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SS-General Felix Steiner

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by Nordwind511, May 16, 2018.

  1. Nordwind511

    Nordwind511 Member

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    In the end of April 1945 the Waffen-SS General Felix Steiner became commander of Armeegroup "Steiner" (it was also called "Kampfgruppe Holste"). Around 25th of april 45 he got the order to free the encircled city of Berlin. Because Steiner ignored this senseless order he was relieved from his command on 27th of April by Hitler.
    At the end of april 45 the Kampfgruppe Holste fought in the region of a city call Rathenow. On 3 of may Steiner surrendered to a unit of the US army near the river Elbe and became POW (till april 1948).

    I am researching to the question which US-troops captured SS-General Steiner ? Does anyone has a serious source for it? I am thinking that it should be elements of the Ninth Army. I read the wardiary of Ninth Army ("Conquer") but I couldn´t find any further informations.

    Is anyone here who can help me to find out?
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    This page:
    Felix Steiner, 1896-1966
    States:
     
  3. Nordwind511

    Nordwind511 Member

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    Thanks very much for this source - I didn t know it so far ... but this is just my problem.

    Look right here: Lexikon der Wehrmacht

    Here it stated that Steiner surrendered to US-units near the river Elbe. Does anyone have more detailed informations?
     
  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Well Lueneburg is near the Elbe.see:
    Google Maps
    So it may have been he negotiated with US command but the actual unit he personally surrendered to was British.
    Looking at:
    Map of WWII: Germany May 1945
    I may have gotten that reversed Lueneburg spelled with an umlauted u appears to be in Montgomery's general area and Dempsey's in particular. Looking at:
    German surrender at Lüneburg Heath - Wikipedia
    could this have been part of the larger surrender?
    This page has surrenders by unit but I don't see Steiner on the list of commanders.
    Timeline of Axis surrenders in World War II - Wikipedia
    Perhaps he was part of a larger surrender. It could have been to British forces but he was closer to American or visa versa.
    The units under his command during the battle of Berlin are listed in this reference:
    Order of battle for the Battle of Berlin - Wikipedia
    perhaps their surrenders will provide a clue.
    Feldgrau poped up a Steiner reference but I can't get to it right now. Might be worth checking out.
     
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  5. Nordwind511

    Nordwind511 Member

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    lwd thxs very much for your help! I am thinking you´re right. Steiner planned to become in contact with Montgomery´s post and so I guess it make sence that he tried to surrender at Lüneburg. Montgomery was at the beginning of may 1945 there.
    The map is very interesting ! although I didn´t understand it completely. That´s why it makes the map so interesting: there´s a dashed arrow from the Ninth army dated 19th of April in northeast direction, crossing the river Elbe. It crossed the "British zone" and this arrow leads just over the region of city Lüneburg. It seemed there was an assault of US-troops. It looks like 12th Army corps, right?
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  6. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I'm not the best on reading military maps. Rich would be the one who could possibly speak with some authority on this. Might also want to check in on WW2talk. They have a British emphasis and there might be some material they are familiar with that we are missing. Kind of surprised no one else has chimed in on this.
     
  7. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    I hesitate to get into the mess that is Felix Steiner. :D The problem is that it is unclear what exactly comprised Armeegruppe Steiner, since it was in almost continuous flux from March onward. At the end, it looks like the headquarters was built around the former III. (germ) SS-Panzerkorps and it included in early March remnants of 11. SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Division, 28. SS-Freiwilligen-Grenadier-Division, 27. SS-Freiwilligen-Grenadier-Division, and 23. SS-Grenadier-Division - at least. Later, parts of 4. SS-Polizei-Panzergrenadier-Division, 2. Marine Division, and probably 25. Panzergrenadier may have gotten thrown into it.

    However, when Steiner refused to order the "relief of Berlin" and instead moved westward, his Armeegruppe fragmented. The remnants of 4. SS-Polizei split in two, most of the wounded and medical units ended up in Copenhagen, while the rest of the division ended up in Vorpommern, surrendering to the U.S. XVIII Corps (Arbn) in the vicinity of Wismar. 11. SS-Frewilligen ended up transferred to LVI. Panzerkorps on 16 April when the Soviet Berlin offensive began and eventually surrendered to the Soviets in the vicinity of Mahlsdorf, east of Berlin. 28. SS-Freiwilligen was transferred to HG Weichs reserve in mid April and the bulk of the division surrendered to the Soviets in the vicinity of Brandenburg, although elements made it to Denmark and eventually surrendered to the British. 27. SS-Freiwilligen apparently remained part of AG Steiner and surrendered to the Soviets at Stettin. 23. SS-Freiwilligen was transferred to XI. SS-Armeekorps on 18 April. Parts of the division conducted a fighting withdrawal from Marxdorf-Falkenhagen towards Mittenwalde and then surrendered as part of the Halbe pocket. Other elements along with the division commander, Brigadeführer Jürgen Wagner, managed to flee west and surrendered to U.S. forces of the XIII or XIX Corps at Tangermünde on the Elbe near Stendal. 25. Panzergrenadier surrendered to U.S. forces of the XVIII Corps (Abn) at Radelübbe, south of Schwerin on 2 May. 2. Marine Division surrendered to British forces at Bunsoh, northwest of Hamburg.

    So Steiner could have surrendered to any one of many U.S. Army commands, but was unlikely to have surrendered to British forces. Unfortunately, there is no mention of him in any of the extant corps files I have.
     
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  8. Nordwind511

    Nordwind511 Member

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    Thanks very much Richard for all these informations!
     

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