SS-Brigadeführer Wilhelm Mohnke

Awards:
Iron Cross 2nd class: September 21, 1939
Iron Cross 1st class: November 8, 1939
Wound Badge (Black): February 10, 1940
Infantry Assault Badge: October 3, 1940
War Merit Cross with Swords: October 3, 1940
Wound Badge (Silver): September 15, 1941
German Cross Gold: December 26, 1941
Knight's Cross: July 11, 1944

Officer since: June 28, 1933
SS-Sturmhauptführer: October 1, 1933
SS-Sturmbannführer: September 1, 1940
SS-Obersturmbannführer: June 21, 1943
SS-Standartenführer: June 21, 1944
SS-Oberführer: November 4, 1944
SS-Brigadeführer: January 30, 1945

Wounded: April 5, 1941; July 17, 1944

Wilhelm Mohnke was born in Lübeck, Germany, on March 15, 1911. His father was a cabinetmaker. After his father passed away, Mohnke went to work in a glass and porcelain factory, where he eventually got a leading position. Mohnke joined the NSDAP on September 1, 1931, and the SS two months later. He was appointed to the 4th Standarte Lübeck where he served until January 1932. He was then transferred to the same unit with Kurt Meyer: the 22nd SS-Standarte in Schwerin. On March 17, Sepp Dietrich chose Mohnke to be a part of the newly reformed Berlin's SS-Headquarters' Guard along with 117 other men. This was a great honor because the competition to this unit was huge. The military elite unit Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler grew out of this headquarters' guard unit. During the Poland's Campaign Mohnke led the LAH's 5th company. On September 21, he was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd class, and only a month later, on November 8, he received the Iron Cross 1st class.

Mohnke also led the 5th company during the Western Campaign and on March 28, after the battalion leader was wounded, he took over the 2nd battalion. About that same time Mohnke was accused of murdering 80 British war prisoners from the 48th Division in Wormhoudt. Mohnke was not brought in court with these accusations and when the case was revived in 1988, the German public prosecutor found that there was not enough evidence to press charges. Four years later Mohnke's name was again connected with war crimes. This time his 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler was being accused of the mass murder of Malmedy. Also, Mohnke was being accused of the murdering of 35 Canadian war prisoners by the Hitlerjugend members in Fountenay le Pensel. However, these accusations did not have supporting surface.

He led the second battalion in the Balkan Campaign during which on April 6, 1941 his foot was seriously wounded in an air attack in Yugoslavia. Medics decided to amputate the foot, but Mohnke cancelled this decision. Nevertheless, his wound was so serious that they were forced to amputate the foot. During the recovering period he was given the German Cross Gold on December 26, 1941. Due to the seriousness of his injury, Mohnke did not return to service before the beginning of 1942. Mohnke came up with the idea to form the LSSAH Panzerabeitlung. Ralf Tiemann became Mohnke's adjutant and the first official assignment was to find men for this unit. Tiemann was in charge of compiling the list which eventually included enough names to form two new units! The same time as newly married Sepp Dietrich introduced his wife, Mohnke showed him the list that had changed into a list of transfers. Dietrich was quite distracted at that time and he finally gave in to Mohnke's pressure and signed the papers. This way the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler Panzerwaffe was supposed to be born. Because of the war's quick development this did not happen. Mohnke was transferred to the substitute battalion on March 16, 1942.

He served there until the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend was formed. He was then in charge of the SS-Panzergrenadier's second regiment (its former name was SS-Panzergrenadier 26th regiment, this was changed on October 30 when the whole division's name was changed to Panzer Division). The SS-Panzergrenadier 26th regiment was in charge of the main attack during the allies' offensive on June 10 to 20. As a result, Mohnke received the Knight's Cross on July 11, 1944.

This was followed by breaking out of Falaise and retreating and Mohnke was one of the few who led the organized resistance on the Western riverbank of the Seine. He led his attack unit until August 31 when he was sent back to LSSAH to replace the wounded Theodor Wisch. He became the third leader of the LSSAH.

Mohnke led the LSSAH through the Wacht am Rhein and he became the SS-Brigadeführer on January 30. SS-Brigadeführer Wilhelm Mohnke had to hand over his position in the LSSAH soon after, because he was wounded during an air attack. This time his ear was injured. After recovering, Mohnke was appointed to the Commandant position of the Reich Chancellery guard. There he formed the Kampfgruppe Mohnke. This comprised nine battalions, including the leftovers of the 33rd Waffen Grenadier Division der “Charlemagne”.

Despite brave resistance, SS-Brigadeführer Mohnke was captured by the Red Army as he led the survivors out of the bunker. He was imprisoned solely until 1949 when he was transferred to the Woikowo prison. He was held in prison until October 10, 1955. After being released he worked as the salesman of small trucks and trailers.