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 48.SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 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
11.SS-Frw.Pz.Gren.Div.Nordland
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"

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