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LAMMERDING, Heinz (27/8/05-13/1/71)
A qualified engineer, Lammerding served on the formation staff of SS-VTs Pioneer Btn. from the begining of April 1935 and was awarded the rank of SS-Obersturmführer a month later.
Following a period as a platoon and company commander within the unit, and a brief assignment as a lecturer in combat engineering at the SS-Junkerschule at Braunschweig, he was put in charge of the Pionier Btn. at the newly organised SS-Totenkopf Division under Theodore Eicke and promoted to Sturmbannführer in October 1939, winning 1st and 2nd Class Iron Crosses during the campaign in the West in the Spring of 1940.
In December 1940 he took over from Kurt Knoblauch as Ia of the division, and from this post helped plan and direct the divisions operations in the Baltic States (Where he, and his temporary CO Georg Keppler, clashed with XXVIII Korps commander Mauriz Wiktorin zu Hainburg over the deployment of the division as a shock absorber against heavy Russian counter-attacks whilst regular Heer units (121st &122nd Inf. Divs.) continued the push north during the assault on the Luga line in August 1941.) and North-West Russia. After rising to Obersturmbannführer in September 1941, the division, now part of von Brockdorff-Ahlfeldt’s II Korps, was encircled in the Demyansk Pocket by the Soviet Winter counter-offensive three months later. Lammerding was flown out in mid-June 1942 and, after a period of leave, began the organisation of the divisions replacements in Germany from early July. He co-operated with Max Simon (Interim commander of the remnants still in Russia.) and Theodore Eicke’s plan to reduce the heavy losses suffered by them in the pocket by transferring convalescents on leave in Germany to his unit at Paderborn rather than sending them back to the front, but the Army and SS-FHA soon blocked this route, though 170 vital officers and NCO’s did escape. Finally, in early October, the remaining troops were withdrawn and, together with the new recruits at Paderborn, moved to Bordeaux in Western France to begin an extensive period of rest and refitting.
Lammerding briefly led the divisions newly organised 9th SS Inf. Regt. “Thule”, and took part in the occupation of Vichy France in November. He was promoted to Standartenführer at the end of January 1943 and awarded the DKiG at the end of April, whilst temporarily standing in for Werner Ostendorff as Chief of Staff at II SS-Panzerkorps (His second period under Paul Hausser, the first being at SS-VT in the pre-war years.) a posting that ran from the begining of May until late July. He then served as Chief of Staff at Erich von dem Bach’s Anti-Partisan Command in Russia before personally conducting anti-partisan operations around the Minsk area when he took over from Curt von Gottberg as commander of Kampfgruppe “von Gottberg” from mid-November until early December, as Heeresgruppe Mitte fell back towards Belorussia.
Shortly after being promoted to Oberführer (9th December.) Lammerding was named as commander of Kampfgruppe “Das Reich” (Replacing Peter Sommer, the divisional Ia2.) after the bulk of the SS-Panzergrenadier Division (Under Sylvester Stadler.) was withdrawn to France to refit as a fully fledged Panzer Div. and, though officially named as divisional CO as of New Years Day 1944, remained in action as part of 4th Panzerarmee’s LIX Korps on the southern sector of the Eastern front until March, when he handed the unit over to Otto Weidinger and rejoined the rest of the division in France. For his conduct during these battles Lammerding was awarded the Knights Cross and promoted to SS-Brigadeführer in April. He gained notoriety for his commands massacres at Tulle (For which he was tried in abstentia and sentenced to death by a French court after the war.) and Oradour-sur-Glane in June, whilst they were moving up to the newly opened Normandy front. Travelling predominantly at night to avoid the attention of the Allied Jabo’s, the division only arrived in the area in early July, and was rapidly committed to action but Lammerding was wounded during the heavy fighting around Coutances, at the base of the Cotentin Peninsular, as the Americans began to launch their efforts to break out of the beach-head, and replaced by the commander of his Pz. Regt., Christian Tyschen.
After his recovery it would appear that he possibly took charge of the 16th SS Panzergrenadier Division “Reichsführer-SS” in Italy after their CO, Max Simon had been named as commander of XIII SS-Korps, before exchanging places with Otto Baum and retaking his post at Das Reich.at the begining of November, whilst they were preparing for the forthcoming offensive through the Ardennes.
