| Nazi Germany|
3rd Mountain Division
| 23 December 1924
Brixen im Thale, Tyrol (Austria) (1924-12-23) |
3 October 2004(2004-10-03) (aged 79)
Brixen im Thale, Tyrol (Austria)
Matthäus Hetzenauer (23 December 1924 – 3 October 2004) was an Austrian sniper in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany during World War II. He served in the 3rd Mountain Division on the Eastern Front of the World War II, who was credited with 345 kills. His longest confirmed kill was reported at 1,100 meters (1,200 yards). Hetzenauer was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
After spending most of 1943 in basic training, Hetzenauer trained as a sniper during March - July 1944 at the Truppenübungsplatz Seetaler-Alpe in Steiermark, before being assigned as Gefreiter to the 3rd Gebirgsjäger Division. He utilised both a Karabiner 98k sniper variant with 6x telescopic sight and a Gewehr 43 with ZF4 4x telescopic sight. He saw action against Soviet forces in the Carpathians, Hungary and Slovakia.
On 6 November 1944 he suffered head trauma from artillery fire, and was awarded the Wound Badge three days later.
Gefreiter Hetzenauer received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 17 April 1945. Generalleutnant and Divisions commander Paul Klatt had recommended Hetzenauer because of his numerous sniper kills, which totalled two enemy companies, without fear for his own safety under artillery fire and enemy attacks. This recommendation was approved by General der Gebirgstruppe Karl von Le Suire and General der Panzertruppe Walter Nehring.
Hetzenauer was captured by Soviet troops the following month, and served five years in a Soviet prison camp.
He died on 3 October 2004.Iron cross (1939) 2nd Class (1 September 1944) & 1st Class (25 November 1944)
Wound Badge (1939) in Black (9 November 1944)
Infantry Assault Badge in Silver (13 November 1944)
Sniper's Badge in Gold (3 December 1944; one of three recipients)
Close Combat Clasp
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 17 April 1945 as Gefreiter and sniper in the 7./Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 144
Matthäus Hetzenauer Wikipedia