Talk:1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler

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Nazi ideology[edit]

The SS weren't just fighting units, they embodied the spirit of Nazism. Perhaps this is justified in the case of LSSAH, however to call 13.WGDdSS(kroatische) or 36.WGDdSS the embodiment of the spirit of Nazisim is pushing it. Perhaps this arguement belongs on the Waffen SS page rather than a divisional history.--Ansbachdragoner 8 July 2005 06:01 (UTC)

This became increasingly less true as the war went on. For instance, men were conscripted into the Waffen SS who were not members of the Nazi party. I don't see any reason for there not to be a separate article on the division.Larry Dunn 16:35, 9 November 2006 (UTC)


One should add a POV tag to this article. What about the many war crimes committed by this unit???

-Do you have any in mind? if not, be quiet.

-I certainly agree with the first comment; this reads as an extremely sanitised history; without a great deal of looking there is the Wormhout massacre during the battle for france; the sentencing to death in absentia by the Soviets of Sepp Deitrich for war crimes in Kharkov. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:35, 29 October 2007 (UTC)


This section needs a bit of a rewrite to make it more encyclopedic in tone (& needs references). Maybe I'll have a go if no-one objects? EyeSereneTALK 20:26, 21 April 2007 (UTC)


Very well made article compared to other Wikipedia articles on specific divisions in a country's armed forces. Compliments to whoever wrote this up ColombianConservative 07:05, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

True. But polished though. Leibstandarte took part to many famous atrocities, these being:

  • Wormhout, near Dunkirk, May 1940. Leibstandarte unit led by Wilhelm Mohnke executed a bunch of surrendered British soldiers from The Royal Warwickshire Regiment, Cheshire Regiment and some soldiers of the Royal Artillery. There's a sign on the place with this info.
  • LSSAH followed the Commissar order issued by Hitler in June 1941 with pride, as it was it's code to be the most loyal unit there was and also because Dietrich was a personal friend of Hitler.
  • Yefremovka and Semevka, villages near Kharkov, February 1943. Leibstandarte battalion (III/2. PzGrenRgt) led by Joachim Peiper killed over 800. In Yefremovka about 250 were collected in a church, which was then burned with the rest of the village. Hence the name "The Blow-Torch Battalion".
  • Boves Massacre in Italy September 1943. Again Peiper's LSSAH boys in action, this time they killed at least 64, although part of them were partisans, but rest were civilians, women, children and old people.
  • Malmedy massacre, during the Battle of Bulge in December 1944-January 1945 Kampfgruppe Peiper, consisting mainly of LSSAH, killed hundreds of American POW's and Belgian civilians.

To keep the article truthful and non-biased, these should be included. --Ukas (talk) 01:09, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

The only actions here that can be considered for inclusion are Wormhout, Malmedy (more accident than atrocity). The was no "massacre" at Boves. Peiper ordering the use of artilery on Boves in 1943 was no different than the Americans using artilery on Aachen in 1944. Peiper himself reported on the action, 'I am of the opinion that our action to free our encircled comrades in Boves nipped in the bud the Italian army's attack, for the army fell apart and no attack ever took place on Cuneo or Turin. However regrettable the consequences of our action was for the affected residents of Boves, it should not be overlooked that our one-time intervention prevented further immeasurable casualties which would have resulted from continued Italian attacks." An Italian court in 1968 even concluded that there was "there is insufficient suspicion of criminal activity on the part of any of the accused to warrant prosecution." It's also impossible to point fingers at the 1st SS Div for the "Commissar Order" as there's no solid data to show how many Kommissar's were shot by the unit in compliance with the order. In addition, the order had to be resinded in 1942, because units (including the units of the Waffen-SS) were not carrying it out with the zeal that Hitler imagined they would. Also, atrocites in Russia are extremely hard to varify, simply because of the unreliablity of the Russian record, themeselves guilty of many an atrocity. Lastly, the "Blow Torch Battalion" was a nickname given becuase the unit (among others) used blowtorches to heat the oil in their vehicles during the winter months. It had NOTHING to do with burning villages.

