Walter Seebach

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Walter Seebach
Seebach-Walter.jpg
Born 5 November 1918
Heerlen, the Netherlands
Died 4 July 2004(2004-07-04) (aged 85)
Essen
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen SS
Years of service 1934–45
Rank Hauptsturmführer
Unit 5th SS Division Wiking
11th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division Nordland
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Iron Cross I Class
Iron Cross II Class
Close Combat Clasp in Gold
Wound Badge in Gold
Infantry Assault Badge in Bronze
Eastern Front Medal

Walter Seebach (5 November 1918 – 4 July 2004) was a soldier, a Hauptsturmführer (Captain) in the Waffen SS during World War II. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross by Nazi Germany. He was also one of only 631 men awarded the very rare Close Combat Clasp in Gold.[1]

Early life[edit]

Walter Seebach was born on 5 November 1918, in Heerlen Netherlands, but both his parents were German. They moved back to Germany and after Seebach graduated from school aged sixteen he joined the Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth) in March 1933. He completed his compulsory labour service between November 1938 to March 1939 and then volunteered to join the Allgemeine-SS in April 1937 and the Waffen-SS in April 1939 and was assigned to the 6th Company, SS Regiment Germania.

World War II[edit]

In November 1939, Seebach was selected to become an officer and sent to the SS-Junkerschule at Bad Tölz and then on to the SS-Junkerschule in Braunschweig in April 1940. He was promoted to Untersturmführer (Second Lieutenant) in November 1941 and posted to the 9th SS Panzergrenadier Regiment Germania, 5th SS Division Wiking. In February 1942, he was made the adjutant of the II. Battalion and given command of the 2nd Company in December 1942.

In May 1943, he was transferred to the 24th SS Panzergrenadier Regiment Danemark as the adjutant. He was awarded the Knight's Cross for his actions around 31 January 1944, as the commander of the 5th Company, 24th SS Panzergrenadier Regiment Danemark (11th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division Nordland). His company had fought off eight attacks by superior Russian forces, when Seebach decided to launch an attack of his own. This tactic succeeded, but Seebach was wounded during the assault. Refusing to leave his men, he remained on the front line leading further counterattacks. When ordered to withdraw, he discovered that seven wounded men had been left behind. Ordering an immediate attack, he managed to retrieve his lost men and then withdraw to safety at Narva. The efforts of his company made it possible for the division to withdraw from the Luga bridgehead.

Sent to hospital to recover from his wounds, he was given command of the SS Reconnaissance Training and Reserve Battalion between April and June 1944, and command of the SS Panzergrenadier Training and Reserve Regiment until November 1944. He ended the war as the regimental adjutant of the 9th SS Panzergrenadier Regiment Germania. (5th SS Panzer Division Wiking)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Berger 2004, p. 6.

Further reading[edit]

  • Berger, Florian (2004). Ritterkreuzträger mit Nahkampfspange in Gold [Knight's Cross Bearers with the Close Combat Clasp in Gold] (in German). Vienna, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 978-3-9501307-3-7. 
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). 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. 
  • Henschler, Henri; Fey, Willi (2003). Armor Battles of the Waffen-SS, 1943–45. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-2905-5. 
  • Mitcham, Samuel W (2007). 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.