Friday, September 19, 2014

Enemy Elite Friday: Franz Augsberger (Austria)


 "1.) When the Division arrived in the Oppeln area the enemy had already crossed the Oder along a broad front. In order to cover the northern flank of Fortress Oppeln, the divisional commander made the independent decision to take the villages of Birkenthal, Halbendorf and Preisdorf, all of which lay outside his assigned sector. These villages were taken despite fierce enemy resistance. With this the enemy was pushed back towards the north, and the northern flank of Fortress Oppeln was secured through the creation of a defensive line here.
2.) On the 03.02.1945 strong enemy tank forces managed to create and swiftly expand a bridgehead across the Neisse river near Frohnau. In the village of Lossen Brigadeführer Augsberger personally assembled the only slowly arriving alarm units and straggler groups for an attack on the night of the 03./04.02.1945. But a hostile thrust into the flank of this friendly attack smashed the handful of battle-worthy elements and led to a new, very critical situation. Brigadeführer Augsberger thus personally organized a defense in the villages of Lossen, Johnsdorf and Jeschen. He personally apprehended stragglers and was able to restore the situation only because of the personal example he set. Through this the thrust of enemy tank forces to the south was prevented, and the groundwork for the Neisse-Front’s sustainable consolidation was laid.
3.) The toughness with which the men of the 20. W.Gren.Div. der SS (estn. Nr.1) and their largely Estonian leaders fought deserves particular commendation. These men continued to fight despite their being far from their lost homeland and the lack of a tangible goal to fight for. The command difficulties that this created were balanced out by the skillful leadership and brave personal example of the divisional commander." from his Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross citation, awarded on March 8th, 1945 as SS-Brigadeführer of 20th SS Grenadier Division.

He received the Order of the Cross of Liberty citation on December 1st, 1941 as SS-Hauptsturmführer.

He received the German Cross in Gold citation on May 30th, 1942 as SS-Sturmbannführer of SS Infantry Regiment 7.
He received the Order of the Cross of Liberty 2nd Class citation on October 30th, 1943 as SS-Standartenführer.
Another capable enemy elite,
Julleuchter der SS awarded on December 16th, 1935
SS-Ehrendegen awarded on December 1st, 1937
SS-Ehrenring awarded on December 1st, 1937

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