SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel

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AlifRafikKhan
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SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 07 Aug 2009 20:45

James R. Harris :

Heinz Harmel was born June 29, 1906 in Metz, Lorraine, son of a military doctor. In 1926 he joined the volunteer corps "Rossbach." Here he discovered his ability to inspire others, therefore he became a member of the "Reichwehr", the name of the German Army from 1919-1934. His goal of becoming an officer found limited opportunities at that time. He was classified as "qualified for sergeant" and was discharged into reserve status. Harmel studied agriculture but left in 1932 and became active in the Volunteer Work Service and was in leadership training. The German Army was restricted by the treaty ending WWI...

When Hitler came into power things changed rapidly. Harmel changed to the "SSVerfugungstruppe", which was the predecessor of the Waffen-SS, because the Nazis offered him higher pay and quicker promotion. Harmel rose through the ranks to Generalmajor der Waffen SS. He saw action during the campaign against France, where he earned decorations for valor in the field. Harmel received the Iron Cross 1 and 2 as well as the Combat Infantry Badge. The French soon quit and that part of the war was over...

The war shifted to the east where Harmel served as commanding officer SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer (lieutenant Colonel) of the 3rd SSPanzergrenadier Regiment "Deutchland" on the Russian front. He led the men of his command with boldness and was awarded the Ritterkreuz (Knight's Cross) on March 31,1943. Harmel was promoted to SS-Standart-enfuhre (Colonel) while still commanding the same unit, and was recognized for his skill in the campaign against Russia and awarded the Knight's Cross with Oak leaves on Sept. 7,1943. Harmel was also wounded in the Russian Campaign...

On April 27, 1944 Harmel was promoted to General major and was given command of the 10th SS-Panzardivision "Frundsberg." Heinz Harmel took over, at age 37, and was warmly accepted by the young men in the 10th SS as one of their own. He belonged to them since he had moved up through the ranks and understood therefore as no other how to assess the concerns and needs of the little men. Harmel lead the 10th SS with brave exploits until the bitter end of the war. At the age of 37 Heinz Harmel became the youngest man to ever become a General major and lead a Waffen SS-Division. In the military of England, Germany, and most military units in Europe the officers were selected from the aristocracy. It was unusual to have someone like Harmel become a General...

General Harmel was transferred to the Western Front following the Allied invasion along with the "Frundsberg" Division, that was the 10th SS Panzer Division. General Harmel etched his name in history with his stubborn defensive action during the Battle of Arnheim which resulted in the failure of the British airborne assault. We know this from the book "A Bridge Too Far." Generalmajor Harmel was recognized for his leadership and awarded the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords on Dec. 15, 1944...

We are quite familiar with the next assignment for General Harmel; the 10th SS was moved up to defend against the 9th Army of the U.S. which included the 102nd Inf. Div., the Ozarks. The area around Linnich was strongly defended during the bloody battles in November and December 1944. He remained with the 10th SS Panzer Div. until the war ended in 1945...

When the war ended Harmel became a POW. He was sent to England and as he told me in Linnich, "I was the guest of the King of England for two years." A nice way of saying he was a POW. When I asked where he had learned to speak such good English his reply was that he had nothing else to do for those two years so he learned English. When all of the records showed that Gen. Harmel was truly a Waffen SS combat soldier and had not been involved in any war crimes, he was released and sent back to Germany...

Harmel and his wife settled in Krefeld where he worked as a sales representative. He was highly regarded by everyone who knew his war record and became quite successful. He was a respected citizen and was naturally interested in veterans associations. He attended reunions of the 10th SS which were held in Linnich where he helped organize the Hubertuskreuz society...

Harmel, Father Thomic of the St. Martinus church in Linnich, and Hans Kramp, a former member of the 8th SS Kay division of the waffen-SS worked together to organize the Hubertuskreuz-Treffen which meets annually in October. This is a reunion of former soldiers from both sides during the war to create friends from former enemies...

It was at one of these Hubertuskreuz reunions where I met and became friends with Harmel. We would talk freely about the war and there I learned a bit about the 10th SS and we would exchange mail. At the banquets held in Linnich Harmel always wanted me to sit next to him and Maxine to sit with Harmel's wife. She could also speak English. One day she asked Maxine to look around the fairly crowded room. Maxine did so and Mrs. Harmel's comment was "Well, do you see horns on anyone? They are all alike."

