Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
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Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
20 April. There were annual oath ceremonies on Hitler's birthday.
My Ignatius Loyola. Hitler called him this because of Himmler's admiration of Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Though Himmler was not a religious man, he did admire the structure and moral code of the Jesuits. He also called him "der getreue Heinrich" ("Loyal Heinrich").
victory. Hitler (and more particularly Himmler) used a number of old and novel symbols which were intended to suggest the creation of a new order that was rooted in the Germanic past.
|A branch of the SS used the Totenkopf (Death's Head) device on its collar patches as well as its caps instead of the Sigrunen. This branch was known as the Totenkopfverbände and was formed in 1933 at Dachau to guard the newly established Concentration Camps. Who was the first Totenkopf unit commander?||Hitler's Samurai - The Waffen SS
Theodor Eicke. Theodor Eicke was an ex-policeman and a long standing friend of Hitler. It was Eicke who shot Ernst Roehm during the infamous 'Night of the Long Knives'.
1750. This requirement was watered down in later years.
1925. The SS title became official on 9 November 1925. Hitler's bodyguard had previously known as "Stosstrupp (Shock Troop) Adolf Hitler" and was led by Julius Schreck, Hitler's bodyguard/driver and a veteran of the Erhardt Brigade. (The forerunner, the "Stosstrupp Adolf Hitler" was founded in mid 1923).
Schutzstaffel. Literally, 'die Schutzstaffel' means 'protective squad'.
|In December 1944, Kampfgruppe Peiper smashed through the American lines in the Ardennes and headed for Antwerp. Where did its journey finally end in disaster?||History of the Waffen-SS
La Gleize. Kampfgruppe Peiper were forced to destroy all their tanks and heavy equipment in the small village of La Gleize after they had run out of fuel. They managed to break through the surrounding American forces and reached German lines, but the unit was finished as an effective fighting force.
Wilhelm Mohnke. Mohnke failed in his mission to defend the Reichs Chancellery and the Reichstag from the Russians. He was captured by the Russians on the 2nd May 1945 after he led an attempted breakout towards the British lines.
Michael Wittmann. Wittmann single-handedly stopped the advance of the British 7th Armoured division at Villers Bocage in Normandy with his lone Tiger tank on the 13th June 1944. At the end of the day, he had destroyed 23 tanks and a similar number of other vehicles. He was killed in action on the 8th August 1944. His total "kill" tally included 138 tanks and 132 anti-tank guns.
|The first SS division to face the Allied invasion in Normandy was the 12th SS panzer division "Hitlerjugend". But who was its commanding officer?||History of the Waffen-SS
Fritz Witt. As its name implies, the "Hitlerjugend" division was formed from volunteers from the Hitler youth. It gained a reputation, by the Allies, as an exteremely tough unit in Normandy. It later fought in the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. Fritz Witt was killed in action on the 14th June 1944 and the division was then taken over by the famous Kurt "Panzer" Meyer.
Gerardes Mooyman. The Waffen-SS were restricted by the army in the number of German recruits they could enlist, so the SS began to recruit volunteers from the occupied countries of Europe to fight in the "crusade against Bolshevism". Thousands of men volunteered to fight in Russia from countries such as Holland, Denmark, Belgium, France, Norway, Italy, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, the Ukraine and Russia itself. Mooyman was an anti-tank gunner with the "Niederlande" volunteer legion. He destroyed 13 Russian T-34 tanks single-handed with his anti-tank gun, after the rest of his crew were killed or disabled.
|On the 13th April 1941, an SS officer captured the Yugoslav capital Belgrade with only 10 men. Who was he?||History of the Waffen-SS
Fritz Klingenberg. Klingenberg was awarded the Knight's Cross for this exploit while commanding the reconnaissance battalion of the "Das Reich" division. After arriving at the German embassy in Belgrade, he telephoned the city's mayor and told him he was the advance group of a large assault force. The mayor surrendered the city when Klingenberg threatened to call up a heavy air raid by the Luftwaffe. Klingenberg later went on to command the 17th SS Panzer-Grenadier division "Götz von Berlichingen". He was killed in action in April 1945.
