|Schwere Artillerie nach vorn!|
ϟϟ-Sturmbannführer der Waffen-SS Meyer
On April 20 1941, the commander of the Greek First Army surrendered the entire Hellenic Army to SS-Obergruppenführer Sepp Dietrich. British Commonwealth troops were now the only Allied forces remaining in Greece, and they were falling back across the Corinth Canal to the Peloponnesos. By April 26 1941 the Leibsatandarte SS had reached the Gulf of Patras, and in an effort to cut off the retreating British Commonwealth forces, SS-Sturmbannführer Kurt Meyer ordered his men to cross the Gulf and secure the town of Patras in the Peloponnesos. Since no transport vessels were available, the Waffen-SS commandeered fishing boats and successfully completed the crossing. By April 30 1941 the last British Commonwealth troops had either been captured or escaped. Kurt Adolf Wilhelm Meyer was a notable representative of the type of commander who rose from within the Waffen-SS itself: aggressive and charismatic in equal measure. Known for his bold leadership, Kurt “Panzermeyer” was one of the most highly decorated German soldiers of World War II. He saw intense combat across Europe: the invasion of Poland, the fall of France in 1940, the sweep through the Balkans and Greece, the bitter fighting on the Eastern Front and the 1944 campaign for Normandy. Over the course of his career, Meyer was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. Upon promotion Meyer became the youngest divisional commander during World War II in 1944. Image: SS-Sturmbannführer Kurt Meyer in Greece 1941. This photo appeared on the cover of the Magazine Illustrierter Beobachter on May 8 1941 with the heading Schwere Artillerie nach vorn! (Heavy artillery forward!) and must be considered one of the most famous Waffen-SS images. Fair use.
Labels: 5. Balkans Campaign April 1941