11th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division Nordland

The name comes from the regiment which originated from the 5th SS Division Wiking. Adolf Hitler wished to record the famous SS regiment's memory and named the new division Nordland on March 17, 1943. Heinrich Himmler's primary name proposal was Waräger.

  • 23rd SS Panzergrenadier Regiment Norge (December 1944)
  • 24th SS Panzergrenadier Regiment Danmark
  • 11th SS Panzer Abteilung Hermann von Salza

In April 1945 the 503rd SS (Schwere) Panzer Abteilung was merged with the Salza and the 11th SS Panzer Regiment was formed. Thus, the motorized division became the tank division.

Division Leaders:

  • SS-Gruppenführer Fritz von Scholz (May 1943 to July 1944)
  • SS-Brigadeführer Joachim Ziegler (until April 1945)
  • SS-Brigadeführer Doctor Gustav Kukenberg

The division was formed in the summer of 1943 out of different Germanic volunteer units. The founder of the 11th SS Division was the Nordland regiment that had been transferred from the 5th SS Division. New divisions were merged with it: the former Freikorps Danmark became the new regiment Danmark; regiment Norge's 1st battalion was the former Freiwilligen Legion Norwegen, the 2nd and the 3rd battalions formerly made up the Nordland regiment. SS-Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion 11 was mostly made up of Swedes transferred from the Wiking. There were 11,400 men in the division, among them were 1,400 Danes, 550 Norwegians, 200 Swedes, 100 Estonians and a few Finns, Belgians, Dutch and ethnic Germans from Romania and Hungary. In September 1943 they fought the partisans in Northern Croatia. On March 30, 1943 Hitler gave an order to form the III SS (Germanic) Panzerkorps, which comprised the SS Division Nordland and the SS Brigade Nederland. In November 1943 the corps was sent to the Leningrad front, where it proved to be a strong unit in the Oranienbaum pocket. The division retreated until Narva in January 1944, while having difficult battles, and it also took part in protecting the Ivangorod's bridgehead. In July 1944 they had rough battles in the hills of Sinimäed, where they managed to stop the Red Army's attack thanks to cooperating with the 20th Estonian SS Division. In September 1944 the remains of the division retreated into the Courland pocket and were taken through Liibau (Liepaja) to Pomerania in January 1945.

From February to March 1945 the division had rough battles in Danzig, Stettin and Stargard. In March they fought on the Oder front and in Neukölln, where they suffered great losses. On March 20, 1945 the exhausted division was put into reserve, but already on April 16 the Nordland was sent to protect Berlin. On April 26, 1945 the 300-men French SS-battalion came to support the division and it was their last addition. The division battled in Tempelhof and Charlottenburg and finally protected the Bundestag until May 1. From April to May 1945 the division gave one of its battalions from Norge and one from Danmark to the 5th SS Armored Division Wiking as a repay.

The remains of the division surrendered after tough and self-sacrificing battle to the Red Army in Berlin in May 1945.

Insignia:

Cuffband Nordland; regiments' names Norge, Danmark and Hermann von Salza; Danish and Norwegian flags on the sleeves; runic symbols SS and a circular image of the sun on the collar patches.

30 men from this division received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.