Why the Waffen-SS

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Stef Duma
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Stef Duma » 28 Dec 2019 19:38

My father served in 14th Galician Division so thats my interest.

My grandfather served in the Hapsburg army in WWI my English great grandfather served with the 16th Battalion Sherwood Foresters in 1916 discharged in 1918 after Passchendael due to a gas attack, I served 9 years as a Sapper so I have an interest in all military units.

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The Norwegian Guy
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by The Norwegian Guy » 07 Jan 2020 17:37

Cult Icon wrote:
13 Feb 2019 20:59
The waffen SS PzG divisions of the late war (11.SS PzG, 17.SS PzG, etc. ) were generally sub-standard in their equipment and training. They had a severe shortage of trained personnel like officers and NCOs.

Pretty interesting to see these comparatively unproven units (instead of veteran, reliable Heer PzD/PzG) being used for major panzer counterattacks in the late war in 1945 like Operation Solstice.
This is just reckless writing. by the end of the war, most of the divisions not just in the Waffen-SS, but the whole Wehrmacht was flushed out by bad replacements. The training of the Nordland and the other "late war panzergrenadier divisions" (don't know what this means) experienced very good training. The divisions did its best to pass on their experience to newcomers, this is normal in warfare. The 11. SS-Panzergrenadier-Division "Nordland" was much better equipped than other panzergrenadier divisions and stood out. An example would be that they had the SS-Panzer-Abteilung "Hermann von Salza" attached, equipped with tanks. This was not standard, at least not in the reality during the war. The performance of the Nordland in 1945 was recognized by many field commanders.

The OKW report by the end of March stated:

"In the hard defensive battles in Pomerania that began with an enemy breakthrough to split the Front, the 11th SS-Panzergrenadier Division Nordland has stood as the focal point of resistance since March 3 1945. The Soviet units attacking the division were the 2nd Guards Tank Army, elements of the 61st and 47th Armies and parts of the 3rd Shock Army.

On March 17 after a strong artillery barrage and the deployment of newly-committed forces, the enemy once again tried to push through Altdamm towards Stettin. Ammunition was in short supply and battalions were down to below 100 men each. SS-Brigadeführer Ziegler stayed at his command post repelling sporadic enemy breakthroughs with his staff and repeatedly reorganising the resistance of his exhausted men despite the high casualties in officers. Loss of radios meant artillery fire could not be directed, ammunition was critically low, our panzers were out of action and a large number of heavy infantry weapons were destroyed. Only thanks to his exceptional bravery in this critical situation was the bridgehead held, Ziegler was the spirit of the resistance. In the period from March 3-18 1945 the 11th SS-Panzergrenadier Division Nordland destroyed 194 tanks."


Also, on February 15 1945 the 11th SS-Panzergrenadier Division Nordland, in spite of the severe shortage of fuel and ammunition, began the planned attack to free encircled Arnswalde. Knowing that with the quickly replenished panzer grenadier regiments, the attack’s objective could only be achieved by achieving surprise and leading it personally, SS-Brigadeführer Ziegler and the regimental commanders supervised the deployment for the attack in detail. At the beginning of the attack Ziegler placed himself at the head of the foremost battalion. After breaking the first resistance of the enemy, SS-Brigadeführer Ziegler ordered his armoured group to undertake a violent breakthrough towards Arnswalde.

With further attacks of the panzer grenadier regiments, the enemy [a large part of the 7th Guards Cavalry Corps] was annihilated. They also destroyed a lot of equipment, included 26 anti-tank guns, 18 heavy grenade-launchers and two batteries of heavy artillery destroyed.

The enemy was defeated by surprise with minimal casualties [one regiment had just seven dead and two wounded] and for the first time an encircled fortress [1,000 wounded, 1,100 troops and 7,000 civilians] was liberated.

The Nordland fought very well during its whole existence. I suggest you read a bit more about this before making statements :welcome:

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Sid Guttridge » 09 Jan 2020 13:20

Hi The Norwegian Guy,

You seem to be attacking Cult Icon for something he did not write and contradicting a point he did not make.

He posted, "The waffen SS PzG divisions of the late war (11.SS PzG, 17.SS PzG, etc. ) were generally sub-standard in their equipment and training. They had a severe shortage of trained personnel like officers and NCOs."

This seems to be accurate, notwithstanding any successful local counter-attacks put in by the 11th SS-Panzergrenadier Division Nordland in 1945.

Cheers,

Sid.

