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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Germanic SS
Schutzstaffel Abzeichen.svg
The Germanic SS were foreign branches of the Allgemeine SS.
Schalburgerblegdamsvej.jpg

Headquarters of the Schalburg Corps in Copenhagen, Denmark, c.1943.
Agency overview
FormedSeptember 1939
Dissolved8 May 1945
JurisdictionGermany Germany
Occupied Europe
HeadquartersSS-Hauptamt, Prinz-Albrecht-Straße, Berlin
Employees~35,000 c.1943
Minister responsible
Parent agency
Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg
Schutzstaffel

The Germanic SS (German: Germanische SS) was the collective name given to Nordic SS groups which arose in occupied Europe between 1939 and 1945. The units were modeled on the Allgemeine SS in Nazi Germany. Such groups existed in Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Belgium, whose populations the Nazi ideogues considered to be especially "racially suitable". They typically served as local security police augmenting German units of the Gestapo, Sicherheitsdienst (SD), and other departments of the German Reich Main Security Office.

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  • ✪ Battle of Narva 1944 - Tannenberg line defence and battle of the Blue hills
  • ✪ "Facing the Collapse" -Army Group "Weichsel" 1945
  • ✪ 20th Estonian SS Waffen-Grenadier Division

Transcription

The Germans had to give up the Narva bridgehead after 6 months of heavy fighting. After those 6 months of fighting they fell back to a new defensive line, the Tannenberg line. This defensive line was located on the Sinimäed hills better known as the blue hills. The 3 hills ran from east to west and were respectively the Orphanage Hill or Kinderheimhohe in German, the Grenadier hill or grenadierhohe and the westernmost hill was the Tower hill or liebhohe in german which is love hill. The line was defended by a European army, Gruppenführer Felix Steiner’s III SS Panzercorps. This corps consisted of various SS volunteer units from Belgium, Norway, Holland, Denmark and so on. The 4th SS volunteer brigade Nederland dug in on the left. In the center was the 20th Waffen Grenadier division of the SS. On the right of the 3 hills was the 11th SS volunteer division Nordland. The 11th Infanterie division was located even more to the south, facing the soviet 8th army in the Krivasoo Bridgehead. The soviets were aware of the importance of the hills and put a couple of their best units on it. The 2nd Shock army was to capture the Orphanage Hill, press on towards the town of Johvi and reach the Kunda river by the 1st of August. In total some 138 000 Russian troops, supported by a 150 tanks and over 1500 assault guns would attack the 22 250 German troops who had 7 panzers and around 75 assault guns. The Russian had more than 6 times the number of the German defenders. By the 26th of July, the advancing Russians fell onto the Tannenberg line even before the armeegruppe Narva had dug in. Due to the intense shelling of both the Russian air force and the artillery the cover of the trees on top of the Orphanage hill was completely destroyed. Only tree stumps were left. The newly arrived 6th SS Volunteer Sturmbrigade Langemarck immediately saw their headquarters destroyed and most of their officers wounded. Sturmbahnführer Wilhelm Rehnmann had to be evacuated and Leutnant George D’Haese stepped in to command the unit and bring it back to combat readiness. Not only the men of Langemarck suffered. One of the German artillery batteries lost their commander and most of the guns had to be repaired making the German artillery support minor. With a part of the German artillery gone, the soviets saw the opportunity and attacked the Orphanage hill with their 201st and 256th Rifle Divisions. Supported by the tanks of the 98th Tank Regiment, the soviets managed to capture the eastern side of the hill which was defended by the Nordland division. The soviets lost 4 t34’s due to accurate pak40 fire from the Sturmbrigade Langemarck. During the night, men of the Anti-tank company of the SS PanzerGrenadier Regiment 24 ‘Danmark’ destroyed the soviet armor and regained their lost positions. The soviets opened up a new artillery barrage on the hill in the early morning of the 27th. Steiner concentrated his 7 panzers of SS-Obersturmbannführer Paul-Albert Kausch from the SS-Panzer Abteilung 11 ‘Herman von Salza’ behind the towner hill. This