Name:  Abele, Arnulf
Date of birth: November 8th, 1914 (Nurnberg, Germany)
Date of death:  July 2nd, 2000 (Hopferau/Füssen, Germany)
Nationality:  German
Arnulf Abele was born on November 8th 1914 in Nurnberg. He went into military service as a Fahnenjunker with Infanterie-Regiment 21. From January 1936 he attended the Kriegsschule in Potsdam and in Döberitz.
After this education, he returned to Infanterie-Regiment 21 on March 1st 1937. A month later, April 1st, he was appointed Zugführer and Kompagnie-Offizier with the I.Bataillon. His promotion to Leutnant followed on April 20th.
August 1st he was appointed Bataillons-Adjutant with Grenz-Infanterie-Bataillon 126/Infanterie-Regiment 118. October 1st he was transferred to the Generalkommando der Grenztruppen in Saarpfalz as an Ordonnanz-Offizier, where he received his promotion to Oberleutnant on August 1st 1939. This Generalkommando was reformed to XXIV.Armeekorps on September 17th 1939.

At the start of the Second World War, Abele’s unit was stationed on the “Westwall”, where he was appointed as Kompaniechef with Grenz-Infanterie-Regiment 127 on January 1st 1940. With this unit, Abele took part in the war in the west from May 10th 1940.
Appointed as Kompaniechef to Infanterie-Regiment 208 on February 1st 1940, he was promoted Hauptmann on April 20th 1942. His unit was put into action on the Southern part of the Eastern Front. After being appointed Kompaniechef with Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 218, Abele fought on the Lapplandfront. On February 17th 1943 he was appointed as commander of the I.Bataillon/Grenadier-Regiment 134, which was reformed into Reichsgrenadier-Regiment “Hoch- und Deutschmeister” on June 1st 1943.

The Battalion was transferred to the Italian Front where it was deployed near Belmonte as part of the XIV.Panzerkorps/10.Armee.
His promotion to Major followed on April 20th 1944.

Abele was taken as a prisoner of war by the Americans on September 26th 1944 south of Castell del Rio in Italy. He was released on October 15th 1946.
He went into military service again with the German Bundeswehr on December 16th 1955 with the rank of Major. He became commander of the Pi-Stab in München on January 23rd 1956, where he was promoted to Oberstleutnant on September 5th 1957.
After this he was appointed Hilfsreferent with the Heeres-Führungsstab, and subsequently he was appointed as Referent on July 1st 1964 and promoted to Oberst on December 23rd.
On March 31st 1973, Arnulf Abele retired from military service.
Abele died on July 2nd 2000 in Hopferau, Füssen.
Rank: Oberleutnant
Unit: Commandant Grenz-Infanterie-Regiment 127
Awarded on: July 25th, 1940
Rank: Oberleutnant
Unit: Commandant Grenz-Infanterie-Regiment 127
Awarded on: January 22nd, 1942
Rank: Hauptmann
Unit: Kompaniechef Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 218
Awarded on: October 28th, 1942
Rank: Hauptmann (Captain)
Unit: Kommandeur I. / Reichs-Grenadier-Regiment "Hoch u. Deutschmeister"
Awarded on: February 22nd, 1944
Action: On January 27th 1944, Abele’s Battalion arrived in the Teralle valley near Belmonte, Italy. They had to fill a gap in the German defence line. Promised reinforcements never arrived. When the unit was attacked by French-Moroccan troops there developed a fierce hand to hand combat. Mountain artillery prevented the attackers to bring in more reinforcements. Desperate fighting, even with the help of throwing stones when the handgranades were used up, able the Germans to push the enemy away and take the tactical vital Colle Abate. For leading the defences and taking the Colle Abate, Abele was decorated with the Knights Cross on February 22nd 1944.
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Picture source:   - David Lyne-Gordon
Information source(s):   - Die Ordensträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht (CD), VMD-Verlag GmbH, Osnabrück, 2002
- Fellgiebel W.P., Elite of the Third Reich, The recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939-1945: A Reference, Helion & Company Limited, Solihull, 2003, ISBN 1-874622-46-9
- Lyne-Gordon D., KNIGHT'S CROSS GERMAN & AXIS ARMED FORCES 1939-1945, Volume XIII, Military Axis Books
- Die Ritterkreuzträger der Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS
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