Talk:2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich

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Dear readers and other editors,

I visited this site on 1st of April, 2006 and found several errors concerning order of Battle during the Normandy invasion. I also realise that this page is a stub. I will continue editing this untill it has become a real page. I will edit its organizational history and also extent the war criminal section,

with regards,

Lex Rommel

Further Additions[edit]

Once I finish the semester on May 19th and return home, I will add to this page extensively with full references.

-Jclingerman Mwahahah DAS DRITTE REICH!-- 10:50, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Shocking by the War Crimes section[edit]

I'm a contributor of the french Wikipedia. My english is not very correct, so I think I'm not able to correct myself the War Crimes section of this article Das Reich.However, I am shocking by the last content of this section.

I disagree with changed made by IP on 12:47, 24 January 2007 :

First about Oradour-sur-Glane, he changed the world "massacre" in "execution". I'm not very good in English but the soldier of the "Regiment Der Fürher" killed the women and chidren in the Church with fire and machines guns. They also killed men with machine guns and burn their bodies in barnes. (See the article Oradour-sur-Glane).

Secondly : he removed the sentence "Only the Regiment "Der Führer" was held responsible for the massacre.". Why ? Who killed this people ?

Third, he added ", in retaliation due to partisan activity". The origin of the massacre is not so clear. It was Adolf Diekmann who justified this massacre in this way. Even if Partisan had attacked them in the past to prepare DDay, German chiefs would not believe Diekmann's version and assigned him in front of a German military tribunal.

I also disagree with the sentence "Apart from this, Das Reich was one of the front-line SS divisions that had an illustrious, mostly crime free career." : I wrote a section with a map (that can be understand by everybody who click on it) about the other massacre of Das Reich in south of France. See this link [1]. More than six hundreed persons where killed or sent in Internment and never came back.

Best Regards : Thierry46 (on french Wikipedia [2]) -- 21:30, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

I'll be glad to rework this section. Regarding the other massacre, was it one or several? Do the crosses on the maps denote massacres, and if so were they all carried out by 2. SS? Abel29a 23:36, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for your work on this articles.

Soldier of the 4th Waffen-SS ("Der Führer") panzergrenadier regiment killed many people in may and june 1944 in a large area at the north of the Lot department as you ca see it on the map [3].

Crosses on the map show places where soldier perpetrated violence against population. Numbers (n, m) mean n people were arrested and m people were killed. Stars mean places where SS soldiers fought against partisans.

Best Regards : Thierry46 (on french Wikipedia [4]) -- 20:25, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Another shocking part about the "War Crimes" section - it seems to have been infiltrated by revisionists! Compare the section on Oradour sur Glane to the full article on the massacre. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:55, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

Advance north in 1944[edit]

I'm not an expert in any way on the subject, but a couple of years ago, I remember reading a text by Max Hastings that focussed specifically on the advance north through France following D-Day.

I think it may be relevant for two reasons:

Firstly, it discussed the war crimes extensively, and secondly in the early chapters of the book, the operational condition of Das Reich at the time (06/1944) was assessed - I believe the author concludes that although the fresh recruits brought the division back to full strength following the eastern campaigns, they were so large in number and of only moderate quality. He supposed that this means that the division was not necessarily at the peak of its powers by the time it arrived in Normandy, and further proposed (again, as far as I remember) that the very rawness of the new troops may have predisposed them to overreact to partisan attacks as they advanced north, eventually leading to the war crimes perpetrated at Oradour-sur-Glane and other places (though of course other factors contributed as well, and none excuse the actions.)

I believe this is the book in question: Hastings, M (1982). Das Reich: The March of the 2nd Panzer Division Through France, 1944. Republished: Pan, London (2000). - available from: [ ]

As I say, I'm not an expert and this is only my dim recollection, so anyone interested may want to find that book and others in a library or something to check. This just caught my eye... bye...

