Nikolaus Heilmann

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Nikolaus Heilmann
Born (1903-04-20)20 April 1903
Schlüchtern, Germany
Died 30 January 1945(1945-01-30) (aged 41)
Altdamm, Poland
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen SS
Years of service 1939–1945
Rank Brigadeführer
Unit 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian)
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Iron Cross I Class
Iron Cross II Class
German Cross in Gold
Wound Badge
Eastern Front Medal
Infantry Assault Badge

Nikolaus Heilmann (20 April 1903 – 30 January 1945) was a Brigadeführer in the Waffen SS during World War II. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, which was awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership by Nazi Germany during World War II.

Early life[edit]

Nikolaus Heilmann was born on the 20 April 1903, in Schlüchtern, Hessen. After he graduated from school he joined the police force in 1925 and eventually was a teacher of tactics in the police academy in Berlin.[1]

World War II[edit]

In May 1939 he joined the SS (SS service number 327324) and at the start of World War II, he was posted to the 4th SS Polizei Division and served in the early campaigns in Belgium, Luxembourg and France under the command of his friend Karl Pfeffer-Wildenbruch, who did recommend him at this stage for the Knight's Cross, but it was turned down by Heinrich Himmler on the grounds that he was not a good leader. He did get awarded the German Cross in Gold in August 1942. In June 1943, he was promoted to Standartenführer and appointed Chief of Staff to the IV SS Panzer Corps whose entire staff was transferred to the VI SS Army Corps when he found himself again under the command of Karl Pfeffer-Wildenbruch.

He remained on the Army staff until February 1944 when he was given command of the 15th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Latvian) and also promoted to Oberführer. He commanded the 15th SS until July 1944 when he had some of the men under his command shot for losing the weapons. He was transferred to command the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of SS in August 1944, when he is wounded and also awarded the Knight's Cross. He returned to command the 15th SS in January 1945, after he had recovered from his wounds. He was killed in action leading the division on the 30 January 1945 and posthumously promoted to the rank of Brigadeführer. [2] [3]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Mitcham, Jr.Samuel, Retreat to the Reich, Stackpole books 2007. ISBN 0-8117-3384-X
  • Henschler Henri & Fay Will, Armor Battles of the Waffen-SS, 1943-45 Stackpole Books, 2003. ISBN 0-8117-2905-2
  • Mitcham Samuel, The German Defeat in the East, 1944-45,Stackpole Books, 2007. ISBN 0-8117-3371-8
Military offices
Preceded by
SS-Obergruppenführer Matthias Kleinheisterkamp
Commander of IV. SS-Panzerkorps
20 July 1944 – 6 August 1944
Succeeded by
SS-Obergruppenführer Herbert Otto Gille