ϟϟ-Gruppenführer Steiner and ϟϟ-Obersturmbannführer Collani
SS-Gruppenführer Felix Steiner shaking hands with Finnish volunteers in June 1943. To his left is SS-Obersturmbannführer Hans Collani, commander of the III (Finnish) Battalion of SS-Panzergrenadier Regiment Nordland. On May 9 1943, the command of SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Wiking was placed under SS-Brigadeführer Herbert Otto Gille. Hans Collani committed suicide when his command post was overrun by the Soviets in the Battle of Tannenberg Line on July 29 1944. He was awarded the Knight's Cross posthumously and promoted SS-Standartenführer for bravery in leadership in the Narva battles. As a result of the tough defence of the European SS volunteer forces the Soviet war effort in the Baltic Sea region was hampered for seven and a half months. Collani is buried in a German military cemetery in Tallinn, Estonia. Commons Bundesarchiv.
Labels: C:II March – June 1943