10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg

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10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg
10th SS Divsion Logo.svg
Insignia of 10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg
Active 2 January 1943 – 8 May 1945
Country Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen-SS
Type Panzer
Size Division
Engagements Operation Epsom
Operation Market Garden
Operation Nordwind
Halbe Pocket

The 10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg or 10.SS-Panzer-Division Frundsberg was a German Waffen SS panzer division. The division was formed at the beginning of 1943 as a reserve for the expected Allied invasion of France. However, their first campaign was in the Ukraine in April 1944. Highly motivated after combat success in the Ukraine, the unit was then transported back to the west, where it fought the Allies in France and at Arnhem. The division was later transported to Pomerania, then fought south east of Berlin in the Lausitz area until the end of the war. Unlike several of the earlier SS panzer divisions, the "Frundsberg" division did not engage in atrocities against either civilians or combatants. Based on its fighting record, it was an elite division that also had a reputation for fighting a "clean war." Postwar, the division had a very active veteran's association.

History[edit]

Initially, the name Karl der Große (Charlemagne) was used for the Division for some time in 1943. However, French volunteers in the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS used the name Charlemagne (33rd Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Charlemagne (1st French)), so instead the honor title Frundsberg was chosen, which refers to the 16th Century German landsknecht commander Georg von Frundsberg.

The division was mainly formed from conscripts. It first saw action at Tarnopol in April 1944 and later took part in the rescue of German troops cut off in the Kamenets-Podolsky Pocket.

It was then sent to Normandy to counter the Allied landings. It, and its "twin" Division, the 9th SS Panzer-Division Hohenstaufen, played an important part in holding the British Forces back in Normandy, particularly during Operation Epsom.

It retreated into Belgium before being sent to rest near Arnhem, where it soon had to fight the Allied parachute assault during Operation Market Garden at Nijmegen, in the Netherlands, at which time it, along with the 9th SS Panzer, constituted the II SS Panzer Corps.

After rebuilding, it fought in the Alsace in January 1945. It was then sent to the Eastern Front, where it fought against the Red Army's invasion of Pomerania and, later, Saxony.

Encircled at the Halbe Pocket, the division took heavy losses but managed to break out of the encirclement and retreated through Moritzburg, before reaching the area of Teplice in Czechoslovakia at the end of the war.[1] At this location, the division surrendered to the US Army.[2]

Günter Grass[edit]

German writer and Nobel laureate Günter Grass was an assistant tank gunner with the division after having been conscripted into the Waffen-SS at the age of 17 in November 1944. He was wounded in action on 25 April 1945 and captured in a hospital.[3]

Commanders[edit]

Heinz Harmel with Knights Cross recipient Karl-Heinz Euling (on right) and Otto Paetsch in February 1945.

Order of battle[edit]

  • SS Panzergrenadier Regiment 21
  • SS Panzergrenadier Regiment 22
  • SS Panzer Regiment 10
  • SS Panzer Artillery Regiment 10
  • SS Aufklärungs Battalion 10
  • SS Sturmgeschütz Battalion 10
  • SS Panzerjäger Battalion 10
  • SS Flak Battalion 10
  • SS Pionier Battalion 10
  • SS Panzer Signal Battalion 10
  • SS Verwaltungs Troop 10
  • SS Instandsetzungs Battalion 10
  • SS Medical Battalion 10
  • SS Supply Battalion 10
  • SS Field Post Department 10
  • SS War Reporter Platoon 10
  • SS Feldgendarmerie Troop 10

Area of operations[edit]

  • France, (January 1943 – March 1944 on formation)
  • Eastern Front, Southern sector (March 1944 – April 1944)
  • Poland, (April 1944 – June 1944)
  • France, (June 1944 – September 1944)
  • Belgium & Holland, (September 1944 – October 1944)
  • West Germany, (October 1944 – February 1945)
  • Northwest Germany, (February 1945 – March 1945)
  • East Germany & Czechoslovakia, (March 1945 – May 1945)
  • Surrender and disbanded

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  • The Combat History of the 10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg Available on line [1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ www.lexicon-der-wehrmacht.de 10th SS sub-page
  2. ^ Georg Tessin, Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS, Vol. III, p. 188, Osnabrück: Biblio Verlag, 1974
  3. ^ Irving, John (19 August 2006). "Günter Grass is my hero, as a writer and a moral compass". London: The Guardian. Archived from the original on 20 August 2006. Retrieved 19 August 2006.