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Dr. rer. pol. Friedrich "Fritz" Franek
Nickname "Fritz"
Born (1891-07-16)July 16, 1891
Died 8 April 1976(1976-04-08) (aged 84)
Place of birth Vienna
Place of death Vienna
Allegiance Austria-Hungary Austria–Hungary (to 1918)
Austria First Austrian Republic (to 1938)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1910–1945
Rank Generalleutnant
Commands held 196. Infanterie-Division
44. Reichs-Grenadier-Division Hoch und Deutschmeister
73. Infanterie-Division
Battles/wars

World War I
World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Dr. rer. pol. Friedrich "Fritz" Franek[Notes 1] (16 July 1891 – 8 April 1976) was a highly decorated Generalleutnant in the Wehrmacht during World War II.

Career[]

He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. He was one of only two officers in the German Wehrmacht who held the Military Order of Maria Theresa, the highest Austro-Hungarian decoration for bravery as well as the Knight's Cross.

In the summer of 1944 Franek was commanding the German 73rd Infantry Division as the Red Army was advancing through Poland. At the end of July, during the Lublin–Brest Offensive, he joined battle at Garwolin with the Soviet 2nd Guards Tank Army under the command of Alexei Radzievsky, when the German forces were routed and Franek himself was captured.[1] He was held prisoner until 1948.

Awards and decorations[]

Reference in the Wehrmachtbericht[]

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
8 February 1944 In den harten mehrtägigen Abwehrkämpfen nordwestlich Cassino hat sich die 44. Reichs-Grenadierdivision "Hoch- und Deutschmeister" unter Führung des Generalleutnants Franek mit einem unterstellten Bataillon des Grenadier-Regiments (mot.) 8 und einer Kampfgruppe unter Führung des Oberst Baade besonders ausgezeichnet.[3] Northwest in the tough multi-day defensive battles at Cassino, the 44th Reichs-Grenadier Division "Hoch- und Deutschmeister" under the leadership of Lieutenant General Franek with a subordinate battalion of the Grenadier Regiment (mot) 8 and a battle group under the leadership of Colonel Baade particularly distinguished themselves.

Notes[]

  1. In German a Doctorate of political economy is abbreviated as Dr. rer. pol. (Doctor rerum politicarum).

References[]

Citations
  1. Robert Forczyk, Warsaw 1944: Poland's bid for freedom (2009, ISBN 1846033527), p. 13
  2. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 154.
  3. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 30.
Bibliography
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) (in German). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [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]. Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007) (in German). 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]. Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • (in German) 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]. München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 

External links[]

Military offices
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Richard Pellengahr
Commander of 196. Infanterie-Division
1 March 1942 – 24 December 1943
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Kurt Möhring
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Dr. jur. Franz Beyer
Commander of 44. Reichs-Grenadier-Division Hoch und Deutschmeister
1 January 1944 – 1 May 1944
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Bruno Ortner
Preceded by
Generalmajor Johannes Nedtwig
Commander of 73. Infanterie-Division
26 June 1944 – 29 July 1944
Succeeded by
Generalmajor Kurt Haehling


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