Talk:1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler

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Nazi ideology[edit]

The SS weren't just fighting units, they embodied the spirit of Nazism. Perhaps this is justified in the case of LSSAH, however to call 13.WGDdSS(kroatische) or 36.WGDdSS the embodiment of the spirit of Nazisim is pushing it. Perhaps this arguement belongs on the Waffen SS page rather than a divisional history.--Ansbachdragoner 8 July 2005 06:01 (UTC)

This became increasingly less true as the war went on. For instance, men were conscripted into the Waffen SS who were not members of the Nazi party. I don't see any reason for there not to be a separate article on the division.Larry Dunn 16:35, 9 November 2006 (UTC)


One should add a POV tag to this article. What about the many war crimes committed by this unit???

-Do you have any in mind? if not, be quiet.

-I certainly agree with the first comment; this reads as an extremely sanitised history; without a great deal of looking there is the Wormhout massacre during the battle for france; the sentencing to death in absentia by the Soviets of Sepp Deitrich for war crimes in Kharkov. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:35, 29 October 2007 (UTC)


This section needs a bit of a rewrite to make it more encyclopedic in tone (& needs references). Maybe I'll have a go if no-one objects? EyeSereneTALK 20:26, 21 April 2007 (UTC)


Very well made article compared to other Wikipedia articles on specific divisions in a country's armed forces. Compliments to whoever wrote this up ColombianConservative 07:05, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

True. But polished though. Leibstandarte took part to many famous atrocities, these being:

  • Wormhout, near Dunkirk, May 1940. Leibstandarte unit led by Wilhelm Mohnke executed a bunch of surrendered British soldiers from The Royal Warwickshire Regiment, Cheshire Regiment and some soldiers of the Royal Artillery. There's a sign on the place with this info.
  • LSSAH followed the Commissar order issued by Hitler in June 1941 with pride, as it was it's code to be the most loyal unit there was and also because Dietrich was a personal friend of Hitler.
  • Yefremovka and Semevka, villages near Kharkov, February 1943. Leibstandarte battalion (III/2. PzGrenRgt) led by Joachim Peiper killed over 800. In Yefremovka about 250 were collected in a church, which was then burned with the rest of the village. Hence the name "The Blow-Torch Battalion".
  • Boves Massacre in Italy September 1943. Again Peiper's LSSAH boys in action, this time they killed at least 64, although part of them were partisans, but rest were civilians, women, children and old people.
  • Malmedy massacre, during the Battle of Bulge in December 1944-January 1945 Kampfgruppe Peiper, consisting mainly of LSSAH, killed hundreds of American POW's and Belgian civilians.

To keep the article truthful and non-biased, these should be included. --Ukas (talk) 01:09, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

The only actions here that can be considered for inclusion are Wormhout, Malmedy (more accident than atrocity). The was no "massacre" at Boves. Peiper ordering the use of artilery on Boves in 1943 was no different than the Americans using artilery on Aachen in 1944. Peiper himself reported on the action, 'I am of the opinion that our action to free our encircled comrades in Boves nipped in the bud the Italian army's attack, for the army fell apart and no attack ever took place on Cuneo or Turin. However regrettable the consequences of our action was for the affected residents of Boves, it should not be overlooked that our one-time intervention prevented further immeasurable casualties which would have resulted from continued Italian attacks." An Italian court in 1968 even concluded that there was "there is insufficient suspicion of criminal activity on the part of any of the accused to warrant prosecution." It's also impossible to point fingers at the 1st SS Div for the "Commissar Order" as there's no solid data to show how many Kommissar's were shot by the unit in compliance with the order. In addition, the order had to be resinded in 1942, because units (including the units of the Waffen-SS) were not carrying it out with the zeal that Hitler imagined they would. Also, atrocites in Russia are extremely hard to varify, simply because of the unreliablity of the Russian record, themeselves guilty of many an atrocity. Lastly, the "Blow Torch Battalion" was a nickname given becuase the unit (among others) used blowtorches to heat the oil in their vehicles during the winter months. It had NOTHING to do with burning villages.

