Werner Pötschke

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Werner Herman Gustav Pötschke
Born 6 March 1914
Brussels, Belgium
Died 24 March 1945 (1945-03-25) (aged 31)
Veszprém, Hungary
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Waffen-SS
Years of service 1935–45
Rank SS-Sturmbannführer
Unit 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler
Commands held 2nd SS Reconnaissance Battalion Das Reich
I./1st Panzer Regiment LSSAH
1st SS Panzer Regient LSSAH
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
Iron Cross 1st Class
Iron Cross 2nd Class
German Cross in Gold
Close Combat Clasp in Bronze
Wound Badge in Gold
Tank Destruction Badge

Werner Herman Gustav Pötschke (6 March 1914 – 24 March 1945) was a German SS officer during World War II, eventually rising to the rank of Sturmbannführer.

Early life[edit]

Pötschke was born in Brussels in Belgium on 6 March 1914.[1] He joined the SS in 1935 with SS number 288 965, attached to the SS Disposal unit before being posted in 1938 to the SS-Standard "Der Führer" as a platoon commander.

World War II[edit]

In 1939 he was involved in the invasion of Poland in charge of a platoon of the reconnaissance company of the SS Regiment "Der Führer".[1] By 1940 and the start of the Battle of France he was in command of the 1st Company, Reconnaissance Battalion, SS-Verfügungstruppe.[1] In 1941 he took part in the Balkans campaign and fought from June 1941 in Russia.[1] In April 1942 he was given command of the 2nd SS Reconnaissance Battalion SS Division "Das Reich", being awarded the German Cross in gold in November.[1] In April 1943, he was transferred to command the I Battalion, SS Panzer Regiment 1 "LSSAH" in Grafenwöhr and Erlangen, also seeing service in August 1943 in Italy.[1] From December 1943 he was back in Russia and for his achievements in the cauldron of the Kamanets-Podolsky battle was awarded the Knights Cross.[1] In November 1944 he was promoted to SS Sturmbannführer and given command of the SS Panzer Regiment 1 "LSSAH", which led the German attack during the Ardennes offensive.[1] During this campaign, troops under his command engaged in the Malmedy massacre. After the failure of that attack the Division was moved to Hungary and for his performance at the Gran bridgehead on 15 March 1945 was awarded the Oak Leaves to the Knights Cross. Later that month while fighting to the south of Veszprém, he received serious wounds to the lower extremities caused by mortar shells during a commanders' briefing on 23 March. He died of his wounds on 24 March 1945.[2][3]


  • 1st Company SS-Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion Das Reich. (SS-Hauptsturmführer)
  • 1st Company SS-Panzer Regiment 1 LSSAH. (SS-Hauptsturmführer)
  • 2nd SS-Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion Das Reich (SS-Hauptsturmführer)
  • I/Battalion SS Panzer Regiment 1 LSSAH (SS-Sturmbannführer)
  • SS Panzer Regiment 1 LSSAH (SS-Sturmbannführer)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "axis history". 
  2. ^ Michael Wittman Volume Two By Patrick Agte. p.357
  3. ^ "person registar". 
  4. ^ a b Thomas 1998, p. 164.
  • 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. 
  • Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9.