Military Wiki
August Zehender
Born (1903-04-28)28 April 1903
Died 11 February 1945(1945-02-11) (aged 41)
Place of birth Aalen
Place of death Budapest
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen SS
Years of service 1935–1945
Rank Brigadeführer
Unit 22nd SS Volunteer Cavalry Division Maria Theresia
Battles/wars World War II

August Friedrich Zehender (28 April 1903 – 11 February 1945) was a Brigadeführer and General-Major in the Waffen-SS during World War II and the commander of the 22nd SS Volunteer Cavalry Division Maria Theresia who was awarded the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves (German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.[1]


August Zehender was born at Aalen near Württemberg in a family of a railway official.

In 1918, he joined the army and attended the non-commissioned officers' school at Ellwangen. In 1920, he was posted to the 25th Schützen Regiment at Schwäbisch Gmünd.[1] In 1935, Zehender was posted to the SS-Verfügungstruppe (his NSDAP party number was 4263133 and his SS service number 224219). He served with the III Battalion, SS-Standarte Germania at Ellwangen, where he was in charge of a platoon in the machine-gun company. Several years later, he became the commander of the 4th (machine-gun) Company in SS-Regiment Deutschland. After promotion to Sturmbannführer, he was given command of a motorcycle battalion in Panzer Division Das Reich, having as his company commanders Wilhelm von Kment, Fritz Klingenberg and Christian Tychsen.[1]

At the end of June 1941, Zehender was seriously wounded on the Eastern Front at Losza and after his recovery he was posted to the SS Cavalry Brigade.[1]

In January 1943, Zehender's regiment took control of the village Cholomedina, fought off several counter-attacks from the enemy and made further attacks deeper into the territory held by the Soviet forces. For these actions he was promoted to Obersturmbannführer and awarded the Knights Cross on 10 March 1943.[1][2]

In the spring of 1944, he was given command of the 22nd SS Volunteer Cavalry Division Maria Theresa, with which he fought at Budapest.[1]

On 4 February 1945, Zehender was awarded the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross. He was killed in action 7 days later in Budapest at the age of 41.[1]


Further reading

  • Thomas M. Durante. "The German Close Combat Clasp of World War II" (2007). ISBN 978-90-812301-1-7
  • Florian Berger. "Ritterkreuzträger mit Nahkampfspange in Gold" (2004). ISBN 3-9501307-3-X
  • Manfred Dörr. "Die Träger der Nahkampfspange in Gold, Heer-Luftwaffe-Waffen-SS 1943–1945". ISBN 3-7648-2585-5
  • Walther-Peer Fellgiebel. "Die Trager des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes, 1939–1945: Die Inhaber der hochsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile" (1986). ISBN 3-7909-0284-5
  • Richard Landwehr. "Steadfast Hussars". ISBN 1-57638-130-7

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