Meaning of the skeleton key[edit]

Correct me if I haven't read the article closely enough, but I believe no mention has been made of the reason why the Leibstandarte's divisional insignia was a skeleton key. It of course honours their leader Sepp Dietrich, since the German word for skeleton key (presumably from the name of the product's original manufacturer) is Dietrich. Nuttyskin (talk) 13:45, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Sadly, no one has added this info yet. It's not mentioned in the article so far. The insignia in fact depicts a lockpick, in honor of the first divisional leader Sepp Dietrich. Dietrich's surname means "lockpick" in German. I can't add this info myself, as I'm not a native English speaker, it would be great if someone else could do it for me. The info should be added at the bottom of the introductory paragraph.
--Barzefutz (talk) 16:20, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
The info. has been added. Kierzek (talk) 02:30, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Great, thank you. I'm sure a lot of readers will appreciate it.--Barzefutz (talk) 04:20, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Something to add - I just re-read the post by user "Nuttyskin". I mentioned the insignia depicts a lock pick, while in fact it resembles more of a skeleton key. Dictionaries list both "lock pick" and "skeleton key" as a possibility, but in fact, there is no direct translation of "Dietrich" into English. It's a somewhat dated name for a very basic, sometimes home made type of skeleton key which is only used to open simple warded locks. Maybe I'm hairsplitting but I think this distinction is important, a lock pick is more of a criminal's tool, while a skeleton key is more of a master key. Neither translation is perfect, but skeleton key comes closer, so I altered the article accordingly.--Barzefutz (talk) 05:31, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
I have read it stated either way before with "pick lock" being the greater used definition; with that said, I agree it is better for general readers with both as you have expanded it. Kierzek (talk) 12:09, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Place and date of surrender[edit]

Anyone has this?--mrg3105mrg3105 If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 10:53, 10 February 2008 (UTC)


As part of the WP:MILHIST B class check, this article just stays as a B class however it needs many more inline citations. SGGH speak! 20:29, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with File:Meyerklissura.jpg[edit]

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Meyer pic: Vevi or Klissoura?[edit]

The caption on the file states that it was taken at Klissoura. I'm wondering what the source is for the present caption, locating the pic at Vevi? Meyer was involved in both actions, so either could be correct. If it was Vevi, I will add it to the article on the battle. Cheers, Grant | Talk 14:27, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

I have not been able to find any other sources that place the pic at Vevi, so have changed the wording of the caption to mention Klissoura instead. Grant | Talk 10:30, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Sanitized version[edit]

