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Paul Hausser

Discussion in 'Who Was Who Of Germany In WWII' started by Jim, Jan 17, 2008.

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  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Paul Hausser was born in Brandenburg on 7 October 1880. His long military career started at the age of 12 when he became a cadet at a military preparatory school. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant in 1899 and assigned to an infantry regiment. By the outbreak of war in 1914 he was a Hauptmann with the General Staff, and he served on the staffs of various commands throughout World War I, being promoted Major in March 1918. Hausser was retained in the Reichswehr of the Weimar Republic and continued to progress through the ranks, serving variously as a battalion and regimental commander and commander of the Munsingen troop training grounds, and being promoted Oberst in 1927. In February 1931 he was elevated to Generalmajor, and one year later to Generalleutnant, at which point he retired from the Reichswehr.Hausser joined the SS in 1934 but, interestingly, he did not become a member of the Nazi Party for another three years. Making best use of the immense experience of this accomplished senior officer, Himmler appointed him as commander of the SS-Junkerschule (officer training academy) at Brunswick. Two years later Hausser was made Inspector of SS officer training schools; in May 1936 he was promoted to SS-Brigadefuhrer, and in October of that year appointed Inspector of the SS-Verfugungstruppe (SS-VT), the forerunner of the Waffen-SS.

    A fine formal portrait study of SS-Gruf Paul Hausser, shown here wearing the pre-1942 style of rank insignia. The photo was taken just after the award of his Knight’s Cross in August 1941, for his performance in command of SS-Div ‘Reich’ in Operation ‘Barbarossa’. During the 1930s Hausser probably made the greatest single contribution to the training of the future Waffen-SS for a serious military role.

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    During the invasion of Poland, Hausser served as SS liaison officer with the Army’s Panzer Division Kempf, and in October 1939 he was given command of the SS-Verfugungs Division, which would later evolve into 2.SS-Panzer Division ‘Das Reich’. Hausser commanded the division through the Balkan campaign and the early stages of the invasion of the USSR in 1941, being decorated with the Knight’s Cross on 8 August for his success in command. On 1 October 1941, Hausser was promoted to SS-Obergruppenfuhrer und General der Waffen-SS; but that same month he was seriously wounded, losing the sight of his right eye. On his return to duty in May 1942, now sporting the eyepatch that was to become his trademark, the 61-year-old ‘Papa’ Hausser moved to a staff posting which he held until September, when he was given command of II SS-Panzerkorps. On 28 July 1943, Hausser was awarded the Oakleaves for his command of the corps, especially in the recapture of Kharkov that March - an operation which had involved his calculated disobedience of Hitler’s orders.
    In August 1944, Hausser was promoted to SS-Oberstgruppenfuhrer und Generaloberst der Waffen-SS, the highest rank attainable short of the Reichsfuhrer-SS himself. He was appointed commanding general of 7.Armee on the Western Front, and saw action throughout the fighting in Normandy, where he once again suffered a serious head wound during the breakout from the Falaise Pocket. The Swords were added to his Knight’s Cross on 26 August 1944. On returning to duty in January 1945 he was appointed to command Heeresgruppe Oberrhein, holding this post until the command was disbanded in April 1945. During the closing days of the war he was attached to the staff of GFM Kesselring (qv), the Commander-in-Chief South-West. Hausser surrendered to US troops in Austria at the end of the war, and was finally released from captivity in 1948.
    Paul Hausser was greatly respected by his men, and indeed by his former enemies; his qualities as a soldier were undeniable, and no war crimes charges were ever brought against him. After the war Hausser was the senior member of HIAG, the ex-servicemen’s organization of the Waffen-SS, and published two books, the better known being Soldaten wie andere audi (‘Soldiers Like Any Others’). He died in Ludwigsburg on 21 December 1972, at the age of 92.

    Original: Gordon Williamson​
     
  2. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    SS-Obergruppenfuhrer und General der Waffen-SS Paul Hausser; Normandy, July 1944

    Hausser, with his unmistakable profile and eye patch, is illustrated as Befehlshaber (commander-in-chief) of 7.Armee in France, displaying the Oakleaves awarded on 28 July 1943 but not yet the Swords that he received on 26 August 1944. He wears SS insignia and silver general officer’s piping on an Army-style field cap, and his plain field uniform includes an Army M1936-style enlisted man’s Feldbluse with dark green collar facing. His rank insignia and decorations are conventional, and he wears a regulation SS officers’ silver bullion embroidered national emblem on his left sleeve. He wears the 1939 Iron Cross bar pinned to the 1914 Second Class ribbon in his buttonhole, and on his left breast the Gold Party Badge above his Iron Cross First Class and a Wound Badge.

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  3. krrish

    krrish New Member

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    He was nicknamed as "papa' because after the retirement from regular army, he became the father of the Waffen-SS.This great hero lost one of his eye during war in Russia.
     

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