6 SS Gebirsgdivision "Nord"

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6 SS Gebirsgdivision "Nord"

Post  Mauser on Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:02 am

In the early spring of 1941 several Totenkopfstandarten, consisting of military age members of the Allgemeine-SS were transferred to Norway for garrison duty. SS-Kampfgruppe Nord (mot.) was formed from Totenkopfstandarten 6 and 7 (and, temporarily Totenkopfstandarte 9 in the late summer of 1941) as well as other units. The Kampfgruppe participated in Operation "Silberfuchs" (Silver Fox), the liberation of part of Soviet-occupied Finland and the invasion of the Soviet Karelia. Inadequately trained, the unit suffered an inauspicious beginning with its defeat and rout at Salla in July 1941. However, after being retrained under the tutelage of Finnish infantry, and repopulated with younger, more fit soldiers from the Waffen-SS replacement system, the unit performed well from 1942 on, often working in close conjunction with the Germany Army's 7th Mountain Division.

Later upgraded to a mountain division, Nord fought 1,214 consecutive days in the subarctic taiga against the Soviets from July 1 1941 - 1944. One of the Division's elite components was the SS-Freiwilligen-Schikompanie Norwegen - a volunteer unit of Norwegians, Swedes and Danish expert skiers under Gust Jonassen used for ambushes and patrols. The Division only departed when the German 20th Mountain Army was forced to withdraw from Karelia upon the conclusion of a separate armistice between the Finns and the Soviets in September 1944. The 6th SS Gebirgs Division then formed the rear guard for the three German corps withdrawing from Finland in "Operation Birke" (Birch) and from September to November 1944, marched 1,600 kilometers to Mo-i-Rana, Norway, where it entrained for the southern end of the country.

After crossing the Skagerrak in a naval convoy, the Division briefly refitted in Denmark before entraining again for commitment on its next mission in Operation Nordwind in the Low Vosges mountains of southeastern France. It then fought primarily in the Vosges and in the Saar-Moselle triangle during the remaining months of the war.


Commanders:
SS-Brigadeführer - Richard Herrmann: (02.1941 - 05.1941)
SS-Obergruppenführer - Karl-Maria Demelhuber: (05.1941 - 04.1942)
SS-Obergruppenführer - Georg Keppler: (09.1941 - 10.1941)
SS-Obergruppenführer - Karl-Maria Demelhuber: (10.1941 - 04.1942)
SS-Obergruppenführer - Matthias Kleinheisterkamp: (04.1942)
SS-Oberführer - Hans Scheider: (04.1942 - 06.1942)
SS-Obergruppenführer - Matthias Kleinheisterkamp: (06.1942 - 12.1943)
SS-Gruppenführer - Lothar Debes: (12.1943 - 05.1944)
SS-Obergruppenführer - Friedrich-Wilhelm Krüger: (05.1944 - 08.1944)
SS-Brigadeführer - Gustav Lombard: (08.1944 - 09.1944)
SS-Gruppenführer - Karl Brenner: (09.1944 - 03.1945)


Chronology:
February 1941: Feb 24 (28?): SS-Kampfgruppe Nord formed in Norway from German Totenkopfstandarten 6 & 7. Some recruits possibly from Konzentrationslager guards as well.
April - May 1941: Kampfgruppe guards Norwegian coastline at Kirkenes & Vardø.
June 1941: Kampfgruppe assigned to Army Group North; unit strength: 8,048? - 10,573?. Brigadeführer Demmelhuber replaces Brigadeführer Herrmann in command of SS-Nord. 6 days later, Herrmann announces to headquarters that Nord is unfit for combat due to lack of training and requests 2-3 additional months for training before committing to combat. General der Kavallerie Hans Feige, CO of XXXVI Corps, denies request and assures Herrmann that his men's high morale and firm determination will overcome their military shortcomings.
June 10: Units begin to arrive at Rovaniemi
June 17: Unit upgraded to a motorized division; begin advancing towards Soviet border
June 22: Operation Barbarossa - Germany invades the Soviet Union
July 1941: July 1: Operation "Silver Fox" - German & Finnish units retake Soviet-occupied Finland and invade Soviet Karelia. SS-Nord assigned to German "Norway Army" with unit strength: 9,505. Assault on Soviet positions at Salla, after 2 attacks in which 5 SS battalions are skewered, the Soviets counterattack. Soldiers of the SS-Nord panic, abandon their weapons and run from the battlefield, suffering 86 killed, 232 wounded and 147 missing. The "Rout at Salla" becomes evidence for Heer officers that racial and ideological paragons do not automatically make good soldiers - only adequate training and preparation does. SS-Nord eventually rallies and participates in the failed drive to interdict the Murmansk railway at Louhi.
July-Sept. 1941: Division assumes positions on the Kiestinki-Louhi road; small units broken up for retraining under the operational command of Finnish General Siilasvuo, the only instance of a Waffen-SS division with German troops under the tactical command of a German ally.
August 1941: Nord suffers from heavy casualties due to combat and dysentery. Division receives 700 replacements; fortunately for Nord they are well-trained Waffen-SS troops.
September 1941: Unit name changed to SS-Division Nord; upgraded to division all units returned to divisional command.
November 1941: Division participates in last major drive to interdict Murmansk railway by Louhi. SS Brigadeführer and Generalmajor of the Waffen SS Karl-Maria Demmelhuber reports that 316 enemy bunkers have been engaged and destroyed between the 1st of November 1941 to the 13th of November 1941. He also reports during this time period that his regiment captured 542 Russian troops and killed approximately 900 Russian soldiers. Large parts of the Russian 426th Infantry Regiment were destroyed by the 7th SS Infantry Regiment.
Dec 1941 -Sept 44: Participates in static combat along the Kiestinki-Louhi road, conducting long range patrols, raids and defense against multiple Soviet offensives.
January 1942: Jan. 15: reconstituted unit as SS-Gebirgs-Division new elements of unit to form in Germany.
June 1942: June 17: upgraded to Gebirgs division.
- The decision to turn Nord into a mountain division may have been made in January but executed in June.

