5th SS Panzer Division Wiking

The division's former name was Germania.

  • 9th SS-Panzergrenadier Regiment Germania(June 1944)
  • 10th SS-Panzergrenadier Regiment Westland
  • 5th SS Panzer Regiment

Division Leaders:

  • SS-Gruppenführer Felix Steiner (until May 1943)
  • SS-Gruppenführer Otto Herbert Gille (until August 1944)
  • SS-Standartenführer Johannes Rudolf Mühlenkamp (until October 1944)
  • SS-Oberführer Karl Ullrich

The division was formed on December 1, 1940, and on December 21, 1940 Hitler renamed it to Wiking. The core of this division was the the Germania regiment which was formed out of the SS-Verfügungsdivision. Two new regiments were formed out of Western European volunteers: the Westland, which was made up of Dutch and Flemish volunteers, and the Nordland, which comprised Scandinavians. The 3rd battalion of the Nordland regiment was the SS-Panzergrenadier-Battalion Nordost which was made up of Finnish volunteers and which operated under the division from 1941 to 1943. From June to November 1941 the division participated in invading Russia from the South and battled in Tarnopol, Zitomir, Cherkassy, Stalino and on the Don River. By June 29, 1941 the division had 19,377 men. From November 1941 until the summer of 1942 they had defence battles in the Don-Mius area. From July to November 1942 the division moved to Caucasus, where they had battles in Rostov, Kuban and on the Terek River. In January 1943 they returned to Rostov. From April to September 1943 they had defence battles in Ukraine. The division made counterattacks between Don and Dnepr and battled to defend Kharkov.

By March 16, 1943 the division had 15,900 men. In March the Nordland regiment left the division and became the core of the new 11th SS-Panzergrenadier-Division which was also named Nordland. Felix Steiner, who had been the division leader, was now appointed to become the leader of the newly formed 3rd SS (Germanic) tank corps. In the summer of 1943 the Estonian volunteers SS-Panzergrenadier-Battalion Narwa was merged with the division and this new battalion received an undying fame in the Izium and Cherkassy battles. The division had rough battles in Ukraine in the summer of 1943. In Febuary 1944 the Wiking was the only armored unit in the Cherkassy Pocket. The Wiking managed to break out of the pocket by cooperating with the 5th SS attack brigade Wallonien and the battalion Narwa, which were the attacking units. The division, which had suffered great losses and had only about one thousand men and no vehicles left after the battles, was sent to be reorganized. From July to December 1944 the division once again had rough battles in Poland, on the Vistula front. In August 1944 the division had 151 tanks and 19 attack cannons, but the attack still failed.

In January 1945 the division was sent to Hungary, where it tried to break into the besieged Budapest. They fought and retreated at the same time from Stühlweissenburg to Fürstenfeld in Czech, where the division surrendered on May 12, 1945 in the Radstadt area.

Insignia:

Cuffband Wiking, regiments' names Germania, Westland, Nordland. According to unconfirmed data the letters G and N on the shoulder patches (the division was planned to have the vikings' ship symbol in March 1943, but it was never worn); runic symbols SS on the collar patches or some had the vikings' ship symbol at the end of the war.

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