Heinz Harmel

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Not to be confused with Heinz Hämel.
Heinz Harmel
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-J28621, Heinz Harmel.jpg
Heinz Harmel
Born (1906-06-29)29 June 1906
Metz, German Empire
Died 2 September 2000(2000-09-02) (aged 94)
Krefeld, Germany
Allegiance  Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany (to 1945)
Service/branch Reichswehr
Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen-SS
Years of service 1926–45
Rank SS-Brigadeführer Collar Rank.svgBrigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

Heinz Harmel (29 June 1906 – 2 September 2000) was a high-ranking member in the Waffen-SS during World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords.

Career[edit]

Born in 1906, Harmel volunteered for the SS-Verfügungstruppe (Later known as Waffen-SS) in 1935. and served as a company commander in the SS-Regiment "Der Führer", with which he took part in the Battle of France in 1940. In 1941, Harmel took part in the Balkans Campaign and the Operation Barbarossa. In December 1941, Harmel took command of SS-Infanterie-Regiment "Deutschland". Harmel participated in the capture of Kharkov on 15 March 1943. Harmel received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 31 March 1943. On 7 September 1943, he received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves.[citation needed] In April 1944, Heinz Harmel took command of the SS Division Frundsberg.[citation needed]

During the summer 1944, the division moved to the Western Front, in Normandy. Harmel had been ordered to break the enemy's lines, to free the German units encircled in Falaise pocket numbering approximately 125,000 troops of the 7th Army. The operation ended with heavy losses and serious damage. Harmel was then sent to the Netherlands. He fought against the Allied offensive (Operation Market Garden)[1] After the battles around Nijmegen, Harmel received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords on 15 December 1944. His division was then transferred to Alsace, where Harmel was ordered to establish a bridgehead to join the Colmar Pocket. After the failure of the December 1944/January 1945 offensive in Alsace, Harmel's division was transferred to the Eastern Front, initially fighting in Pomerania and Brandenburg to hold the Oder Front. The division was subsequently transferred to Heeresgruppe Mitte where in late April it was ordered to counterattack the forces of Marshal Ivan Konev. Harmel refused and was dismissed from command by Field Marshal Schoerner. Harmel subsequently commanded an ad hoc battle group formed around the 24th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS, the SS Officer's School at Graz and other smaller units. Harmel surrendered to the British forces in Austria.[citation needed] Harmel died in 2000.

Awards[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ A Bridge Too Far, by Cornelius Ryan (Simon&Schuster, 1974) ISBN 978-8171676361 , The Battle of Arnhem in detail, inclusive of the roles of the Waffen-SS Divisions Hohenstaufen and Frundsberg. Based on Cornelius Ryan's extensive interviews of Waffen-SS Generals Willi Bittrich, Heinz Harmel and Walter Harzer (Chapter 3 and 4), the commanding officers on the German side during the battle of Arnhem.
  2. ^ a b Thomas 1997, p. 247.
  3. ^ a b c d Scherzer 2007, p. 366.

Bibliography[edit]

  • A Bridge Too Far, by Cornelius Ryan (Simon&Schuster, 1974) ISBN 978-8171676361, The Battle of Arnhem in detail, inclusive of the roles of the Waffen-SS Divisions Hohenstaufen and Frundsberg. Based on Cornelius Ryan's extensive interviews of Waffen-SS Generals Willi Bittrich, Heinz Harmel and Walter Harzer (Chapter 3 and 4), the commanding officers on the German side during the battle of Arnhem.
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. 
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6. 
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, 1. Januar 1944 bis 9. Mai 1945 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 3, 1 January 1944 to 9 May 1945] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 
Military offices
Preceded by
SS-Gruppenführer Karl Fischer von Treuenfeld
Commander of 10.SS-Panzer-Division Frundsberg
27 April 1944 – 28 April 1945
Succeeded by
SS-Obersturmbannführer Franz Roestel