102nd SS Heavy Panzer Battalion
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|102nd SS Heavy Panzer Battalion|
|Type||Heavy Tank Battalion|
45 Tiger Tanks total
|Engagements||Battle of Normandy
Battle of Verrieres Ridge
It fought as part of the II SS Panzer Corps during the Battle of Normandy and was nearly destroyed. Renamed as 502nd SS Heavy-Panzer Battalion, (German: Schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 502) the unit was destroyed in the Halbe Pocket in Spring 1945.
In April 1943, the Waffen-SS ordered the creation of a series of Heavy Panzer Battalions — equipped with the new Tiger I tanks — for use in offensive actions on the Eastern Front. Each of the heavy tank battalions would be attached to a Corps of the Waffen SS. Upon formation, the 102nd was attached to the II SS Panzer Corps. Originally, each heavy tank battalion was composed of a single company of Tiger I's, attached to each respective SS Panzer Division in the Panzerkorps. By July 1943, the predecessor of the 102nd — SS Panzer Regiment 2 of the 2nd SS Panzer Division "Das Reich" — was equipped with 14 Tiger I's.
The battalion was sent to Normandy after the D Day landings. The Battalion was almost completely destroyed during the fighting in Normandy; in September 1944 it was pulled back to Germany to reform. Stationed in Sennelager the Battalion was renamed the 502 SS Heavy Panzer Battalion.
The Eastern Front (1945)
Renamed as Schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 502 and equipped with Tiger II Tanks (Königstiger), the Battalion took part in the defense against the Red Army at the Oder-Front. During the Soviet offensive to take Berlin, the battalion was surrounded in the Halbe Pocket and nearly destroyed.
The 102nd SS Heavy Panzer Battalion was commandet by the following SS officers:
- SS-Sturmbannführer Hans Weiss (March, 1944 - 18. August, 1944)
- SS-Sturmbannführer Kurt Hartrampf (August, 1944 - May, 1945)
- Ripley, p. 230
- Fey, p. xviii
- Fey, p. 19
- "ritterkreuz". Retrieved 2008-02-15.
- Fey, William  (2003). Armor Battles of the Waffen-SS. Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-2905-5
- Ripley, Tim (2005). The Waffen-SS at War: Hitler's Praetorians 1925-1945. Zenith Imprint. ISBN 0-7603-2068-3
- Schneider, Wolfgang (2001). Tiger im Kampf II. J.J. Fedorowicz Publishing ISBN 3-935107-02-1