Fritz Henke

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Fritz Henke
Fritz henke.jpg
Born 21 June 1921
Oldendorf, Stade, Germany
Died 15 November 1999(1999-11-15) (aged 78)
Moisburg, Germany
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen SS
Years of service 1939–45
Rank Untersturmführer
Unit 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Iron Cross 1st Class
Iron Cross 2nd Class
Tank Destruction Badge
Eastern Front Medal

Fritz Henke (21 June 1921 – 15 November 1999) was a Untersturmführer (Second Lieutenant) in the Waffen SS who was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.

Henke was born on the 21 June 1921 in Oldendorf, in Lower Saxony. After school he had planned on being a Master craftsman, then on the 4 September 1939 he volunteered to join the SS.[1]

He was posted to the 2nd Reserve Company of the SS Regiment Germania stationed at Langenhorn, Hamburg where he received training as a basic infantryman.[1]

In May 1940 he started training as a Radio Operator and upon completion was posted to the Sturmgeschütz (StuG) Battery of the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler Regiment and participated in Operation Marita the Balkans Campaign.[1]

In 1942 now in command of his own Sturmgeschütz, during heavy fighting around Shitomir he covered the withdrawal of the grenadiers during darkness after his own withdrawal had been prevented by Russian Infantry during which he destroyed 21 tanks and 11 anti tank guns. For these actions Henke was awarded the Knight's Cross promoted to Oberscharführer (Staff Sergeant) and given command of a platoon in the 3rd Battery, 1st SS Sturmgeschütz Battalion.[1]

In September 1943 he was sent to the SS officers training school and promoted to Untersturmführer. During the war he was wounded only once on 20 April 1945, just prior to surrendering to the Allies.[1]

Henke died on 15 November 1999 and is buried at Moisburg.[2]

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Bibliography[edit]

  • 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. 
  • Krätschmer, Ernst-Günther (1999). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Waffen-SS [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Waffen-SS]. Coburg, Germany: Nation Europa Verlag. ISBN 978-3-920677-43-9. 
  • 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.