to anticipate a possible Russian infantry attack. Units of the Nordland division were placed between both hills. The Soviet main attack of the 27th was concentrated on the Orphanage hill and the members of the SS PanzerGrenadier Regiment 24 ‘Danmark’ just south of the hill. During the Russian attack with 50 tanks the Danes were able to knock out 14 tanks with panzerfausts. In the meantime, the Sturmbrigade Langemarck had to retreat from the south side of the hill. The Flemish brigade had to build new defenses in front of the Grenadier hill. They left behind around 60 men to fend off the Russians together with some Estonians. The Soviet attack also failed to penetrate the line of the II. Battalion SS-freiwilligen regiment 49 ‘De Ruyter’. A handful of Russian tanks broke through the lines and pressed on towards the headquarters of the ‘De Ruyter’ regiment. But, the tanks were pushed back thanks to Gruppenführer Fritz Von Scholz Edler von Rerancze who sent 12 assault guns forward. To the south of Orphanage hill, things weren’t looking good for the Germans. The soviets broke through the Danish defenders and by nightfall, the Russians controlled most of the hill. The commander of Heeresgruppe Nord, Ferdinand Schörner arrived at the so called blue hills. He ordered the recapture of Orphanage hill. Fritz Von Scholz, commander of the Nordland division and who attended the meeting was killed in front of the command post right after the meeting by a shell fragment. On the evening of the 27th, the SS reconnaissance battalion 11 ‘Nordland’ together with the I. battalion Waffen Grenadier Regiment 47 (3rd Estonian) launched a counterattack. The fighting was very fierce and both sides suffered enormous losses. The Estonian 47th was practically destroyed. Later in the night, the II. Battalion Danmark would launch a second attempt but they too were forced back. A part of Orphanage hill was lost for the Germans and a part of the remaining Germans on the Orphanage hill had to retreat to the 2nd hill, the Grenadier Hill. Russian artillery now concentrated on the Grenadier Hill. The Russian 2nd shock army was reinforced with the 31st and 82nd Tank regiments. They attacked in the morning in order to outflank the last remaining Germans on the northern side of the Orphanage hill. One of those Germans was the small SS-Unterscharführer Remi Schrijnen with his Pak40. 4 Russian tanks were destroyed in the morning, but Schrijnen lost his pak commander. The gun was repositioned and wounded Schrijnen took over the command. In the afternoon, around 30 tanks appear. All alone behind his Pak40, Schrijnen destroyed 6 tanks. But, suddently Schrijnen was face-to-face with an IS2 both cannons fire at the same time. The IS2 was destroyed, Schrijnen was blown away from his destroyed gun. He was badly wounded and would only be found hours after the engagement. The last Flemish canon was destroyed but the Russians had suffered even more. In order to anticipate the German withdrawal of the Hill, the Russian bombed the axis of retreat. But, the Langemarck men moved forward instead, right into now man’s land, fending of the Russian attack. The Langemarck brigade was now practically destroyed as well. In the evening the Germans tried again to recapture the hill. All attacks were halted by the Russians. Steiner now ordered to retreat all forces to the new defensive line at Grenadier hill. A large number of German forces didn’t get the message and stayed at their toehold position on the Orphanage hill. The day started again with heavy Russian artillery barrages. The well-entrenched Germans only suffered minor casualties. At 0900 am the 6000 Russians supported by a 100 tanks charged Grenadier hill. The Russian 109th Rifle Division attacked the ‘Nederland’ on the north side of the hill. The 120th Rifle Division attacked Grenadier hill from the east. The 72nd Rifle division attacked the 47th Estonians to the south. The 201st and 256th Rifle divisions were completely exhausted by the capture of Orphanage hill making the 109th Rifle Division attack Grenadier hill all alone. Josef Bachmeier commanded the II. Battalion ‘Norge’ which was reinforced by around 60 Estonians from the 47th. Behind the summit of the Grenadier hill was the ‘Nederland’. The Russian 109th Rifles tried to flank the II. Battalion ‘De Ruyter’ but the Dutchmen used LMG’s to inflict heavy casualties upon the Russians. The summit of the Hill remained in German hands. To the South, Russians kept encircling the defenders and tanks reached the Tower hill. German poorly-defended bunkers were destroyed one after another. Some tanks even reached the town of Vaivara. This point was the farthest point of advance of the Russians until late September of the same year. By noon of the 29th, the Russian forces had nearly captured the majority of the Tannenberg defensive line. But, due to heavy casualties the summit of the 2 westernmost hills was not yet reached. Russian tanks however reached the command post of the ‘De Ruyter’ regiment. Steiner now divided the last panzers into 3 groups. 