Fritz Klingenberg

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Fritz Klingenberg
Fritz Klingenberg (25 June 1943).jpg
Fritz Klingenberg
Born 17 December 1912
Rövershagen, Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, German Empire
Died 23 March 1945(1945-03-23) (aged 32)
Herxheim, Rhenish Palatinate, Bavaria, Nazi Germany
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen-SS
Years of service 1935–1945
Rank SS-Standartenführer
Unit 2.SS-Division Das Reich
17.SS- Panzergrenadier-Division Götz von Berlichingen
Commands held 17.SS- Panzergrenadier-Division Götz von Berlichingen
SS-Junkerschule Bad Tölz
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Fritz Klingenberg (17 December 1912 – 23 March 1945) was a German Waffen-SS officer who served with the 2.SS-Division Das Reich and was a commander of the 17.SS- Panzergrenadier-Division Götz von Berlichingen. He was best known for his capture of the Yugoslavian capital, Belgrade for which he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.

Early life and career[edit]

Fritz Paul Heinrich Otto Klingenberg was a son of dairy owner and was born in Rövershagen in Mecklenburg on 17 December 1912. In 1934, he dropped out of University of Rostock to join the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT) and study at the new SS-Junkerschule at Bad Tölz. After graduation he was assigned to SS-Standarte Germania, Das Reich. Until the outset of World War II, Klingenberg served on an inspection team of the SS-VT.

Götz von Berlichingen[edit]

In April 1941, the Germany Army invaded Yugoslavia and then Greece. Both the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH) and Das Reich were attached to separate army Panzer Corps. Klingenberg, then a company commander in the Das Reich, led his men in a race to capture the Yugoslav capital. Klingenberg, along with a very small unit of men accepted the surrender of Belgrade and a few days later the army of Yugoslavia surrendered.[1][2]

On 21 December 1944, Fritz Klingenberg was promoted to SS-Standartenführer (colonel) and two weeks later (on 12 January 1945) was ordered to take command of the 17. SS- Panzergrenadier-Division Götz von Berlichingen. The Division was attached to General Max Simon's XIII SS Corps, defending the area between Neustadt and Landau, southeast of Saarbrücken against the XV Corps of the U.S. Seventh Army. When resistance finally collapsed on 23 March 1945, Klingenberg was among the casualties. He was killed by a tank shell during a firefight between heavy 88mm FlaK and armored forces of the US-Army on the western edge of Herxheim and is buried at the German War Cemetery in Andilly, France.[3]

Fritz Klingenberg (far left) with Heinrich Himmler and other SS officers on tour of Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp, June 1941.

Summary of SS career[edit]

Dates of rank[edit]

Notable decorations[edit]


  1. ^ According to Scherzer as chief of the 2./SS-Kradschützen-Bataillon of the SS-Division "Reich".[5]



  1. ^ Flaherty 2004, pp. 162, 163.
  2. ^ Weale 2012, p. 297.
  3. ^ Günther 1991, p. 168.
  4. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 260.
  5. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 448.
  6. ^ Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 234.


  • 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. 
  • Flaherty, T. H. (2004) [1988]. The Third Reich: The SS. Time-Life. ISBN 1-84447-073-3. 
  • Günther, Helmut (1991). Die Sturmflut und das Ende – Band 3, Mit dem Rücken zur Wand – Geschichte der 17.SS-Panzergrenadierdivision "Götz von Berlichingen". Schild Verlag. ISBN 3-88014-103-7. 
  • 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. 
  • Weale, Adrian (2012). Army of Evil: A History of the SS. New York: Caliber Printing. ISBN 978-0-451-23791-0. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Mattson, Gregory L. (2002). SS-Das Reich: The History of the Second SS Division, 1941–1945, Zenith Press. ISBN 978-0-7603-1255-1).