Meaning of the skeleton key[edit]

Correct me if I haven't read the article closely enough, but I believe no mention has been made of the reason why the Leibstandarte's divisional insignia was a skeleton key. It of course honours their leader Sepp Dietrich, since the German word for skeleton key (presumably from the name of the product's original manufacturer) is Dietrich. Nuttyskin (talk) 13:45, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Sadly, no one has added this info yet. It's not mentioned in the article so far. The insignia in fact depicts a lockpick, in honor of the first divisional leader Sepp Dietrich. Dietrich's surname means "lockpick" in German. I can't add this info myself, as I'm not a native English speaker, it would be great if someone else could do it for me. The info should be added at the bottom of the introductory paragraph.
--Barzefutz (talk) 16:20, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
The info. has been added. Kierzek (talk) 02:30, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Great, thank you. I'm sure a lot of readers will appreciate it.--Barzefutz (talk) 04:20, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Something to add - I just re-read the post by user "Nuttyskin". I mentioned the insignia depicts a lock pick, while in fact it resembles more of a skeleton key. Dictionaries list both "lock pick" and "skeleton key" as a possibility, but in fact, there is no direct translation of "Dietrich" into English. It's a somewhat dated name for a very basic, sometimes home made type of skeleton key which is only used to open simple warded locks. Maybe I'm hairsplitting but I think this distinction is important, a lock pick is more of a criminal's tool, while a skeleton key is more of a master key. Neither translation is perfect, but skeleton key comes closer, so I altered the article accordingly.--Barzefutz (talk) 05:31, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
I have read it stated either way before with "pick lock" being the greater used definition; with that said, I agree it is better for general readers with both as you have expanded it. Kierzek (talk) 12:09, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Place and date of surrender[edit]

Anyone has this?--mrg3105mrg3105 If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 10:53, 10 February 2008 (UTC)


As part of the WP:MILHIST B class check, this article just stays as a B class however it needs many more inline citations. SGGH speak! 20:29, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with File:Meyerklissura.jpg[edit]

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Meyer pic: Vevi or Klissoura?[edit]

The caption on the file states that it was taken at Klissoura. I'm wondering what the source is for the present caption, locating the pic at Vevi? Meyer was involved in both actions, so either could be correct. If it was Vevi, I will add it to the article on the battle. Cheers, Grant | Talk 14:27, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

I have not been able to find any other sources that place the pic at Vevi, so have changed the wording of the caption to mention Klissoura instead. Grant | Talk 10:30, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Sanitized version[edit]

Almost no mention of the numerous war crimes comitted by this unit. Just as sample: "SS-Obermusikmeister Hermann Müller-John ordered 50 civilians, several of them Jews, shot at Błonie, Poland in September 1939. Generalleutnant Joachim Lemelsen, commander of 29. Infanterie-Division (mot) reports of these murders to his superiors and General Walter von Reichenau, commander of 10. Armee orders the arrest of Müller-John. A few days later Adolf Hitler places the SS troops under seperate SS juristiction at the request of Heinrich Himmler and the investigation into the killings is dropped. On 28 May 1940 80 British POWs from the 48th Division were killed at Wormhout by soldiers from the 2nd Battalion commanded by SS-Hauptsturmführer Wilhelm Mohnke. Six soldiers of LSSAH were captured by Soviet troops in Tagarog in October 1941 and then tortured and murdered. After the bodies were located in March 1942 an order was issued that all Soviet soldiers captured during following three days be shot, an estimated 4000 were killed. (3) Vehicles from LSSAH were used in the rounding up of Jewish factory workers in Berlin during November 1942. During the recapture of Kharkov in March 1943 LSSAH is accused of killing some 700 wounded Soviet soldiers in the 1st Army Harshalling Hospital. Soldiers of LSSAH were involved in the killing of 22 Italian Jews in the area of Lago Maggiore in September 1943. Five soldiers were put on trial for these crimes post-war. On 19 September 1943 the Italian town of Boves was shelled by troops commanded by Joachim Peiper and 34 civilians killed in retaliation for the capture of two Waffen-SS officers. In Tavaux, France, 30 August 1944 soldiers from I./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt.25 (of 12. SS-Panzer-Division Hitlerjugend) together with soldiers from LSSAH killed 21 civilians. A soldier of LAH was sentenced to five years in prison post-war for the shooting of two escaped Soviet POWs near Oberlind, Germany, March 1945. Several massacres of civilians and captured US troops during the battle of the Bulge including: On 17 December 1944 soldiers from Kampfgruppe Peiper killed 86 captured US troops at the Baugneuz crossroads, Malmedy. 11 Africa-American soldiers of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion, an all-black unit of the segregated US Army, was tortured and killed by LSSAH soldiers at Wereth 17 December 1944. On 19 December 1944 soldiers from Kampfgruppe Knittel commanded by SS-Untersturmführer Heinrich Dröge killed 24 civilians at Parfondruy. A total of at least 130 Belgian civilians were killed in the area of Stavelot, Renardmont & Parfondruy and post-war SS-Obersturmführer Heinz Goltz was sentenced to 15 years in prison for these atrocities."

