February 13, 1908|
Stettin, Germany now Poland
|Died||July 29, 1944
|Years of service||1932–44|
|Unit||Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler
5th SS Panzer Division Wiking
23rd SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division Nederland
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Iron Cross I Class
Iron Cross II Class
German Cross in Gold
Infantry Assault Badge
Hans Collani (13 February 1908 – 29 July 1944) was a Standartenführer (Colonel) in the Waffen SS during World War II. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, which was awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership by Nazi Germany during World War II.
Hans Collani was born on the 13 February 1908, in Stettin. His father was a career officer in the Infantry and held the rank of Oberst (Colonel or Group Captain). (His brother who was killed in action over France in World War II would achieve the same rank in the Luftwaffe)
After leaving school in 1931, he worked in a merchant shipping office and travelled to Leningrad and Murmansk. He joined the NSDAP in 1932 and later joined the Sturmabteilung (SA) and then the Waffen SS.
Assigned to the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler Regiment he served in the 1st Company from March 1933 and was promoted to Hauptsturmführer (Captain) in October 1933. He served as the Adjutant to the LSSAH commander Sepp Dietrich from February 1935 to November 1939.
World War II
He served in the Polish Campaign where he was awarded the Iron Cross II class in September 1939, and the Battle of France. He also took part in the Invasions of the Balkans (Operation Marita) and the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa) where he was awarded the Eastern Front Medal.
He was promoted to Sturmbannführer (Major) in March 1942 and awarded the Iron Cross I class in October. In February 1943, he was transferred to command the III (Finnish) Battalion/ SS Panzergrenadier Regiment Norland, 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking until July 1943 when the Finns returned home to Finland at the end of their contract. In the meantime he had in April 1943, been promoted to Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel).
In May 1943, he was transferred to command the SS Panzergrenadier Regiment 49 De Ruyter which was in the 23rd SS Panzergrenadier Division Nederland.
Awards and decorations
- SS Honour Ring ("Totenkopf")
- Sword of honor of the Reichsführer-SS
- Iron Cross (1939)
- 2nd Class
- 1st Class
- Infantry Assault Badge
- Eastern Front Medal
- German Cross in Gold (24 April 1944)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (19 August 1944, posthumously)
- Mart Laar (2006). Sinimäed 1944: II maailmasõja lahingud Kirde-Eestis (Sinimäed 1944: Battles of World War II in Northeast Estonia) (in Estonian). Tallinn: Varrak.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [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.
- Henschler, Henri; Fey, Willi (2003). Armor Battles of the Waffen-SS, 1943–45. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-2905-5.
- Mitcham, Samuel W (2007). Retreat to the Reich : the German defeat in France, 1944. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-3384-7.
- Mitcham, Samuel W (2007). The German Defeat in the East, 1944–45. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-3371-7.
- Thomas, Franz; Wegmann, Günter (1998). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Teil III: Infanterie Band 4: C–Dow [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the German Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Part III: Infantry Volume 4: C–Dow] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2534-8.