Fritz Axtmann was born in a small town near the Naab, called Burglengenfeld. It is approximately 22km north of Regensburg. Axtmann enlisted in the Bavarian Infantry Regiment 20 in Regensburg on April 1, 1933. He was assigned to the 7th Company. Axtmann was a non-commissioned German soldier when Germany invaded Poland in 1939 and he took part in the invasion. He displayed tremendous leadership and courage in battle and was so recognized by his superiors with the awards of the Iron Cross Second Class and two days later the Iron Cross First Class. He was involved in nearly all of the major conflicts in the East to include Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of Russia.
Axtmann continued to excel in battle and was relied on heavily by his commanders. During one period, his squad under his leadership held off twelve combat assaults by Russian forces. On November 1, 1939, the German officer corps recognized his leadership with a battlefield promotion to Leutnant.
Axtmann died of wounds September 13, 1943 in a field hospital in Kiev. In recognition of his valorous service, he was posthumously promoted to Oberleutnant.
Oberleutnant Fritz Axtmann earned the following known decorations for his service to the German Army during World War II:
- 1939 Iron Cross Second Class awarded September 25, 1939 (Actions in Poland)
- 1939 Iron Cross First Class awarded September 27, 1939 (Actions in Poland)
- 1939 Wound Badge in Black awarded 1939
- 1939 Wound Badge in Silver awarded 1943
- Infantry Assault Badge
- Eastern Front Medal
- Western Front Medal
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross awarded on August 25, 1941 (with the rank of Oberfeldwebel and Truppenführer - Staff Sergeant and squad leader)