1 group would attack the Russians contesting the Tower hill. Another group secured the highway leading from Tallinn to Narva. The last group attacked the Grenadier hill. The soviets were surprised to see armor as their tanks had shot a lot of their ammunition making the Russian armor retreat. The ‘De Ruyter’ now attacked and recaptured Tower hill. The situation was very blurry. The Norwegians on the Grenadier hill counterattacked the Russians inflicting heavy casualties to the Frontoviki. But the Russians managed to regroup and cut the Norwegians off at the east side. A new counterattack was being made by Sturmbannführer Paul Maitla with members of the 45th Estonians and the last remaining Panther tank. The attack started from the cemetery south of Tower hill clearing the Russians from that hill. Under heavy artillery fire, the Estonians reached Grenadier hill. A total of 8 attempts were made by the Russians to capture Grenadier Hill. With the arrival of Maitla’s force, the Russians were forced back giving the Germans time to regroup. More Russian artillery landed on the blue hills of sinimäed. Russian tanks broke through the defenses of the II. Battalion ‘De Ruyter’. Hauptsturmführer Helmut Scholz ordered a counterattack. In this counterattack 2 Russian tanks were destroyed near the entrance of Scholz bunker and the Russians retreated. The Russians now attacked the II. Battalion 47th Estonians. The Estonians managed to destroy 12 tanks making the Russian attack stall. The soviets decreased their artillery and their attacks. But an attack on an Estonian unit was nearly successful because the Estonians ran out of ammunition. Luckily for them, a platoon of ‘Danmark’ arrived to the rescue. The political officer of the 2nd Shock army admitted that the assaults failed. In August the 2nd Shock army was reinforced. No fighting occurred on the 1st of August as both parties were reorganizing. The SS units inflicted immense losses upon the soviets, but they too had endured huge losses. The ‘Nederland’ Brigade for example was reduced to the seize of just 1 regiment. Both Regiments of the ‘Langemarck’ both had the strength of a reinforced company. The 2nd Estonians frankly didn’t exist anymore and the Nordland division was heavily reduced as well. A new attack by the 2nd Shock army preceded by an immense artillery barrage made the men of the ‘Nederland’ retreat. The II. Battalion 46th Estonian was pulled into the battle and stopped the Russians. The Estonians counterattacked and recaptured Grenadier Hill. Another attack by the Russians was seen at the blue hills. The scale of the attack was similar to that of the 29th of July. German counter-artillery fire inflicted heavy losses. The Russian 110 Rifle corps found itself in a crossfire on top of Grenadier hill. The 46th Estonians cleared and recaptured the hill for the second time in 2 days. The Russians kept attacking until the 10th of August. Each time without success. On the 10th , the War council of the Leningrad front ordered to stop the attacks on the Tannenberg line. The battle of the Tannenberg line was temporarily over. The Russians endured immense losses. The Germans suffered around 2500 Killed or missing, 7500 wounded and lost 6 Panzers. Making a total of 10 000 casualties and 6 panzers lost. The Russians had an estimate loss of 35 000 killed or missing, 135 000 wounded and around 160 tanks. Making a total of 170 000 casualties and 160 tanks. The Germans held Tower Hill and Grenadier Hill until the German detachment at Estonia retreated after nearly getting encircled around mid-September. This was the battle of the Blue Hills, a part of the battle of Narva by me, The AceDestroyer. I hope you have enjoyed! Don’t forget to like, Subscribe and leave a comment down below! Cheers!

