5. SS-Pz.Div. "Wiking" information wanted

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Mikedc
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Post by Mikedc » 05 Sep 2005 16:20

Hey guys,
I've found this post during this past weekend and it confuses me a bit, especially when it concerns
the 'Narwa' Battalion.
I can't remember where I saw it but I've this battalion with 2nd company, 3rd company and with 4th company.
I also know that the 'Narwa' battailon was renamed as III. Battalion from the Regiment 'Westland' in March 1944, still I
also read somewhere that it was taken out of the 'Wiking' Division in 1944.
And now Grenadier has come up with this line-up which suggests that it was already called the III. Battalion in 1943 and
that the companynummbers have changed into 9, 10, 11 and 12.
I did try to sort this out myself through the internet but or there is simply not enough info available about the
Battalions structure or I searched at the wrong place. And I don't have any books to check it, I only have the book about 'Wiking' from J. Mabire and as far as I know it's not in there.
So if somebody could help me with some explanation that would be much appreciated.
And yes, I'm not that into lineage-stuff so much but when I write a file about a certain person I wanna try to
write down the most accurate info as possible.
So I also did a check on platoonleaders Herbert Nugis, Leo Schnied, Wilhelm Gelzleichter, Hans Götze, Ralf Fisker, Alfred Ensman and Eduard Kirschbaum but I came back empty handed. Nothing to find about these folks.
I only had something on Fiala(who knows his origin???)and Ruus.
So I just wanna know if the others were also low-ranked Waffen-SS'ers or NCO's.

Thanks for any info regarding all this, these kind of posts are always very interesting.
Greetings,
Mike

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jan willem stokkers
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Narwa Bat.

Post by jan willem stokkers » 05 Sep 2005 16:55

Narwa Bat. was an independent Bat. within the SS-Division Wiking from the date of 14 april 1943. The Bat. took over the arms of the Finn.Bat. wo went home to Finnland.

(this you also can read in the book by Wilhelm Tieke about the Finnische Freiwilligen Btl.der Waffen-SS)

Till that moment it was part of the Estnische ss-Legion, grounded in august 1942. In march I./Btl.Narwa was transformed and went over to Wiking. This weekend i have read an aricle in Unser Wiking Ruf (from the TruppenKameradschaft of Wiking)

Kdr. of I./Estisch Freiwilligen Panzer Grenadier Bataillon Narwa in april 1943 is ss.Sturmbannfuhrer Georg Eberhardt. And I.Bat./Narwa at 18 juli 1943 came the first time in action. This was also a few days ago a have received an confirm on this by an Kp.Kdr of I.Bat.Narwa and later Bat.Kdr. in Division Wiking. This you can also read in the Personals Akten "Kurze Begrundung" of Sturmbannführer Eberhardt and the books Panzergrenadiere im Bild /Peter Strassners boek about Wiking.

Reading the Akten of Georg Eberhardt you can also read what is part was in the formation Bat.in 1943 and his dead on 21 juli 1943.

The I./Estisch Freiwilligen Panzer Grenadier Bataillon Narwa, after Cherkassy, received a 3 weeks holiday "Heimaturlaub" but would never turn back to ss-Wiking. The were transferred to 20. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS.

According to the book Panzergrenadiere der Panzerdivision Wiking im Bild of Franz Hack, at the Bug-Weichsel-Dreieck Battle(also known as Nassen Dreieck) a new III./Westland was grounded.

My opnion, and confirmd by a Kp.Kdr. and vets who told there story in Unser Wiking Ruf and researching Personals Akten of Bat./Kp.Kdr's, Narwa has never been part of Westland but an independent Bat. in the Division Wiking.

Strange/funny enough al the well known books:Panzergrenadiere im Bild/Peter Strassners Europaische Freiwillige/Jan Vincx Nederlandse Vrijwilligers in Duitse Krijgsdienst Part IV are using the same diagram with fals information and reading these books you can read that this diagram is using the wrong dates and years. Even commanding persons are wrong or used in the wrong unit.

A great help have been the Führerlisten of John Moore

This is a small version of my statement i have put on the Dutch site: waffen-ss.nl

JW

Mikedc
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Post by Mikedc » 05 Sep 2005 18:24

Hello JW,
Thanks for the explanation, has been very helpfull.
Also thanks for the PM, that was even more helpfull and I guess we now can consider the 'Narwa' Btl. as
an independent unit within the 'Wiking' Division.
Greetings,
Mike

Jan-Hendrik
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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 05 Sep 2005 18:33

I have to thank, too ! I will myself work now through the books of Strassner & Mabire and Tiekes "Finnisches Freiwilligenbtl." with open eyes :D
Having them all three I still did not have the time to work them through :cry:
Best regards ,
Jan-Hendrik

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Post by Marc Rikmenspoel » 06 Sep 2005 04:22

I don't have the specific answers to everyone's questions, but I can assure you that there is a LOT of material available in Estonian on the Narwa Bataillon. The veterans got together in the early 1990's and sought out all of their surviving comrades around the world (many ended up in Germany, the USA, Canada, and Australia as displaced persons after the war), and made a determined effort to collect everything possible in the way of accounts and photos and other historically valuable material before too may survivors passed away. The result is a three volume history of battalion of 1500 or more total pages. I have all three, and there's one tiny English summary in vol. 2, other than that, the material is in Estonian and extremely difficult to decipher (due to the differences between Finno-Ugric Estonian grammar and Germano-Latin English), but quite interesting none the less.

