Kurt Franke

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Military person

Wilhelm Hermann Kurt Franke (13 June 1913 – 19 January 1945) was an officer in the Waffen-SS during World War II who was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. He was also one of only 631 men to be awarded the very rare Close Combat Clasp in Gold.[1]

In 1938 he was assigned to a concentration camp guard unit. For his conduct during the war in France he received both the Iron Cross second class and the wound badge in black. Later, fighting in the Demyansk Pocket south of Leningrad, he was awarded the Demyansk Shield. He died from wounds suffered on 19 January 1945, in a hospital in Veszprém, Hungary. He was awarded the Close Combat Clasp in gold posthumously, having survived 53 days of close combat.[2]




  1. Berger 2004, p. 6.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Berger, Florian (9 June 2011). The Face of Courage: The 98 Men Who Received the Knight's Cross and the Close-Combat Clasp in Gold. Stackpole Books. pp. 110–115. ISBN 978-0-8117-4490-4. https://books.google.com/books?id=5mPC2FAzCkAC&pg=PA110. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Wegmann 2010, p. 112.
  4. Fellgiebel 2000, pp. 185, 491.
  5. Scherzer 2007, p. 316.
  6. Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 120.



  • Berger, Florian (2004) (in German). Ritterkreuzträger mit Nahkampfspange in Gold [Knight's Cross Bearers with the Close Combat Clasp in Gold]. Vienna, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 978-3-9501307-3-7. 
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986] (in German). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [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. 
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001) (in German). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2]. Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. 
  • 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. 
  • Wegmann, Günter (2010) (in German). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Teil III: Infanterie Band 7: Fl–Fu [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the German Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Part III: Infantry Volume 7: Fl–Fu]. Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2380-1. 


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