Withdrawal from Narva

Pz AAII Nordland
The Nordland Division's manpower strength was 11,749 men in June 1944 and on July 23 1944, SS-Obergruppenführer Steiner ordered a withdrawal to the Tannenberg Line, a prepared position 16 km to the west. The Dutch SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 48 General Seyffardt and the brigade's artillery component was to provide a rearguard for the retreating troops. The Soviet Marshal Govorov launched the Narva Offensive on the German lines on July 24 1944, and in the afternoon, the Nederland's
Artillery battalion started withdrawing across the Narva bridge. The Dutchmen got involved in heavy fighting but managed to hold the Soviets while the last of the Waffen-SS volunteers got across the river. The Nordland's Pioneer Battalion blew up the bridge. However, due to a colossal mistake by its officers, the General Seyffardt regiment would not survive the withdrawal. With the exception of the General Seyffardt, the withdrawal had been a success, and Steiner's men began to dig in on the Tannenberg Line, in preparation of the next Soviet attacks. 4.SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Brigade Nederland had lost one of its two regiments, and many valuable veterans were lost forever. Top image: Swedish SS-Untersturmführer and Zugführer Gunnar Eklöf and a volunteer of the Nordland Division in the summer of 1944 in Estonia. SS-Untersturmführer Gunnar Eklöf joined the Waffen-SS in 1941 and was posted to SS-Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 11 in 1944. He survived WWII and returned to Sweden in the summer of 1945. Public domain. Bottom image: An unidentified Dutch SS-Untersturmführer of the Nordland Division in 1944. Photo: SS-Kriegsberichter Eisner. US National Archives and Records Administration. Fair use.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6/9/14

    This is SS-Ustuf. Hermann van der Walle a dutch volunteer serving as Zug.Fhr in 2./SS-Pz.Aufkl.Abt. 11 "Nordland"