. He next took part in Operation Barbarossa the invasion of the Soviet Union and was awarded the Iron Cross I class in August followed by the Eastern Front Medal for service on the Eastern Front during the first Russian winter of the war in 1942.[1][2]

Krause was given command of the I. Battalion, 1st SS Panzergrenadier Regiment LSSAH in 1943 and then the 1st SS Flak Battalion, LSSAH, and fought in the Battle of Kharkov[disambiguation needed] in command of the Flak Battalion where the battalions attacks were of crucial importance.[1][2]

Krause was then transferred to the newly formed SS division 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend in July 1943, and given command of the I. Battalion, 26th SS Panzergrenadier Regiment. This new Division's first combat was in the Battle of Normandy in June 1944, and the defence of Caen the Battalion held their position for 17 days, particularly on the 24 June in the area of Saint Manvieu being attacked on both flanks they were able to hold out until withdrawn to new positions. For his bravery and leadership during this time he was awarded the German Cross in Gold.[1][2]

Knight's Cross[edit]

Krause was awarded the Knight's Cross for his actions in August 1944, in the sector along the Caen to Falaise road. The Allies had broken through the lines in the area of the 89th Infantry Division on the 13 August. Krause had command of a Kampfgruppe and was positioned on both sides of the road to Soulangy with orders to prevent a breakthrough to Falaise.[1] On the 14 August they held out against repeated attacks and were ordered to withdraw to a new position just outside Falaise on the 16 August and secure the road junction one kilometer north of the town. They held this new position against strong attacks from the north, west and southwest, destroying seven tanks and numerous infantry carriers. Suffering heavy losses, the battalion was relocated into Falaise beside the cathedral and the barracks. When they were ordered to pull out, the Battalion consisted of the strength of a weak Company.[1]

Krause was then given command of the 26th SS Panzergrenadier Regiment, 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend. He did not survive the war, but was killed in action on 19 February 1945.[1][2]


  • 5th Company, Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler
  • I. Battalion, 1st SS Panzergrenadier Regiment LSSAH (1943)
  • 1st SS Flak Battalion, LSSAH (1943)
  • I. Battalion, 26th SS Panzergrenadier Regiment Hitlerjugend (July 1943 - August 1944)
  • 26th SS Panzergrenadier Regiment (August 1944 February 1945)



  1. ^ a b c d e f g "sspzhj". 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "frontkjemper". 

Further reading[edit]

  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Mitcham, Samuel W (2007). Retreat to the Reich : the German defeat in France, 1944. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-3384-7. 
  • Fey, Will; Henschler, Henri (2003). Armor Battles of the Waffen-SS. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-2905-5. 
  • Mitcham, Samuel W (2007). The German Defeat in the East, 1944–45. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-3371-7. 
  • Meyer Hubert, The 12th SS: The History of the Hitler Youth Panzer Division, Stackpole Books, 2005. ISBN 0-8117-3198-7
  • Reynolds, Michael (1997). Steel Inferno: I SS Panzer Corps in Normandy. Spellmount. ISBN 1-873376-90-1