Friedrich Franek

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Friedrich Franek
Born16 July 1891
Died8 April 1976(1976-04-08) (aged 84)
Allegiance Nazi Germany
Service/branchArmy (Wehrmacht)
Commands held44th Infantry Division
73rd Infantry Division
Battles/warsLublin–Brest Offensive
AwardsKnight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Friedrich Franek (16 July 1891 – 8 April 1976) was an Austrian general in the armed forces of Nazi Germany during World War II. Along with Alois Windisch, he was one of only two recipients of both the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and the Knight's Cross of the Military Order of Maria Theresa, the highest military honour of Austria-Hungary.

The son of a master baker, Franek joined the Austro-Hungarian Army in 1910 and served with distinction in World War I, winning the Gold Medal for Bravery. On 10 June 1921, the Chapter of the Military Order of Maria Theresa awarded Franek the Knight's Cross of the said Order in recognition of his conduct during the 11th Battle of the Isonzo. Had Franek received his appointment to the said Order before the abdication of the last Austro-Hungarian monarch, he would also have received a title of nobility as specified in the Statutes of the Military Order of Maria Theresa of 1895. Titles of nobility having been abolished in the Republic of Austria in 1919, Franek did not receive any such title in Austria.

After the end of the war, Franek remained in the army of the newly established Austrian republic. In 1925 he graduated with a PhD in political science.

After the Anschluss, Franek transferred to the German armed forces. In the summer of 1944, Franek was commanding the German 73rd Infantry Division as the Red Army was advancing through Poland. At the end of July, during the Lublin–Brest Offensive, he joined battle at Garwolin with the Soviet 2nd Guards Tank Army under the command of Alexei Radzievsky, when the German forces were routed and Franek was taken prisoner.[1] He was released in 1948.




  1. ^ Robert Forczyk, Warsaw 1944: Poland's bid for freedom (2009, ISBN 1-84603-352-7), p. 13
  2. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 154.


  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. 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.
Military offices
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Richard Pellengahr
Commander of 196. Infanterie-Division
1 March 1942 – 24 December 1943
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Kurt Möhring
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Dr. jur. Franz Beyer
Commander of 44. Reichs-Grenadier-Division Hoch und Deutschmeister
1 January 1944 – 1 May 1944
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Bruno Ortner
Preceded by
Generalmajor Johannes Nedtwig
Commander of 73. Infanterie-Division
26 June 1944 – 29 July 1944
Succeeded by
Generalmajor Kurt Haehling