WIKING RUF Europäische Freiwilligen in der Waffen-SS
What did happen in 1944?
I./SS-Pz.Abt.5, strength as follows:
Pz.III: 35 authorized, 13 combat-ready
Pz.IV: 14 authorized, 8 combat-ready
StuG III: 7 authorized, 4 combat-ready
Total: 56 authorized, 25 combat-ready
Also 33 Pz.Kfw.V 'Panther' tanks in Erlangen, Germany.
II./Pz.Rgt. 5 is led by Stubaf. Scheibe;
5.Kompanie Hstuf. Ewald Klapdor
6.Kompanie Ostuf. Dedelow
7.Kompanie Hstuf. Keppels
8.Kompanie Ostuf. Karl Nicolussi-Leck
Ia : Ostuf. Förster
IVa : Ostuf. Paschke
Rgt.Kdr. Ostubaf. Mühlenkamp
IIa : Hstuf. Zimmermann
IVa : Hstuf. Hagen
TFK : Hstuf. Sobota
Hstuf. Ewald Klapdor becomes Kdr. II./SS-Pz.Rgt.5
It became clear that the Wiking division was going to be encircled.
The corps commander, General Wilhelm Stemmermann, commanding general of the XI.Armeekorps receives orders to hold the pocket at all costs.
Division is renamed to 5.SS-Pz.Div. WIKING.
Headquarters SS-Pz.Rgt.5 and II./SS-Pz.Abt.5 conduct gunnery practice and company size maneuvers at Mailly-le-Camp training area.
The encircled XI.Armeekorps was given freedom of operations.
The front was moved to Schanderowka. In an area measuring just 7x8km, some 54,000 men were crowded together and waiting for relief forces from the south or west.
Field Marshall Erich von Manstein gives permission to a break out. Regiment Westland formed up for the break out. Spearheading the break out attempt was I./Germania under command of SS-Stubaf. Hans Dorr. After bitter and fierce fighting the troops had to cross the Gniloi-Tilkitsch, a small stream. No crossing points were available so they had to swim, with temperatures minus 10 degrees. Finally they reached the objective: LISSJANKA. The attempt had been succesfull although the division had lost all its armored vehicles (SPW), vehicles, artillery and tanks.
SS-Stubaf. Köller killed in action.
II./SS-Pz.Rgt.5 transferred to the Cholm area in a rush. Its Rgt.Kdr. and Abt.Kdr arrive at 24th March 16.00 hrs.
During its journey, the FlaK unit managed to shoot down an 4-engined bomber! Transfering of the remnants of division, including survivors of I./SS-Pz.Rgt. 5 to LUBLIN (Poland) where the division is to be brought back up to its former strength.
5.SS-Pz.Div. Wiking is mentioned in Wehrmacht bulletin one day after successful breakout from the Cherkassy pocket for exemplary heroism, daring spirit of attack and self-sacrificing comradeship.
Withdrawn to Dsengolowka, some 35 km southwest of Lissjanka.
It was not until 11.00 hrs, before 7./SS-Pz.Rgt.5 unloaded at Maciejow rail station. Arrival of first elements of the Stabs Kp., 5./ and 6./ took until 2.4.1944.
Cherkassy was finally given up.
I./SS-Pz.Abt.5 tank strength as follows:
Pz III: 7 authorized, 0 assigned.
Pz IV: 73 authorized, 21 combat-ready (of 22 on hand)
StuG IV: 31 authorized, 19 combat-ready (of 21 on hand)
Total: 111 authorized, 40 combat-ready
II./SS-Pz.Abt.5 tank strength as follows:
Pz V: 75 authorized, 58 combat-ready
Regimental Total: 186 authorized, 98 combat-ready
With the support of the 7.Kompanie the attack started.
Wehrmacht Bulletin of the day mentions fighting in KOVEL area and highlights achievement of Nicolussi-Leck during the relief operation.
The relief attack of Kowel started at 00.15 hrs. At 03.30 hrs, the first objectives were taken at Nowo-Koszary and the north-west of Czerkassy. Although 50 anti-tankguns were destroyed, Stubaf. Hans Dorr had to report that the attack has halted. After 4 hours and 45 minutes(!) they had gained only 500 meters.
The 5. and 7./Germania supported the ongoing attack, while the 6./Germania was held back as a reserve near Kruhel. Finally the siege was broken and 5., 6. and 7./Germania together with the reunited 8./Kompanie held the corridor so over 2,000 wounded men could be taken out of Kowel. Continuing Russian attacks from the north-east kept a high pressure on the thin lines, so the complete II./SS-PzRgt 5 was send to this sector. During one of the German attacks, heights 189.5 and 188 were occypied. Almost 15 Russian tanks were destroyed by the superior Panthers.
The Pz.Rgt. of Wiking were relieved by Wehrmacht units and transferred by to Lublin.
The corridor was secured by I./Germania together with 6./SS-Pz.Rgt.5.