August 1942: returns to Finland
September 1942: Division redesignated SS-Gebirgs-Division Nord Waffen-SS Norwegian freiwilligen. Gust Jonassen begins to form elite ski unit.
Feb 1943: SS-Freiwilligen-Schikompanie Norge (Waffen-SS SS-Schijäger unit) attached to division
July 1943: Waffen-SS SS-Schijäger CO Jonassen KIA
October 1943: Some divisional officers transferred to 13th Waffen-Gebirgs Division der SS (kroatische Nr 1) Handschar
Oct 22: Redesignated 6th SS-Gebirgs-Division Nord. Collaborationist force Norwegian Police Company #2 assigned to Skijäger unit
January 1944: Waffen-SS SS-Schijägers expanded to battalion strength
February 1944: Assault Gun Battalion transferred to 18th SS Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier Division Horst Wessel
March-April 1944: Collaborationist force Norwegian Police Company #2 withdrawn, replaced by 150-man #3 unit, which also operates under the Skijägers
June 1944: June 25: Soviet attack; Norwegian ski volunteers suffers heavy losses (135 out of 300), Kaprolat; survivors are posted to SS-Polizei-Grenadier-Battalion (mot) 506.
Sept - November 1944: Finland concludes separate armistice with the USSR. Division conducts rearguard action for withdrawing 20th Mountain Army. Skirmishes with some Finnish units during its 1,600 km road march to Norway.
December 1944: In transit, Norway - Denmark - Germany.
January 1945: Combat Operation "Nordwind" - the last German offensive of the west. SS-Kampfgruppe Schreiber (elements of SS-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 12) attached to 361st Volksgrenadier Division, infiltrates through US VI Corps lines and seizes Wingen-sur-Moder in anticipation of armored reinforcement from Army Group G. Due to the failure of XIII SS-Armeekorps to break through US XV Corps units, Army Group G diverts panzers elsewhere. Unit troops at Wingen-sur-Moder must fight their way out of encirclement. Kampfgruppe "Wingen" loses over 500 men out of 725, but fights its way back to German lines. Remainder of division arrives too late to affect outcome of Nordwind, but SS-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 11 cuts off & destroys six companies of the US 157th Infantry Regiment north of Reipertswiller in late January.
Feb 1945: Division engaged in patrolling and defensive operations in the Low Vosges mountains.
March 1945: Division transferred to Saar-Moselle triangle. Defensive combat against elements of US Third Army.
March 16: Combat Pfaffenheck and Buchholz against a company from the US 90th Division and a platoon from the US 712th Tank Battalion
April 1945: Retreats past Worms, Boppard, across the Rhine and deep into Germany...
May 1945: SS Division Nord surrenders to US troops in Bavaria
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Mauser

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Re: 6 SS Gebirsgdivision "Nord"

Post  Mauser on Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:07 am


"Come on, Ivan!"


Emblem of the division


The edelweiss, symbol of German mountain troops


Georg Keppler - SS Obergruppenführer


Gorg Keppler - SS Brigadeführer
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Mauser

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