18th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division Horst Wessel
|18th SS Volunteer Panzer Grenadier Division Horst Wessel|
The 18th SS Volunteer Panzer Grenadier Division Horst Wessel was formed in 1944 around a cadre from the 1 SS Infantry Brigade and included mainly ethnic Germans (Volksdeutsche) from Hungary. The 1st battalion of about 1000 men was attached to SS Division Horst Wessel and sent to Galicia.
It was used for "rear-security" duties until it was sent to the Eastern front, with the exception of one regiment that fought the Slovak National Uprising in August 1944. It later fought as a single unit in Hungary and later in Czechoslovakia where it was destroyed.
The Division was named after SA member, Horst Wessel, known for being the author of the lyrics to the Nazi party anthem, the Horst Wessel Song, and glorified by the Nazi regime as a martyr of the party's early years.
- Brigadeführer Wilhelm Trabandt (25 January 1944 – 3 January 1945)
- Gruppenführer Josef Fitzthum (3 January 1945 – 10 January 1945)
- Standartenführer Georg Bochmann (10 January 1945 – March 1945)
- Standartenführer Heinrich Petersen (March 1945 – 8 May 1945)
Knight's Cross recipients
- Hungary (January 1944 – July 1944)
- Eastern front, central sector (July 1944 – October 1944)
- Poland & Czechoslovakia (October 1944 – May 1945)
- Tessin, Georg (1970). Die Landstreitkräfte 15—30. Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939—1945. 4. Frankfurt/Main: E.S. Mittler. pp. 108–109.