ϟϟ-Division „Wiking“ gained a combat reputation second to none

SS-Sturmbannführer Hajo von Hadeln
Volunteers of the Wiking Division
The Wikinger were fast attaining an elite status to equal the best of the original Waffen-SS divisions. In the Caucasus and during the long and difficult fighting withdrawal, the European volunteers of SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Wiking had lost three battle-proven commanders with promising futures. The young commanders of SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment Westland, SS-Obersturmführer Harry Polewacz, SS-Sturmbannführer Dr. Hans Joachim von Hadeln, who were killed the same day at the same location and SS-Sturmbannführer Steinert. All three had established their battalions and stamped them with their personalities. Hajo von Hadeln was born in 1910 and graduated at SS-Junkerschule Bad Tölz in 1935. He was one of the first to receive the Deutsche Kreuz in Gold in the Wiking 1941. Source: SS-Obersturmbannführer Franz Hack: Der Panzerdivision Wiking im Bild. Left image: Wiking commander SS-Sturmbannführer Hajo von Hadeln in 1942. Fair use. Right image: according to various sources, Wiking replacements for the combat losses at target practice with their P.08 Luger pistols in 1942. They had to be integrated into the division while it was engaged in combat, a division that had earned a tough but fair reputation, or as fair a reputation as any unit on the Eastern Front could have. Commons: Bundesarchiv.

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