The 2ND SS PANZER DIVISION DAS REICH was a division of the Nazi
* 1 Operational history
* 2 War crimes
* 3 Post-war apologia * 4 Commanders * 5 See also
* 6 References
* 6.1 Citations * 6.2 Bibliography
In August 1939
In October 1939 the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT) regiments, Deutschland, Germania and Der Führer, were organized into the SS-Verfügungs-Division with Paul Hausser as commander. Thereafter, the SS-VT and the LSSAH took part in combat training while under army commands in preparation for Operation Fall Gelb against the Low Countries and France in 1940.
In May 1940, the Der Führer Regiment was detached from the SS-VT
Division and relocated near the Dutch border, with the remainder of
the division behind the line in
After the fighting in the Netherlands ended, the SS-VT Division was
ordered to make for France. On 24 May the LSSAH, along with the SS-VT
Division were positioned to hold the perimeter around
After the close of the Battle of France, the SS-VT was officially
In April 1941, Germany invaded Yugoslavia and Greece . The LSSAH and
Das Reich were attached to separate army
For the invasion of the Soviet Union (
In 1943, Das Reich was transferred back from France to the Eastern
Front . There it participated in the fighting around
Beginning on 6 June 1944, the Allied
The division massacred 642 French civilians in the village of Oradour-sur-Glane on 10 June 1944 in the Limousin region. SS-Sturmbannführer Adolf Diekmann, commander of the I Battalion, 4th SS Panzergrenadier Regiment (Der Führer) that committed the massacre, claimed that it was a just retaliation due to partisan activity in nearby Tulle and the kidnapping of Sturmbannführer Helmut Kämpfe , commander of the III Battalion, although the German authorities had already executed ninety-nine people in the Tulle massacre , following the killing of some forty German soldiers in Tulle by the Maquis resistance movement.
On 10 June, Diekmann's battalion sealed off Oradour-sur-Glane, and ordered all the townspeople to assemble in the village square, ostensibly to have their identity papers examined. All the women and children were locked in the church. One of the six survivors of the massacre, Robert Hebras, described the killings as a deliberate act of mass murder . In 2013, he told the U.K. newspaper The Mirror that the SS intentionally burned men, women, and children after locking them in the church and spraying it with machine gun fire:
It was simply an execution . There were a handful of Nazis in front of us, in their uniforms. They just raised their machine guns and started firing across us, at our legs to stop us getting out. They were strafing, not aiming. Men in front of me just started falling. I got caught by several bullets, but I survived because those in front of me got the full impact. I was so lucky. Four of us in the barn managed to get away because we remained completely still under piles of bodies. One man tried to get away before they had gone – he was shot dead. The SS were walking around and shooting anything that moved. They poured petrol on bodies and then set them alight."
Marcel Darthout's experience was similar. His testimony appears in historian Sara Farmer's 2000 book Martyred Village: Commemorating the 1944 Massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane:
We felt the bullets, which brought me down. I dove... everyone was on top of me. And they were still firing. And there was shouting. And crying. I had a friend who was lying on top of me and who was moaning. And then it was over. No more shots. And they came at us, stepping on us. And with a rifle they finished us off. They finished off my friend who was on top of me. I felt it when he died.
Darthout and Hebras' eyewitness testimony was corroborated by other survivors of the massacre. One other survivor, Roger Godfrin, escaped from the school for refugees despite being shot at by SS soldiers. Only one woman, Marguerite Rouffanche, survived from the church. She later testified that at about five in the afternoon, two German soldiers placed a crate of explosives on the altar and attached a fuse to it. She and another women and her baby hid behind the sacristy; after the explosion they climbed on a stool and jumped out of a window three meters from the ground. A burst of machine gun fire hit all of them, but Rouffanche was able to crawl into the presbytery garden. The woman and infant were killed.
Diekmann was later killed in the battle of Normandy in 1944. On 12
January 1953, a military tribunal in
Main article: Tulle massacre
After the Allied second front opened on 6 June 1944, all resistance groups joined "into the uprising". Part of Das Reich was ordered to attack strongholds of the rural guerrilla bands of French Resistance fighters as it moved to Normandy. After a successful FTP offensive on 7 and 8 June 1944, Das Reich was ordered to the Tulle-Limoges area. The arrival of Das Reich troops "rescued the beleaguered" army troops and ended the fighting in the city of Tulle . In reprisal for the German losses, on the following day, the SS hanged 99 men from the town and another 149 were deported back to Germany.
