Fritz Biegi

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Fritz Biegi
Born 18 January 1918
Bechtheim, Germany
Died 16 March 1945 (1945-03-17) (aged 27)
Leobschütz, Poland
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen SS
Years of service 1939–1945 Waffen SS
Rank Standartenoberjunker
Unit 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking
Battles/wars World War II
Awards

Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Iron Cross 1st Class
Iron Cross 2nd Class
Close Combat Clasp in Bronze
Infantry Assault Badge
Eastern Front Medal 1941/42

[1]

Fritz Biegi (18 January 1918 – 16 March 1945) was a Standartenoberjunker in the Waffen SS during World War II who was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, an award for extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership by Nazi Germany during World War II.

Early life[edit]

Fritz Biegi was born on 8 January 1918, in Bechtheim in Hesse-Nassau. After he finished school he joined the Reich Labour Service until March 1938. He then volunteered to join the SS-VT in April 1938 and was posted to the 7th Company, SS Standarte Germania.[1] [2]

World War II[edit]

In 1939 Biegi took part in the Polish Campaign and the Battle of France and was promoted to Unterscharführer in July 1941.[1][2]

He also took part in Operation Barbarossa the invasion of the Soviet Union and was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd class in July 1941, the Infantry Assault Badge in February 1942, the Iron Cross 1st class in October 1942.[1][2]

In April 1943 he was awarded the Close Combat Clasp in Bronze which was awarded for 15 days of hand to hand fighting at close quarters.[1][2]

In October 1943 when the Division was restructured he was now in the 5th Company, 9th SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment Germania.[1]

Knight's Cross[edit]

Biegi was awarded the Knight's Cross for his actions in February 1944, Germania were given the task of defending the town of Orlewez to the west of Smela.[1][2]

Intelligence had suggested a Soviet attack was expected on the night of 2 February; the attack came at 20:00 hours during a severe storm, and succeeded in breaking the German line on the right. Biegi, seeing that the front was liable to collapse, collected a machine gun from a dead Grenadier and engaged the advancing Soviet forces at a distance of 20 meters, firing the machine gun from the hip. He advanced alone along the captured front line, throwing hand grenades which destroyed three Soviet machine guns and cleared the line.[1]

In the following twelve hours Biegi and his platoon successfully defended the line from Soviet attacks against their front and rear. The next morning, when the German reserves managed to link up with them, they found more than 100 Soviet dead and 3 guns destroyed, 10 machine guns and 6 grenade launchers captured, and forty prisoners of war.[1]

In March 1945 he was promoted to Standartenoberjunker and posted to the staff of the 18th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division "Horst Wessel". He was killed in action on 16 March 1945.[1][2]

References[edit]

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. 
  • Hamilton Charles Leaders and Personalities of the Third Reich, R James Bender Pub 1997, ISBN 0-912138-27-0
  • Kurowski Franz Panzer Aces II Stackpole Books, 2004, ISBN 0-8117-3175-8
  • 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. 
  • Thomas, Franz; Wegmann, Günter (1992). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Teil III: Infanterie Band 2: Bi–Bo [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the German Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Part III: Infantry Volume 2: Bi–Bo] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-1734-3.