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The Norwegian Guy
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by The Norwegian Guy » 10 Jan 2020 00:38

Sid Guttridge wrote:
09 Jan 2020 13:20
Hi The Norwegian Guy,

You seem to be attacking Cult Icon for something he did not write and contradicting a point he did not make.

He posted, "The waffen SS PzG divisions of the late war (11.SS PzG, 17.SS PzG, etc. ) were generally sub-standard in their equipment and training. They had a severe shortage of trained personnel like officers and NCOs."

This seems to be accurate, notwithstanding any successful local counter-attacks put in by the 11th SS-Panzergrenadier Division Nordland in 1945.

Cheers,

Sid.
Sorry if you guys feel that way, I have no intention in attacking anyone. Although I don’t find any special information on Nordland being any sub-standard in their equipment or training anywhere. Not at least any significant level lower than usual.

I would be very glad if someone could provide some sources and evidence for this to correct me. :D

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Aida1
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 12 Jan 2020 19:46

The Norwegian Guy wrote:
10 Jan 2020 00:38
Sid Guttridge wrote:
09 Jan 2020 13:20
Hi The Norwegian Guy,

You seem to be attacking Cult Icon for something he did not write and contradicting a point he did not make.

He posted, "The waffen SS PzG divisions of the late war (11.SS PzG, 17.SS PzG, etc. ) were generally sub-standard in their equipment and training. They had a severe shortage of trained personnel like officers and NCOs."

This seems to be accurate, notwithstanding any successful local counter-attacks put in by the 11th SS-Panzergrenadier Division Nordland in 1945.

Cheers,

Sid.
Sorry if you guys feel that way, I have no intention in attacking anyone. Although I don’t find any special information on Nordland being any sub-standard in their equipment or training anywhere. Not at least any significant level lower than usual.

I would be very glad if someone could provide some sources and evidence for this to correct me. :D
You are certainly correct where the Nordland is concerned which was certainly not substandard in manpower and training. It did not underperform during the retreat by HGN in the beginning of 1944 and during the fighting in the Kurland pocket.It is significant that the posting you answered only mentioned the counterattack in 1945 which seems to indicate a lack of knowledge on the history of the Nordland.
The general statement to which you reacted was much too general and not based on any detailed assessment of the individual divisions.

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Cult Icon
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Cult Icon » 12 Jan 2020 20:02

The Norwegian Guy wrote:
10 Jan 2020 00:38
Sorry if you guys feel that way, I have no intention in attacking anyone. Although I don’t find any special information on Nordland being any sub-standard in their equipment or training anywhere. Not at least any significant level lower than usual.

I would be very glad if someone could provide some sources and evidence for this to correct me. :D
The tone said otherwise... as if you were personally offended. :lol: My response to this was lost in the forum's data move. I find your post to contain numerous errors and differences in judgement. That's pretty odd to me that you have such impressions, eg. Hitler's Vikings, Building a Nazi Europe, Tragedy of the Faithful, Hamilton's Oder Front I/II etc..

Search Axishistory threads on this unit and there will be strength figures and condition information available. Overall in 1945 it was not a physically elite formation or particularly suitable for difficult attacks. It was equipped with Panther tanks that had manufacturing defects. In terms of combat morale/fighting spirit it ranked high. The officers of this unit were graduated from Bad Tolz in some special programs (see SS Ideology and Junkerscule Tolz).

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Aida1
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 12 Jan 2020 20:09

Sid Guttridge wrote:
09 Jan 2020 13:20
Hi The Norwegian Guy,

You seem to be attacking Cult Icon for something he did not write and contradicting a point he did not make.

He posted, "The waffen SS PzG divisions of the late war (11.SS PzG, 17.SS PzG, etc. ) were generally sub-standard in their equipment and training. They had a severe shortage of trained personnel like officers and NCOs."

This seems to be accurate, notwithstanding any successful local counter-attacks put in by the 11th SS-Panzergrenadier Division Nordland in 1945.

Cheers,

Sid.
It is a statement much too general in nature and certainly not applicable on the Nordland division which was set up in the beginning of 1943 which cannot be considered late in the war. It certainly had more than enough time for training before its first use on the eastern front in the beginning of 1944. And it never underperformed.

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Aida1
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 12 Jan 2020 20:13

Cult Icon wrote:
12 Jan 2020 20:02
The Norwegian Guy wrote:
10 Jan 2020 00:38
Sorry if you guys feel that way, I have no intention in attacking anyone. Although I don’t find any special information on Nordland being any sub-standard in their equipment or training anywhere. Not at least any significant level lower than usual.

