SS disposal division

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SS disposal division
SS division “Reich” (motorized)
SS Panzergrenadier division “Das Reich”
2nd SS Panzer division “Das Reich”

Troop registration number of the SS disposal division

Troop registration
active October 10, 1939 to May 9, 1945
Country German Reich NSGerman Reich (Nazi era) German Empire
Armed forces Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg Armed SS
Type Panzer Division
Butcher Western campaign

Balkan campaign
war against the Soviet Union
Western Front 1944/45

Lake Balaton offensive

list of Commanders

Paul Hausser
Wilhelm Bittrich

The SS disposal division ( VT division ), later the SS division “Reich” (motorized) , SS Panzergrenadier division “Das Reich” and the 2nd SS Panzer division “Das Reich” , was a division of the weapons division. SS in World War II .


SS Disposal Force Division (1939)

The SS disposal division ( VT division ) was formed on October 10, 1939 by merging parts of the SS disposal troops with parts of the SS death's head associations . The VT Division consisted of three SS standards organized as motorized infantry regiments . The first commander was the then SS-Gruppenführer Paul Hausser .

The division together with the SS-Totenkopfverband and the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler formed the basis of the later Waffen-SS.

During the attack on Poland , the SS disposable troops were not deployed in a closed unit, but were distributed among several large units of the Wehrmacht . The SS standard "Germany", the intelligence and reconnaissance departments were subordinate to the staff of the Kempf Panzer Division . The SS standard "Germania" was used as a reserve of the 14th Army under Major General Wilhelm List . The pioneer -Sturmbann the SS Verfügungstruppe belonged to the " Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler " for the 10th Army under General Walter von Reichenau . The SS standard "Der Führer" was kept on alert as a reserve of the army deployed in the section of the western wall under General Dollmann and did not take an active part in the campaign.

From May 1940, the division was used as part of the western campaign in the Netherlands, Belgium and France. There she fought together with the units of the »Leibstandarte« and the SS death's head associations.

As a replacement for the SS standard "Germania" given to the newly established SS-Division Wiking in November 1940 , the disposal division received the SS-Totenkopf-Standard 11 under the then SS-Obersturmbannführer Karl Diebitsch , location Radom . On February 25, 1941 this standard was renamed SS-Infanterie-Regiment 11, the VT-Division was officially named SS-Division "Reich" (mot.) .

SS division "Reich" (motorized) (1941–1942)

Space Kharkov - Reinforced heavy 8 / tank company of the Waffen-SS Division "Das Reich" with new Tiger tank in screening and testing in April 1943

In the course of the preparations for the attack on the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, the Waffen-SS underwent a fundamental reorganization. The SS disposal division was reclassified into a motorized infantry division in the winter of 1940/41 in southern France. It was given a motorbike rifle division and an assault gun battery, while the standards were renamed regiments.

In March 1941, the division was moved to Timișoara in western Romania to take part in the Balkan campaign. After a successful campaign, the division was moved to its staging area for the Barbarossa company west of Brest-Litovsk . The division belonged to the XXXXVI. Army corps (mot.), Which was part of Panzer Group 2 ( Colonel General Heinz Guderian ) of Army Group Center . The division suffered heavy losses in the fighting in Russia, as a result of which it had to be reorganized in the spring of 1942. For this she was moved to France. On October 15, 1942, the name was changed from "Reich" to "Das Reich".

SS Panzer Grenadier Division "Das Reich" (1942–1943)

On November 9, 1942, it was converted into a Panzergrenadier division. Then the division took part in the Anton company . Relocated back to the Eastern Front in the winter of 1942/43, the division fought with the SS Panzer Corps in the Battle of Kharkov and in the summer of 1943 with the Citadel company and then in the Battle of the Dnepr . On October 23, 1943, the SS Panzer Grenadier Division “Das Reich” was finally converted into the 2nd SS Panzer Division “Das Reich” .

2nd SS Panzer Division "Das Reich" (1944)

Tiger of the SS Panzer Division “Das Reich” with three bars on the right as a tactical symbol of the Citadel company

In February 1944, the remnants of the SS Panzer Division "Das Reich" were relocated to the Toulouse area in south-west France for refreshment . There she stayed until two days after the Allied landing in Normandy on June 6, 1944. On the march from Toulouse to the north, the division was repeatedly involved in battles with the French resistance . Units of the division carried out the massacres in Tulle and Oradour-sur-Glane (declared as " atonement "), in which they murdered several hundred civilians. After the war, numerous members of the division had to answer to a French court and were sentenced to long prison terms (see also Heinz Barth ).

During the Battle of Normandy and on the retreat from France, the division again suffered heavy losses and had to be refreshed in Paderborn in October 1944. There she prepared for participation in the Ardennes offensive in December 1944. After the failure of the offensive and persistent resistance in the winter of 1944/45, the division and other SS divisions were relocated to Hungary in March 1945 for the "Spring Awakening" company . After the failure of this offensive, the division had to go back to the defense and retreated fighting towards Austria , where it took part in the Battle of Vienna , among other things . At the end of the war in the Linz area, the bulk of the division went into American captivity; other units laid down their weapons at Rokycany and Dresden .