Almost no mention of the numerous war crimes comitted by this unit. Just as sample: "SS-Obermusikmeister Hermann Müller-John ordered 50 civilians, several of them Jews, shot at Błonie, Poland in September 1939. Generalleutnant Joachim Lemelsen, commander of 29. Infanterie-Division (mot) reports of these murders to his superiors and General Walter von Reichenau, commander of 10. Armee orders the arrest of Müller-John. A few days later Adolf Hitler places the SS troops under seperate SS juristiction at the request of Heinrich Himmler and the investigation into the killings is dropped. On 28 May 1940 80 British POWs from the 48th Division were killed at Wormhout by soldiers from the 2nd Battalion commanded by SS-Hauptsturmführer Wilhelm Mohnke. Six soldiers of LSSAH were captured by Soviet troops in Tagarog in October 1941 and then tortured and murdered. After the bodies were located in March 1942 an order was issued that all Soviet soldiers captured during following three days be shot, an estimated 4000 were killed. (3) Vehicles from LSSAH were used in the rounding up of Jewish factory workers in Berlin during November 1942. During the recapture of Kharkov in March 1943 LSSAH is accused of killing some 700 wounded Soviet soldiers in the 1st Army Harshalling Hospital. Soldiers of LSSAH were involved in the killing of 22 Italian Jews in the area of Lago Maggiore in September 1943. Five soldiers were put on trial for these crimes post-war. On 19 September 1943 the Italian town of Boves was shelled by troops commanded by Joachim Peiper and 34 civilians killed in retaliation for the capture of two Waffen-SS officers. In Tavaux, France, 30 August 1944 soldiers from I./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt.25 (of 12. SS-Panzer-Division Hitlerjugend) together with soldiers from LSSAH killed 21 civilians. A soldier of LAH was sentenced to five years in prison post-war for the shooting of two escaped Soviet POWs near Oberlind, Germany, March 1945. Several massacres of civilians and captured US troops during the battle of the Bulge including: On 17 December 1944 soldiers from Kampfgruppe Peiper killed 86 captured US troops at the Baugneuz crossroads, Malmedy. 11 Africa-American soldiers of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion, an all-black unit of the segregated US Army, was tortured and killed by LSSAH soldiers at Wereth 17 December 1944. On 19 December 1944 soldiers from Kampfgruppe Knittel commanded by SS-Untersturmführer Heinrich Dröge killed 24 civilians at Parfondruy. A total of at least 130 Belgian civilians were killed in the area of Stavelot, Renardmont & Parfondruy and post-war SS-Obersturmführer Heinz Goltz was sentenced to 15 years in prison for these atrocities."

Since this comes from a forum, we need solid references. Will be provided . Of course this is not all the unit did. They are more atrocities in Poland, for starters. Added tag, until the numerous atrocities are fully integrated into history.--Molobo (talk) 23:16, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Trying to get some reasonable sources together:
Hohum (talk) 19:48, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

The history of the Waffen-SS is complex[edit]

The study of war crimes are one that should be looked at objectively and not just from re-treaded writings or as one author states, "a rehash of another's content." In other words, things that are repeated over and over by certain western authors of books that cover the same old main personalities, photos and main incidents that many other books do; which show a lack of archival and objective research. The books are really general introduction readers that are a compilation with sensationalized comments thrown in.

The common assumption is the members of the Waffen-SS were all indoctrinated little NAZI's and most all war crimes (or one's said to be) are then pinned on them. This to the exclusion of the other branches of the Wehrmacht or even soldier's of other nation's including the victor's. Especially on the East front, "no quarter" was shown on both sides. With that said, certainly their were member's who committed war crimes. The one's who did not must face the fact there is a "guilt by association" that will attach to the unit overall. In the end, detailed study from different well known sources should be looked at when said events are included.Kierzek (talk) 17:01, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

R. James Bender Publishing, JJ Fedorowicz Publishing, Stackpole Military History and even Schiffer Military History Publishing all put out a number of books on this subject of the Waffen-SS that don't just re-tread the same ground; are more objective and in depth with rare photos for the reader to enjoy.Kierzek (talk) 19:09, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

The systematic killing of thousands of civilians is hardly the work of a few individuals. Hohum (talk) 21:21, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Of course the "systematic killing" is not the work of "a few" (unless we are talking the top instigators of the 20th Century: Mao, Stalin and Hitler), but that is not the topic above.Kierzek (talk) 00:32, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

As of this point in time, it appears that the only reason the PoV tag is still in place is due to the arguements of a few users who are consistantly linked un-reliable sources and copying and pasting diffferent war crimes, and while it is true the SS has become invariably linked with War Crimes, until a reliable source is found there can be no arguement that this article is not neutral. No one is presenting a sanitized history; the authors of this article were clearly trying to focus on the military aspect of the Division, and if anyone seeks to find a reliable source that states any War Crimes this unit commited, no one would be opposed to it being included in the article once it is found. However, you can not simply state that this article is not neutral and expect it to become true. If no user comes up with a reliable source, I will remove the tag as it has already been up for a month with no results. XenocideTalk|Contributions 12:34, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Why not reference the Nuremberg Tribunal as with many of the other Nazi-related articles? In fact I think it was once referenced in this very article. Regards, DMorpheus (talk) 18:30, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
And indeed, a check of the history shows the Nuremberg tribunal ref was added to the article in mar 09 and then edited out without comment by on May 25 09. Interesting. I have put it back. Regards, DMorpheus (talk) 18:52, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
The drivers of the trains that carried Jews (etc.) to the Concentration Camps and Extermination Camps contributed more to the Holocaust than the vast majority of the soldiers in the SS combat units. Lets try to keep criticism of the SS in perspective. BlueRobe (talk) 09:27, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Sources on atrocities and war crimes, patricipation in Holocaust added.

