Utz, Willibald Johan Sebastian “Willi”.

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Utz, Willibald “Willi”. born 20-01-1893 in Furth im Wald in Upper Palatinate, the son of the senior railway administrator and retired Major Konrad Utz and his wife Elisabeth, born Wild. Willibald joined the 13th Royal Bavarian Infantry Regiment ‘Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria and Apostolic King of Hungary’ almost two decades later on 01-10-1913 as a cadet and then Willi was promoted to Fahnenjunker-Unteroffizier on 07-01-1914.. During the First World War he was only deployed on the On 08-05-1914 he was slightly wounded in the left leg in the battle for Maixe. Therefore, on 30-08-1914 he was transferred to the 1st reserve company of the reserve battalion of the 13th infantry regiment. On 14-09-1914 he was sent back to the active regiment. From 22-08-1914 to 25-08-1914 he was used at the Battle of Luneville. On 25-08-1914, he was slightly wounded in the left leg in the battle for Maixe. Therefore, on 30-08-1914, he was transferred to the 1st Reserve Company of the Reserve Battalion of the 13th Infantry Regiment. From  22-01-1919 to 04-04-1919, he suffered from rheumatoid arthritis. He was on leave from 22-01-1919 to 15-03-1919 in his hometown. Willi was awarded numerous medals and decorations.

In mid-June 1920 he received a total of four days of special leave to go to his hometown. The first two because his father was dying. His father died on 17-06-1920, after which he received two more days. On  21-08-1920, he was assigned to the State Police Force Group I in Munich. On 01-09-1920, he took his leave of the Reichswehr.

On 01-09-1920, he was accepted into the police service as a first lieutenant in the state police. He was deployed to the 1st hundred of the state police in Munich. When the 100,000-man army of the Reichswehr was formed, he was therefore not to be found among the vacancies. On 01-01-1921, he was employed again in the Reichswehr as an active officer. He was now taken on as a first lieutenant and as a company officer in the 4th company of the 19th (Bavarian) Infantry Regiment. In the next few years he was employed as an army mountain guide. For years he was also head of the army mountain guide training. From the spring of 1923 at the latest, he was deployed to the 12th (MG) company of the 19th (Bavarian) infantry regiment in Kempten. From 06-1925 to 19-11-1925, he was ordered to attend a physical training course in Wünsdorf. On 01-01-1926, he was transferred to Kempten as the highest-ranking officer and leader of the 11th Company of the 19th (Bavarian) Infantry Regiment. From 18-10-1926 to 16-11-1926, he attended a combat school course at the Döberitz military training area. On 01-11-1926, he was promoted to Hauptman. He was then also appointed chief of the 11th company of the 19th (Bavarian) Infantry Regiment in Lindau. He was then employed in this capacity for the next few years. From 21-02-1929 to 21-03-1929 he was assigned to the Norwegian Army’s winter exercises. From 02-02-1930 to 22-02-1930, he was ordered to attend a new physical training course now in Wünsdorf. In 1930 he lived privately at Pulverturmweg 87 in the old town of Gross Lindau. On 01-02-1931, he was transferred to the regimental staff of the 19th (Bavarian) Infantry Regiment in Munich. On  01-04-1932, he was transferred to the 13th (mine thrower) company of the 19th (Bavarian) infantry regiment, also in Munich. From there he became the staff of the III. (Geb.Jäg.) battalion of his regiment was commanded to Kempten. With the expansion of the Reichswehr to the Wehrmacht on 01-10-1934, he was appointed commander of a company of the II. Training Battalion of the Munich Infantry Regiment in Freising. When the associations were exposed after the expansion of the Reichswehr to the Wehrmacht, he was promoted to Commander of the III. Battalions of the Mountain Jaeger Regiment 100 appointed. In 1936 he was awarded the German Olympic Medal First Class. As a battalion commander, he was promoted to Oberleutnant on 01-03-1937. On  10-01-1939 his mother died.

After solid mountain training under the later General Eduard Wolfrath Christiaan, “Büffel” Dietl

in the Reichswehr, where he was appointed Army Mountain Guide on 01-04-1931, Willi took over the Bad Reichenhall Mountain Infantry Regiment 100. When General Julius “Papa” Ringel’s 5th Mountain Division was formed and the 100th Mountain Infantry Regiment under command of Generalleutnant Werner Otto Sanne  was incorporated into the ‘Gams Division’, Willibald Utz broke through the Greek ‘Metaxas Line’ with it. Oberst Utz was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on 21-06-1941 for his courageous and determined commitment to conquering Crete. During the campaign against Russia, the 5th Mountain Division was deployed in the north of the Eastern Front near Leningrad and on the Neva and fought in the 1st Ladoga battle. Appointed commander of the 100th Jäger Division on 25-09-1943, Major General Utz and his division had to endure heavy fighting on the Eastern Front and against partisans in the Balkans. As the last commander of the 2nd mountain division, he withdrew with his mountain infantry from the Upper Rhine front to the Alpine fortress, where he experienced the capitulation.

General Julius “Papa” Ringel survived the war and died 11-02-1967, aged 77, in Bayerisch Gmain, Bavaria, Generalleutnant Werner Otto Sanne surrendered to the Soviet troops in January 1943 at the conclusion of the Battle of Stalingrad. He died 26-09-1952, aged 63, in the Krasnopol Prison Camp.

Willi thus took over command on 13-02-1945 from Generalleutnant Hans Karl Christian Degen. With the 2nd mountain division he was then deployed on the western front. On 03-22-1945 he was awarded the German Cross in Gold for his previous work.

Death and burial ground of Utz, Willibald Johan Sebastian “Willi”.

He retained his command of the division until the capitulation in spring 1945. With the capitulation on 08-05-1945, he was taken prisoner by the American forces. From this Willibald Utz was released on 25-06-1947. On 10-12-1952, he married Elvira Soutschek, three years his junior. He died 20-04-1954, aged 61. in Bad Reichenhall. less than nine years after the end of the war. He was buried at the local Sankt Zeno cemetery, Berchtesgaden.

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