Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by Will, Nov 3, 2002.
What is the best SS unit in your openion?
WHEN PUTTING THE DIVISIONS ON THE LIST I NOTICED THAT THE LIST HAD SOME DOUBLES AND MISSING NUMBERS SO CONSIQUENTLY THERE MAY BE MISSING NUMBERS OR SCREW UPS AFTER 25 FOR GIVE ME.
There are a couple of minore errors, but as they are in the latter Divs, i doubt it will matter mutch. I take it you could not put the same Div number in twice.
that was the thing I didn't know if the #'s were duplicated on purpose or not also on my list there was a "freiwilling grenadier division" But no name so I didn't know if it was a typo and left it out
#s 29 and 33 were duplicated. What was the number of the Divs that had no name on your source.
However. Nobody will ever vote for those units which cannot be called divisions or even fighting units; with no uniforms, no vehicles, no weaponry... yeah...
I voted for the 11th W-SS Pz Gren. Div because of the many nationalities involved and the ampount of RK winners, and in the last months of the war it's Herqamnn von Salza Stug Abteilung joined with the SS Schwere Pz. Abteilung 503 to form an incredibly stong panzer contingent which destroyed over 450 Soviet tanks in 1945 alone !
my source is http://www.skalman.nu/third-reich/ss-divisioner.htm
the unit was 31st SS freiwilligen grenadier division but there was also the #'s 23 ans 29 used on two other units eache so it maybe the 34th or just a typo. What do you think?
That site is a good one. I have several ooks that ist the SS Divs, and they allgenerally agree with that list. I did not no thise the 2 23. Divs.
The 31. is named the Bohmen Mahren. But as Friedrich says, many of these units did not reach full strentgh, some no more than regiments.
If "best" means number of people killed, I miss the Einsatzgruppen and the Totenkopf camp guards in that list, who would be my choice.
I think the topic pertains only to combat record, not mass murder.
Even the Russians admitted a grudging respect for the fighting qualities of the Wiking division
And this is interesting to know:
SS-Gruppenfuhrer Herbert Otto Gille commanded the famous 5. SS-Panzer-Division "Wiking" and was the first Waffen-SS officer to be awarded the Knight's Cross with Oakleaves, Swords and Diamonds. The only other man in the Waffen-SS to be so awarded was Josef "Sepp" Dietrich, infamous commander of the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler.
Wiking has not been accused of any warcrimes, but the infamous Joseph Mengele served in the Pionier Battalion (where he also was awarded the Iron Cross) during his time in the Waffen-SS.
So I go for SS Wiking first.
I chose "Wiking" as the best W-SS Div--even though I know more "Das Reich" vets than any other W-SS formation.
Now for Favorite W-SS unit--27th W-SS "Legion Flandern/Sturmbrigade Langemarck" reason, because its sole RKT is a very close friend of mine and he is a real gent.
There certainly were witnesses doing so at Nuremberg and at the Eichmann trials. These actions include killing Jews, shooting of POWs and serving at labour and concentration camps. There certainly are numerous incidents that I would call war crimes and atrocities, as witnessed by veterans themselves, notably Finnish soldiers who were encouraged by their government to keep diaries.
Quick search on google gives me this for example, posted by a Jussi Jalonen:
"The Finnish servicemen obviously weren't _unaware_ of the atrocities - they made mentions of the events in their diaries, letters and later on in their memoirs. Sakari Lappi-Seppälä, who served in Westland, has recorded that he heard of an incident where one German SS-Unterscharführer had ordered the execution a hundred Soviet PoWs, on the excuse that he was unable to arrange their transportation. This occurred in early July; at the same time, Lappi-Seppälä had the misfortune to witness a mass execution of thirty-six Jewish civilians by the German soldiers of the Westland regiment. Two Finns of the Nordland regiment participated in the evacuation of Ternopol, but learned of the mass murder of the evacuated civilians only afterwards - they heard the submachine-gun fire, thought it was a Soviet surprise attack, rushed to the place and saw the bloody scene at the time when the massacre was already over."
I can agree that Wiking had a less tarnished record than many other Waffen-SS divisions, certainly.
[ 08. November 2002, 03:15 AM: Message edited by: Heartland ]
a momentary loss of memory actually...Like I did not remember. That´s what happens when taking captions from articles and sending them further in a hurry.Sorry about that.Thanx for correcting me.I am not like saying that Finns etc were innocent on this subject, as it might sound here for my reason for favouring the Wiking. That´s not the case. My point is that the Germans were instructed to this though does not make it any more acceptable for doing it. I cannot think of any way the Wiking could have escaped it during the Russian attack thus, well maybe because they were busy fighting the Russian soldiers maybe? And the Finns for example were meant for "parade business", not fighting, yet caught in the middle of all s*** as well.Besides the Finns did some heavy cleaning of villages like I said I read from one Finnish member´s diary.And not just watching how it went. Maybe not execution but butchery to me. But nothing I cannot see as doing myself in the war then;either them or you and your comrades...animal instinct...
1. Wiking was guilty as well but probably more involved in actual fighting.
Wiking murders 600 Jews as "reprisal for Soviet cruelties."***
2.Finns were involved in cleaning the cities during the bitter fighting
3. Both sides took part in the attrocities.How many Germans were captured in Stalingrad and some 5 000 came back...isn´t that like 15% if more than 300 000 Germans were caught...I may even have overnumbered the ones who returned.
To put my words better:
So far as I know the Finns in Waffen-SS did not take part in the executions of the jews. Maybe protected by their country? As well we had the privilege of Finnish NCO´s and many Finnish officers unlike other foreign Waffen-SS men who had German officers and NCO´s in their units mostly. And like I said for the most part our Freiwilligen were seen as "parade and co-operation battallion" yet as the going got tough in 1942-1943 we were sent into the fire as well.
The cleaning of the cities means killing everyone, whether jew or not. Everyone.It mainly correlates with the partisan activity in the area, I think. This is how I understand it and the war thus for the Finnish Waffen-SS soldiers was very different to the front in Karelia where civilians could expect to be treated as civilians.
The Finns I have read about certainly expressed disgust with the actions performed by the WSS in Russia. I would imagine this stems from the fact that they weren't indoctrinated with Nazi ideals to same degree as other nationals serving in the WSS. Additonally, they were one of only a few nationals that could be considered to serve in the WSS without neccessarily supporting the Nazi cause, which probably also helped a lot, as well as being kept together for the most part.
Well it looks like "Wiking" was voted the best.
Well. That is a bit of a surprise, for me anyway. I would expected Leibstandarte or Das Reich to take the top spot.
I believe even the Russians gave Wiking respect because of its fighting tenacity. I would agree with the results.