Contents

Origins

Before the war, both Denmark and Norway had fascist parties. The Danish National Socialist Workers' Party (Danmarks Nationalsocialistiske Arbejderparti; DNSAP) was founded in 1930, however, only held three seats in parliament by 1939.[1] By 1933, Vidkun Quisling was the leader of a Norwegian political party, Nasjonal Samling (NS, National Unity).[2] However, it was not effective as a political party until the pro-German government took over after Norway was conquered. At that point, its state police, abolished in 1937, was reestablished to assist the Gestapo in Norway. In the Netherlands, the Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging (National Socialist Movement; NSB) had greater success before the war. The party had four per cent of the vote in the 1937 national elections. After the occupation in 1940, all these groups worked in their respective countries in support of Nazi Germany and became recruiting grounds for the Waffen-SS.[3]

The Nazi idea behind co-opting additional Germanic people into the SS stems to a certain extent from the völkisch belief that the original Aryan-Germanic homeland rested in Scandinavia and that, in a racial-ideological sense, people from there or the neighbouring northern European regions were a human reservoir of Nordic/Germanic blood.[4] Conquest of Western Europe gave the Germans, and especially the SS, access to these "potential recruits" who were considered part of the wider "Germanic family".[1] Four of these conquered nations were ripe with Germanic peoples according to Nazi estimations (Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, and Flanders). Himmler referred to people from these lands in terms of their Germanic suitability as, "blutsmässig unerhört wertvolle Kräfte" ("by blood exceptionally highly qualified people").[5] Accordingly, some of them were recruited into the SS and enjoyed the highest privileges as did foreign workers from these regions, to include unrestrained sexual contact with German women.[6] Eager to expand their reach, fanatical Nazis like Chief of the SS Main Office, Gottlob Berger considered the Germanic SS as foundational for a burgeoning German Empire.[7]

Himmler's vision for a Germanic SS started with grouping the Netherlands, Belgium and north-east France together into a western-Germanic state called Burgundia which would be policed by the SS as a security buffer for Germany. In 1940, the first manifestation of the Germanic SS appeared in Flanders as the Allgemeene SS Vlaanderen to be joined two-months later by the Dutch Nederlandsche SS and in May 1941 the Norwegian Norges SS was formed. The final nation to contribute to the Germanic SS was Denmark, whose Germansk Korpet (later called the Schalburg Corps) came into being in April 1943.[8] For the SS, they did not think of their compatriots in terms of national borders but in terms of Germanic racial makeup, known conceptually to them as Deutschtum, a greater idea which transcended traditional political boundaries.[9] While the SS leadership foresaw an imperialistic and semi-autonomous relationship for the Nordic/Germanic countries like Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway as co-bearers of a greater Germanic empire, Hitler refused to grant them the same degree of independence despite ongoing pressure from ranking members of the SS.[10]

Duties

The purpose of the Germanic SS was to enforce Nazi racial doctrine, especially anti-Semitic ideals. They typically served as local security police augmenting German units of the Gestapo, Sicherheitsdienst (SD), and other main departments of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA). Their principle responsibilities during wartime were to root-out partisans, subversive organizations, and any group opposed to Nazi ideals. In other cases, these foreign units of the SS were employed by major German firms to distribute propaganda for the Nazi cause among their compatriots and to police and control workers.[11] In addition, the inclusion of other Germanic peoples was part of the Nazi attempt to collectively Germanize Europe, and for them, Germanization entailed the creation of an empire ruled by Germanic people at the expense of other races.[12]

One of the most notorious groups was in the Netherlands where the Germanic SS was employed to round-up Jews. Of the 140,000 Jews that had lived in the Netherlands prior to 1940, around 24,000 survived the war by hiding.[13] Despite their relatively small numbers, a total of 512 Jews from Oslo were hunted down by the Norwegian Police and the Germanske SS Norge (Norwegian General SS); once caught, they were deported to Auschwitz. More Jews were rounded-up elsewhere, but the total number of Norwegian Jews captured never reached a thousand throughout the course of the war.[14] Similar measures were planned by the SS against Danish Jews who totaled about 6,500 but most of them managed to go into hiding or escape to Sweden before the senior German representative in Denmark, SS-General Werner Best could marshal the SS forces at his disposal and complete his planned raids and deportations.[15][16]

Germanic SS organizations

Vidkun Quisling inspects the Germanske SS Norge on the Palace Square in Oslo
Vidkun Quisling inspects the Germanske SS Norge on the Palace Square in Oslo

