“Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

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Re: “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by Richard Hargreaves » Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:38 am

Thanks for reminding I had the Mühlenkamp book, Marc. :D It's at the bottom of a box somewhere. I must dig it out.

I have so many it's not unheard of for me to buy the same book twice forgetting I already had it. :shock:
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Re: “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by Doug Nash » Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:59 am

Speaking of the Wiking, RZM (Remy Spezzano & yours truly) is FINALLY working on the book about the relief of Kowel & the follow-on Operation Ilse. We'll start the layout within the next month. It will be primarily a photo book, though w/heavy text accompaniement, a bit like Platz der Leibstandarte, but with more context. It won't focus specifically on Wiking, of course, since it was only one of several divisions taking part in the relief operation, so we'll have photos depicting the 4th & 5th Pz.Divs, the 5th Jaeger Div. and the good old steady 131st Inf.Div. Many of our photos will be coming from NARA, the Bundesarchiv & the Slovenian Archive, but the main source of studio-qualify photos will be coming from the Baumann collection, which Remy has obtained the exclusive rights to (at some cost, I might add). Many of Baumann's photos have been published before, but most have been misidentified, placed out of context and reproduced without permission and we will correct the historical record, at least in that regard. These are studio-quality photos, taken by a master, who until he angered the sister of Eva Braun, had been Eva's personal photographer working under the auspices of Josef Goebbels. When Baumann spurned Eva's sister's desire to marry in the spring of 1942, it was "Off to the Russian Front" for him, where he (fortunately for us) was sent to the Wiking with their SS-PK & where he took some of the finest photos of W-SS troops ever made and who was in action continuously from that point until he departed the division in the fall of 1944. I've got copies of many of the contact sheets, and they are simply fantastic - very clear & sharp, with key leaders & individuals easily identifiable. This is one book I can't wait to get started on.
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Re: “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by Marc Rikmenspoel » Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:33 pm

Thanks for this good news, Doug! Are you talking about Erich Baumann? And who was Eva Braun's sister? Was that Gretl? My understanding is that during early 1944, Gretl was fooling around with Fritz Darges, during the latter's assignment to FHQ. When she became pregnant, Darges refused to marry her, and instead quickly married Freifrau von Hadeln, the widow of Wiking DKiG winner Hajo Freiherr von Hadeln. Darges was still dismissed from FHQ, and Hermann Fegelein agreed to marry Gretl, to help her save face over her pregnancy. Did the SS-PR 5 veterans ever discuss this?

I noticed something interesting during Wiking's time around Kovel, when I visited NARA a few months ago. SS-PK Mann Werner Mielke spent a few weeks with Wiking around April/May 1944, and must have been standing right next to SS-PK Mann Alois Jarolim. They photographed the same group of Hiwis in and around a trench, pretending to be just-captured PWs (at least that is my interpretation, they don't seem to be genuine PWs, compared to other photos I have seen that definitely show just-captured PWs). I plan to demonstrate this in the book I'm working on, but perhaps you'll show it too.

I also noticed that later in the war, based on the photos in Vuksic's SS-Armor book, Ernst Kurbjuhn and Hans Schremmer must have been standing side-by-side in Poland circa late July 1944. They both photographed the Wiking Panzergruppe with Panthers of II./SS-PR 5 and SPW of III.(gep.)/Germania in the same locations.

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Re: “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by Richard Hargreaves » Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:54 am

Out of interest, did Kurt Eggers ever leave any accounts of his time with the WIking - be it in contemporary newspapers or posthumously-published accounts? Can't imagine them being a lot of fun to translate given his style, but he would have been a useful chronicler.
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Re: “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by Doug Nash » Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:13 am

That would be Ernst Baumann. He was not an SS Mann, but as I mentioned was forcibly transferred to the Wiking when he ran afoul of Gretl Braun's amorous advances in 1942, not 1944. Seems she was a bit of a floozy, hitting on guys left and right, finally settling for that sleazeball Fegelein. At any rate, good for us that Baumann was packed off to Russia, without the benefit of any military training at all. We will be using photos from most of those SS-PKs you mentioned, but not for comparative purposes, but to tell the story of the battle itself. The Heer also had a few correspondents involved in this operation and there's a couple of photos that show a halftrack with two or three of them, both still and print, and it seems that they managed to get photos of themselves printed in various media - but I digress. Have never seen any autobiographical accounts by Eggers, though a short biography of him by a German author surfaced in 2009, Kurt Eggers, der intellektuelle Schläger by Julia Liebich.
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Re: “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by Charles Trang » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:05 am

I had the notion that Fritz Darges was sent back to the Eastern front when he made a good joke to Hitler but the latter really had no sense of humour : as a fly was constantly disturbing the Führer during a conference, Hitler asked Darges, his WSS Adjutant, to eliminate that nuisance. Darges replied that it was the Luftwaffe Adjutant's job since it was a flying animal ! This very funny answer made Hitler angry and Darges was relieved from his functions ...

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Re: “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by Marc Rikmenspoel » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:02 am

Supposedly the fly, or bee, story was a cover for the real reason, Darges' tryst with Gretl Braun. But the only source I have for this is Glenn Infield's book Secrets of the SS, which may not be entirely accurate.

The matter of Darges marrying Freifrau von Hadeln is simply from his file, he married her in the early summer of 1944.

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Re: “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by Richard Hargreaves » Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:23 pm

Thanks for everyone's input. For the sake of being a completist, I decided to spend 60€ I don't really have on Verweht sind die Spuren after all.

There's an interesting chapter on Eggers, although mostly on his pre-war role as a Nazi poet and writer, in Jay Baird's Hitler's War Poets. I've been a big fan of Baird since I read one of his early books on Nazi propaganda at university 20 (gulp) years ago. :[]
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Re: “Panzer Grenadier der 5.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Wiking’ im Bild”

Post by Paul E » Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:22 am

Marc Rikmenspoel wrote:Supposedly the fly, or bee, story was a cover for the real reason, Darges' tryst with Gretl Braun. But the only source I have for this is Glenn Infield's book Secrets of the SS, which may not be entirely accurate.

The matter of Darges marrying Freifrau von Hadeln is simply from his file, he married her in the early summer of 1944.
Darges related the fly story in person at an OdR meeting some years ago, of course that still doesn't mean it was the real reason for his transfer back to the front,

regards

Paul

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