Division is mentioned again in Wehrmacht Bulletin of the Day for its conduct during Kovel fighting and mentions bravery and leadership of Gille, the division commander.
Division continues reestablishment in Kovel area. SS-Pz.Rgt.5 (minus I./Panzer Abteilung) serves as reserve for LVI.Pz.Korps.
Bulk of division becomes army reserve in LUBLIN area, then transfers to SS Training Area at HEIDELAGER (DEBICA), then to assembly area of Sokal, east of Cholm.
I./SS-Pz.Abt.5 arrives in DEBINCA on 4th June 1944.8 Panthers issued to II./SS-Pz.Abt.5 in Erlangen on 17th April. These were the last(!) Panthers Wiking received till the end of the war.
On Adolf Hitler's birthday, Gruf. Herbert-Otto Gille received as 12th soldier and first one of the Waffen-SS the Brillianten zum Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub und Schwerten.
Ostuf. Nicolussi-Leck and Schneider were given the Ritterkreuz together with Hauptmann Bolm, the Kp.Chef of the Wehrmacht's Jäger Kompanie.
Total write-offs in tanks during the battle of Kowel and its aftermath mounted to 8 Panthers. Including a shipment of 8 replacement Panthers on the 17th April, SS-Pz.Rgt.5 was back at a total strength of of 79 Panthers, 27 Pz. IV and 22 StuG IV.
A new operation, codenamed 'Ilse' was planned.
The Werkstatt Kompanie was able to clear 50 Panthers, including the RO2, Mühlenkamp's own Befehlspanzer.
The 8th, 6th and 5th Kompanie assembled near the windmill, south-west of Kowel. Together with units of the Pionier Btl. and Grenadieren of the Wehrmacht. The attack reached its objectives and on 28th April the tanks were ordered back to Kowel.
Finally rest and refitting took place, the regiment was transferred to the Maciejow area and placed under command of LVI.Panzerkorps.
Soviets troops are twelve miles from Warsaw
Division participates in counterattacks against Soviet forces in vicinity of STANISLAV and RADZYMIN.Division participates in counterattacks against Soviet forces in vicinity of STANISLAV and RADZYMIN.I./SS-Pz.Abt.5 tank strength as follows:
Pz III: 2 authorized, 0 assigned.
Pz IV: 73 authorized, 12 combat-ready
StuG IV: 0 authorized, 11 combat-ready
Total: 75 authorized, 23 combat-ready
II./SS-Pz.Abt.5 tank strength as follows::
Pz V: 75 authorized, 42 combat-ready
Regimental Total: 150 authorized, 65 combat-ready
Division mentioned in Wehrmacht Bulletin of the Day for its superb conduct during successful counterattack north of WARSAW.
Fritz Darges assumes command of SS-Pz.Rgt. 5 from Johannes Mühlenkamp.
Division participates in 1st defensive battle for WARSAW east of RADZYMIN.
Division mentioned in Wehrmacht Bulletin of the Day for its successful defensive fighting on the VISTULA and northeast of WARSAW. During 18.–22. Aug, IV.SS-Pz. Korps destroyed 98 Soviet tanks.
3./SS-Pz.Abt.5 (with 6 Pz IV and 2 StuG IV) virtually wiped out in heavy fighting when forced to blow up its last remaining vehicles on the eastern bank of the Bug River while fighting in the Slenzany Bridgehead. I. /SS-Pz.Abt.5 loses 8 Pz IV and 4 StuG IV in a single day of fighting. Its commander, SS-Hstuf. Saumenicht, is mortally wounded. Command of I./SS-Pz.Abt.5 goes to SS-Ostuf. Kurt Schumacher.
Division participates in 2nd defensive battle for WARSAW near ZERGCE.
In late August 1944, the division was ordered back to Modlin on the Vistula River near Warsaw where it was to join the newly formed Army Group Vistula. Fighting alongside the Luftwaffe's Fallschirm-Panzer Division 1 Hermann Göring, the division annihilated the Red Army's 3rd Tank Corps.
The advent of the Warsaw Uprising brought the Soviet offensive to a halt, and relative peace fell on the frontline as in Warsaw Höherer SS- und Polizeiführer Erich von dem Bach Zelewski destroyed Warsaw with its civilians and partisans.
The division remained in the Modlin area for the rest of the year, grouped with the Totenkopf as IV.SS-Panzerkorps. Gille was promoted to command of the new SS-Panzerkorps, and after a brief period with SS-Oberführer Dr. Eduard Deisenhofer in command, SS-Standartenführer Rudolf Mühlenkamp, commander of the Wiking's panzer regiment, took command. Heavy defensive battles around Modlin followed for the rest of the year and in October, Mühlenkamp was replaced by SS-Oberführer Karl Ullrich to become 'Inspekteur der Panzertruppen der Waffen-SS'.
Karl Ullrich would lead the division for the rest of the war, until its surrender in 1945.
I./SS-Pz.Abt.5 (1. – 4. Kompanie) tank strength as follows:
Pz III: 2 authorized, 0 assigned.