--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 13:23, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Note: Cleaned up the cites, the sections and the atrocities were added to the areas and sections where they occurred. Further, for verifiability reasons (WP:VERIFY), English Wikipedia prefers English-language sources to non-English ones, except where no English source of equal quality can be found that contains the relevant material. Kierzek (talk) 04:53, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Totenkopf insignia[edit]

The Schutzstaffel infobox shows a Totenkopf image next to the Stabswache link that leads to this article. The article does say the death's head was used for the Stabswache, but is unclear whether it was this particular rendering of a death's head (evidently the same one used by the SS-Totenkopfverbände). If, as this infobox implies, both the Stabswache and the SS-TV used the same picture of a death's head, I think this image should be added to the paragraph of the LSSAH article that discusses the Stabswache. I'd do it myself if I weren't so confused! Lusanaherandraton (talk) 03:35, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 04:20, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Corrected Translation[edit]

Hi, I made a change in the lede: Changed translation of "Leib" in "Leibgarde" to Garde du Corps/"body,torso", which IMHO is more correct; ref

The new version reads:

"The term Leibstandarte was derived partly from Leibgarde – a somewhat archaic German translation of "Garde du Corps" or personal bodyguard of a military leader ("Leib" = lit. "body, torso") - and Standarte: the Schutzstaffel (SS) or Sturmabteilung (SA) term for a regiment-sized unit."


T Jan. 12. 2013 (talk) 14:59, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

Recent article name change and move therein[edit]

Recently, the name of the article above was changed by redirect move from 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler to 1st SS Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler. The move is really not correct, if moved-it should be moved to the last official name of the unit: 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. I tried to move it to its last official name for the unit but it was already listed as a past redirect to the article. It also brothers me that this move was done without discussion. It should have been discussed. I believe it should be known by its last official name for the unit, written as either: 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler or 1. SS-Panzer-Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. The first being preferred. Kierzek (talk) 15:43, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, I should have discussed this before moving it, but it can be undone if need be. BTW, its original name did not have SS inserted in between it. EyeTruth (talk) 17:46, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the note. It should be discussed and I think it should be left open for a few days to see if anyone else has a comment. BTW-I know the name history well having written and cited it in this article. I don't think LAH (Nov. 1933) should be used because it could cause confusion for general readers when the abbreviation of LSSAH (April 1934 and thereafter) is used in this and other articles. That is why I mentioned using the last full name of the unit, 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (1943) for the title (with the other names used as re-directs). Cheers, Kierzek (talk) 18:27, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
User:EyeTruth, you should have cleaned up after the move, ie, you did not fix double redirects created by the move; a bot went around and cleaned up after you. I think the article should live at the most commonly used name, the name they had the longest, or we should abide by the naming conventions established for other military units of this type. For example, 3. SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Totenkopf is at 3rd SS Division Totenkopf. -- Dianna (talk) 18:47, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
I would like to see the following: the longest used: Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH); otherwise, I would go with: 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler or 1. SS-Panzer-Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, the last name, as I stated above. As far as most common, it is a close toss up between Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler and Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler; with Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler used in more of the books I own. Unofficially, as to Google hits, Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler has a few more. Kierzek (talk) 19:23, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Of the ideas you've presented, I would suggest 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler is the best alternative, for conformity with other articles of this type. But why does "SS" appear in the name twice?-- Dianna (talk) 15:39, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
The unit was unique. Basically (in rough history), it went from: Stabswache (Staff Guard) to Stoßtrupp (Shock Troop) 'Adolf Hitler'; then when reformed: SS-Stabswache Berlin to SS-Sonderkommando Berlin which in Nov. 1933 was renamed, Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (LAH). Then in April 1934, Himmler ordered it renamed Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH). Later, after the formation of the Waffen-SS, it was given the distinction of being known as the 1st SS-Division with its formal name still (from April 1934) Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. Kierzek (talk) 15:54, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