SS-Heimwehr Danzig. SS-Heimwehr Danzig was a home defence unit that was used to capture vital installations in the port of Danzig.
|Who originally put forward the name "Schutz-Staffel" ("protection squad") for this new organisation?||History of the Waffen-SS
Hermann Goering. Goering got the name from the time he spent in Richthofen's fighter squadron at the end of World War I. The "Schutz-Staffel" were aircraft that flew escort duties for bomber aircraft over the front lines.
|Who formed the "Stosstrupp (shock troop) Adolf Hitler", the unit that later expanded into the SS?||History of the Waffen-SS
Julius Schreck. Julius Schreck was Hitler's bodyguard and chaffeur. The "Stosstrupp Adolf Hitler" was formed in 1923 to protect Hitler at public events, and initially was a very small body of men and was a part of the SA (Stormtroopers).
Reichsfuehrer-SS. Reichsfuehrer-SS was the title and rank bestowed upon Heinrich Himmler by Adolf Hitler. In theory this gave Himmler total control over not only the secret police and all interior SS units, but over the Waffen SS as well. In practise, however, Himmler exercised little control over front line battle units of the SS.
Gruppenfuehrer. A lieutenant-general of the Waffen SS was called 'Gruppenfuehrer'. A full general was called 'Obergruppenfuehrer' and a colonel-general was called 'Oberstgruppenfuehrer'.
die Schar. 'Die Schar' was a platoon of Waffen SS soldiers consisting of approximately forty men (when at full strength). Toward the end of the war the numbers dropped considerably and a platoon of line Waffen SS would be lucky if they could field fifteen to twenty men.
|What was the term used for a 'senior colonel' in the Waffen SS?||Waffen SS Ranks
Oberfuehrer. 'Der Oberfuehrer' was the term used for a senior SS colonel. This rank corresponded roughly to the Wehrmacht rank of Brigadier general and thus one step above the SS rank of Standartenfuehrer. The equivalent Wehrmacht rank to Standartenfuehrer was Oberst.
|What was the term used by the Waffen SS for an SS cavalry captain?||Waffen SS Ranks
There was no such rank in the SS. The Waffen SS had no such rank as a captain of cavalry. The Wehrmacht, however, did and the term for those officers was 'der Rittmeister'.
Hauptsturmfuehrer. The correct term was 'der Hauptsturmfuehrer'. In the Wehrmacht the term used was 'der Hauptmann'.
|What was the Waffen SS term for a Company Sergeant Major (CSM)?||Waffen SS Ranks
Oberscharfuehrer. 'Der Oberscharfuehrer' corresponded to the British rank of CSM, or Company Sergeant Major. The equivalent rank in the Wehrmacht was 'der Oberfeldwebel'.
Rottenfuehrer. 'Der Rottenfuehrer' was the equivalent rank to corporal. The corresponding rank in the Wehrmacht was 'der Gefreite'.
SS-Mann. A private soldier in the Waffen SS was called an 'SS-Mann'. 'Jaeger', 'Soldat' and 'Reiter' were corresponding ranks in the Wehrmacht.
Scharfuehrer. 'Der Scharfuehrer' held the equivalent rank of sergeant in the Waffen SS. The Wehrmacht (regular army) equivalent was 'Feldwebel'.
|George Fleps was identified as the SS private who fired the first shot that started the Malmedy Massacre. What was unusual about him?||Waffen SS Atrocities in the West
he was not German. George Fleps was a Romanian of German descent. He was without question positively identified as the first SS man who deliberately fired a pistol at the unarmed GIs that day at Malmedy.
none. Over 70 defendants were indicted and brought to trial for the Malmedy Massacre. No one, not even Joachim Peiper, the principal defendant, was executed.
|Much has been written about the Malmedy Massacre. In German accounts, what is the most common reason given for SS troops firing on unarmed GIs?||Waffen SS Atrocities in the West
they tried to escape. The most frequently given reason for the incident at Malmedy is that the captive GIs, who were lightly guarded, attempted to escape. Survivors of the massacre reject this; and autopsies of the deceased, and other evidence, confirm that the these prisoners were shot without in the head at close range.
the North Nova Scotia Highlanders. The majority of the Canadian soldiers who were executed were from the North Nova Scotia Highlanders. They were part of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division.
Kurt Meyer. Kurt Meyer was held responsible for this crime. He was in command of the 25th Panzer Regiment who initially took the prisoners. He was overheard saying that no prisoners would be taken. He served 9 years in prison for this crime.