||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (November 2012)|
Kraiss during World War II
|Born||16 November 1889
|Died||6 August 1944 (aged 54)
near Saint-Lô, France
|Allegiance|| German Empire (to 1918)
Weimar Republic (to 1933)
|Years of service||1909–44|
|Battles/wars||World War I
World War II
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves|
Dietrich Kraiß (16 November 1889 – 6 August 1944) was a German Generalleutnant during World War II, awarded the German Cross in Gold and the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Kraiß was a stern anti-semite, as is evidenced by his repeated mentions of allegedly hostile Jewish elements among the Russian political officers in his orders and field diaries.
Kraiss was born in Stuttgart. He was a commander of the 90th Infantry Regiment (from September 1939 to March 1941), 168th Infantry Division (from July 1941 to March 1943) and 355th Infantry Division until May 1943. In November 1943 he took command of the 352nd Infantry Division which was in 1944, with six other divisions, located in Normandy in front of the Allied invasion. His 352nd Infantry Division had 7,409 soldiers and kept defensive positions around St. Lô. He eventually died on August 6, 1944 of injuries sustained 2 days earlier.
Awards and decorations
- Iron Cross (1914)
- 2nd Class (18 September 1914)
- 1st Class (7 June 1915)
- Wound Badge (1914)
- in Black
- Honour Cross of the World War 1914/1918
- Knight's Cross of the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern with Swords (9 October 1918)
- Knight's Cross of the Military Merit Order (Württemberg) (21 June 1915)
- Knight's Cross Second Class of the Order of the Zähringer Lion with Swords (15 September 1914)
- Sudetenland Medal
- Clasp to the Iron Cross (1939)
- Eastern Front Medal
- German Cross in Gold on 28 February 1942 as Generalmajor and commander of the 168. Infanterie-Division
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
- Knight's Cross on 23 July 1942 as Generalmajor and commander of 168. Infanterie-Division
- 549th Oak Leaves on 11 August 1944 as Generalleutnant and commander of 352. Infanterie-Division
- Mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht (11 June 1944)
- Wehrmacht Long Service Award, 4th class with 1st class
|Date||Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording||Direct English translation|
|11 June 1944||Bei den schweren Kämpfen im feindlichen Landekopf und bei der Vernichtung der im Hintergelände abgesetzten feindlichen Fallschirm- und Luftlandetruppen haben sich das rheinisch-westfälische Grenadierregiment 736 unter Führung von Oberst Grug, die 352. Infanteriedivision unter Führung von Generalleutnant Kraiß und das Fallschirmregiment 6 unter Führung von Major v. d. Heydte besonders ausgezeichnet.||In the heavy fighting in the enemy's bridgehead and in the destruction of enemy parachute and air landing troops which have been dropped in the rear area, the Rhenish-Westphalian Grenadier Regiment 736 under the leadership of Colonel Grug, the 352nd Infantry Division under the command of Lieutenant General Kraiß and the Parachute Regiment 6, under the leadership of Major v. d. Heydte have particularly excelled.|
- Thomas 1997, p. 402.
- Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 250.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 124.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [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.
- Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
- Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, 1. Januar 1944 bis 9. Mai 1945 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 3, 1 January 1944 to 9 May 1945] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2.
Media related to Dietrich Kraiss at Wikimedia Commons