As we h can see on this forum, many Estonians today are quite skilled at English, and I hope and expect it is only a matter of time before this Narwa Bataillon history gets translated into English. I can report from the summary that Eberhardt was overheard to exclaim during his battalion's training, "I have had the best soldiers in Europe under my command, but never before have I seen such desperadoes as Estonians!" which his new unit took as a compliment.

Fortunately for English speakers, the Estonian veterans in Canada got together even before the efforts of the Narwa veterans in Estonia, and put together in English the book Estonian Freedom Fighters in WW2, which covers all of the Estonian units formed by the Germans and Finns. Naturally, a portion of this deals with the Narwa Bataillon, especially its first actions at Izyum in July 1943. You can read in this book that the men of the battalion already respected Eberhardt for being active and energetic, and playing a full role in their training after taking command, but the respect only grew when Eberhardt was killed while carrying one of his wounded men to safety at Izyum.

There's one detail about the Narwa Bataillon that often causes confusion. the unit had to take on replacements from the mass of the still-forming Estonian SS-Brigade (forerunner of the eventual 20. WGD) a couple of times during the late summer of 1943. Then, at the end of the year, a large reinforcement of a few hundred men arrived under Oskar Ruut. This unit was deployed separately from Narwa Bataillon, at Teklino, and only joined with the remnants of Narwa during the Cherkassy breakout, when ruut and Hando Ruus led the combined survivors successfully out of the pocket. This replacement force under Ruut has caused confusion in the study of the fighting that led up to Cherkassy due researchers being unaware that, in effect, there were two halves of the Narwa Bataillon in action, rather than a single force nominally identified in German records.

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jan willem stokkers
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Post by jan willem stokkers » 06 Sep 2005 13:32

Marc Rikmenspoel wrote:I don't have the specific answers to everyone's questions, but I can assure you that there is a LOT of material available in Estonian on the Narwa Bataillon. The veterans got together in the early 1990's and sought out all of their surviving comrades around the world (many ended up in Germany, the USA, Canada, and Australia as displaced persons after the war), and made a determined effort to collect everything possible in the way of accounts and photos and other historically valuable material before too may survivors passed away. The result is a three volume history of battalion of 1500 or more total pages. I have all three, and there's one tiny English summary in vol. 2, other than that, the material is in Estonian and extremely difficult to decipher (due to the differences between Finno-Ugric Estonian grammar and Germano-Latin English), but quite interesting none the less.
As we h can see on this forum, many Estonians today are quite skilled at English, and I hope and expect it is only a matter of time before this Narwa Bataillon history gets translated into English. I can report from the summary that Eberhardt was overheard to exclaim during his battalion's training, "I have had the best soldiers in Europe under my command, but never before have I seen such desperadoes as Estonians!" which his new unit took as a compliment.
Fortunately for English speakers, the Estonian veterans in Canada got together even before the efforts of the Narwa veterans in Estonia, and put together in English the book Estonian Freedom Fighters in WW2, which covers all of the Estonian units formed by the Germans and Finns. Naturally, a portion of this deals with the Narwa Bataillon, especially its first actions at Izyum in July 1943. You can read in this book that the men of the battalion already respected Eberhardt for being active and energetic, and playing a full role in their training after taking command, but the respect only grew when Eberhardt was killed while carrying one of his wounded men to safety at Izyum.
There's one detail about the Narwa Bataillon that often causes confusion. the unit had to take on replacements from the mass of the still-forming Estonian SS-Brigade (forerunner of the eventual 20. WGD) a couple of times during the late summer of 1943. Then, at the end of the year, a large reinforcement of a few hundred men arrived under Oskar Ruut. This unit was deployed separately from Narwa Bataillon, at Teklino, and only joined with the remnants of Narwa during the Cherkassy breakout, when ruut and Hando Ruus led the combined survivors successfully out of the pocket. This replacement force under Ruut has caused confusion in the study of the fighting that led up to Cherkassy due researchers being unaware that, in effect, there were two halves of the Narwa Bataillon in action, rather than a single force nominally identified in German records.

Well this is also some very interesting info about Narwa as part of SS-Wiking.

JW

Marc Rikmenspoel
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Post by Marc Rikmenspoel » 06 Sep 2005 19:19

I only became aware of this when I was editing Eddy De Bruyne's manuscript for our Walloon book, and I read about the Sturmbrigade Wallonien attacking the Teklino forest. Prior to this attack, they were relieved in their former positions by the "Feld-Ersatz Bataillon Narwa." I wondered how a separate battalion could have its own replacement battalion, so I checked in the Estonian Freedom fighters book. There was no mention of such a thing. Finally, in another section of the book, one not specifically about the Narwa bataillon, I read about Ruut arriving with his replacement unit.

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Re: 5. SS-Pz.Div. "Wiking" information wanted

Post by smetanin albert » 06 Aug 2019 11:20

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