Pz IV: 73 authorized, 4 combat-ready
StuG IV: 0 authorized, 4 combat-ready
Total: 75 authorized, 8 combat-ready
II./SS-Pz.Abt.5 (5. – 8. Kompanie) tank strength as follows:
Pz V: 75 authorized, 19 combat-ready
Regimental Total: 150 authorized, 27 combat-ready
Division mentioned in Wehrmacht Bulletin of the Day for its conduct during successful defensive fighting northeast of WARSAW, where units of IV.SS-Pz. Korps (Totenkopf and Wiking) distinguished themselves “through unshakeable steadfastness and courageous counterblows.”
3./SS-Pz.Abt.5, which lost all of its tanks at the end of August, is reestablished.
SS-Pz.Rgt. 5 celebrates the destruction of its 500th Soviet tank since the regiment’s baptism of fire on 29 March 1944.
The SS-Pi.Kompanie of SS-Pz.Rgt.5 with one platoon is being assigned to both I./SS-Pz.Abt.5 and II./SS-Pz.Abt.5.The SS-Pi.Kompanie of SS-Pz.Rgt.5 with one platoon is being assigned to both I./SS-Pz.Abt.5 and II./SS-Pz.Abt.5.
1. and 2.Kompanie (Pz IV) training and re-equipping period ends and are transported to rejoin rest of I./SS-Pz.Abt.5, which occurs on 28 Sep. 2./SS-Pz.Abt.5 now has 17 Pz IV ready for action.
2./SS-Pz.Abt.5 loses 5 brand-new Pz IV in heavy fighting in town of NIEPORET when it encounters a concealed Soviet PaK-front.2./SS-Pz.Abt.5 loses 5 brand-new Pz IV in heavy fighting in town of NIEPORET when it encounters a concealed Soviet PaK-front.
Division participates in 3rd defensive battle for WARSAW near NIEPORENT and SEROCKK.
Although visiting his former regiment as Inspecktor Junkerschüle Tolz, Ostuf. Gerhard Lotze took command of the 5th coy - which he led 2 years earlier - during a Russian surprise attack. During the night and following morning he led several offensive actions, in which he personaly destroyed 2 tanks, and was killed in action. For these actions of bravery he recieved the Ritterkreuz and was promoted to Hauptsturmführer.
Division engaged in heavy defensive fighting east of MODLIN, Poland.
I./SS-Pz.Abt.5 tank strength as follows:
Pz III: 2 authorized, 0 assigned..
Pz IV: 73 authorized, 7 combat-readyPz IV: 73 authorized, 7 combat-ready
StuG IV: 0 authorized, 3 combat-ready
Total: 75 authorized, 10 combat-ready
II./SS-Pz.Abt.5 tank strength as follows:
Pz V: 75 authorized, 15 combat-ready
Regimental Total: 150 authorized, 25 combat-ready
Due to shortage of tanks due to heavy (and irreplaceable losses), the regiment is divided into a combat-ready element consisting of the 2., 4., 5., and 6. Kompanien and a training (Lehr) element consisting of the 1., 3., 7., and 8. Kompanien. The training element is placed under the command of SS-Ostuf. Nicolussi-Leck and is sent to LODZ.Kompanien. The training element is placed under the command of SS-Ostuf. Nicolussi-Leck and is sent to LODZ.
Both first battalions of Norge and Danmark regiments (from 11.SS-PzGren.Div 'Nordland') transferred to 5th SS-Division..
To get new tanks and to train new crews. Eventually, the Lehr element is eventually transferred in February 1945 to SENNELAGER in Germany when new tanks fail to materialize.
The fighting element remains in action and supports a now – static front outside of WARSAW.
Division receives orders to entrain for movement to Hungary to participate in relief of BUDAPEST with rest of IV.SS-Pz.Korps, including 3.SS-Pz.Div. Totenkopf.Division receives orders to entrain for movement to Hungary to participate in relief of BUDAPEST with rest of IV.SS-Pz.Korps, including 3.SS-Pz.Div. Totenkopf.
Kampfgruppe (KG) Dorr, consisting out SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. 9 Germania, A.A. 5 and SS-Pz.Gren.Btl..23 Norge depart from the Modlin area and headed for Budapest. Totenkopf for instance was well known with the eastern front, between 22th June 1941 and 31st December 1944 it lost a total of 53,794 men! Wiking suffered 11,098 losses.23 Norge depart from the Modlin area and headed for Budapest. Totenkopf for instance was well known with the eastern front, between 22th June 1941 and 31st December 1944 it lost a total of 53,794 men! Wiking suffered 11,098 losses.
In late December 1944, the Axis forces, including IX.SS-Gebirgskorps, defending Budapest were encircled and the IV.SS-Panzerkorps was ordered south to join General Hermann Balck's 6.Armee (Army Group Balck), which was mustering for a relief effort. The efforts were to be codenamed Operation Konrad.
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