THE NORMANDY ARNHEM SOCIETY

(founded 1996)

 

 

"I swear to you, Adolf Hitler, as Fuhrer and Reichschancellor, loyalty and bravery. I vow to you, and those you have named to command me, obedience unto death, so help me God."

This oath, taken by each member of the Waffen SS, summarizes their unflinching obedience and devotion to duty.

                           Basic Soldat Equipment

The following information is a basic summary of our requirements to participate in the unit. Don't worry if you can't afford everything yet. We can outfit someone with extra gear if you are thinking of joining. That way, you can find out if you truly would like to join, without the fear of losing your investment.

 

          Minimum Uniform Authenticity Standards                                                                      

  • M40/M43 Tunic
  • M36/40/43 Trousers in feld-grau
  • Grey cotton shirt
  • Field cap M43 - Feldmutze in feldgrau wool 
  • Jackboots or ankle boots with gaiters
  • Type II Camouflage Smock or Dot-44 uniform

        Insignia

  • White or grey thread SS rune collar tabs, Only to be worn after basic training.
  • "Bevo" Hohenstaufen cuff title, Only to be worn after Honenstaufen training. 
  • "Bevo" or machine embroidered SS sleeve eagle
  • Black wool shoulder boards with white (infantry)

       Acceptable camouflage patterns are as follow

  •  Oak Leaf (types A and B) - For use on headgear, zeltbahns, and smocks, etc.
  • Dot-44 - Trousers and Tunic

              Field Equipment 

    •   Black leather three compartment ammo pouches for 98K with stripper clips
    • K98 bayonet with frog - Original 98K bayonet with scabbard/ wood or bakelite grips
    • Black leather belt and SS EM buckle
    • Bread bag
    • Canteen with cup - Covered with wool/felt and the metal cup in feldgrau or black bakelite
    • Gas mask with canister and gas cape bag .gas mask must be in the canister no pot noodles
    • Spade -  straight or folding types, with correct black leather carrier
    • Y-straps - Black leather with the 5 leg type preferred
    • A-frame and bag - To carry personal effects and the emergency  Ration
    • Mess tin 
    • Combination fork-spoon
    • Flashlight
    • Zeltbahn (shelter quarter SS pattern)
    • Type I SS camouflage smock and helmet cover
    • M-35, M-40, M-42 pattern Stahlhelm (helmet)
    • Waffen SS Solbuch (paybook)                                                                                                                                                                                              Weapons
    • Rifle Model K98 carbine De-activated or live but you must have a licence for both - Standard service rifle authorized for all enlisted personnel
    • 60 blank Rounds to fill your ammo pouches  
    • Pistols P-38 and P-08 should generally only be carried by officers, medical personnel, MG crews, all NCOs, vehicle owners, artillery crews, antitank crews, signals personnel, drivers

              Appearance

    • Haircuts must be above the collar of the shirt and cannot touch the ears
    • Hairline must stop at or above the ears
    • No side-burns, mustaches, or beards will be allowed
    • Absolutely NO EARRINGS ALLOWED!
    • Good Attitude - This is a very important issue within the 9th SS and within our hobby . 

                   

  • 9.Kompanie, III Bataillon, SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 20, 9.SS-Panzerdivision Hohenstaufen

                                                                                             

                         

     

                                        

     

                                            

     

                                      

     

                                  

     

                                  

     

                                           

     

                                                                    

                                      

                         

                                 

                 

           

    Kaserne,Imhoff. We are the only unit to boast of our own WWII Barracks in the UK.

                                             

                                       

             

     

     

     One of many songs we sing in the Kaserne

    Auf der Heide blüht ein kleines Blümelein
    Und das heißt: Erika
    Heiß von hunderttausend kleine Bienelein
    Wird umschwärmt Erika.
    Denn ihr Herz ist voller Süßigkeit,
    Zarter Duft eintströmt dem Blumenkleid
    Auf der Heide blüht ein kleines Blümelein
    Und das heißt: Erika.


    2. In der Heimat wohnt ein kleines Mägdelein
    Und das heißt: Erika.
    Dieses Mädel ist mein treues Schätzelein
    Und mein Glück, Erika
    Wenn das Heidekraut rot-lila blüht,
    Singe ich zum Gruß ihr dieses Lied.
    Auf der Heide blüht ein kleines Blümelein
    Und das heißt: Erika.

    3. In mein'm Kämmerlein blüht auch ein Blümelein
    Und das heißt: Erika.
    Schon beim ersten Morgengrau'n sowie beim Dämmerschein
    Schaut's mich an, Erika.
    Und dann ist es mir, als spräch' es laut:
    Denkst du auch an deine kleine Braut?
    In der Heimat weint um dich ein Mägdelein
    Und das heißt: Erika

     

     

     

     

    HISTORY OF THE HOHENSTAUFEN

    The 9.SS-Panzer-Division "Hohenstaufen" was formed in December, 1942, and was subsequently trained in Maille le Camp in France. Initially, the division was named as the SS-Panzer-Division "Hohenstaufen", and was later renamed on 10.23.43 as the 9.SS-Panzer-Division "Hohenstaufen". After being stationed throughout France the training was concluded in the spring of 1944.