Assigned to Willi Bittrich’s II SS-Panzerkorps for Herbstnebel, the division had been almost completely rebuilt since the Falaise disaster in August and now fielded 28 Pz. IV, 58 Pz. V Panthers, 20 Jagdpz. IV and 28 StuG’s and was initially held in 6th Panzerarmee’s reserve before being transferred to the south to support Walter Krüger’s LVIII Pzk. as they pushed towards Houfflaize and came close to breaking through the last lines of resistance (At one stage using a captured Sherman tank to fool the defenders!) before being thrown back.
Lammerding left the division after they were withdrawn from the Ardennes, handing command over to the commander of the artillery regiment Karl Kreutz on the 20th January 1945, after which he was transferred to East Prussia to serve as Heinrich Himmler’s Chief of Staff at Heeresgruppe “Weischel” just days after the Russians launched their full scale drive on Berlin.
This was not a happy time for this experienced staff officer, exasperated by the incompetence of his CO, he begged of Heinz Guderian, the Army Chief of the General Staff, who was on a visit to find out why the Army Group was not responding to his orders, “Can’t you rid us of our Commander?”, which, eventually he did, finally persuading Hitler to replace him with Gotthard Heinrici towards the end of March, though Lammerding was also replaced, by Eberhard Kinzel, at the same time.
He reportedly spent a few weeks leading the ad hoc 38th SS-Panzergrenadier Division “Nibelungen” replacing Richard Schulze until he was himself succeeded by Carl von Oberkamp in April, but other sources say he never actually took up this post, and held no further positions before the war ended.
Hope that helped,
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- In memoriam
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RITTERKREUZ, 11 avril 1944,
Kommandeur kampfgruppe «Das Reich».
Né le 27 août 1905,à Dortmund, d’un père architecte, fait des études d’architecture diplomé le 12 novembre 1932, travaille à la ville de Dortmund jusqu’à la mi-octobre 1933.
Rejoint la SA (18 octobre 1931) et le NSDAP le 1er novembre 1931, affecté au SA Reiter Standarte à Paderborn (septembre 1933-14 octobre 1933), puis au SA Pioner Abt 6 à Minden jusqu’à son entrée à la Pionerschule de Klausdorf (19 novembre 1933-20 janvier 1934). Commande la SA Pionerschule Höxter (6 mars-4 avril 1934), SA Adjutant Pioner Inspekteur jusqu’en novembre 1934, sert également aux SA Standarte 92 et 98. SS Anwärter (1er avril 1935) au Aufstellungsstab SS-VT Pionersturmbann, SS OSTUF (1er mai 1935), commande la 1./I. jusqu’à la fin de l’année, et le bataillon jusqu’au 10 octobre 1939. SS HSTUF (30 janvier 1937), commande le Pioner Abt/Totenkopf en octobre 1939, SS STUBAF (19 octobre 1939), Ia/Totenkopf (20 décembre 1940-juin 1942). SS OSTUBAF (1er septembre 1941). Commande le Thulé le 10 août 1942. SS STAF (30 janvier 1943). Nommé Chef d. Stabes/Kampfgruppe von dem Bach, pour cordonner la lutte contre les partisans sur les arrières du front de l’Est. SS OFHR (9 décembre 1943), se bat avec le Kampfgruppe von Gottberg contre les Russes près de Vitebsk (13 novembre-6 décembre 1943), muté à la Das Reich le 28 décembre 1943, reste en Russie avec un Kampfgruppe pendant la restructuration de la division., SS BRIG FHR (20 avril 1944), blessé en Normandie le 26 juillet 1944. Chef d. Generalstabes Heeresgruppe «Weichsel» (25 janvier-21 mars 1945), commande la 38. SS jusqu’en avril 1945. Condamné à mort par contumace en France, il n’est jamais extradé d’Allemagne de l’Ouest et y meurt le 13 janvier 1971, d’un cancer à Bad Tölz. Marié en 1934, il a 2 enfants.
Braunschweig 1931 Teilnehmerabzeichen,
SA Sportabzeichen in Silber,
DRL Sportabzeichen in Silber,
Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 13 März 1938,
Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 1 Oktober 1938,
Spange «Prager Burg»,
EK-II (23 mai 1940),
EK-I (22 juin 1940),
Allgemeine Sturmabzeichen (10 juin 1942),
Ostmedaille (1er août 1942),
Deutsche Kreuz in Gold (25 avril 1943),
Ritterkreuz (11 avril 1944),
Verwunten Abzeichen in Schwarz.