Since this comes from a forum, we need solid references. Will be provided . Of course this is not all the unit did. They are more atrocities in Poland, for starters. Added tag, until the numerous atrocities are fully integrated into history.--Molobo (talk) 23:16, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Trying to get some reasonable sources together:
  • Ripley, Tim. (2004). The Waffen-SS at War: Hitler's Praetorians 1925-1945, ISBN 9780760320686, p 330.
  • Hughes, Matthew. Johnson, Gaynor. (2005) Fanaticism and conflict in the modern age ISBN 9780714657165 p 94.
  • Margolian, Howard. (2000). Conduct Unbecoming: The Story of the Murder of Canadian Prisoners of War in Normandy, ISBN 9780802083609, pp 14-16.
Hohum (talk) 19:48, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

The history of the Waffen-SS is complex[edit]

The study of war crimes are one that should be looked at objectively and not just from re-treaded writings or as one author states, "a rehash of another's content." In other words, things that are repeated over and over by certain western authors of books that cover the same old main personalities, photos and main incidents that many other books do; which show a lack of archival and objective research. The books are really general introduction readers that are a compilation with sensationalized comments thrown in.

The common assumption is the members of the Waffen-SS were all indoctrinated little NAZI's and most all war crimes (or one's said to be) are then pinned on them. This to the exclusion of the other branches of the Wehrmacht or even soldier's of other nation's including the victor's. Especially on the East front, "no quarter" was shown on both sides. With that said, certainly their were member's who committed war crimes. The one's who did not must face the fact there is a "guilt by association" that will attach to the unit overall. In the end, detailed study from different well known sources should be looked at when said events are included.Kierzek (talk) 17:01, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

R. James Bender Publishing, JJ Fedorowicz Publishing, Stackpole Military History and even Schiffer Military History Publishing all put out a number of books on this subject of the Waffen-SS that don't just re-tread the same ground; are more objective and in depth with rare photos for the reader to enjoy.Kierzek (talk) 19:09, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

The systematic killing of thousands of civilians is hardly the work of a few individuals. Hohum (talk) 21:21, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Of course the "systematic killing" is not the work of "a few" (unless we are talking the top instigators of the 20th Century: Mao, Stalin and Hitler), but that is not the topic above.Kierzek (talk) 00:32, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

As of this point in time, it appears that the only reason the PoV tag is still in place is due to the arguements of a few users who are consistantly linked un-reliable sources and copying and pasting diffferent war crimes, and while it is true the SS has become invariably linked with War Crimes, until a reliable source is found there can be no arguement that this article is not neutral. No one is presenting a sanitized history; the authors of this article were clearly trying to focus on the military aspect of the Division, and if anyone seeks to find a reliable source that states any War Crimes this unit commited, no one would be opposed to it being included in the article once it is found. However, you can not simply state that this article is not neutral and expect it to become true. If no user comes up with a reliable source, I will remove the tag as it has already been up for a month with no results. XenocideTalk|Contributions 12:34, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Why not reference the Nuremberg Tribunal as with many of the other Nazi-related articles? In fact I think it was once referenced in this very article. Regards, DMorpheus (talk) 18:30, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
And indeed, a check of the history shows the Nuremberg tribunal ref was added to the article in mar 09 and then edited out without comment by on May 25 09. Interesting. I have put it back. Regards, DMorpheus (talk) 18:52, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
The drivers of the trains that carried Jews (etc.) to the Concentration Camps and Extermination Camps contributed more to the Holocaust than the vast majority of the soldiers in the SS combat units. Lets try to keep criticism of the SS in perspective. BlueRobe (talk) 09:27, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Sources on atrocities and war crimes, patricipation in Holocaust added.

