10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg
|10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg|
Insignia of 10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg
|Active||2 January 1943 – 8 May 1945|
Operation Market Garden
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 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.
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. The division 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, when together with the 9th SS Panzer division it 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 invasion of Pomerania and then Saxony. Encircled at the Halbe Pocket, the division had many losses but managed to break out of the encirclement and retreat through Moritzburg, before reaching the area of Teplice in Czechoslovakia, where the division surrendered to the US Army at the end of the war.
German writer and Nobel laureate Günter Grass was an assistant tank gunner with the SS division at the age of 17 in November 1944. He was wounded in action on 25 April 1945 and captured in a hospital.
- SS-Standartenführer – Michael Lippert: (1–15 February 1943)
- SS-Gruppenführer – Lothar Debes: (15 February – 15 November 1943)
- SS-Gruppenführer – Karl Fischer von Treuenfeld: (15 November 1943 – 27 April 1944)
- SS-Brigadeführer – Heinz Harmel: (27 April 1944 – 28 April 1945)
- SS-Obersturmbannführer – Franz Roestel: (28 April – 8 May 1945)
Order of battle
- 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
- France, (January 1943 – March 1944 on formation)
- Eastern Front, Southern sector (March–April 1944)
- Poland, (April–June 1944)
- France, (June–September 1944)
- Belgium & the Netherlands, (September–October 1944)
- West Germany, (October 1944 – February 1945)
- Northwest Germany, (February–March 1945)
- East Germany and Czechoslovakia, (March–May 1945)
- Surrender and disbandment
- List of Knight's Cross recipients 10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg
- List of German divisions in World War II
- "Lexikon der Wehrmacht". lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de.
- Georg Tessin, Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS, Vol. III, p. 188, Osnabrück: Biblio Verlag, 1974
- 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.