|SS-Sturmbannführer Franz Hack|
ϟϟ-Sturmbannführer der Waffen-SS Hack (Kovel encirclement)
SS-Sturmbannführer Franz Hack (1915 – 1997), commander of SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment Germania 9 (5.SS-Panzer-Division Wiking), armed with Sturmgewehr 44 on March 17 1944 at Hill 189.5 near Kovel. A combined panzer and infantry assault facilitated a breakthrough on wide axis, allowing the positions in the city to be reinforced. Out of the millions who fought for Germany in World War II, only 98 received both the Knight's Cross and the Close-Combat Clasp in Gold. Hack was one of them. He wrote in the preface to the classic photo album Panzergrenadiere Der Panzerdivision Wiking im Bild: Volunteers of almost every European nation, fought in the companies of the regiment, and – here it shall not be forgotten – as loyal comrades in arms, they thereby gave for the first time practical embodiment to the European ideal. The brave men of Wiking need no additional glorification. Hack ended the war as an SS-Obersturmbannführer. Awards among others: Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, German Cross in Gold and Close Combat Clasp in Gold. Image: Commons Bundesarchiv.