--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 13:23, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Note: Cleaned up the cites, the sections and the atrocities were added to the areas and sections where they occurred. Further, for verifiability reasons (WP:VERIFY), English Wikipedia prefers English-language sources to non-English ones, except where no English source of equal quality can be found that contains the relevant material. Kierzek (talk) 04:53, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Totenkopf insignia[edit]

The Schutzstaffel infobox shows a Totenkopf image next to the Stabswache link that leads to this article. The article does say the death's head was used for the Stabswache, but is unclear whether it was this particular rendering of a death's head (evidently the same one used by the SS-Totenkopfverbände). If, as this infobox implies, both the Stabswache and the SS-TV used the same picture of a death's head, I think this image should be added to the paragraph of the LSSAH article that discusses the Stabswache. I'd do it myself if I weren't so confused! Lusanaherandraton (talk) 03:35, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 04:20, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Corrected Translation[edit]

Hi, I made a change in the lede: Changed translation of "Leib" in "Leibgarde" to Garde du Corps/"body,torso", which IMHO is more correct; ref

The new version reads:

"The term Leibstandarte was derived partly from Leibgarde – a somewhat archaic German translation of "Garde du Corps" or personal bodyguard of a military leader ("Leib" = lit. "body, torso") - and Standarte: the Schutzstaffel (SS) or Sturmabteilung (SA) term for a regiment-sized unit."


T Jan. 12. 2013 (talk) 14:59, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

Recent article name change and move therein[edit]

Recently, the name of the article above was changed by redirect move from 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler to 1st SS Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler. The move is really not correct, if moved-it should be moved to the last official name of the unit: 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. I tried to move it to its last official name for the unit but it was already listed as a past redirect to the article. It also brothers me that this move was done without discussion. It should have been discussed. I believe it should be known by its last official name for the unit, written as either: 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler or 1. SS-Panzer-Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. The first being preferred. Kierzek (talk) 15:43, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, I should have discussed this before moving it, but it can be undone if need be. BTW, its original name did not have SS inserted in between it. EyeTruth (talk) 17:46, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the note. It should be discussed and I think it should be left open for a few days to see if anyone else has a comment. BTW-I know the name history well having written and cited it in this article. I don't think LAH (Nov. 1933) should be used because it could cause confusion for general readers when the abbreviation of LSSAH (April 1934 and thereafter) is used in this and other articles. That is why I mentioned using the last full name of the unit, 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (1943) for the title (with the other names used as re-directs). Cheers, Kierzek (talk) 18:27, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
User:EyeTruth, you should have cleaned up after the move, ie, you did not fix double redirects created by the move; a bot went around and cleaned up after you. I think the article should live at the most commonly used name, the name they had the longest, or we should abide by the naming conventions established for other military units of this type. For example, 3. SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Totenkopf is at 3rd SS Division Totenkopf. -- Dianna (talk) 18:47, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
I would like to see the following: the longest used: Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH); otherwise, I would go with: 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler or 1. SS-Panzer-Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, the last name, as I stated above. As far as most common, it is a close toss up between Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler and Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler; with Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler used in more of the books I own. Unofficially, as to Google hits, Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler has a few more. Kierzek (talk) 19:23, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Of the ideas you've presented, I would suggest 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler is the best alternative, for conformity with other articles of this type. But why does "SS" appear in the name twice?-- Dianna (talk) 15:39, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
The unit was unique. Basically (in rough history), it went from: Stabswache (Staff Guard) to Stoßtrupp (Shock Troop) 'Adolf Hitler'; then when reformed: SS-Stabswache Berlin to SS-Sonderkommando Berlin which in Nov. 1933 was renamed, Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (LAH). Then in April 1934, Himmler ordered it renamed Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH). Later, after the formation of the Waffen-SS, it was given the distinction of being known as the 1st SS-Division with its formal name still (from April 1934) Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. Kierzek (talk) 15:54, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

@ Diannaa. The original name was Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (LAH) but Hitler wanted it to be very "SS" so it was renamed Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH), and later got another "SS" when it matured into an SS panzergrenadier division of the SS Panzer Corps (which was later renamed the II SS Panzer Corps). While some historians refer to it as LSSAH, a very good number also still call it by its original name, LAH. But the more I think about the article name-change in light of the other SS divisions, I realize that it doesn't fit the current pattern since the others are page-titled with their last official names. Also I didn't bother to clean up redirects because a bot always do it. EyeTruth (talk) 17:20, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Well, the unit first received the name LAH in Munich at the Feldherrnhale in Nov. 1933, but that was not its original name. Himmler did this to distinguish the unit and tie it to Hitler (which was an honor and to curry favor). It would go on to carry that name, modified over time, for the rest of its days. And while it is true that Hitler wanted a guard of SS men, it was Himmler's idea to name it such. Then on 13 April 1934, Himmler signed an order introducing a number of changes, including the insert of the SS initials in the units name. Himmler wanted to make sure it was clear that the unit was SS, independent at that time from the SA or army. More importantly at this time is the fact I believe we all now agree that the name for the article should be: 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. Kierzek (talk) 15:44, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
I have moved the page to 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. -- Dianna (talk) 16:13, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