War crimes

During the Second World War, the division committed numerous war crimes in various arenas on the Eastern and Western Fronts. This makes it clear once again that the Waffen-SS associations played an essential role in the exercise of Nazi terror.

War crimes committed by the SS regiment “Germany”, for example, have been clearly documented for the deployment in the Balkans in April 1941 - retaliatory measures against partisans and the murder of civilians. During the first combat operations in the course of the attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941, the shooting of Russian prisoners of war by units of the division was obviously the order of the day. Next that units of the Division is busy in the summer of 1941 in the room Minsk the Einsatzgruppe B supported with systematic mass murder:

“A major action against Jews was carried out in the village of Logoisk [now Lahojsk ]. In the course of this action, 920 Jews were executed with the support of a command from the SS Division Das Reich. The place can now be described as free of Jews. "

The massacre in this town between Minsk and Borissow , which was carried out on September 9, 1941 by the "Einsatzkommando 9" and the Waffen-SS, marks the beginning of a countless series of murders in which the majority of the Jewish population lived between September and December 1941 Eastern Belarus fell victim. Again and again the murder squads received support not only from the Waffen-SS, but also from units of the Wehrmacht .

After being transferred to southern France in the spring of 1944, the 2nd SS Panzer Division "Das Reich" was increasingly deployed in the fight against units of the French Resistance and, through unusually brutal reprisals and attacks on the civilian population, who were accused of cooperating with the Resistance, talk about yourself. The events lead to the conclusion that the division, which came directly from the Eastern Front, was a brutalized and extremely violent formation. The military historian Peter Lieb emphasized that the officers and non-commissioned officers in particular had been strongly influenced by their previous combat missions and experiences of violence and consisted for the most part of convinced National Socialists who now also applied their usual procedures from the war of annihilation against the Soviet Union in France. As early as May 21, 1944, there was a reprisal in the town of Frayssinet-le-Gélat ( Département Lot ), in which 15 French civilians were murdered. Also on May 21, 1944, all men between the ages of 16 and 60 were deported to Germany in Lacapelle-Biron ( Département Lot-et-Garonne ) on orders from units of the division. After the Allies landed in Normandy on June 6th, sub-formations of the 2nd SS Panzer Division "Das Reich" were first set off on June 8th in the direction of the invasion front. On their way north, the associations left a veritable trail of blood. Division commander SS Brigade Leader Heinz Lammerding had openly called for uncompromising action by the units against "terrorists". On June 9, units of the division reached the city of Tulle ( Corrèze department ), which was occupied by resistance fighters . After French partisans had previously attacked German soldiers and, as a result, desecrated bodies, 99 arbitrarily selected innocent civilians who had nothing to do with the events were hanged in retaliation and 200 civilians were sent to Germany deported. One day later, on June 10th, units of the 1st Battalion of SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment 4 "Der Führer" under the command of SS-Sturmbannführer Adolf Diekmann occupied the village of Oradour-sur-Glane ( Haute-Vienne department ) and carried out their actions there a massacre that killed 642 civilians. Also on June 9 and 10, members of the Division murdered 67 civilians in the city of Argenton-sur-Creuse ( Indre department ) (see the Argenton-sur-Creuse massacre ). The parts of the division initially remaining in the south of France continued their terrorist actions: In the course of a "gang operation" from June 10th to 12th in the Pyrenees region ( Haute-Garonne or Haute-Pyrénées ), which was supposed to be directed against partisan groups and which the III. Battalion of the SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment 3 "Germany" under the leadership of SS-Sturmbannführer Helmuth Schreiber , a total of 107 French civilians - men, women and children - were massacred.


SS disposal division

  • SS standard "Germany" / VT under the then SS standard leader Felix Steiner , location: Munich
  • SS standard "Germania" / VT under the then SS standard leader Karl Demelhuber , location: Hamburg
  • SS standard »Der Führer« / VT under the then SS-Oberführer Georg Keppler , location: Vienna
  • SS-Nachrichtensturmbann under the then SS-Sturmbannführer Georg Weiß , location: Berlin-Adlershof , later Unna / Westphalia
  • SS artillery standard under the then SS-Obersturmbannführer Peter Hansen, location: Munsterlager
  • SS reconnaissance department under the then SS-Obersturmbannführer Wilhelm Brandt
  • SS-Pioniersturmbann under the then SS-Sturmbannführer Karl Blumberg , location: Dresden

SS division "Reich" (motorized)

2nd SS Panzer Division "Das Reich"