    As a result of the deterioration of the situation in Southern Russia where the 1.PanzerArmee was being surrounded, the OKW sent the II.SS-Panzerkorps into action to free the 1.Panzerarmee of its encirclement. In swampy conditions the 9.SS-Panzer-Division and the 10.SS-Panzer-Division succeeded in making contact with the 6.Panzer-Division of the 1.Panzerarmee in Buczacz, thus freeing the 1.Panzerarmee.

    After this battle the 9.SS was sent to the north for the relief attack on Tarnopol which was also encircled by the Russians. Together with the Panzerverband "Friebe" the 9.SS tried to fight its way to Tarnopol. However, in the face of adverse weather conditions and very heavy Soviet Resistance, this operation failed, they only succeeded in reaching some of the soldiers that managed to breakout of Tarnopol.

    In the following weeks and months the 9.SS was again placed under the command of the II.SS-Panzerkorps and acted as reserve of the Heeresgruppe Nordukraine until 6.12.44 when the division was sent to France.
    Nearing the end of June, "Hohenstaufen", after being harrassed by the Allied Airforces for over a week on their way through France, arrived in their starting positions for a planned attack against the Allied beachhead. The British attempt to take Caen that started on the 6.26.44 made these plans impossible. Instead the II.SS-Panzerkorps had to turn right along the front, again being harrassed by the Jabos, to help the german troops defending the west of the Caen area. This battle lasted until early July and saw the heaviest fighting until then on the western front. Hohenstaufen lost 1200 dead, wounded and missing during this time. The 277.Infanterie-Division then took over the positions of the 9.SS "Hohenstaufen", this movement was concluded on the 7.10.44.

    "Hohenstaufen" was placed in reserve for the onslaught in the Caen area that had already begun on 7.8.44. The following battles concentrated on Eterville, Maltot and the strategic hill nr.112. Eterville was lost for good but Hill nr.112, after changing hands several times, was finally retaken by "Hohenstaufen" which by now had taken over the positions of the heavily battered 10.SS "Frundsberg". The battles died down on 7.12.44. "Hohenstaufen" again was taken out of the line to build the reserve for the new attack that would follow on 7.15.44. "Frundsberg" took over the positions of "Hohenstaufen". On 7.16.44, heavy action on and near Hill nr.113 to the west of Hill nr.112 took place. Because of heavy casualties, III.bataillon/19.Panzergrenadier-Regiment was disbanded and used to replace the losses the other two bataillons of the 19.Panzergrenadier-Regiment had suffered. On the 18th the Allied attacks from the northeast of Caen begun and they soon breached the lines of the German divisions located there. "Hohenstaufen" therefore was taken out of the line, reorganized (Both the Panzergrenadier-Regiments were combined to form Panzergrenadier-Regiment "Hohenstaufen") and sent to the east to be placed under the command of the I.SS-Panzerkorps and again acted as a reserve for the coming crisis. On 7.25.44, the division was ready for action and was sent to the south of Caen where the 272.Infanterie-Division's line had been breached. The next day the old HKL had been restored except for Hill nr.72 and Verrieres.

    The following weeks saw the destruction of the frontline. On 8.1.44, the 9.SS was taken out of the line and was put under the command of the II.SS Panzerkorps to deal with a crisis near Beny-Bocage. After a week of hard fighting the British advance was checked, and then another week of gradually pulling back in this area was followed by the redeployement to the Putanges area which started on 8.13.44 and was completed by 8.16.44. The rapid disintegration of the frontline elsewhere prevented any use from these positions and so "Hohenstaufen" was ordered to Vimoutiers area. Heavy fighting ensued in the area around Merri and Trun (On the northside of the Falaise pocket), where Canadian/Polish troops tried to breakthrough to the south. In the following days the 9.SS concentrated itself on keeping the narrow escape route out of the pocket open. These battles lasted until 8.21.44. The division acquitted itself well, its commander Friedrich-Wilhelm Bock received the Oakleaves to the Knights Cross for these battles. The retreat through France and Belgium followed with Hohenstaufen fighting some rear guard actions at Orbec, Bourg-Achard, Duclair, Laon, and Cambrai. The division was then ordered for a refit and sent to Arnhem which it reached on September 9th.

    The strenghth of the 9.SS at that time was 6,000-7,000 men from 15,898 on June 30th! It was planned to refit the 9.SS in Germany so a number of units were already on their way to Germany or given to the "Frundsberg" division when on Sunday the 17th of September, 1944, the Allies launched Operation Market-Garden. It's actual strength at the beginning of this operation was therefore even less! "Hohenstaufen" operated mainly to the west of Arnhem to keep the British from making contact with the elements of the British Red Devils of the 1st Airborne Division that were surrounded in Arnhem and thereby preventing the Allies from gaining the Primary objective of the entire operations which was to secure a bridgehead in Arnhem across the Rhine River. After the initial battles "Hohenstaufen" succeeded with the help of regular German troops in Holland (Gruppe von Tettau and others) in pushing the major part of the British/Polish forces back in Oosterbeek near Arnhem which was evacuated in the night of 25th/26th of September. This of course was a major achievement, the near total destruction of an elite British Paratroop unit with only the remnants of a division and other ad-hoc units that in any other army that fought in World War II, except for the Soviet's, would not even have been considered to be reserve units far from the frontline! Arnhem proved to be a well deserved victory for "Hohenstaufen"!