I would be very glad if someone could provide some sources and evidence for this to correct me. :D
The tone said otherwise... as if you were personally offended. :lol: My response to this was lost in the forum's data move. I find your post to contain numerous errors and differences in judgement. That's pretty odd to me that you have such impressions, eg. Hitler's Vikings, Building a Nazi Europe, Tragedy of the Faithful, Hamilton's Oder Front I/II etc..

Search Axishistory threads on this unit and there will be strength figures and condition information available. Overall in 1945 it was not a physically elite formation or particularly suitable for difficult attacks. It was equipped with Panther tanks that had manufacturing defects. In terms of combat morale/fighting spirit it ranked high. The officers of this unit were graduated from Bad Tolz in some special programs (see SS Ideology and Junkerscule Tolz).
The divison was set up in 1943 so the state it was in in 1945 is hardly relevant for a general judgment on the unit .You would be hard put to find german units in a good state in 1945. It did very well during the whole of 1944 which you seem to be ignorant of.
Last edited by Aida1 on 12 Jan 2020 20:16, edited 1 time in total.

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Der Rittmeister
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Der Rittmeister » 12 Jan 2020 20:15

While this conversation about Nordland is going on, do anyone have any good info on SS-Panzer-Abteilung Hermann von Salza strength and equipment from arriving in Germany from Kurland to 16 April? As far as i know, the abteilung did not recieve any new Panther tanks, and those shipped from Kurland was 14 Panthers (No Ausf. G's?) that came later than its crew (?). I also have read before that the unit recieved 31 StuG III G's (Don't know date) but i have also heard of Jagdpanzers (Which variants? & how many?).

Sincerely

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Der Rittmeister
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Der Rittmeister » 12 Jan 2020 20:18

Aida1 wrote:
12 Jan 2020 20:13
Cult Icon wrote:
12 Jan 2020 20:02
The Norwegian Guy wrote:
10 Jan 2020 00:38
Sorry if you guys feel that way, I have no intention in attacking anyone. Although I don’t find any special information on Nordland being any sub-standard in their equipment or training anywhere. Not at least any significant level lower than usual.

I would be very glad if someone could provide some sources and evidence for this to correct me. :D
The tone said otherwise... as if you were personally offended. :lol: My response to this was lost in the forum's data move. I find your post to contain numerous errors and differences in judgement. That's pretty odd to me that you have such impressions, eg. Hitler's Vikings, Building a Nazi Europe, Tragedy of the Faithful, Hamilton's Oder Front I/II etc..

Search Axishistory threads on this unit and there will be strength figures and condition information available. Overall in 1945 it was not a physically elite formation or particularly suitable for difficult attacks. It was equipped with Panther tanks that had manufacturing defects. In terms of combat morale/fighting spirit it ranked high. The officers of this unit were graduated from Bad Tolz in some special programs (see SS Ideology and Junkerscule Tolz).
The divison was set up in 1943 so the state it was in in 1945 is hardly relevant for a general judgment on the unit .You would be hard put to find german units in a good state in 1945. It did very well during the whole of 1944 which you seem to be ignorant of.
I have also read through this now, but i have never heard of any significant bad reputation about NCO's or officers in Nordland. And "in some special programs" seems a bit general, i agree.

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Cult Icon
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Cult Icon » 12 Jan 2020 20:24

The unit did not have "bad reputation" about its ncos and officers. It had a severe shortage of them.

Aida1 is a old forum troll with many accounts, I ignore all his posts.

Have you tried searching old Feldgrau and Axishistory threads? There was good data on H v S

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Der Rittmeister
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Der Rittmeister » 12 Jan 2020 20:33

Cult Icon wrote:
12 Jan 2020 20:24
The unit did not have "bad reputation" about its ncos and officers. It had a severe shortage of them.

Aida1 is a old forum troll with many accounts, I ignore all his posts.

Have you tried searching old Feldgrau and Axishistory threads? There was good data on H v S
Thank you for notifying me on Aida1. I will try some more over at Feldgrau.net, thank you.

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Aida1
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 12 Jan 2020 21:36

Sid Guttridge wrote:
20 May 2019 04:25

The SS-VT seems to have fought without organic artillery support in Poland, which may explain its relatively heavy casualties. It therefore did not shine in the Polish Campaign. As an apparently unproductive experiment, the logical result should probably have been to return SS-VT manpower to the Army. Instead, for political reasons, the SS-VT was expanded into the W-SS and its three senior formations were all issued the full range of Army heavy weaponry by the French Campaign and were more effective thereafter.

