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Hans Traupe
File:HANS Traupe 4SS.jpg
Born (1913-05-04)May 4, 1913
Died 26 June 2004(2004-06-26) (aged 91)
Place of birth Kunern, Germany
Place of death Einbeck, Germany
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen SS
Years of service 1936–1945
Rank Obersturmbannführer and Oberstleutnant of Schutzpolizei
Unit 4th SS Polizei Panzergrenadier Division
10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
German Cross in Gold
Iron Cross 1st Class
Iron Cross 2nd Class
Eastern Front Medal 1941/42
Close Combat Clasp in Bronze
Wound Badge in Black
Infantry Assault Badge

Hans Traupe (4 May 1913 – 26 June 2004) was an Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) and Oberstleutnant of Schutzpolizei in the Waffen SS during World War II, who was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, which was awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership by Nazi Germany during World War II.

Early life

Hans Traupe was born in Kunern on 4 May 1913. From 1919 to 1924 he attended elementary school, and then worked in the family business in Volksen until April 1934, when he joined the Army. He served in the 71st Infantry Regiment of the Reichswehr and was stationed in Göttingen.[1][2]

After completing his military service, Traupe volunteered to join the SS-VT in 1936 (SS service number 121,951). He was selected to become an officer and was posted to the SS-Junkerschule at Bad Tölz from 1936 to 1937. Following graduation, he was promoted to Untersturmführer (Second Lieutenant).[1][2] In May 1937 he was also made a Leutnant of Schutzpolizei and sent to Berlin to serve with the Polizeigruppe Nord.[2]

From January to June 1938, Traupe worked at the officer cadet school at Köpenick and was then a teacher at the Police school in Rathenow.[2]

World War II

During World War II, Traupe was attached to the 4th SS Polizei Division and served in the Battle of France, during which he was awarded the Iron Cross (2nd class).[1][2] He was next involved in Operation Barbarossa (the invasion of the Soviet Union). In September 1941, he was awarded the Iron Cross (1st class). He was promoted to Hauptsturmführer (Captain) and Hauptmann of Schutzpolizei in September 1942.[1][2]

Traupe was awarded the Knight's Cross for his command performance in January 1944, when the Soviet troops had broken the German lines at Leningrad and threatened to encircle the 18th Army.[2] Traupe and his battalion defended the Libunici sector and the German forces were able to pull back to a new position. As well as being awarded the Knight's Cross, he was promoted to Sturmbannführer (Major) and Major of Schutzpolizei. He was given command of the III. Battalion, 1st SS Polizei Panzergrenadier Regiment.[1][2]

Traupe received his final promotion of the war in July 1944 to Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) and Oberstleutnant of Schutzpolizei and then led what was left of the 4th SS Polizei Division back to the Kurmark training area.[1][2] In August 1944 he was selected to attend a regimental commanders and armoured vehicle training course at Fallingbostel. After he completed the training course, he was posted to the 10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg and given command of the 22nd SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment.[1][2]


Postwar life

Traupe survived the war and resided in the Dresden area until his death on 23 June 2004.[1][2]


Further reading

  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas, 2000. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Williamson Gordon, German Military Police Units 1939-45, Osprey Publishing, 1989. ISBN 0-85045-902-8
  • Huseman, Friedrich. In Good Faith: The History of 4. SS-Polizei-Panzergrenadier-Division: Volume 1, 1939-1943. J.J. Fedorowicz, 2003 ISBN 0-921991-74-6
  • Mitcham, Jr.Samuel, Retreat to the Reich, Stackpole books 2007. ISBN 0-8117-3384-X
  • Henschler Henri & Fay Will, Armor Battles of the Waffen-SS, 1943-45 Stackpole Books, 2003. ISBN 0-8117-2905-2