Fritz Prager

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Fritz Prager
Born (1905-12-17)17 December 1905
Wolfenbüttel, Germany
Died 3 December 1940(1940-12-03) (aged 34)
Braunschweig, Germany
Allegiance  Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Luftwaffe
Years of service 1923–45
Rank Major
Commands held II. / Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 1
II. / Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 3
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Fritz Prager (born 17 December 1905 in Wolfenbüttel; died 3 December 1940 in Braunschweig) was a member of the Fallschirmjäger during World War II.

Fritz Prager joined the Reichswehr on 26 November 1923 as a member of the 10th Infantry Regiment. Prager's battalion was one of the few parachute units to see combat during the Invasion of Poland, where it captured the Wola Gulowska airfield. For this action Prager was awarded the Iron Cross (1939) second class on 13 October 1939 by General Kurt Student.

Although hospitalized for treatment of cancer, Captain Prager had himself dismissed by his doctors to command his 1st Parachute Regiment's II Battalion during the battle of the Netherlands. His battalion was parachute-dropped on both sides of the Moerdyk bridges across the Meuse. They managed to seize the Dutch positions, although suffering substantial losses, and particularly seizing intact bridges, being vital to the smooth operation of the German ground forces in the Netherlands theatre. After holding the bridgehead for three consecutive days ground forces of the XXVIth Army Corps relieved Prager and his troops at Moerdijk.

Prager had been wounded during the seizure of the Moerdijk bridgehead, tying him to bed during the rest of the siege. He did however continue to command his battalion and organise defences time and again, anticipating things to come. For his courage and leadership during the battle for the Netherlands Prager was awarded with the Iron Cross 1st Class and the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.

Prager was promoted to Major on 19 June 1940 and on 1 July took command of the 3rd Parachute Regiment's II Battalion. He died on 3 December 1940 in Braunschweig, of cancer.

Awards

References

Citations

  1. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 343.
  2. Scherzer 2007, p. 603.

Bibliography

  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Kurowski, Franz (1995). Knights of the Wehrmacht Knight's Cross Holders of the Fallschirmjäger. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military. ISBN 978-0-88740-749-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). 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 (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Thomas, Franz; Wegmann, Günter (1986). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Teil II: Fallschirmjäger (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-1461-8. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>