Nikolajs Galdiņš

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Nikolajs Galdiņš
SS-Obersturmbannführer Nikolajs Galdiņš
Born 9 October 1902
Riga, Latvia
Died 5 October 1945 (1945-10-06) (aged 42)
Leningrad, Soviet Union
Allegiance Latvia
Nazi Germany
Service/branch Latvian Army
Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen SS
Years of service 1919–40
Rank Obersturmbannführer
Commands held 42nd Waffen Grenadier Regiment
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Iron Cross I Class
Iron Cross II Class
Close Combat Clasp
Infantry Assault Badge
Wound Badge
German Cross in Gold

Nikolajs Galdiņš (9 October 1902 – 5 October 1945) was an Obersturmbannführer (lieutenant 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.

Early life[edit]

Nikolajs Galdiņš was born on the 9 October 1902 in Riga, Latvia. After World War I he volunteered to join the Latvian Army in July 1919. By 1924 he has graduated from the War Academy and was assigned to the 4th Valmiera Infantry Regiment. He later served on the General Staff as a Captain until 1938, when he was a Military instructor at the 2nd Riga High School.[1]

World War II[edit]

During World War II the Latvian Army was abolished in 1940, Galdins for a short time served as an officer in the 195th Rifle Regiment, 181st Division. After the German attack on the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa), he volunteered in October 1942, to join the Waffen SS in the Administration department. In the summer of 1943, Galdins was appointed the Adjutant 42nd Waffen Grenadier Regiment, 19th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (2nd Latvian), commanded by Voldemārs Veiss and served on the Leningrad front. In October 1943, he was given command of the III. Battalion, 42nd Waffen Grenadier Regiment and took over command of the Regiment in January 1944. In October 1944, he was awarded the German Cross in Gold and the Knight's Cross in January 1945 for his bravery and leadership of his Regiment during the fighting in the Kurland Pocket. After the German surrender in May 1945, he was a captive of the Soviet Union and executed by firing squad in Leningrad on the 5 October 1945.[1][2]


Further reading[edit]

  • 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. 
  • Fey, Will; Henschler, Henri (2003). Armor Battles of the Waffen-SS. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-2905-5. 
  • Mitcham, Samuel W (2007) [2000]. 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.