WIKING RUF Europäische Freiwilligen in der Waffen-SS

 

 

 

A railway transport of Panther tanks of the Wiking Division ready to be shipped to a new assembly area in the East, July 1944. The German shepherd atop Panther ‘831 appears to be inspecting their handiwork.

Counterattack with Wiking Division Panzergrenadiere in Sd.Kfz. 251 and Panther ‘534’ from soldiers point of view, Nurzec-Stacja area, July 1944. During this time Wiking Division was engaged in counterattacks against Soviet armored and cavalry forces following their rapid advance during the Red Army’s Operation Bagration summer offensive.

With their mission complete, Wiking Division officers Hans-Georg Jessen (left), the commander of a company in SS-PzRgt 5, has time to confer with Friedrich Hannes, the commander of an armored company of SS-PzGrenRgt 9 Germania, while having a smoke, Żerczyce area, July 1944. Jessen was one of the first officers assigned to the Wikings tank battalion in 1942 and was hand-picked Johannes-Rudolf Mühlenkamp in 1943 to be one of the new tank regiment’s company commanders. Only 25 years old at the time, he was awarded German Cross in Gold on 15 December 1943 for leading the Division’s Sturmgeschütz (StuG) battery during the retreat to the Dnieper River the previous autumn. He was well known in the division as a steady hand in battle and had already earned the Panzer Assault Badge, Second Class for taking part in separate tank engagements for 25 days or more.

The Wiking Division in Eastern Poland in July 1944, preparing to stop the Soviet summer offensive, codenamed Operation Bagration.

The Wiking Division in Eastern Poland in July 1944, preparing to stop the Soviet summer offensive, codenamed Operation Bagration.

The men from the Wiking Division at the start of the brutal campaign to defend Poland in the summer of 1944.

Panther ‘533’ and Sd.Kfz. 251 armored half-tracks of the Wiking Division awaiting the order to advance, Wilanowo area, July 1944. The crew has yet to remove the dust cover from the gun’s muzzle, indicating that enemy contact is not yet expected.

Wiking Division Panzergrenadiere in Sd.Kfz. 251 armored half-tracks go out on a mission, while a plume of smoke rises in the background, Nurzec-Stacja area, July 1944. Action seems to be imminent.

 

 

Wiking Division officers fire an MG42 machine gun mounted on a Sd.Kfz. 251 during a possible firefight with Soviets in Eastern Poland, July 1944.

Johannes R. Mühlenkamp, transferred from ‘Das Reich’ to the new ‘Wiking’ division as commander of the PzBtl. 5.

Later becoming the commander of het PzRgt 5 and even the divisional commander.

 

 

 

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