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Axtmann, Fritz (Infanterie-Regiment 20)

Date of birth:
December 7th, 1914 (Pfaltermühle - Rappenbügl-Burglengenfeld/Bavaria, Germany)
Date of death:
September 13th, 1943 (Fieldhospital Kiev, Soviet Union)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, Third Reich)

Biography

Oberleutnant Fritz Axtmann DOW 8 km eastwards of Burewka Reserve Lazarett 1 / IV Alexandra hospital in Kiev - Ukraine.

Axtmann enlisted in the Bavarian Infantry Regiment 20 in Regensburg on April 1, 1933. He was assigned to the 7th Company. Axtmann was a non-commissioned German soldier when Germany invaded Poland in 1939 and he took part in the invasion. He displayed tremendous leadership and courage in battle and was so recognized by his superiors with the awards of the Iron Cross Second Class and two days later the Iron Cross First Class. He was involved in nearly all of the major conflicts in the East to include Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of Russia.

Axtmann continued to excel in battle and was relied on heavily by his commanders. During one period, his squad under his leadership held off twelve combat assaults by Russian forces. On November 1, 1939, the German officer corps recognized his leadership with a battlefield promotion to Leutnant.

Axtmann died of wounds September 13, 1943 in a field hospital in Kiev. In recognition of his valorous service, he was posthumously promoted to Oberleutnant.

Promotions:
1933: Soldat
Unteroffizier
1939: Feldwebel
01.03.1940: Oberfeldwebel
01.11.1942: Leutnant
01.09.1943: Oberleutnant (posthumously)

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberfeldwebel (Warrant Officer)
Unit:
Kompanietruppführer 7. / Infanterie-Regiment 20 / 10.Infanterie-Division
Awarded on:
August 24th, 1941
On the 19.07.1941 the reinforced Infanterie-Regiment 20 (mot) was holding the southern edge of Propoisk, itself located near Mogilev. On this day the Regiment had to repel 12 Soviet attacks. One of the most important individual defenders in this engagement was Oberfeldwebel. The actions that led to his receiving the Knight’s Cross are described in the following excerpt from his Knight’s Cross recommendation…

“The enemy attacked in regimental strength, overran the frontline and achieved a 500 metre deep penetration along the river into the flank of the Regiment. In the face of this disastrous situation, Axtmann took the place of the fallen Kompanie commander and gathered up the remaining elements of the overrun Züge as well as individual stragglers from other units. He reordered this hodgepodge of forces and managed to ultimately push back the enemy on his third attempt at doing so. He did so in such a way that it was possible to restore a continuous frontline together with the elements that were still holding out and then subsequently defeat all further enemy attacks. By doing all this Oberfeldwebel Axtmann had a decisive share in holding the southern edge of Propoisk on this day, and thereby also ensuring that the bridgehead remained in the hands of the Regiment.”
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Feldwebel (Staff Sergeant)
Unit:
7./ 20. Inf.Reg. (mot) - 10. ID
Awarded on:
September 25th, 1939
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
for actions in Poland
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Feldwebel (Staff Sergeant)
Unit:
7./ 20. Inf.Reg. (mot) - 10. ID
Awarded on:
September 27th, 1939
for actions in Poland
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberfeldwebel (Warrant Officer)
Unit:
7./ 20. Inf.Reg. (mot) - 10. ID
in bronze
Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberfeldwebel (Warrant Officer)
Unit:
7./ 20. Inf.Reg. (mot) - 10. ID
Awarded on:
July 1942
Medaille
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Feldwebel (Staff Sergeant)
Unit:
7./ 20. Inf.Reg. (mot) - 10. ID
Awarded on:
1939
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Schwarz
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant)
Unit:
7./ 20. Inf.Reg. (mot) - 10. ID
Awarded on:
1943
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Silber

Sources

Photos