@ Diannaa. The original name was Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (LAH) but Hitler wanted it to be very "SS" so it was renamed Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH), and later got another "SS" when it matured into an SS panzergrenadier division of the SS Panzer Corps (which was later renamed the II SS Panzer Corps). While some historians refer to it as LSSAH, a very good number also still call it by its original name, LAH. But the more I think about the article name-change in light of the other SS divisions, I realize that it doesn't fit the current pattern since the others are page-titled with their last official names. Also I didn't bother to clean up redirects because a bot always do it. EyeTruth (talk) 17:20, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Well, the unit first received the name LAH in Munich at the Feldherrnhale in Nov. 1933, but that was not its original name. Himmler did this to distinguish the unit and tie it to Hitler (which was an honor and to curry favor). It would go on to carry that name, modified over time, for the rest of its days. And while it is true that Hitler wanted a guard of SS men, it was Himmler's idea to name it such. Then on 13 April 1934, Himmler signed an order introducing a number of changes, including the insert of the SS initials in the units name. Himmler wanted to make sure it was clear that the unit was SS, independent at that time from the SA or army. More importantly at this time is the fact I believe we all now agree that the name for the article should be: 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. Kierzek (talk) 15:44, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
I have moved the page to 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. -- Dianna (talk) 16:13, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

LSSAH Barbarossa Deployment[edit]

This division was not deployed with the LIV Army Corps as part of Army Group South. The LIV Army Corps operated in the extreme south as part of the 11th Army around Odessa. LSSAH participated in the attack toward Kiev, as part of III Corps, when it was taken out of reserve.

Depending on the source on June 22nd, it was either deployed in 1st Panzer Group reserve, or as part of the XIV Panzer Corps, which was in reserve along with SS "Viking" and 9th Panzer Division. Axis history, which is pretty reliable has it as part of the 1st Panzer Group reserve, here:, but Russian sources, such as this map, put it in the XIV Panzer Corps.

We can say here that it was in "reserve" with Army Group South and that should be sufficient.

It is simple enough to say that it was in reserve with Army Group South, as its precise attachment is irrelevant, since it was not fighting.

Referencing this revision: Livedawg (talk) 06:03, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

G'day, I don't think axishistory qualifies as a reliable source. In any case, it is my understanding that LSSAH was an independent division (ie not under a corps) under the command of Kleist's Panzergruppe, Army Group South. Technically, Kleist was subordinate to 6th Army, but in reality his command was independent, and responsible directly to von Rundstedt. Peacemaker67 (send... over) 06:28, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
in lieu of a source that is "reliable" then the only reference so far is a Soviet map, which may or may not be accurate: That map suggests it was "attached" to XIVth Panzer Corps, but I suspect that is just an educated guess. Hence the revision I made, which leaves the issue up in the air. Regardless, LSSAH, didn't serve as an attachment to the LIV Corps at that time because LIV was part of the Romanian/Wehrmacht "mixed" 11th Army in the Danube Delta, not at Lublin. Whether or not it was "attached" in reserve, or "independent" in reserve seems moot.Livedawg (talk) 09:42, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
Found a good source of this units deployment history through a published version of the CAPTURED GERMAN DOCUMENTS list from the US National Archives and Records Administration. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Livedawg (talkcontribs) 09:15, 25 September 2014 (UTC)