Meetings with „Wiking” Division Veterans

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John P. Moore
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Meetings with „Wiking” Division Veterans

Post by John P. Moore » Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:49 am

The 5.SS-Panzer Division „Wiking” is one of the most interesting units of the Waffen-SS for me because of the international composition of its membership since its formation in 1940, together with its distinguished combat record. It fought entirely on the eastern front throughout the war.

SS-Sturmbannführer Herbert Schmeißer has been a friend for many years and provided me with the later introductions to other „Wiking” division officers. I first met him in October 1992 at the Stuttgart train station. I had only seen wartime photos of him and he was to meet me on the platform of the train arriving from Prague where I had spent the previous week doing research at the military archive. He stood out in the crowd at over 6 feet in height. We spent several great days together. Schmeißer was one of the original members of SS-Nachrichten Sturmbann in Berlin-Adlershof from February 1935. He was a member of the signal battalion of the „Wiking” division from 1940 until the end of the war. He earned his EK I in October 1941 for bravery during river crossing operations of the Dniepr River the previous month. He commanded both the wire and radio companies at different times and the entire battalion from mid-1944 He was awarded the German Cross in Gold in 1945. We met again in September 1995 at a small inn in Titling near Passau where he had invited me to attend his 80th birthday party with some of his other wartime friends. I arrived at the inn first and was taking a nap in my room when I was awakened by someone pounding on my door and yelling my name. It was him. I suspect that I am probably the only forum member to have been awakened by an SS major. This photo is from my 1992 visit with Schmeißer and his wife, Sophie.

John
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John P. Moore
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Re: Meetings with „Wiking” Division Veterans

Post by John P. Moore » Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:50 am

SS-Gruppenführer Herbert Gille with Schmeißer and his wife at Tartakow/Sokol on the River Bug in Russia in July 1944. Schmeißer`s wife had won a magazine contest to visit her husband at the front.
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John P. Moore
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Re: Meetings with „Wiking” Division Veterans

Post by John P. Moore » Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:53 am

Schmeißer`s wedding in Stuttgart in September 1943. Ernst Kemper, who was Schmeißer`s first battalion commander in the "Wiking", is on the left. Schmeißer and Kemper were lifelong friends and I was later given copies of all the letters between the two.
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John P. Moore
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Re: Meetings with „Wiking” Division Veterans

Post by John P. Moore » Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:55 am

August 1941, map orientation with the division commander, Felix Steiner, who is on the far left. Schmeißer is second from the right and the man holding the map is Christian von Schalburg, assistant division operations officer from Denmark.
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John P. Moore
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Re: Meetings with „Wiking” Division Veterans

Post by John P. Moore » Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:10 am

Schmeißer and Gille at Lublin in April 1944 discuss communications matters during the battle of Kowel.
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John P. Moore
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Re: Meetings with „Wiking” Division Veterans

Post by John P. Moore » Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:25 am

Herbert Schmeißer with Silvester Stadler, Günter Liersch and Karl Conrad in May 1990 at a reunion of the SS Nachrichtenkameradschaft. All of these men served together in the Fernsprechkompanie of the Nachrichtensturmbann of the SS VT in 1936. Stadler later became an infantry officer and division commander, Liersch became a TFK in the Panzer Rgt. "Totenkopf" and Conrad became a TFK in Rgt. "Der Führer".
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Re: Meetings with „Wiking” Division Veterans

Post by Annelie » Sat Aug 30, 2008 6:53 pm

Another great thread, thankyou John.
Annelie
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John P. Moore
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Re: Meetings with „Wiking” Division Veterans

Post by John P. Moore » Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:42 am

Thanks Annelie.

Here is a photo of a young Herbert Schmeißer from around 1936
Schmeisser-SS-VT--1.jpg
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John P. Moore
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Re: Meetings with „Wiking” Division Veterans

Post by John P. Moore » Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:46 am

As an SS-Oberscharführer from around 1939-40. Note the lightning flash on his collar tab that identifies his unit as the Nachrichten Abteilung SS-VT.
Schmeißer--Oscha.jpg
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John P. Moore
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Re: Meetings with „Wiking” Division Veterans

Post by John P. Moore » Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:49 am

Here he receives the EK II in July 1941 from Stubaf. Ernst Kemper
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John P. Moore
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Re: Meetings with „Wiking” Division Veterans

Post by John P. Moore » Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:58 am

Satanow in July 1941 with fellow platoon leader Günther Schnick and company commander Reinhard Wörner of the Fernsprechkompanie "Wiking". From the left are Günther Schnick, who was killed by a sniper shot to the head in Berlin in April 1945 as signal battalion commander of the "Nordland" division. In the middle is Reinhard Wörner, who later became O1 on the staff of the "Wiking" division and 1a of the 23.SS-Freiwilligen Panzergrenadier Division "Niederlande".
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John P. Moore
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Re: Meetings with „Wiking” Division Veterans

Post by John P. Moore » Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:05 am

Alagir/Kaukasus in February 1942 with Schmeißer in the front. To the rear left is the administrative officer, Alfred Lange, who was KIA on 29.1.1944 during the battle of Tscherkassy. In the front is Rüdiger Weitzdörfer, the "Wiking" signal battalion commander, who later became Ia of the "Nordand" division.
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John P. Moore
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Re: Meetings with „Wiking” Division Veterans

Post by John P. Moore » Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:08 am

Schmeißer in January 1945. Veteran member HaEn will probably point that Schmeißer is not wearing his EK II ribbon in his buttonhole, contrary to regulations.
Schmeißer--Jan-1945Portrait.jpg
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haen2
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Re: Meetings with „Wiking” Division Veterans

Post by haen2 » Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:05 pm

HE IS wearing a ribbon of something from the second buttonhole; it could be his EK II or an Ostfront medal ribbon. :[] :wink:
Anyway, thanks for sharing these with us, John
HN
joined forum early spring of 2002 as Haen- posts: legio :-)

Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think !

John P. Moore
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Re: Meetings with „Wiking” Division Veterans

Post by John P. Moore » Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:40 pm

Haen - That's an Ostfront ribbon that you see in his buttonhole.

This photo is from 1970 at a reunion of the Fernsprechkompanie of the SS-Nachrichten Sturmbann. All of these four men were among the original 400 founding members of the SS-Nachrichten Sturmbann at Berlin-Adlershof. From the left is the former SS-Hauptsturmführer Günteer Liersch, who served as a TFK in the SS-Infantrie Rgt. 9 during 41-42 and the Panzer Rgt. and Panzerjäger Abteilung of the Totenkopf Division, Herbert Schmeißer, SS-Sturmbannführer Georg Buchholz, who served as a platoon leader in the anti-tank company of Rgt. "Germania" in September 1939 and later in the Meßbatterie of the Artillerie Rgt. "Das Reich" and finally Ia of the 29.Waffen-Grenadier Division (Italian) during all of 1945 and SS-Sturmbannführer Otto Wojahn, who was a TFK in the "Wiking" signal battalion and later a O2 staff officer of the III.SS-Panzer Korps.
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