18th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division Horst Wessel

The name comes from a young German poet and SA-Sturmführer Horst Wessel (October 9, 1907 to February 23, 1930), who was killed in a street fight before Hitler gained power. Horst Wessel Lied was the anthem of the NSDAP.

  • 39th SS Panzergrenadier Regiment (October 1944)
  • 40th SS Panzergrenadier Regiment
  • 18th SS Panzer Abteilung

Division Leaders:

  • SS-Oberführer August Wilhelm Trabandt
  • SS-Standartenführer Josef Fitzthum
  • SS-Brigadeführer Georg Bochmann
  • SS-Standartenführer Heinrich Petersen

The permission to form the division was issued in January 1944, but the formation began in spring 1944. The staff came from the 1st (mot.) SS Infantry Brigade. The personnel was mostly made up of Hungarian Volksdeutsches. At first the SS superior board had planned to form the division out of SA volunteers, but this plan did not work, yet they decided to keep the name. The SS Division Nord Stu. G. became the core of the 18th SS Panzer Abteilung. Some of the division's units were in Zagreb, Celje and Batscha, others were from March to April 1944 in Hungary. From July to October 1944 the division trained in Hungary and the same time they participated in anti-partisan operations. Kampfgruppe Schäfer and the 40th SS Regiment had rough battles with the Red Army in July 1944 in Lvov and in August 1944 they battled under Sanok with the units of the 1st SS Sturmbrigade Frankreich. The other subunits remained in Batscha and in November 1944 were sent to Slovakia. From November to December 1944 they participated in difficult battles near Budapest and joined the Kampfgruppe Schäfer. In January 1945 the division battled near Budapest from where they moved to Slovakia in February 1945. From February to March 1945 they had rough battles in Silesia, where in the Leobschütz-Jägerndorf area the division had 9,000 men. In April 1945 they battled in Czech and most of the division was destroyed in May 1945 under Hirschberg.


Cuffband Horst Wessel; runic symbols SS on the collar patches.

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