Crisolli, Wilhelm, born 20-01-1895 in Berlin of Italian descent, joined the Army Service on 14-08-1914 with the 4th Horse Jäger Regiment as a Fahnrich. He followed a Fahnenjunker course in Döberitz until 12-12-1914. Transferred to the 5th Squadron of the 4th Horse Jäger Regiment in the field of the first war on 14-12-1914 until 10-07-1916. Commandant of the Grand Headquarters until 04-05-1917. Then detached to the Field War School Course and assigned as Leutnant and court officer of the 15th Reserve Jäger Battalion until 05-08-1917. He served with different Jäger Regiments and at the end of the war remained in the 100.000 men new Reichswehr, as Adjutant of the Guards Jäger Battalion.
Promoted to Rittmeister/Hauptmann on 01-02-1931, Major on 01-11-1935 and Oberstleutnant on 01-08-1938 as Tactics Instructor at the war school in Potsdam to 10-11-1938. Commander of the 1st Battalion of the 9th Cavalry Rifle Regiment from 10-11-1938. Commander of the III Battalion of the 8th Rifle Regiment from 26-08-1939 to 03-06-1940 in the battle of France.Crisolli was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on 15-07-1941 during Operation Barbarossa , in which he took part in the offensive to the Caucasus and the Battle of Kursk. Appointed as commander of the 8th Rifle Regiment to 31-01-1942, meanwhile an Oberst and severely wounded in hospital . He landed in the Führer Reserve until 01-05-1942 and assigned as commander of the 13th Rifle Brigade. Again in the Führer Reserve to 25-07-1943 and at the same time delegated with the leadership of the 13th Panzer Division where he succeeded Generalleutnant Hellmuth von der Chevallerie to Mai 1943.
Again in the Führer Reserve of the Army Group South and delegated with the leadership of the 6th Panzer Division , succeeding Generalleutnant Walther von Hünersdorff to 22-08-1943. Soldier of this Panzer Division executed an unknown number of black prisoners of war from the 12th Senegalese Tirailleurs regiment in mid-June 1940. It is estimated that, of the 40,000 black soldiers from the French colonies engaged in combat with German forces during the battle of France 1,500 to 3,000 were executed either during or after combat
Crisolli was again in the Führer Reserve OKH to 25-11-1943. Assigned as commander of the 20th Luftwaffe Field Division to 12-09-1944, now a Generalmajor.In 1943, Crisolli was dispatched with the 20th Luftwaffen Sturm Division to Italy to defend it from the Allied Powers, who had landed in Sicily on 10-07-1943.
Death and burial ground of Crisolli, Wilhelm.
Wilhelm Crisolli was killed in a partisans ambush while on the move to Modena on 12-09-1944, age 49 and posthumously promoted to Generalleutnant. This was a few weeks before the Germans launched a massive anti-partisan assault in the Bologna area, which became known as the Monte Sole massacre or the Massacre of Marzabotta. Reference Monte Sole Massacre, south of Bologna September 29- October 2. It is interesting that some units of the Herman Goering Division participated in this “mopping-up” action–sending Luftwaffe troops to take retribution for the killing of a Luftwaffe officer. The Marzabotto massacre was a World War II war crime consisting in a mass murder of at least 770 civilians by Nazi’s, which took place in the territory around the small village of Marzabotto , in the mountainous area south of Bologna. It was the worst massacre of civilians committed by the Waffen SS in Western Europe during the war. In 1998, on the 54th anniversary of the massacre, the German President Johannes Rau made a formal apology to Italy and expressed his “profound sorrow and shame” to the families of the victims of Marzabotto.
Wilhelm Crisolli is buried on the German war cemetery Futa Pas Cimitero Militaire, Firenzuola, Provincia di Firenze, Toscana in Italy.