15th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Latvian)

  • 32nd Waffen Grenadier Regiment of the SS
  • 33rd Waffen Grenadier Regiment of the SS
  • 34th Waffen Grenadier Regiment of the SS

Division Leaders:

  • SS-Brigadeführer Peter Hansen
  • SS-Brigadeführer Graf Carl von Pückler-Burghaus
  • SS-Oberführer Nikolaus Heilmann
  • SS-Oberführer Herbert von Obwurzer
  • SS-Oberführer Doctor Eduard Deisenhofer
  • SS-Oberführer Adolf Ax
  • SS-Oberführer Karl Burk

A permission to form the division was received on February 26, 1943 and the training took place in Latvia. In January 1944 the division was sent to the Velikaya line, where the 19th Latvian SS Division had managed to stop the attacking Red Army and thus stabilize the difficult situation. Out of these two Latvian divisions the 4th Latvian SS Volunteers Corps was formed and its leader was SS-Obergruppenführer Karl von Pfeffer-Wildenbruch. In July 1944 the Corps retreated to the former Latvian border. From July to August they had rough battles near Lubana and they retreated from the Red Army's predominant force to the Gauja River's valley in the middle of Latvia. The division had suffered great losses and was sent through Western France to be reformatted in Courland, but the cannon units were given to the 19th SS Division. At the end of 1944 the 15th SS Division was once again sent to battle, this time to Pommern in Prussia and Mecklenburg. About 3,000 Latvian men were trapped in besieged Danzig. On January 22, 1945 the division was motorized and sent to battle in the Nakel area. The division, which had suffered great losses and sent its men to supplement the 19th SS Division in Courland, surrendered to the British troops in the Schwerin area and to the US troops near Elbe in April 1945. However, the division's 15th Füsilier Battalion fought in Berlin in Unter den Linden under the command of Obersturmführer Neilands and protected the Reichluftfahrministerium (the German Air Ministry) with 80 men and surrendered to the Red Army in May 1945.

With Schwerin's capitulation 2,500 men and altogether about 14,000 Latvian soldiers were taken into war prison by the British.

Insignia:

At first black collar patches, then runic symbols SS and later three stars surrounded by a sun explosion.

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