LSSAH Barbarossa Deployment[edit]

This division was not deployed with the LIV Army Corps as part of Army Group South. The LIV Army Corps operated in the extreme south as part of the 11th Army around Odessa. LSSAH participated in the attack toward Kiev, as part of III Corps, when it was taken out of reserve.

Depending on the source on June 22nd, it was either deployed in 1st Panzer Group reserve, or as part of the XIV Panzer Corps, which was in reserve along with SS "Viking" and 9th Panzer Division. Axis history, which is pretty reliable has it as part of the 1st Panzer Group reserve, here:, but Russian sources, such as this map, put it in the XIV Panzer Corps.

We can say here that it was in "reserve" with Army Group South and that should be sufficient.

It is simple enough to say that it was in reserve with Army Group South, as its precise attachment is irrelevant, since it was not fighting.

Referencing this revision: Livedawg (talk) 06:03, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

G'day, I don't think axishistory qualifies as a reliable source. In any case, it is my understanding that LSSAH was an independent division (ie not under a corps) under the command of Kleist's Panzergruppe, Army Group South. Technically, Kleist was subordinate to 6th Army, but in reality his command was independent, and responsible directly to von Rundstedt. Peacemaker67 (send... over) 06:28, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
in lieu of a source that is "reliable" then the only reference so far is a Soviet map, which may or may not be accurate: That map suggests it was "attached" to XIVth Panzer Corps, but I suspect that is just an educated guess. Hence the revision I made, which leaves the issue up in the air. Regardless, LSSAH, didn't serve as an attachment to the LIV Corps at that time because LIV was part of the Romanian/Wehrmacht "mixed" 11th Army in the Danube Delta, not at Lublin. Whether or not it was "attached" in reserve, or "independent" in reserve seems moot.Livedawg (talk) 09:42, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
Found a good source of this units deployment history through a published version of the CAPTURED GERMAN DOCUMENTS list from the US National Archives and Records Administration. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Livedawg (talkcontribs) 09:15, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

Proposed move![edit]

I propose changing this article title to simply "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler" per WP:COMMONNAME. No one refers to the LSSAH as "1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler". Any objections? Jonas Vinther • (Click here to collect your price!) 13:23, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Jonas see the prior discussion above as to same under "Recent article name change and move therein". Kierzek (talk) 13:54, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't think the page should be moved. Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler redirects here. -- Diannaa (talk) 14:18, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
To be clear, I agree with Diannaa and this article has several redirects, including Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. Kierzek (talk) 14:28, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
I agree, it should also be at its last name, per WP:MILMOS#UNITNAME. Cheers, Peacemaker67 (crack... thump) 22:36, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Recent changes to the Malmedy massacre section[edit]

I'm going to try to revert - the recent changes by editor Kerouac86 are not supported by the main Malmedy massacre article. I suggest that addressing these discrepancies can be more appropriately done on the Malmedy massacre page. --K.e.coffman (talk) 01:28, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

I did revert - here are the differences K.e.coffman (talk) 01:46, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
I am the person who re-wrote the content on Malmedy in May 2014. The source I used was Parker, Danny S. (2012). Fatal Crossroads: The Untold Story of the Malmédy Massacre at the Battle of the Bulge. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo. ISBN 978-0-306-81193-7. You are correct when you say that this content agrees with the main article Malmedy massacre, which contains further sources. Thank you for reverting, it was the right thing to do in my opinion. -- Diannaa 🍁 (talk) 04:39, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Section "Early history (1923–1933)"[edit]

This section seems to relate the early history of the SS proper and Waffen-SS, rather than that of the division. Is this extensive exposition necessary? I'd like to shorten for concision and better flow of the article. Thoughts? --K.e.coffman (talk) 01:52, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

It is necessary to give the background and history of the divison. But some edits for concision would not hurt. I would like to see this article and frankly the other main Waffen-SS division articles given a good ce run thorough and also see RS citing added. It is a big task. The articles on the 2nd, 3rd and 12th Waffen-SS divisions are in worse shape, overall. I know you have been working on them, K.e. which is good. Kierzek (talk) 14:13, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Use of Kurt Meyer as source[edit]

Hi, I would like to move this out of the citations arear:

  • [33] Meyer, Kurt (2005). Grenadiers: The Story of Waffen SS General Kurt "Panzer" Meyer. Stackpole Books. p. 124. ISBN 9780811731973.

