Joachim Ziegler

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Joachim Ziegler
Born2 October 1904 (1904-10-02)
Died2 May 1945 (1945-05-03) (aged 40)
Berlin, Nazi Germany
Allegiance Nazi Germany
Service/branchArmy (to 1943)
Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen SS
Years of service1931–45
RankSS-Brigadeführer and Generalmajor of the Waffen-SS
Service numberSS #491,403
UnitSS Division Nordland

Joachim Ziegler (2 October 1904 – 2 May 1945) was a high-ranking commander in the Waffen-SS of Nazi Germany during World War II. He was a commander of the SS Division Nordland, and was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves.


Ziegler was awarded the Spanish Cross for his participation in the Spanish Civil War, fighting in the Condor Legion. In 1939 he served as the adjutant in the 3rd Panzer Brigade and on 23 September 1939 he was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd class followed by a 1st class award on 28 June 1940.[1] On 14 March 1943 he was promoted to Oberst and served on the General Staff of the XXXXII Army Corps. He was awarded the German Cross in Gold on 15 March 1943 and later was invited by the Wehrmacht to a command position in the Waffen-SS. His SS number was 491,403.[1] From 20 June 1943 Ziegler was the Chief of General Staff of the III (Germanic) SS Panzer Corps, and in November 1943 he was granted permission to wear an SS uniform for the duration of his command.

When Fritz von Scholz was killed in action on 28 July 1944, he was asked to take over command of the 11th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division Nordland. On 5 September 1944 he was awarded the Knights Cross for the conduct of the division in action and the Oak Leaves later in April 1945.[1] The division retreated into what was known as the Courland Pocket. Soviet forces launched major offensives against the German units there. From late October to December 1944, the Nordland remained in the pocket; by early December the divisional strength was down to 9,000 men. In January 1945, the division was ordered to the Baltic port of Libau, where it was evacuated by sea.[2]

During the Battle of Berlin, the Nordland division was positioned to the south-east of the city and to the east of Tempelhof Airport.[3] On 25 April 1945, SS-Brigadeführer Gustav Krukenberg was appointed the commander of (Berlin) Defence Sector C, which included the Nordland Division. Ziegler was relieved of his command the same day. The exact reason for the transfer of the command is not clearly known.[4] It was requested by General Helmuth Weidling, commander of the Berlin Defence Area.[5]

After Hitler's death on 30 April, Krukenberg assembled most of his escort made up of French volunteers of the SS Sturmbataillon "Charlemagne" for the breakout to try and get through the Soviet Red Army encirclement of that area of Berlin. They joined up with Ziegler and a larger group of Nordland troops. They crossed the Spree just before dawn. Near the Gesundbrunnen U-Bahn station they came under heavy fire and Ziegler was wounded. Ziegler died from his wounds on 2 May 1945.[6]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ The sequential numbers greater than 843 for the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves are unofficial and were assigned by the Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR) and are therefore denoted in parentheses.[10]



  1. ^ a b c d Ailsby 1997, p. 186.
  2. ^ Littlejohn 1987, p. 54.
  3. ^ Beevor 2002, p. 243.
  4. ^ Beevor 2002, pp. 301, 302.
  5. ^ Beevor 2002, p. 291.
  6. ^ Beevor 2002, p. 383.
  7. ^ a b Thomas 1998, p. 472.
  8. ^ Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 530.
  9. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 805.
  10. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, pp. 102–111.


  • Ailsby, Christopher (1997). SS: Roll of Infamy. Motorbooks Intl. ISBN 0760304092.
  • Beevor, Antony (2002). Berlin: The Downfall 1945. London: Viking-Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-670-03041-5.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. 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.
  • Littlejohn, David (1987). Foreign Legions of the Third Reich Vol. 1 Norway, Denmark, France. Bender Publishing. ISBN 978-0912138176.
  • 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 Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
  • Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9.
Military offices
Preceded by
SS-Gruppenführer Fritz von Scholz
Commander of 11. SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Division "Nordland"
27 July 1944 - 25 April 1945
Succeeded by
SS-Brigadeführer Gustav Krukenberg