Cheers,

Sid.
Factually wrong. The SS VT did not fight as a unit in Poland as its set up was delayed by the events around Poland. The Regt Deutschland, the VT Nachrichtenabteilung, the VT artilleryregiment; the VT Aufklärungsabteilung and the 2. Fla Mg Batallion were integrated with army units into the Pz div Kempf. The future commander of the SS VT division, Hausser and two of his officers were added to the staff to learn how a pzdiv functioned(Das Reich I Weidinger 125-127). The Germania and the SS Pioneerbatalion were subordinated to other units. The Der Führer was sent to the border with France(Das Reich I Weidinger p138).
General Kempf gave very high marks to the SS VT units which operated under his command in his report to AOK 3 dated 25/09/1939 about the combat worth of the SS Verfügungstruppe(see document on pp 270-272 of Das Reich I Weidinger).
So your statement about the experiment being unproductive is very strange.

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Aida1
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Aida1 » 12 Jan 2020 21:41

Cult Icon wrote:
12 Jan 2020 20:24
The unit did not have "bad reputation" about its ncos and officers. It had a severe shortage of them.
The division performed well in 1944 which you seem to ignore. You do not seem to have read much about the Nordland. There is no mention of a SEVERE shortage of officers and NCO's in the history of the III.SS Pz Corps by W Tieke, only of shortages of equipment when it was setting up.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by histan » 23 Jan 2020 00:00

But see also this from Wodrig - copy of a post I made in this thread some years ago

Here is an example of an "After Action Report" relating to the performance of a Waffen SS regiment in the Polish campaign. It forms Annex C to Case White by William Russ. A copy of the original can be found on NARA T-314 R-750 Frames 1001 to 1002.

It is from Führungsstab zbV (Korps Wodrig) and dated 25.09.1939. It is titled "Regarding the combat value of the SS Units"

"During the time that Pz Div Kempf was attached to the Führungsstab zbV, the following shortcomings in the combat value of the SS units appeared.

In all cases the SS Reconnaissance Battalion (consisting of two motorcycle reconnaissance companies), failed to carry out its assigned missions. The battalion was not even able to overcome weak enemy resistance. On the contrary, when weak enemy forces were presumed to be in the area, or targeted the path the battalion [was?] following, it failed to bring back any reconnaissance results at all. The complete failure of the SS Reconnaissance Battalion resulted in severe problems for the staff and other units of the division.

It is difficult for the Führungsstab zbV to assess whether the causes of the failure lay with the training or a lack of courage.

Motorized infantry units of a Panzer Division are often called upon to remove obstacles and to clear the way in terrain unsuitable for tanks by rapidly attacking and thereby opening up the way for the armoured formation to advance. The SS Standarte Deutschland failed to accomplish these tasks. Almost always it was necessary to wait for the leading elements of the follow up infantry divisions to carry out these tasks, which they then successfully completed within a short time. Cooperation between the infantry and tanks was unsatisfactory. A possible explanation might be the lack of training and experience.

Aggresiveness combined with tactically correct and practical action left much to be desired. The latter must also be said about the behaviour of the SS units behind the lines against the civilian population, which was in complete opposition to those principles that the German soldiers have always stood for.

A separate report regarding this matter will be submitted.

Elements of the SS units were the only ones within the command of the Corps which retreated several times before enemy attacks. The not inconsiderable casualties suffered by SS units are probably the result of a lack of training and wartime conduct.

Particularly striking was a lack of discipline, especially in march movements, improper behaviour towards non-commissioned and commissioned officers of the Army, and an exaggerated over-estimation which had no basis when compared to their performance.. Especially characteristic for SS units is their exaggerated or even incorrect reports, which often lead to command decisions which later proved unnecessary.

The staff cannot make any judgement regarding the combat effectiveness and achievements of the SS Artillery Regiment.

Without doubt the frequent occurrence of shortcomings in the combat value of the SS units can be traced back in part to inadequate combat training and combat experience. The lack of discipline, the exaggerated self-importance, as well as in some cases the lack of steadfastness under fire and the lack of aggressiveness cannot be explained.

Signed Wodrig"

Not a very good report at all.

Maybe the other Standarten performed better.

Some of this is perhaps what one might expect from units formed for internal security duties deployed in a combat role for the first time- lack of experience and lack of training. Exaggerated self-importance can be expected from men who have been told that they form a political elite within the NASDP and hence within Germany.

Lack of steadfastness and lack of aggressiveness are more difficult to explain - perhaps poor quality leadership.

Regards

John

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