  • SS Panzer Regiment 2 "Das Reich"
  • SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment 3 "Germany"
  • SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment 4 "Der Führer"
  • SS infantry regiment (motorized) "Langemarck" (temporary)
  • SS Panzer Artillery Regiment 2
    SS Flak Artillery Department 2
    SS assault gun division 2
    SS Nebelwerfer Department 2
    SS Panzer Reconnaissance Department 2
    SS tank destroyer division 2
    SS Panzer Pioneer Battalion 2
    SS Panzer News Department 2
    SS supply units 2


  • October 19, 1939 to October 14, 1941: SS-Obergruppenführer and General of the Waffen-SS Paul Hausser
  • October 14th to December 31st, 1941: SS-Brigadführer and Major General of the Waffen-SS Wilhelm Bittrich (entrusted with the leadership)
  • December 31, 1941 to April 19, 1942: SS Brigade Leader and Major General of the Waffen SS Matthias Kleinheisterkamp
  • April 19, 1942 to February 10, 1943: SS-Gruppenführer and Lieutenant General of the Waffen-SS Georg Keppler
  • February 10 to March 18, 1943: SS Brigade Leader and Major General of the Waffen SS Herbert-Ernst Vahl (in charge of the leadership)
  • March 18 to April 3, 1943: SS-Standartenführer Kurt Brasack
  • April 3 to November 1, 1943: SS-Gruppenführer and Lieutenant General of the Waffen-SS Walter Krüger
  • November 1, 1943 to December 9, 1943: SS-Obersturmbannführer and Lieutenant Colonel of the Wehrmacht Peter Sommer (entrusted with the leadership)
  • December 9, 1943 to July 26, 1944: SS Brigade Leader and Major General of the Waffen SS Heinz Lammerding
  • July 26-28, 1944: SS-Obersturmbannführer Christian Tychsen (in charge of the tour)
  • July 28 to December 1944: SS-Oberführer Otto Baum (in charge of the tour)
  • Beginning of December 1944 to January 20, 1945: SS Brigade Leader and Major General of the Waffen SS Heinz Lammerding
  • January 20 to February 4, 1945: SS-Standartenführer Karl Kreutz (deputy)
  • February 4 to March 9, 1945: SS group leader and lieutenant general of the Waffen SS Werner Ostendorff
  • March 9 to 12, 1945: SS-Standartenführer Karl Kreutz (deputy)
  • March 12 to April 13, 1945: SS-Standartenführer Rudolf Lehmann (in charge of the tour)
  • April 13 to May 8, 1945: SS-Standartenführer Karl Kreutz (deputy)

See also


  • Michaël Prazan Director: A trail of blood through France - The SS Panzer Division "Das Reich". France, Nilaya Productions, 2015. 89 min. TV documentary by ARTE . (The locations and the crimes committed there are named. Parallel to the historical facts, the film describes the career of the SS troop leaders who had already ordered systematic mass murders on the Eastern Front.)


  • Heinz Höhne : The order under the skull. The history of the SS , Orbis, 2002, ISBN 3-572-01342-9 .
  • Gregory L. Mattson: SS-Das Reich. The History of the Second SS Division 1939-1945. Staplehurst 2002. ISBN 1-86227-144-5 .
  • Guy Penaud: La "Das Reich" 2nd SS Panzer Division. Parcours de la division in France. Editions de La Lauze / Périgueux ISBN 2-912032-76-8 .
  • Georg Tessin : Associations and troops of the German Wehrmacht and Waffen SS in World War II 1939–1945. Volume 2. The Land Forces 1–5 . 2nd Edition. Biblio-Verlag, Bissendorf 1973, ISBN 3-7648-0871-3 .

Web links

Commons : 2nd SS Panzer Division “Das Reich”  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files


  1. Cf. Thomas Casagrande : South Tyroleans in the Waffen-SS. Exemplary attitude, fanatical conviction . Ed. Raetia , Bozen 2015. pp. 124-125.
  2. Event report USSR No. 92, report d. Task Force B v. September 23, 1941. In: Klaus-Michael Mallmann; Andrej Angrick u. a. (Ed.): The event reports USSR 1941. Documents of the Einsatzgruppen in the Soviet Union. For Konrad Kwiet on his 70th birthday. WBG, Darmstadt 2011, (= publications of the [[Ludwigsburg Research Center | Ludwigsburg Research Center of the University of Stuttgart ]], Vol. 20). P. 546.
  3. Cf. Christian Gerlach : Calculated Morde. The German economic and extermination policy in Belarus 1941 to 1944. 2nd edition Hamburger Ed., Hamburg 1999. P. 55 ff.
  4. See Peter Lieb: Conventional War or Nazi Weltanschauungskrieg? Warfare and the fight against partisans in France 1943/44 . Oldenbourg, Munich 2007. pp. 360-377.
  5. Michaël Prazan (French WP), information from the sender arte ( memento of the original from May 6, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (Broadcast in Germany on May 2, 2017); Video on youtube ; Site of the product company of DAS REICH, Une division SS en France , (French) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /