Rudolf Witzig

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Rudolf Witzig
Rudolf Witzig.jpg
Rudolf Witzig
Born (1916-08-14)14 August 1916
Röhlinghausen in Wanne-Eickel
Died 3 October 2001(2001-10-03) (aged 85)
Oberschleißheim
Allegiance  Nazi Germany (to 1945)
 West Germany
Service/branch Balkenkreuz (Iron Cross) Luftwaffe
Bundeswehrkreuz (Iron Cross) German Air Force
Years of service 1935–45, 1956–74
Rank Major (Wehrmacht)
Oberst (Bundeswehr)
Commands held I./Fallschirm-Pionier-Regiment 21
Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 18
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Rudolf Witzig (14 August 1916 in Röhlinghausen, Wanne-Eickel – 3 October 2001 in Oberschleißheim) was a German Fallschirmjäger during World War II and Oberst in the Bundeswehr. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. 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. Witzig fought in the German attack against the Belgian fortress Fort Eben-Emael.

Early life and career[edit]

Witzig, the son of an engineer, was born on 14 August 1916 in Röhlinghausen, present-day a borough of Herne, at the time in the Province of Westphalia of the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1927, the family moved to Kiel where Witzig graduated from a Realgymnasium—a secondary school built on the mid-level Realschule to achieve the Abitur (university entry qualification).[1]

Witzig volunteered for military service in the Wehrmacht on 1 April 1935, as a Fahnenjunker (officer candidate), joining Pionier-Bataillon 16 (16th Pioneer Battalion) at Höxter. Starting in February 1936, he attended the Kriegsschule (military school) at Dresden.[1]

Later life[edit]

Witzig re-joined the military service in the newly created Bundeswehr of the Federal Republic of Germany on 16 January 1956. He retired on 30 September 1974 holding the rank of Oberst. From 1980 to 1988, he served as president of the Bund Deutscher Fallschirmjäger (Association of German Paratroopers).[2]

Awards[edit]

Promotions[edit]

Wehrmacht
20 April 1937: Leutnant (second lieutenant), effective as of 1 April 1937 with rank age dated 1 April 1937[3]
31 July 1939: Oberleutnant (first lieutenant), effective as of 1 August 1939 with rank age dated 1 August 1939[3]
16 May 1940: Hauptmann (captain)[3]
24 August 1942: Major (major), effective as of 1 September 1942 with rank age dated 1 September 1942[3]
Bundeswehr
16 January 1956: Oberstleutnant (lieutenant colonel), effective as of 23 December 1955[3]
26 June 1956: named a professional soldier[3]
18 October 1965: Oberst (colonel), effective as of 1 October 1965[3]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Stockert, Peter (2011). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 7 [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 7] (in German) (2nd ed.). Bad Friedrichshall, Germany: Friedrichshaller Rundblick. OCLC 76072662. 
  • Thomas, Franz; Wegmann, Günter (1986). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Teil II: Fallschirmjäger [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the German Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Part II: Paratroopers] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-1461-8. 
  • Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9. 
  • Villahermosa, Gilberto (2010). Hitler's Paratrooper: The Life and Battles of Rudolf Witzig. London, UK: Frontline Books. ISBN 978-1-4738-0553-8. 
  • Von Seemen, Gerhard (1976). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 : die Ritterkreuzträger sämtlicher Wehrmachtteile, Brillanten-, Schwerter- und Eichenlaubträger in der Reihenfolge der Verleihung : Anhang mit Verleihungsbestimmungen und weiteren Angaben [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 : The Knight's Cross Bearers of All the Armed Services, Diamonds, Swords and Oak Leaves Bearers in the Order of Presentation: Appendix with Further Information and Presentation Requirements] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7909-0051-4. 
  • Williamson, Gordon; Bujeiro, Ramiro (2004). Knight's Cross and Oak Leaves Recipients 1939–40. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-641-6. 
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, 1. September 1939 bis 31. Dezember 1941 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 1, 1 September 1939 to 31 December 1941] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 
  • 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. 
  • "Geschichte des Bund Deutscher Fallschirmjäger" [History of the Association of German Paratroopers]. Bund Deutscher Fallschirmjäger e.V. (in German). Retrieved 27 February 2017. 

External links[edit]