SS-Brigadeführer Franz Augsberger
DoB: 10.10.1905 in Wien
DoD: 19.3.1945 Neustadt (KIA)
His grave is located at the homepage of Volksbund
SS-Brigfhr – 21.6.44
SS-Obfhr – 30.1.44
SS-Staf – 1.7.43
SS-Ostubaf – 20.4.42
SS-Stubaf – 1.6.37
SS-Ostuf – 1.7.36
SS-Ustuf – 1.6.35
SS-Brigfhr u Gen.Maj.d.W.-SS – 21.6.44
SS-Obfhr d.W.-SS. – 30.1.44
SS-Staf. d.W.-SS – 1.7.43
SS-Ostubaf d.W.-SS – 20.4.42
SS-Stubaf. d.W.-SS – 1.12.41
Awards: Ritterkreuz, EK I, EK II, Inf.Strumabzeichen, Finnische Freiheits Kreuz, Sudeten Erin.Medaillie, Österreiches Erin.Med., Totenkopfring, Ehrendegen d.SS, Julleuchter, SA-Sportabz. – Bronze, Reichsport Abz. – Bronze.
Franz Augsberger joined the SS in 1932, at that time in his homecountry Austria, when the goverment of Austria forbid the NSDAP and their organisations. Franz Augsberger as many other Austrian SS-Men left their homecountry to join the Österreiches Legion stationied at the SS-Standort in Dachau.
Augsberger was part of that unit until the end of 1934, where he switched unit and became part of the 5.th Kp. of SS.-Standarte “Deutschland” (SS-VT), not even a year later Franz Augsberger was selected to become an Officer of the SS and between 1935 and 1936 he attended the SS-Junkerschule Braunschweig. After finishing the course he was promotod to SS-Untersturmführer, he would remain at the SS-Junkerschule Braunschweig but not as pupil this time but as officer. He remained at SS-JS Braunschweig until 1939 and the outbreak of the II World War.
His new unit as an officer was the SS-Regiment “Der Führer”, with that he had “come home” as many of the officers and soldiers in this unit consisted mostly of men from Austria. At the same time he got appointed as Officer part of the II./90.SS-Standarte (Allgemeine-SS) . His first assignment of the SS-Rgt. “Der Führer” is unfortuantely unknown but later the same year he got his new command as Kp.Chef (Comp.Commander) of the 3 Kp. of the Ersatz.Battalion in the SS-Regiment “Der Führer. He remained at this position until 1940.
In 1940 he was temporarely moved to SS-Regiment “Westland”, but soon he was transfered to attend a course to become Batallion commander. After he finished the course he was moved to III./SS-Inf.Rgt. “Nordland” as its acting commander. He ended this assignment in 1941.
In 1941 he was transfered to I./SS-Inf.Rgt.7 in what later would become 6.SS-Geb.Div. “Nord”, he was its battallion commander until 1942, when he temporarely become Regimental Commander of the SS-Inf.Rgt.7. This was very a very short command.
In 1942 Franz Augsberger would be asssigned to the newly establised SS-Eesti Brigade, constisted of volonteers from Estonia. His first command was at the SS-Übungslager Debica, where the unit was organized. It´s not know exacly what he did in the beginning. But he soon become official Commander of the 1.Regiment of this SS-Brigade. Franz Augsberger first saw action with his new unit in the north part of Belarus. The brigade grew and was soon at a size of an Division, and when Franz Augsberger recieved his last promotion to SS-Brigadeführer and Generalmajor der Waffen-SS his Brigade was official a Division and he became its Commander.
In september 1944 the 20.SS-Freiw.Gren.Division retreated into Germany and it was reorganized at the SS-Übungslager Neuhammer (close to Breslau). After refitting of the Division it was sent to Schlesien to approach the attacking Soviets.
On March 3, 1945 Franz Augsberger was awarded the Ritterkreuz but at this time he and his division was incircled by the Soviets and Augsberger was repetedly asking the Commanding General Schörner if they could break out and retreat to the German lines, Generalfeldamarchall Schörner declined this request several times. But finally on March 19, 1945 did Augsberger the order to break through the Soviet lines and establish contact with German forces.
Different sources give different dates when Franz Augsberger was Killed in Action, but I have stuck to the 19´th as that was the date he was ordered to retreat. His commanding car he was travelling in was hit by an missile and Franz Augsberger was killed instantly.
Franz Augsberger was very liked by his men in the 20. SS-Freiw.Gren.Div. and they held his memory high.
Sources: SSO Augsberger, Franz and http://www.eestileegion.com/