    The division was moved to Germany for refit first in the Siegen area but as this was unsuitable for armoured warfare training the division was sent to the Paderborn-Muenster area. On 12.12.44, the division was moved to the Muenstereifel where it was to be reserve for "Unternehmen Herbstnebel" (Wacht am Rhein was the first name for the offensive, but it was changed at the end of November 1944). The 9.SS was then moved to the south of Blankenheim, and then was moved to the Stadtkyll-Juenkerath-Blankenheim area. At first only the Artillierie-Regiment and the Panzer-Aufklaerungs-Abteilung were engaged, but from 12.21.44 on the rest of the division was in action, after the capture of St. Vith. The first objectives were taken, the villages Recht and Vielsalm and surrounding areas, but the increasing American air activity and ground strength slowed the attack down and finally stopped it altogether in front of the villages Bra and Vaux-Chavanne. On the 12.31.44, the division was sent south to assist in the capture of Bastogne, its positions being taken over by the 12.Infanterie-Division. After some small initial successes during the night of the 3rd and 4th of January, the attack stoped altogether in the face of heavy resistance and again the superior American Airforce. Until the 7th, when Hitler ordered the retreat to the line Dochamps-Longchamps, these positions were held at a high cost. Thereafter, the division helped keep open the lines of communication to the forward elements of the 5.Panzerarmee until 12.16.44 when the mass of these units reached the German HKL. The town of Sterpigny was during these days the focus of the American 1st Army. "Hohenstaufen" however defended this area very well. During the night of the 17th and 18th of January, the HKL was taken back to Salmchateau and eventually to the German border. during this time "Hohenstaufen" again was involved in fighting rear guard actions.

    Nearing the end of January, the division went to the Kaufenheim-Mayen area for a refit. After increasing threats to along the Eastern Front, the German OKW shifted the a number of units east for an offensive aimed at stopping the Soviet drive through Hungary, and at relieving the encircled units in the Hungarian Capital of Budapest, mainly the 8.SS and 21.SS Kavallerie-Divisionen. At the end of February the division reached Falubattyan in Hungary and was now poised to attack on 6th of March. Due however to the swampy roads the division could not reach its starting position for the attack in time. The 2.SS-Panzer-Division "Das Reich" also suffered from this, so the II.SS-Panzerkorps was not able to attack at the designated time. The operations soon came to a halt because of these weather conditions and stiff resistance from the Soviets before the town of Sarosd. On the 16th the Soviets broke through the IV.SS-Armeekorps line of defense to the north of the Velencze See, thereby making a retreat inevitable for the 6.SS-Panzerarmee. "Hohenstaufen" retreated past Jeno, Berhida, Liter, Nemesvamos, Hidekut, and finally to Mencseli. During the retreat they fought some extremely heavy rear guard actions and battles, one in particular that kept open a way for the 5.SS-Panzer-Division "Wiking", 1.Panzer-Division, 3.Panzer-Division, and the remnants of the 44.Infanterie-Division "Hoch und Deutsch Meister" to escape Stuhlweissenburg. The next Soviet offensive then pushed the division through Zalaapati, Sojtor and Paka to the Reichsschutzstellung near Radkersburg. On April 6th, 1945 it saw the charachteristic fighting after a breakthrough with the Soviets everywhere before "Hohenstaufen" got there, and then again some very heavy fighting before reaching the relative safety of the Reichsschutzstellung.

    The final act of WWII for "Hohenstaufen" came on April 26, 1945 when they were ordered to the Amstetten area where they received orders on May 1st, 1945 to move to Enns-Steyr-Amstetten area and without the use of force stop the American advance as not to endanger the negotiations that by now were going on between the German and Western Allies. After some negotiations this succeeded and on May 8th, 1945, the 9.SS-Panzer-Division "Hohenstaufen" marched into American captivity

    Commanders

     

               SS - Obergruppenführer.              Willi Bittrich                              (15 Feb 1943 - 29 June 1944)

               SS - Oberführer.                          Thomas Müller                          (29 June 1944 - 10 July 1944)

               SS - Brigadeführer.                      Sylvester Stadler                       (10 July 1944 - 31 July 1944)

               SS - Oberführer.                          Friedrich-Wilhelm Bock            (31 July 1944 - 29 Aug 1944)

               SS - Standartenführer.                 Walter Harzer                            (29 Aug 1944 - 10 Oct 1944)

               SS - Brigadeführer.                      Sylvester Stadler                        (10 Oct 1944 - 8 May 1945)

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