Tragedy of the Faithful „Nordland“

Frw.Pz.Gren.Div.Nordland
An unidentified fallen SS-Untersturmführer
On April 16 1945, 11.SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Division Nordland was ordered into the line east of Berlin. During this time, a 300 man unit of French Waffen-SS volunteers of 33.Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS Charlemagne and a company of Spanish Waffen-SS men (Spanische-Freiwilligen Kompanie der SS 101) under command of Hauptsturmführer der SS Miguel Ezquerra (1903 – 1984) were attached to the division. The Dutch and Scandinavian Nordland was involved in constant combat all along it´s front, pushing the division back into the city itself. By April 22 1945, it had been pushed back to the Tiergarten in the centre of Berlin. The remains of SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 23 Norge and SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 24 Danmark, found themselves defending the bridges across the Spree. After a spirited but futile defense, the remnants of Nordland were pushed back into the Government District. Meanwhile, the main Soviet assault was towards the Treptow Park area, where the rest of the few remaining Panzers of SS-Panzer-Abteilung 11 Hermann von Salza were defending. SS-Obersturmbannführer Kausch led the few Panzers and armoured vehicles in a counter attack and succeeded in halting the enemy advance, at the cost of his last vehicles. By April 26 1945, the defenders of the government district had been pushed back into the Reichstag itself, and were causing heavy casualties to the advancing Soviets. First image: A fallen volunteer of the Nordland Division (Schwimmwagen SS-209 314), Berlin in May 1945. Second image: An unidentified fallen SS-Untersturmführer at Friedrichstraße in Berlin, May 1945. Public domain.

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