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28 February 1904|
Waltersdorf, Duchy of Styria, Austria-Hungary now Judenburg, Styria, Austria
|Died||20 April 1945
near Nuremberg, Bavaria, Nazi Germany (executed)
|Years of service||1927–45|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Vinzenz Kaiser (28 February 1904 – 20 April 1945) was an Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) in the Waffen SS during World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership by Nazi Germany during World War II.
Vinzenz Kaiser was born on the 28 February 1904 in Waltersdorf near Judenburg. He forme a SA (Storm Troop) unit in 1927; four years he was made its commander with the rank of Sturmführer (Second Lieutenant) of Schutzstaffel (SS).
After the failed coup in Austria failed in July 1934, Kaiser fled the country to Bavaria, where he joined the Austrian Legion and later joined the SS-Verfügungstruppe. He attended the SS-Junkerschule and was given the rank of Untersturmführer (Second Lieutenant). He was initially posted to the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler in Berlin. He took part in the Anschluss of Austria, in 1938 as a company commander in the SS-Standarte Der Führer.
World War II
The SS-Standartes were later converted into infantry regiments, Der Führer became part of the new Das Reich Division, which participated in Polish Campaign, the Battle of France, the invasion of the Balkans (Operation Marita), and the invasion of the Soviet Union in the Operation Barbarossa. He was promoted to Hauptsturmführer (Captain) and awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross in April 1943.
In 1944 Kaiser was promoted to Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) and posted to a regiment of the Panzer-Lehr-Division, which in March 1944 was sent to join the 16th SS Panzer Grenadier Division RFSS which was then used in the occupation of Hungary. In May 1944, Kaiser and his regiment was relocated to the Ligurian coast in Italy. In June 1944 Kaiser was transferred to the 17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division Götz von Berlichingen, for the battles in Normandy and the retreat across the Rhine and back to Nuremberg. Kaiser died on the night of April 19–20, 1945.
- Iron Cross (1939)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on as SS-Hauptsturmführer and leader of the III.(gepanzerte)/SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 4 "Der Führer"[Note 1]
According to Thomas, Kaiser received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves on 18 April 1945 as SS-Obersturmbannführer and commander of the SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 38. The 17th SS Panzergrenadier Division Götz von Berlichingen had received a radio message on 28 April 1945 which stated that Kaiser had received the award on 18 April. This is documented in the war diary of the division. This claim is not supported by Fellgiebel nor Scherzer.
- According to Scherzer as leader of the III.(gepanzerte)/SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment "Der Führer".
- Fellgiebel, p.205
- Thomas 1997, p. 342.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 249.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 429.
- 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.
- 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.