The SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Wiking was composed of enlisted men who were predominantly Nordic volunteers, commanded by German officers. In February 1943, Hitler ordered the creation of an SS-Division which would be officered by foreign volunteers. In March 1943, Wiking´s SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment Nordland was pulled out of the line to be used as a cadre for the new division. Also, the Estonian SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Batallion Narwa replaced the Finnish SS-Freiwilligen-Bataillon Nordost who was disbanded in July 1943. It was decided that the division was to continue using the already-existing regiment’s name Nordland. The Nordland's Panzer battalion, SS-Panzer-Battalion 11, was given the honor title Hermann von Salza and its two Panzergrenadier regiments were also given honor titles, SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 23 Norge and SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 24 Danmark. Despite most volunteers hailing from Scandinavia, the Nordland carried the widest range of nationalities found in any single division. By the end of the war, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Hungarian, Norwegian, Romanian, Spanish, Swedish, Swiss and British volunteers and Estonian conscripts had either served in the division or been attached to it. Image: Heinrich Himmler inspecting Swedish volunteers in the newly formed SS-division 11.SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Division Nordland in Sennheim 1943. Volunteers in the picture: SS-Oberscharführer Walther Nilsson, SS-Rottenführer Karl-Olof Holm, SS-Grenadier Emil Lindström and SS-Unterscharführer Carl-Martin Ågrahn. Commons Bundesarchiv.
Labels: C:II March – June 1943