|Born||11 June 1900|
|Died||28 March 1985(aged 84)|
|Place of birth||Ludwigsburg|
|Place of death||Ditzingen-Hirschlanden|
|Years of service||1939–45|
|Unit||3rd Panzer Division|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Fritz Beigel (11 June 1900 – 28 March 1985) was a German infantry commander and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Major Beigel commanded Pionier-Bataillon 39 (the engineer battalion of the 3rd Panzer Division) during the opening stages of Operation Barbarossa. The second day of the battle, June 23rd, was a day of ceaseless pursuit of the retreating Russians. In the latter part of the day Beigel took over the vanguard of the division and drove it forward. Disregarding retreating Russian forces, he and his men pushed past bridges, villages and patches of woods. They brushed aside a blocking position along a railway crossing and drove through Soviet artillery barrages targeting the road. They were able to reach and secure their final objective, the bridge over the Szczara, by 2200 hours. Over the course of that day the division destroyed or captured 107 Russian AFVs as well as several hundred artillery pieces, and advanced a total of 150 kilometers past their start line the previous day. For his important role in commanding the advance guard and securing the vital Szczara bridge, Beigel later received the Knight’s Cross.
Awards & decorations
- Iron Cross
- 2nd Class
- 1st Class
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 9 July 1941 as Kommandeur Pz.Pi.Btl. 39
- Veterans of the 3rd Panzer Division (2012). Armoured Bears: Volume One. Stackpole Books. p. 147-148.
- 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 Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
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