28th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division Wallonien

Other name versions could be Wallonia or Wallonie.

  • 69th SS Volunteer Grenadier Regiment Wallonien (August 1944)
  • 70th SS Volunteer Grenadier Regiment
  • 71st SS Volunteer Grenadier Regiment (?)

Division Leaders:

  • SS-Standartenführer Léon Degrelle

The Wallonische Legion was formed in 1941 and it battled until December 1942 on the Eastern front. The Legion was then called back to rest and receive addition on the homefront after 800-kilometer long attack which went until Maikopin in Caucasus. On June 1, 1943 the Legion was taken to the Waffen-SS and was formed into the 5th SS Volunteer Sturmbrigade Wallonien. In November 1943 the brigade was sent to battle near Dnepr in Ukraine under the command of the 5th SS Division Wiking. In January 1944 they were trapped in the Cherkassy Pocket, after breaking out of it on February 17, 1944 only 632 men out of 2,000 were alive. They rested in spring and received additions in the Wildflecken training camp. In August 1944 the first battalion was sent to Estonia, where they were settled on Tartu front. In rough battles on that front almost all soldiers were killed. Only 32 men out of 450 battalion members survived! On September 20, 1944 the brigade in Breslau was expanded to the 28th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division Wallonien. Besides the Walloons, French and Spanish men (Gruppe Ezquerra) also joined the division. The 4,500-men Kampfgruppe Wallonien was formed out of trained men and it was sent near Rhine in December 1944. The division was supposed to go to Belgium after the Ardennes offensive, but this plan failed. In January 1945 the division was sent to battle in Pomerania and from February to April 1945 it battled in Stargard, Stettin and under Altdamm. The Kampfgruppe's staff decreased to 700 men. In April 1945 the unit was expanded again to 7,000 men, 4,000 of them were Walloons, others were French, Germans, etc. This unit was sent to rough battles North of Berlin. In difficult battles under Prenzlau the division broke into separate parts. 800 men broke through Schleswig-Holstein to Denmark, the other part surrendered to the Red Army in Schwerin and to the US troops. Division leader Degrelle escaped from Norway to Spain where he died in 1994.

Insignia:

Cuffband Wallonien; runic symbols SS (1943 to 1945) on the collar patches and the symbol of the Burgundy cross.