--Comrade jo 19:45, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Disambiguous page/See also?[edit]

We may need a disambigious page or a 'See Also' for the term Das Reich as there was a newspaper by the same name. (talk) 17:42, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Corps ?[edit]

During the Normandy fighting , was the division part of the I SS Panzer corp or it fought independently ? Because the article regarding the I SS Panzer corps do not consider the division in its order of battle —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:09, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Mass murder of Jews by the division[edit]

This also should be mentioned. The division massacred Jews in Soviet Union(near Minsk) and IIRC Jewish PoWs in Austria. Will check sources and add information.--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 17:44, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

SS V-Division or SS Das Reich[edit]

The article wrongly states that SS Das Reich was already in existance in May 1940. It was not. In the May/June 1940 campaign SS Der Führer was a Standarte of the SS Verfügungsdivision (SS V-Division) together with SS-AA, SS Germania and SS Deutschland. Only in the Summer of 1940 SS Der Führer became the basis of SS Das Reich division. Grebbegoos (talk) 14:44, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

Is Otto Weidinger really a reliable source?[edit]

Otto Weidinger's book "Das Reich V" is referenced numerous times and presented as fact with no qualification. While I would certainly concede that he is an expert on the matter, I would also challenge his neutrality -specifically because not only was he present during the massacre; he was one of the commanding officers and held the same rank as the company commander (Adolf Diekmann). Furthermore Otto Weidinger assumed command of the entire regiment 4 days after the massacre. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:49, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

I would say not! Look at how slanted the section on Oradour has become as a result of citing his account of the massacre. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:58, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

Weidinger can be used, it's just that he must be used extremely carefully, and all points other than basic, uncontested facts need to be attributed to him in-line, after it has been explained that he was a member of Das Reich. In such situations, it can be valuable to have the accounts of the protagonists (if reliably published), but they must be used extremely carefully. Cheers, Peacemaker67 (send... over) 14:02, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

Moving Oradour-sur-Glane & Tulle into History[edit]

I would like to move these two events into the History section - since they are part of the division's history, not a separate area of activity. Thoughts? --K.e.coffman (talk) 01:51, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

I disagree, the war crimes this division were responsible for are part of the reason it is notable, and should be handled in a separate section. Peacemaker67 (crack... thump) 07:18, 21 November 2015 (UTC)


The passage attributed to Heaton & Flaherty reads like breathless propaganda; it is also vague:

  • On the morning of 12 April, SS-Hauptsturmführer Fritz Klingenberg and members of his motorcycle assault company approached Belgrade from Pančevo along the bank of the Danube river. Forcing a crossing, Klingenberg crossed the river and approached the Yugoslav capital, proceeding into downtown Belgrade with only six men. After entering the city, Klingenberg's small group received some[quantify] reinforcements. The Das Reich detachment held Belgrade against counterattacks, unfurled a large swastika and raised it over the embassy to declare the capture of the city. Two hours later, the mayor of Belgrade arrived at the embassy and surrendered the city to Klingenberg. A few days later[quantify] the army of Yugoslavia surrendered.[1] For capturing Belgrade, Klingenberg was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.[2]


  1. ^ Flaherty 2004, pp. 162, 163.
  2. ^ Heaton 1998.

I looked at the linked Heaton article and it concludes with this:

Klingenberg’s actions in Belgrade fit in with the mystique surrounding the Waffen SS. Despite the atrocities correctly attributed to SS units and individuals, such acts of chivalry and valor as Klingenberg demonstrated were not uncommon among the real professionals. Klingenberg could have followed the book and contributed to the total destruction of the ancient city and population of Belgrade had the Yugoslavians offered further resistance. History is the better for his act of bravery and humanity.

(Emphasis mine).

I don't have Flaherty, but the passage from the article makes me wonder. I suggest this passage be removed, unless someone has a more neutral citation for this "act of valor and humanity". K.e.coffman (talk) 07:56, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

Flaherty is not the problem, again it is the way someone wrote it up using Heaton as a source. That is easy to fix. Kierzek (talk) 14:05, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
Note: rewritten and Heaton removed as bias pov and non WP:RS, on 5 March, 2016. Kierzek (talk) 18:00, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

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First commander Wilhelm Kment[edit]

The link goes to a Wilhelm Kment who was a football manager! Is that the correct "Wilhelm Kment"? (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 15:02, 22 August 2017 (UTC)

The linked article states the man was born in 1914. The Waffen-SS officer was born 8 March 1915; so I would say no.