Welcome! This is a Non-Political and a Non-Profit site (to include its authors and contributors) and does not subscribe to any revisionist organizations. This site is only to explore the combat role and history of the European Waffen-SS in World War II. Enlistment rolls show that a total of 950,000 men (German and foreigners) served in its ranks between 1940 and 1945. This blog contains a collection of real events and information on these volunteers for historical research and documentation.
SS-Untersturmführer Heinz Knoche
The encirclement of the 6.Armee at Stalingrad meant that the Caucasus was relegated to a secondary theatre, and when the attempt to relieve Stalingrad failed in the face of further Soviet advances, the entire Caucasian position itself began to come under threat. It was not possible to rule out a second, even greater catastrophe after the loss of the 6.Armee at Stalingrad. SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Wiking was ordered to fall back to bolster the retreating 4.Panzer-Armee. On December 30 1942 part of Wiking's SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment Westland was brought to Simnowniki area by train in order to organize a defensive line. The SS-Panzergrenadiers caused the Soviet mass attacks, which took place two to three times daily, to collapse directly in front of the main battle line. The thermometer showed minus 30 °C on New Year´s Eve 1943. The Westland held Simowniki for seven days. In a series of strongpoints the battlegroups operated near the far southern flank of 4.Panzer-Armee. Right image: a formal studio portrait of the Westland veteran Heinz Knoche, probably made when he made SS-Untersturmführer in 1943. Left image: an SS-Panzergrenadier of the Wiking Division prepared to counterattack. Commons: Bundesarchiv.