Friday, August 8, 2014

Enemy Elite Friday: Franz X. Attenberger (Germany)

"During early December 1944 the troops of the 46th Infantry Division sought to retreat to the Northern bank of the Ipel River.  As the Germans were evacuating the bridgehead all of the motorized vehicles were ordered to pull back across the railroad bridge.  One of the first vehicles to get onto the bridge was the RSO light hauler of Stabsgefreiter Attenberger.  However the vehicle caught fire when it was still in the process of crossing.  The presence of such a burning hulk on the structure would prevent any more German vehicles from getting across the bridge.  Recognizing this, Attenberger remained behind the wheel of his burning vehicle and attempted to completely cross the long bridge.  The other German soldiers watched with bated breath as flames overtook the driver compartment itself.  However Attenberger eventually got his vehicle to the other side, and upon reaching it he immediately jumped out and extinguished the flames on his uniform.  Then the gas tank of his RSO finally exploded. 
Thanks to Attenberger’s brave actions here it was possible for the remaining German elements on the Southern bank of the Ipel to evacuate the bridgehead.  He was thus awarded the Knight’s Cross in recognition of this feat."  from his Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross citation, awarded on January 21st, 1945 as Stabsgefreiter of Artillery Regiment 114 of the 46th Infantry Division.

Another capable enemy elite,

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