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12th SS Panzer Division "Hitlerjugend"

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe February 1943 to End of War' started by VonKoenigsberg, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. VonKoenigsberg

    VonKoenigsberg Member

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    This division was elite and famous for it's participation in several famous battles - Caen, Normandy, Ardennes, Budapest, Vienna...but how accurate is some of the information out there? In Hubert Meyer's book "Kriegsgeschichte" Of the 12th SS, he says that after the Falaise gap closed, approximately 10,500 soldiers of the division were left alive. Contemporary American books dramatize that figure, saying "About 300" were left standing. Another myth that is out there is that the 12th SS fought at Belgorod in July and August 1943 (see wikipedia etry on battle of Belgorod!); Even Guy Sajer's classic book "Forgotten Soldier" mentions Hitler Youth boys fighting with him near the Gross Deutschland division's sector of the front. This cannot be correct! According to credible sources, we know that the 12th SS was not combat ready until the spring of 1944, regardless of the first recruits for the division being trained in Beverloo, Belgium during the spring/summer of 1943. Can any comment on what is going on? What do my fellow knowledgable forum members have to say about these discrepancies? My Opa was an Oberschuetze in the 5. Aufklarungs Abteilung/12, and I would like to learn a few facts in the sea of unsubstantiated rumors.
     
  2. IRu

    IRu Member

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    As far as I know about the history of this Division:
    May 8, 1945 328 officers, 1698 NCO`s and 7844 soldiers surrendered to the 65th Infantry Division of U.S. Army. That is actually about 10 000 people. But among them there were only 455 people who fought in the division since December 1943. The others - they were soldiers of Wehrmacht, the Waffen SS and police officers from other divisions.


    My data`s source: A book "The 12th SS Panzer Division" by Russian historian Ponomarenko.
    This book contains a detailed description of operational path of this Division.
    OZON.ru -

    Besides finding more such links:
    12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Axis History Factbook: 12. SS-Panzer-Division Hitlerjugend
     
  3. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    I don´t know if you are able to read in german language, but if so here is a interesting Link

    Lexikon der Wehrmacht

    And don´t trust Wikipedia to much!
     
  4. ptimms

    ptimms Member

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    Von K,

    12th SS were not at Belgorod, no doubt. Hitler Youth boys recruited into the Army did not just go to the SS and I'm sure this is what Sajer refers to. Many sites on the web quote that 12th SS were down to 500 men after Falaise. This is drawn from a 5th Panzer Armee report. Meyer says it refers to the troops who escaped. The support elements of the Division were never surrounded and not counted. The Division did suffer best part of 9,000 losses and all it's equipment but over half it's manpower survived. That said losses to the fighting units were crippling. The Grenadiers, Panzers, PzJaegers etc were all smashed and to be fair although the Division was re built for the Bulge and Hungary (both times to near full strength) it never performed again like in Normandy.
     
  5. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    the 12 SSPz HJ was created in july 1943,and was forming in the Belgian training camp of Beverlo till april 1944.In april 1944 it was relieved by the remnants of the 1SSPz LSSAH.
     
  6. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Pleased to pick this up today in a London secondhand bookshop....

    [​IMG]
     
  7. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    SNAP! What a find Mr. Bull. :S!
     

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