Following the war, one of the regimental commander of the division,
Otto Weidinger , wrote an apologia of the division under the auspices
The Das Reich history was published by HIAG's publishing house Munin
Verlag. Its express aim was to publish the "war narratives" of former
* SS-Sturmbannführer Wilhelm Kment , Prior to 1935 * SS-Obergruppenführer Paul Hausser , 19 October 1939 – 14 October 1941 * SS-Brigadeführer Wilhelm Bittrich , 14 October 1941 – 31 December 1941 * SS-Brigadeführer Matthias Kleinheisterkamp , 31 December 1941 – 19 April 1942 * SS-Gruppenführer Georg Keppler , 19 April 1942 – 10 February 1943 * SS-Brigadeführer Herbert-Ernst Vahl , 10 February 1943 – 18 March 1943 * SS-Standartenführer Kurt Brasack , 18 March 1943 – 29 March 1943 * SS-Gruppenführer Walter Krüger , 29 March 1943 – 23 October 1943 * SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Lammerding , 23 October 1943 – 24 July 1944 * SS-Obersturmbannführer Christian Tychsen , 24 July 1944 – 28 July 1944 * SS-Oberführer Otto Baum , 28 July 1944 – 23 October 1944 * SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Lammerding , 23 October 1944 – 20 January 1945 * SS-Standartenführer Karl Kreutz , 20 January 1945 – 4 February 1945 * SS-Gruppenführer Werner Ostendorff , 4 February 1945 – 9 March 1945 * SS-Standartenführer Rudolf Lehmann , 9 March 1945 – 13 April 1945 * SS-Standartenführer Karl Kreutz , 13 April 1945 – 8 May 1945
* List of Knight\'s Cross Recipients 2nd SS
* ^ A B Flaherty 2004 , p. 149. * ^ Stein 1984 , p. 32. * ^ Flaherty 2004 , pp. 149–151. * ^ A B Flaherty 2004 , p. 152. * ^ Stein 1984 , pp. 62–64. * ^ Stein 1984 , pp. 65–66. * ^ Stein 1984 , p. 66. * ^ Stein 1984 , pp. 65–69. * ^ A B Flaherty 2004 , p. 154. * ^ Flaherty 2004 , p. 155. * ^ A B Flaherty 2004 , p. 156. * ^ Stein 1984 , p. 103. * ^ Flaherty 2004 , p. 160. * ^ Stein 1984 , p. 104. * ^ Flaherty 2004 , pp. 162, 163. * ^ Flaherty 2004 , p. 168. * ^ Stein 1984 , p. 167. * ^ Flaherty 2004 , p. 173. * ^ Stein 1984 , pp. 204, 207. * ^ Clark 2012 , p. 247. * ^ Glantz 1986 , p. 66. * ^ Glantz 2013 , p. 184. * ^ Stein 1984 , p. 210. * ^ McNab 2013 , p. 295. * ^ Hastings 2013 , p. ?. * ^ Stein 1984 , pp. 222–223. * ^ Shirer 1960 , pp. 1085–1086. * ^ Zaloga p. 3 * ^ Zaloga p. 3 * ^ MacDonald 1963 , p. 51. * ^ http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/robert-hebras-last-witness-of-nazi-1569947#ixzz31Qazz900 * ^ Farmer, Sarah. Martyred Village: Commemorating the 1944 Massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane. University of California Press, 2000. * ^ Farmer, Sarah. Martyred Village: Commemorating the 1944 Massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane. University of California Press, 2000. * ^ Ex-SS soldiers face massacre charges * ^ Farmer, Sarah. Martyred Village: Commemorating the 1944 Massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane. University of California Press, 2000, pp. 46, 47. * ^ Farmer, p. 49. * ^ Farmer, p. 49. * ^ Farmer, p. 49. * ^ MacKenzie 1997 , p. 138. * ^ Wilke 2011 , p. 379. * ^ Picaper 2014 .
* Bessel, Richard (2006). Nazism and War. New York: Modern Library.
ISBN 978-0-81297-557-4 .
* Clark, Lloyd (2012). Kursk: The Greatest Battle: Eastern Front
1943. London: Headline Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-7553-3639-5 .
* Flaherty, T.H. (2004) . The Third Reich: The SS. Time-Life Books.
ISBN 1-84447-073-3 .
* Glantz, David M. (September 1986). "Soviet Defensive Tactics at
Kursk, July 1943" (PDF). U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
Ft. Belvoir. Soviet Army Studies Office Combined Arms Center Combat
Studies Institute (CSI Report No. 11).
* v * t * e
* 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS
11th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division Nordland
16th SS Panzergrenadier Division Reichsführer-SS
6th SS Mountain Division Nord
7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen
13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian)
21st Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Skanderbeg (1st Albanian)
23rd Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Kama (2nd Croatian)
* 8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer * 22nd SS Volunteer Cavalry Division Division Maria Theresia * 33rd Waffen Cavalry Division of the SS (3rd Hungarian) * 37th SS Volunteer Cavalry Division Lützow * 1st SS Cossack Cavalry Division
14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Galician)
15th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Latvian)
19th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (2nd Latvian)
20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Estonian)
25th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Hunyadi (1st Hungarian)
26th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (2nd Hungarian)
* 27th SS Volunteer Grenadier Division Langemarck (1st Flemish)
* 28th SS Volunteer Grenadier Division Wallonien
29th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS RONA (1st Russian)
* Divisional commanders * Divisions
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German Armoured Divisions of
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* 1st "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler" * 2nd "Das Reich" * 3rd "Totenkopf" * 5th "Wiking" * 9th "Hohenstaufen" * 10th "Frundsberg" * 12th "Hitlerjugend"
* Hermann Göring Division
* WorldCat Identities * VIAF : 215981052 * GND : 4074876-5 * SUDOC : 027549089
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