This appears to be a memoir (or at least written by an 'interested party'). There's only one cite to Meyer, so it's not a big deal in the context of the article. Still, in the spirit of using WP:RS, I'd like to have it removed and/or moved as Further reading in Meyer's bio article. Thoughts? --K.e.coffman (talk) 19:44, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

Given what it is citing is pretty mundane deployment information, I see no reason why it wouldn't be reliable in that context. If you could source the info elsewhere, it could be moved to Further reading. Peacemaker67 (crack... thump) 20:54, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Okay, I see. Nevermind then. K.e.coffman (talk) 21:10, 22 November 2015 (UTC)


I have discovered the quotation that starts "It is true that one fighter bomber we shot down landed on a Panzer and destroyed it..." was copied from a forum in this edit back in 2008. The forum post,, is dated 2003. The edit also contained copyright violations from this forum, which I am going to try to repair right now. I am removing the quotation as well, as that forum is the earliest source I can find online for the quotation, and forums are not a reliable scholarly source. -- Diannaa (talk) 22:15, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

Copyright problem removed[edit]

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Otto Kumm's document removed: comment[edit]

I removed this document from Further reading. I had thought it was Kumm's memoirs/division history, but it's a document he prepared for the US army following the war.

Upon review, I'm not convinced it has value being in the Further reading section - it's a 2-page doc, still coming from an unreliable source: Kumm.

If editor's think that there's value, it can be restored but perhaps to the External links section. K.e.coffman (talk) 05:06, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

I have said before that I disagree with this assumption that anything written by Kumm is unreliable. For movements of the formations he commanded, the operations they conducted etc I consider him reliable. In this specific case, a two-page document is going to be of limited value, so I'm not going to revert its removal, but please take note that you don't have consensus to remove books written by Kumm from articles just because he was in the Waffen-SS. Thanks, Peacemaker67 (crack... thump) 06:12, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
Noted - thank you. I check to see if a potentially questionable source used for any citations. In this case it was not and was in the Further reading section, so it felt safe to remove.
A general comment: my understanding is that Further reading sections should contain wp:rs sources from reputable historians. Since Kumm (and other Waffen-SS authors) are generally not reputable historians, what is the value of having their works in Further reading sections? Similarly, what is the rationale for having these works in Reference/Sources sections, if they are not used for any citations? K.e.coffman (talk) 06:52, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
In this specific instance, there is none. I would only include Kumm if I was using him to cite something, in which case it he would be in the References section. Cheers, Peacemaker67 (crack... thump) 06:59, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for the clarification. K.e.coffman (talk) 07:13, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

A couple of points[edit]

I noticed in a couple of places the rank given for a General was his ultimate rank and not the rank at the time. For example, I went ahead and changed Reinhardt's rank, as he was not the equivalent of a four star General during the Polish campaign. I think there are some other instances of this which should also be corrected.

There also seems to be some confusion over the unit's size before it became an actual Division. I'm not sure if this because people are equating regiments with brigades (which are not interchangeable) or what. As far as aI know, the unit was never designated as a Brigade and should never be referred to as one. Even if it was supplemented with additional smaller units, it would be considered an over-strength regiment and not a brigade. During the part about the Balkan campaign the two terms are used and the word brigade should be changed.

Also, there was an incident in Poland that is significant for the rest of the war. At the city of Radom, the LAH massacred some civilians, apparently under the direction of the man in charge of the marching band. Both von Reichanau and von Rundstedt insisted on a court martial, but the end result was that Hitler intervened and pardoned the accused. What's more, it was because of this that the decision was made that the Army would no longer have anything to say about disciplining SS units, even the ones directly under their command, something that would haunt the Wehrmacht for the rest of the war.

