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Waffen SS Divisions: At A Glance: Part 2

13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (Croatian Nr.1)

Formed in July 1943 (Ready to deploy in March 1944.) Dissolved in October 1944 due to many desertions in the face of advancing Red Army.

2 mountain infantry regiments.

Recruited from the Bosnian Muslims, the traditional enemies of the Christian Serbs who made up the majority of Tito's partisans. Mutinies during training in France, and later many war crimes.

14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS 
(Galician, later Ukrainian No.1) April 1943 (ready in June 1944)

Surrendered to the British in the Steiermark , May 1945. Delivered to the Russians. 

Some of the men escaped from Tarnopol (July 1944. Remnants fought in the winter of 1946/47 in the Carpathian Mountains.

3 infantry regiments

Total strength 30,000 men recruited from Ukrainians in occupied Ukraine with  German officers.

15th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (Latvian No. 1) 

Formed early in 1944.

Parts fought against the Red Army in Neu-Ruppin, parts against the U.S. Army at the Elbe.

3 infantry regiments, 1 Fusilier Battalion

Formed with Latvian volunteers. best combat performance of all Baltic organizations.

16th SS Panzer Grenadier Division Reichsführer-SS
Expanded since October 1943 to Division division strength (operational February 1944).

Zersprengte units surrendered to the British in Carinthia (Austria).

2 motorized infantry regiments (each with 3 battalions)

1 armored battalion (4 companies with Panzer IV and Panther , each with 22 tanks), 3 batteries with 10 assault guns Stug III , Panzerjäger-train with 10 Jagdpanzer IV , from December 1944 to 12 anti-aircraft tank. 140 tanks

The division surrendered to British forces near Klagenfurt, Austria at the end of the war.

17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division Götz von Berlichingen
Formed November 1943 in France. Used in June 1944 in Normandy , although the installation was not completed.

Surrendered to the 101 U.S. Airborne Division south of Kufstein on 6 May 1945.

2 motorized infantry regiments (each with 3 battalions, however, were less than 2/3 of the vehicles available in June 1944)

Three armored companies ( StugIII , StuGIV and PzKpfw IV ), from July 1944 1 Company Hetzer. 88 tanks.

In Normandy was virtually wiped out and resurrected in November 1944 with older soldiers from the Navy and Air Force . 11 months of continuous combat operations in the West.

18th SS Panzer Grenadier Division Horst Wessel
Formed in January 1944 in France.

They sank to the Elbe between the 8th and 10 May 1945.

2 motorized infantry regiments (each with 3 battalions, a company with armor-shooters)

Three armored companies (each with 14 StugIII or IV), since February 1945 2 anti-tank companies with Hetzer. 70 tanks

Initially replacements from ethnic Germans from Hungary, since 1945 with adolescents from the Hitler Youth and the Volkssturm.

19th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS
(Latvian No. 2)

Formed in early 1944, in use since summer 1944.

Surrendered to the Red Army in Jelgava (Kurland), May 1945.

3 infantry regiments, 1 Fusilier Battalion

In use on the Baltic coast and in Kurland pocket , 1944-45.

20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS

(Estonian No.1)
Formed in Estonia and Estonian Legion , expanded the division in January 1944.

Surrendered to the Red Army in Melmick (Czech Republic) in May 1945.

3 infantry regiments

Made up from volunteers and former soldiers of the Estonian army. High combat performance.

21st Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Skanderbeg
(Albanian No. 1)
Formed in Kossovo in summer 1944.

Disbanded in October 1944 after mass desertion, which reduced the strength to 1300 men.

2 mountain regiments

Strength of 6500 Albanians in September 1944.

22nd SS Volunteer Cavalry Division Maria Theresia 

Situated in Hungary between the spring and summer of 1944.

Destroyed at the fall of Budapest in February 1945.

3 Cavalry Regiments.

Ethnic Germans from Hungary.

23rd Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Kama
(Croatian No.2)

Recruitment since June 1944.

Soviet advance in the Balkans led to the abandonment of the completion of the division in September 1944. Division number was from Nederland acquired Division.

2 mountain regiments in training.

The division was formally dissolved on 31 October 1944. After the division was disbanded, the number "23rd" was given to the 23rd SS Volunteer Panzer Grenadier Division Nederland.

23rd SS Volunteer Panzer Grenadier Division Nederland

From the Volunteer Legion in July 1943 was a brigade, which was in early 1945 called 'division'.

Destroyed at Berlin, end of April 1945.

2 motorized infantry regiments

Two weak anti-tank companies with Hetzer. 20 tanks.

Dutch volunteers and volunteers from other Western European countries. Highest combat performance. But never really full divisional strength.

24th SS-Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Karst Jager 

Received divisional status in July 1944.

Surrendered to the British and partisans in May 1945.

2 weak mountain infantry regiments

Recruits since September 1943 mainly Austrians 
living in South Tyrol. Lack of adequate replacement in December 1944, the division was again re-organized to a brigade.

25th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Hunyadi (Hungarian No.1) 

 It was established on November 2, 1944 in Hungary.

Suffered heavy losses, only remnants reached U.S. war captivity at Attersee on 5 May 1945.

3 weak motorized infantry regiments

Was still forming at the time of Soviet advance in summer and fall of 1944, was forced to retreat.

Suggested Reference

Waffen-SS Handbook, 1933-1945 by Gordon Williamson


Waffen SS Divisions At A Glance: Part 1

Waffen SS Divisions At A Glance: Part 3

Waffen SS Unit Logos

Waffen SS Training: Personal Narrative Of A Recruit

WAFFEN SS IN ACTION: Rare, Unseen Pictures: Part 1

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