"Hauptmann Abele was a battalion commander in the 44. Grenadier-Division “Hoch und Deutschmeister” during its battles in Italy in early 1944. On the 27.01.1944 the battalion was ordered to close a gap in the German lines near Belmonte (specifically between the Colle Abate and Monte Castellone, in the Terelle Valley) and thereby protect the vital supply line known as the “Neumann-Weg”. The battalion’s promised support did not arrive, and so Abele and his men were alone in this fight. In the fighting which ensued they defended against Allied troops from Morocco. The fighting degenerated into close combat, wherein the men of Abele’s Bataillon were reduced to throwing stones when their grenades ran out. Nevertheless, with the help of mountain gun that prevented timely reinforcement of the French attack, the battalion was able to prevent an entire French regiment from capturing the Colle Abate. By the time they were relieved by the Pz.Gren.Rgt. 200 (90. Pz.Gren.Div.), Abele’s Bataillon was down to 36 men. Yet the achievements of this unit did not go unnoticed, and Abele would receive the Knight’s Cross as well as a promotion." from his Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross citation, awarded on February 22nd, 1944 as Hauptmann of the Reichs-Grenadier-Regiment "Hoch u. Deutschmeister"