Oh, and in the lede, could he first sentence read, "The 1st SS-Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (abbreviated as 1. SS-Pz.Div. LSSAH) or simply as LAH"? I've often seen it abbreviated as just "LAH". __209.179.86.123 (talk) 17:15, 15 January 2016 (UTC)


The content in the subsection Kharkov starting with "On 8–9 February 1943..." and ending with "...withdraw towards Krasnograd." is copied from Jochen Peiper Justice Denied -- so it may be a copyvio. The book itself sounds sketchy -- the title, the thrust of the narrative, and the writing style ("important Junction City of Kharkov" - caps in the original). I would like to remove this content from the article unless there are objections. K.e.coffman (talk) 04:25, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Good catch. Its not cited and given the copyright vio. remove it. See if it can be replaced with RS cited information. Kierzek (talk) 14:01, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Will do – thanks for the feedback. I checked Third Battle of Kharkov but it does not discuss Leibstandarte during that particular timeframe, but covers II SS Panzer Corps overall. I don't have access to sources with such level of detail, so I will leave a note in the edit summary for interested editors to pick this up. K.e.coffman (talk) 04:34, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Division guilty of war crimes?[edit]

Individuals can commit war crimes, but can a Division be guilty of war crimes? Royalcourtier (talk) 06:27, 3 August 2016 (UTC)

Yes, if enough members of a unit or organization, actively and willingly commit the actions or even allow them to happen. This Waffen-SS division and the Waffen-SS, as a whole, (although there were found to be certain exceptions as to conscripts) were found by clear and convincing evidence to be adjudged guilty. On this finding there is no question of any uncertainty per the RS sources and evidence. Kierzek (talk) 13:02, 3 August 2016 (UTC)

Mohnke's involvement in massacre[edit]

It is not correct to argue that "although it is unarguable that the massacre occurred, Mohnke's level of involvement is impossible to know, he was never formally charged and brought to trial". His involvement could be determined by investigation and the testimony of others. He did not need to be tried to determine his degree of involvement.Royalcourtier (talk) 06:31, 3 August 2016 (UTC)

It is correct per WP:RS sources. If there is no official trial or even inquest and judgment made by the trier of fact, it is not conclusive; I can tell you, per my day job, that two people can "witness" an event, such as an accident and give different accounts, even under oath and also one can hire an "expert" to support any point-of-view. Here the fact is that the evidence, even per "investigation", is not conclusive per the RS sources. Kierzek (talk) 12:56, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
Agree completely, and yet....the principle of command responsibility applies here. The commander is responsible for everything the unit does or fails to do. That includes actions the commander doesn't even know about. This was the basis, e.g. of the postwar conviction of the Japanese general Yamashita for war crimes. I am just wary of trying too hard to explain away command responsibility in instances like this. Regards, DMorpheus2 (talk) 17:24, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

Use of "elite"[edit]

The term "elite" is used several times through the article. It should be removed as it is puffery. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:25, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

No they were considered an elite division; unlike later Waffen-SS divisions. I will cite it. Kierzek (talk) 12:51, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
Use of the term is still puffery, even if it is used in various sources. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:23, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
In any case, let's discuss here before continuing with editing to avoid an edit war. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:24, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
"[S]till puffery, even if it is used in various sources." That is your opinion, and that is WP:OR. We go by the cited sources of the historians; our opinion does not matter. It's not puffing when it comes to this unit; McNab and Stein are just two RS sources which will state this fact and verify it. Per BRD, the burden is on you to put forth why in this instance the wording should be removed. And frankly, if we were talking about other Waffen-SS units (especially after the first 5 divisions), your argument would be strong and I would agree with you, per the cited sources. And although, many RS sources state the first 5 divisions were considered elite fighting and equipped forces, I have not put forth citing as to the other four and am not arguing for certain wording for their articles. PS, I did tweak it with RS cites. Kierzek (talk) 15:47, 1 September 2016 (UTC)


Why does this article suddenly begin using the term "sonderkommando?" Sonderkommando refers to work units of prisoners in concentration or extermination camps. I believe this is an error and these uses should have been "schutzkommando." FinnHK (talk) 15:22, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

The term has more than one meaning and always has; SS-Sonderkommando Zossen and SS-Sonderkommando Jüterbog and SS-Sonderkommando Berlin is what the units were known as at the time. Not an error. Kierzek (talk) 16:04, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
The phrase used in connection with the concentration camps is a euphemism, the original literal military meaning is 'special-commando' and as such is legitimate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:44, 26 December 2017 (UTC)

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