|Born||17 December 1912
Rövershagen, Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, German Empire
|Died||23 March 1945
Herxheim, Rhenish Palatinate, Bavaria, Nazi Germany
|Years of service||1935–1945|
|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
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
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.
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.
Summary of SS career
Dates of rank
- SS-Untersturmführer: 20 April 1935
- SS-Obersturmführer: 12 December 1937
- SS-Hauptsturmführer: 30 June 1939
- SS-Sturmbannführer: 1 September 1941
- SS-Obersturmbannführer: 21 December 1943
- SS-Standartenführer: 21 December 1944
- Iron Cross Second (1940) and First (1940) Classes
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 14 May 1941 as SS-Hauptsturmführer and chief of the 2./SS-Kradschützen-Bataillon 2 "Reich"[Note 1]
- Eastern Front Medal (1942)
- SS-Honour Ring (?)
- Sudetenland Medal (?)
- Anschluss Medal (?)
- Wound Badge in Black (?)
- Infantry Assault Badge(?)
- German Cross in Gold on 28 April 1944 as SS-Obersturmbannführer in the 2. SS-Panzer-Division "Das Reich"
- According to Scherzer as chief of the 2./SS-Kradschützen-Bataillon of the SS-Division "Reich".
- 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) . 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.
- Mattson, Gregory L. (2002). SS-Das Reich: The History of the Second SS Division, 1941–1945, Zenith Press. ISBN 978-0-7603-1255-1).