Harmel was a good friend of our Gen. Bill Douglas also, and visited the U.S. a few times. On one visit Bill Douglas asked Harmel if he would like to see The Grand Old Opry? Harmel's reply was that he did not care too much about opera, but he did like our country-western music. On another visit to the U.S. he called my home and was surprised to be answered in German. I was working that day but Hildegard from Welz was visiting and answered the phone...

Every time I met Harmel he was quite friendly. After a few visits I finally decided to ask the question we all wanted to ask. "Heinze, I would like to ask you a personal question if I may." He agreed and so I asked "You must have known when we were fighting around Linnich that the war was lost. Why did you continue to fight?" His reply was that "Yes, I knew the war was lost, but you must realize the situation I was in. I believed Germany was fighting for a just cause, and believed Hitler was a good leader. I joined the SS and as an officer I made a pledge to fight for my country and its leader, Hitler, until the very end, even with my life if necessary. As the war progressed I began to realize that Germany could not win, and also began to believe that even Hitler could be wrong. However, I am a man of my word and I had taken the oath to fight and I could only do my best as a member of the Waffen-SS." The Waffen-SS pledge is "Loyalty Is My Honor...

All officers of the SS were required to take the loyalty oath. Raising their right hand and their left hand placed on their officers sword the oath went as follows. "I swear to thee, Adolph Hitler as Fuhrer and chancellor of the German Reich, my Loyalty and Bravery. I vow to thee and the superiors whom those shall appoint, obedience until death, so help me God."

When Harmel retired he received the normal pension for his employment as a sales representative and also a pension from the German government for his military service. His military pension was that of a full colonel, but not that of a general. There was ruling about that made by the German government...


Harmel died September 2, 2000 in Krefeld...

What did Harmel have to say about the battle around Linnich with the Ozarks? He regarded the 102nd as a good division, and we did not discuss this very much. It is interesting to see the new monument stone near the Hubertuskreuz which still stands in the field. If you look at that larger stone bearing the insignias of all units fighting the battle in 1944, you will see the insignias of the 10th SS and the 102nd right next to each other near the center...


Source : http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/yhst-3219348216 ... 4_65878497

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Re: SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 07 Aug 2009 20:49

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Re: SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 07 Aug 2009 20:50

Heinz Harmel (right) with Field Marshal Walter Model at Arnhem, September 1944...


Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinz_Harmel
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Re: SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 07 Aug 2009 20:52

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Re: SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 07 Aug 2009 20:58

Heinz Harmel with unidentified Luftwaffe Eichenlaubträger...


Source : http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/yhst-3219348216 ... 4_65674256
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Re: SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 07 Aug 2009 21:00

In this picture, it looks like his RK was photoshopped!

Source : http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... Harmel.jpg
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Re: SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 07 Aug 2009 21:02

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Re: SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 07 Aug 2009 21:02

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Re: SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel

Post by chris44 » 07 Aug 2009 21:22

the unknown Eichenlaubträger
is
HELMUT BRUCK
193.Eichenlaub

chris44

Igor Karpov
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Re: SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel

Post by Igor Karpov » 08 Aug 2009 09:21

AlifRafikKhan wrote:In this picture, it looks like his RK was photoshopped!

Source : http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... Harmel.jpg


And the left collar patch too.

Regards,
Igor

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Re: SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel

Post by Jérôme » 08 Aug 2009 17:33

as a young ss man
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Re: SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 08 Aug 2009 18:39

Transpspeer wrote:
AlifRafikKhan wrote:In this picture, it looks like his RK was photoshopped!

Source : http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... Harmel.jpg


And the left collar patch too.

Regards,
Igor


Don't forget also, the SS eagle on his cap, I think it's oversized! :lol:

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Re: SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel

Post by Uomo del monte » 09 Aug 2009 01:10

AlifRafikKhan wrote:In this picture, it looks like his RK was photoshopped!

almost everithing in this picture is "shopped", even the eastern front ribbon. by the way, it was a common practice at the time when updated picture weren't available.

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Re: SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel

Post by Igor Karpov » 09 Aug 2009 07:57

AlifRafikKhan wrote:Don't forget also, the SS eagle on his cap, I think it's oversized! :lol:


Because this national emblem is for crash helmet.

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Igor

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Re: SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 28 Oct 2009 19:37

A german officer (with cap) identified as SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel, accompanied by some formidable-looking members of his SS-Kampfgruppe "Frundsberg", talks to a Polish prisoner, probably in Arnhem on Tuesday 26 September 1944. The pole may be acting as an interpreter for the other prisoners visible in the building behind them


Source : "Arnhem 1944, Operation Market Garden" by Stephen Badsey

For the bigger picture can be seen here : http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/3034 ... ergtal.jpg
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