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Günther Tribukait
Born (1909-05-29)29 May 1909
Died 26 February 1947(1947-02-26) (aged 37)
Place of birth Greifswald, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Place of death Belgrade, Yugoslavia
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Balkenkreuz.svg Wehrmacht
Years of service ?-1945
Rank Oberst
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Günther Tribukait (sometimes referred to as Tribukeit or Tribukayt) was a German Colonel (Oberst) during World War II and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. The Knight's Cross and was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Military career[]

Little is known about Tribukait's military career. He was born in 1909 in Greifswald.[1] During the battle of Velikiye Luki, (winter 1942/1943) Major Tribukait was commander of the Jäger-Battalion 5 and personally led, as leader of the Kampfgruppe Tribukait, a breakout attempt from a battle tank to escape the encirclement in early January. After the failure of the operation he took command of the city's "Citadel".[2]

As the situation was deteriorating, Tribukait was given direct order from "Wöhler Group" to break the enemy ring to the west and reach the German lines in that direction around 16 January.[3][4]

Apparently, the outcome of the particular operations Tribukait led, was favorable. Tribukait's team managed to break out and Tribukait himself was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 8 February 1943.[5] Later he went on to command the Jäger-Regiment 750 of the 118th Jäger Division as Oberstleutnant, position in which he was awarded the German Cross in Gold on 23 February 1944.[1][6] He finally rose to the rank of Oberst.

Trial and execution[]

Towards the end of the war, Tribukait was arrested by Yugoslav forces and became a Prisoner of War. The 118th Jäger Division - and other Mountain and Jäger divisions as well - were involved in numerous war crimes throughout the Balkans, carrying out, among others, harsh retaliations against the civilian population, especially Serbs and Greeks.[7] Until his trial, he was held in a POW camp at the outskirts of Belgrade.[8]

Oddly, Tribukait had the lowest rank of the defendants of the fourth process of the Yugoslav War Crimes Trials Proceedings (5–16 February 1947). He was tried along with six other major war criminals: Generaloberst Alexander Löhr (commander-in-chief of Army Group E), Generalleutnant Josef Kübler, Hans Fortner and Fritz Neidholdt, Generalmajor Adalbert Lontschar and the SS-Brigadeführer August Schmidthuber. All of the defendants were found guilty of "mass executions of non-combatants, especially of women and children, destruction and razing of homes, kidnapping of Yugoslav civilians to concentration camps and torture and murder of POWs."[7]

All of them were sentenced to death.[7][8] According to a witness, Löhr and the six other convicts, were imprisoned again in the POW camp outside of Belrade - evidently, Löhr spent his last hours "in a small prison cell, bound in chains and wearing only his underwear". During the night of 25/26 August 1947, ten convicts - among them Tribukait - were picked up by a truck and were driven to the place of execution, where they were executed by hanging in the early hours of 26 February 1947.[8]

Awards[]

References[]

Sources[]

  • Meyer, Hermann Frank (2009) (in Greek). Blutiges Edelweiß: Die 1. Gebirgs-division im zweiten Weltkrieg. 2. Athens, Greece: Estia's Bookstore. ISBN 978-960-05-1425-4. 
  • Meyer, Hermann Frank (2006) (in Greek). Von Wien nach Kalavryta. Die blutige Spur der 117. Jäger Division durch Serbien und Griechenland (4th ed.). Athens, Greece: Estia's Bookstore. ISBN 960-05-1112-8. 

External links[]

Military offices
Preceded by
none
Commander of Jäger-Bataillon 5
1942–1943
Succeeded by
none
Preceded by
none
Commander of Jäger-Regiment 750
1944–1945
Succeeded by
Oberst Herbert Lindenblatt

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