The following countries raised active Germanic SS detachments:

  • Netherlands: Germaansche SS in Nederland (before 1942: Nederlandsche SS)
  • Flanders (Belgium): Germaansche SS in Vlaanderen (before 1942: Algemeene SS Vlaanderen) was one of the first collaborationist formations to become part of the Germanische SS and, in 1943, became associated with the radical DeVlag political party.[citation needed] Unofficially, Himmler wanted to use the organization to penetrate occupied Belgium, which was under the control of the Wehrmacht military government, not the party or the SS.[17] The SS-Vlaanderen was also used to staff the anti-Jewish units of the German security services with auxiliary staff.[18]
  • Norway: Germanske SS Norge (before 1942: Norges SS) was a paramilitary organization established in Norway in July 1942. GSSN was at the same time a Norwegian branch of Germanic-SS, and a sub organization of Quisling's Nasjonal Samling. Leader of the organization was Jonas Lie, and second-in-command was Sverre Riisnæs. The number of members reached a maximum of about 1,300 in 1944. A large part of the members were recruited from the police, and about fifty percent served in the occupied Soviet Union.[19][20]
  • Denmark: Schalburg Corps, the Danish Germanic-SS, was formed on February 2, 1943. On March 30 the corps was renamed Schalburg Corps. During the summer of 1943, Søren Kam was commander of the Schalburg Corps.[21]

An underground Nazi organization also existed in Switzerland, known as the Germanische SS Schweiz. It had very few members and was considered merely a splinter Nazi group by Swiss authorities.[22]

Post-war

After World War II, many Germanic SS members were tried by their respective countries for treason. Independent war crimes trials (outside the jurisdiction of the Nuremberg Trials) were conducted in several European countries, such as the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark, leading to several death sentences, e.g. for the commander of the Schalburg Corps Knud Børge Martinsen.

See also

References

Citations

  1. ^ a b Weale 2012, p. 265.
  2. ^ Shirer 1990, pp. 676.
  3. ^ Weale 2012, pp. 265–266.
  4. ^ Puschner 2013, pp. 26–27.
  5. ^ Frijtag Drabbe Künzel 2013, p. 93.
  6. ^ Hilberg 1992, p. 209.
  7. ^ Höhne 2001, p. 500.
  8. ^ McNab 2013, p. 105.
  9. ^ Mineau 2011, p. 45.
  10. ^ Höhne 2001, pp. 500–501.
  11. ^ McNab 2013, pp. 105–106.
  12. ^ Frijtag Drabbe Künzel 2013, pp. 83–84.
  13. ^ Bauer 1982, pp. 240–243.
  14. ^ Weale 2012, p. 387.
  15. ^ Bloxham 2009, pp. 241–243.
  16. ^ Weale 2012, p. 387–388.
  17. ^ Bosworth, R. J. B. (2009). The Oxford handbook of fascism. Oxford University Press. p. 483. ISBN 978-0-19-929131-1.
  18. ^ Mikhman, Dan (1998). Belgium and the Holocaust: Jews, Belgians, Germans. Berghahn Books. p. 212. ISBN 978-965-308-068-3.
  19. ^ Sørensen, Øystein (1995). "Germanske SS Norge (GSSN)". In Dahl; Hjeltnes; Nøkleby; Ringdal; Sørensen (eds.). Norsk krigsleksikon 1940–1945 (in Norwegian). Oslo: Cappelen. pp. 133–134. ISBN 82-02-14138-9.
  20. ^ Emberland, Terje; Kott, Matthew (2012). Himmlers Norge. Nordmenn i det storgermanske prosjekt (in Norwegian). Oslo: Aschehoug. pp. 341–349. ISBN 978-82-03-29308-5.
  21. ^ Høgh-Sørensen, Erik (2013). Drabet på Clemmensen og historien om Søren Kam [The murder of Clemmensen and the story of Søren Kam] (in Danish) (2. revised (after Dansk Dødspatrulje) ed.). People's Press. 223 pages. ISBN 978-87-7137-540-4.
  22. ^ Fink 1985, pp. 72–75.

Bibliography

This page was last edited on 8 September 2019, at 06:06
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