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Heinz Harmel
German general

Heinz Harmel

Heinz Harmel
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro German general
Was Military personnel
From Germany
Field Military
Gender male
Birth 29 June 1906, Metz, Moselle, Grand Est, France
Death 2 September 2000, Krefeld, Düsseldorf Government Region, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany (aged 94 years)
Star sign Cancer
Heinz Harmel
The details (from wikipedia)

Biography

Heinz Harmel (29 June 1906 – 2 September 2000) was a German SS commander during the Nazi era. He commanded the 10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg during World War II. Harmel was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords of Nazi Germany.

Born in 1906, Harmel volunteered for the SS-Verfügungstruppe (later known as the Waffen-SS) in 1935 and served as a company commander in the SS-Regiment "Der Führer", with which he took part in the Battle of France in 1940. In 1941, Harmel took part in the Balkans Campaign and Operation Barbarossa. In December 1941, Harmel took command of SS-Infanterie-Regiment "Deutschland". Harmel participated in the capture of Kharkov on 15 March 1943. Harmel received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 31 March 1943. On 7 September 1943, he received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. In early 1944 after completing a divisional commanders' training course, Harmel took command of the SS Division Frundsberg.

During the summer 1944, the division moved to the Western Front, in Normandy. Harmel had been ordered to break the enemy's lines, to free the German units encircled in Falaise pocket numbering approximately 125,000 troops of the 7th Army. The operation ended with heavy losses and serious damage. Harmel was then sent to the Netherlands. He fought against the Allied offensive (Operation Market Garden) After the battles around Nijmegen, Harmel received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords on 15 December 1944. His division was then transferred to Alsace, where Harmel was ordered to establish a bridgehead to join the Colmar Pocket. After the failure of the December 1944/January 1945 offensive in Alsace, Harmel's division was transferred to the Eastern Front, initially fighting in Pomerania and Brandenburg to hold the Oder Front. The division was subsequently transferred to Heeresgruppe Mitte where in late April it was ordered to counterattack the forces of Marshal Ivan Konev. Harmel refused and was dismissed from command by Field Marshal Schoerner. Harmel subsequently commanded an ad hoc battle group formed around the 24th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS, the SS Officer's School at Graz and other smaller units. Harmel surrendered to the Allied forces in Austria and ended up in British captivity. Harmel died in 2000.

Awards

  • Iron Cross (1939) 2nd Class (30 May 1940) & 1st Class (1 June 1940)
  • German Cross in Gold (29 November 1941)
  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
    • Knight's Cross on 31 March 1943 as SS-Obersturmbannführer and commander of SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment "Deutschland".
    • 296th Oak Leaves on 7 September 1943 as SS-Standartenführer and commander of SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment "Deutschland"
    • 116th Swords on 15 November 1944 as SS-Brigadeführer and Generalmajor der Waffen SS and commander of 10. SS-Panzer-Division "Frundsberg"
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