The Waffen-SS divisions 4 to 6.
Table of Contents
Raised (as division)
October 1940 (taken into Waffen-SS in February 1942).
SS-Gruf. Pfeffer-Wildenbruch (until November 1940), SS-Brigaf. Schmedes (August to November 1944), SS-Staf. Harzer (until May 1945).
In between, no details.
Occupation service in Poland.
Some combat in the Western campaign (May and June 1940).
Operation Barbarossa: Attack in the north sector with different combat performance (June 1941).
Good combat performance at river Wolchow (January to March 1942).
Takeover into the Waffen-SS (February 1942).
Moved to Bohemia and Moravia and Poland as a security unit (until May 1943).
To Yugoslavia to combat partisans.
Subsequently, to Greece with the same task, atrocities in the area of Larissa (March 1944).
Operations in Greece, Yugoslavia and Slovakia during the year 1944.
Moved to Stettin and Gdansk, heavy fighting (from January 1945).
Remnants in action in the Battle of Berlin (April to May 1945).
surrendered to US in May 1945.
3 motorized infantry regiments.
from 1944 one Panzer battalion.
Total TOE 1944: 48 AFVs
Raised from civilian police men and initially not nominally nor spiritually part of Waffen-SS.
5 SS-Panzer-Division Wiking (W)
Raised (as division)
December 1940 (as Panzer-Division from summer 1943).
SS-Gruf. Steiner (until May 1943), SS-Gruf. Grille (until August 1944), SS-Staf. Muehlenkamp (until October 1944), SS-Staf. Ullrich (until surrender).
Operation Barbarossa: attack on Russia in the south via Tarnopol, Zhitomir, Cherkassy, Stalino to Don (June to November 1941).
Defense battles on the Don and Mius (November 1941 to spring 1942).
Advance into the Caucasus via Rostov, Kuban, Terek (July to November 1942).
Fighting retreat to Rostov (January 1943).
Defense battles in the Ukraine, counter-attacks between Don and Dniepr, fighting around Kharkov (April to September 1943).
Tank unit of the division trapped in the Cherkassy pocket and loses half its strength at the outbreak (February 1944).
Restored division in operation on the Vistula front in Poland (July to December 1944).
Moved to Hungary, severe battles in relief attempts for Budapest (January 1945).
Retreats over Stuehlweissenburg to Fuerstenfeld (Czechoslovakia) (February to May 1945).
Surrendered to British on May 8, 1945.
2 motorized infantry regiments (each with 3 battalions), 1 APC battalion in 1944.
Before summer 1944 included also Brigade Wallonien.
1 Panzer battalion since 1942 (27 tanks, 48 in 1944, 3 batteries with 18 StuG 40 assault guns, until summer 1944 also Assault Gun battery Wallonien (18 StuGIII/IV) – from 1944 additional Panzer V Panther battalion (48 tanks), 1 Artillery battery with 12 Hummel, 1 rocket-launcher battery (12 APCs).
Total TOE: 75 (1942-43), 138 (1944) AFVs (plus APCs for one infantry regiment)
First Waffen-SS division with volunteer recruits from other nations in Europe (Dutch, Flamings, Scandinavians, Walloons).
Highest combat reputation.
More about 5th SS Panzer division Wiking.
6 SS-Gebirgs-Division Nord
Raised (as division)
May 1941 (removed and trained as mountain division from late summer 1941).
SS-Brigaf. Demelhuber (March 1941 to April 1942), SS-Brigaf. Kleinheisterkamp (until December 1943), then several short commands including by SS-Gruf. Debes and SS Gruf. Burner.
To Finland and on the Lappland front. The bad training leads to a rout at Salla (June 1941 to late summer 1941).
Therefore, removed and training in Austria and in the Balkans to become a mountain division.
Return to Finland (August 1942).
Combat on the Polar Front (until September 1944).
Moved to Norway, then to Denmark. Only battle group strength (October-November 1944).
Some operations in the Ardennes (December 1944).
Battle of the Saar (January 1945).
Retreat to the Ruhr area, then to Bavaria (February to April 1945).
Surrendered to US Army in Bavaria, April 1945.
2 mountain infantry regiments, 1 Panzer-Grenadier battalion (motorized).
Raised original from concentration camp guards, initially very poor training.
References and literature
The Waffen-SS (Martin Windrow)
Waffen-SS Encyclopedia (Marc J. Rikmenspoel)
Hitler’s Elite – The SS 1939-45 (Chris McNab)
Waffen SS in Action (Norman Harms)
Into the Abyss – The last years of the Waffen-SS (Ian Baxter)
Waffen SS in Russia (Bruce Quarrie)
Waffen-SS (1) Forging an Army 1934-1943 (Robert Michules, Ronald Volstad)
Waffen-SS – From Glory to Defeat 1943-1945 (Robert Michulec, Ronald Volstad)
The Waffen-SS (1) – 1. to 5. Divisions (Gordon Williamson)
The Waffen-SS (2): 6. to 10. Divisions (Gordon Williamson)
Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945 (Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv und Arbeitskreis Wehrforschung)
Die gepanzerten und motorisierten deutschen Grossverbände 1935-1945 (Rolf Stoves)