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4th Nazi SS Polizei Division.


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4th Nazi SS Polizei Division.
4th Nazi SS Polizei Division.
Insignia of the 4th Nazi SS Polizei Division
Active 1939 - 1945
Country Flag of Germany 
Allegiance Adolf Hitler
Branch Flag Schutzstaffel Waffen Nazi SS
Type Police
Panzergrenadier
Role Police
anti-partisan
Size Division
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Karl Pfeffer-Wildenbruch
Alfred Wünnenberg

The SS Polizei Division was one of the thirty-eight divisions fielded as part of the Waffen-SS during World War II.

The division was formed in 1939 as part of the Nazi SS-controlled Regular Police, While all German police organizations were under Nazi SS authority they were not considered on par with the true Waffen-SS Divisions, which was reflected in the quality of the equipment they were issued. They were transferred to the Waffen-SS in 1942, and after a variety of splits and reunions it was eventually upgraded to a Panzergrenadier division, the 4th Nazi SS-Polizei-Panzergrenadier Division. It fought in France, Russia, Greece and Pomerania and finally surrendered to the Americans in May 1945.

Formation of the 4th Nazi SS Polizei Division.

The Polizei Division was formed in October 1939, when 15,000 members of the Ordnungspolizei were drafted and placed together with Army Artillery and Signals units. They underwent intensive training in the Black Forest combined with spells on internal security duties in Poland.

4th Nazi SS Polizei Division France 1940.

The Division was initially held in reserve with Army Group C in the Rhineland during the Battle of France until 9 June went it first engaged in combat during the crossing of the Aisne river and the Ardennes Canal.

The Division was engaged in heavy fighting and after securing its objectives, moved to the Argonne Forest, where it came into contact with the French and fought a number of actions with their rear guard.

In late June, 1940, they were pulled out of combat and placed into reserve and transferred to East Prussia and put into the reserve with Army Group North

In January 1941, control of the division passed from the police to the Waffen Nazi SS.

4th Nazi SS Polizei Division Eastern Front.

During the invasion of the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa) the Nazi SS Polizei Division was initially part of the reserve with Army Group North. In August, 1941, the Division saw action near Luga. It was during heavy fighting for the Luga bridgehead held by a number of Soviet Divisions that the Nazi SS-Polizei Division lost over 2,000 soldiers including the divisional commander, Arthur Mülverstadt, in bloody frontal assaults. The fighting across swamp and forest land caused a number of problems and after a number of failed attacks the Nazi SS Polizei Division, along with the help of Army Divisions, managed to fight into the Northern edge of Luga and encircled and destroy the Soviet defenders.

4th Nazi SS Polizei Division 1942.

In January 1942, the Nazi SS Polizei was transferred to the Wolchow river sector and the following month became part of the Waffen-SS and changed their Police insignia for Waffen-SS insignia.

The new Waffen-SS division was involved in some heavy fighting between January and March which resulted in the destruction of the Soviet 2nd Shock Army. The remainder of the year they spent on the Leningrad front.

4th Nazi SS Polizei Division 1943.

In February, 1943, the Division saw action south of Lake Ladoga and were involved in a number of Soviet offensives and forced to withdraw to a new defensive line at Kolpino where it was successful in holding the Red Army, despite suffering severe casualties.

It was at this point that units of the Division was transferred to the west to retrain and upgrade to a Panzergrenadier Division leaving a small Kampfgruppe in the east and had the Dutch Volunteer Legion Neiderland to make up the numbers. The Kampfgruppe was disbanded in May 1943, when the Nazi SS-Polizei-Panzergrenadier Division was ready for action.

The Nazi SS-Polizei Division did not return to the Soviet Union but was sent to the Balkans, and undertook anti-partisan operations in northern Greece. The Gestapo recorded that the Division was involved in war crimes during this time and involved in atrocities against the civilian population of Klissura. and at the village of Distomo in what became known as the Distomo massacre.

4th Nazi SS Polizei Division 1944.

The Nazi SS-Polizei remained in Greece until August 1944, before being recalled to face the advancing Red Army at Belgrade. Where it was again involved in heavy fighting and suffered heavy losses and by September 1944, was reduced to about half its strength and forced back into Slovakia.

4th Nazi SS Polizei Division 1945.

The much reduced Nazi SS-Polizei Division was moved North to Pommerania where it once again saw action attempting to hold the Red Army back. Moved to Danzig it was trapped by the Red Army and after a dire battle was shipped across the Hela Peninsula to Swinemunde.

After a brief rest what remained of the Nazi SS-Polizei Division fought its way across the Elbe river and then surrendered to the Americans near Wittenberge-Lenzen.

Commanders of the 4th Nazi SS Polizei Division.

  • SS-Gruppenführer Karl Pfeffer-Wildenbruch (15 November 1939-1 September 1940).
  • Generalleutnant der Polizei Konrad Hitschler (1 September 1940 - 8 September 1940).
  • SS-Gruppenführer Karl Pfeffer-Wildenbruch (8 September 1940 - 10 November 1940).
  • SS-Gruppenführer Arthur Mülverstadt (10 November 1940 - 10 August 1941).
  • SS-Gruppenführer Emil Höring (16 August 1941 - 18 August 1941).
  • SS-Brigadeführer Walter Krüger (18 August 1941 - 15 December 1941).
  • SS-Standartenführer Alfred Wünnenberg (15 December 1941 - 14 May 1942).
  • SS-Oberführer Alfred Borchert (15 May 1942 - 18 July 1942) - for Alfred Wünnenberg.
  • SS-Brigadeführer Alfred Wünnenberg (19 July 1942 - 10 June 1943).
  • SS-Brigadeführer Fritz Schmedes (10 June 1943 - 5 July 1943).
  • SS-Standartenführer Otto Binge (5 July 1943 - 18 August 1943).
  • SS-Brigadeführer Fritz Freitag (18 August 1943 - 20 October 1943).
  • SS-Oberführer Friedrich-Wilhelm Bock (20 October 1943 - 19 April 1944).
  • SS-Brigadeführer Jürgen Wagner (19 April 1944 - ? May 1944).
  • SS-Oberführer Friedrich-Wilhelm Bock (? May 1944 - 7 May 1944).
  • SS-Brigadeführer Hebert Ernst Vahl (7 May 1944 - 22 July 1944).
  • SS-Standartenführer Karl Schümers (22 July 1944 - 16 August 1944).
  • SS-Oberführer Helmut Dörner (16 August 1944 - 22 August 1944).
  • SS-Brigadeführer Fritz Schmedes (22 August 1944 - 27 November 1944).
  • SS-Standartenführer Walter Harzer (27 November 1944 - 1 March 1945).
  • SS-Standartenführer Fritz Göhler (1 March 1945 - ? March 1945).
  • SS-Standartenführer Walter Harzer (? March 1945 - 8 May 1945) .

Area of operations of the 4th Nazi SS Polizei Division.

  • Germany (September 1939 - May 1940).
  • Luxembourg, Belgium & France (May 1940 - June 1941).
  • Eastern front, northern sector (June 1941 - May 1943).
  • Czechoslovakia & Poland (May 1943 - January 1944).
  • Greece (January 1944 - September 1944).
  • Yugoslavia & Romania (September 1944 - October 1944).
  • Hungary (October 1944 - December 1944).
  • Czechoslovakia & Eastern Germany (December 1944 - May 1945) .

Order of battle of the 4th Nazi SS Polizei Division.

1939.

  • Polizei-Schützen-Regiment 1.
  • Polizei-Schützen-Regiment 2.
  • Polizei-Schützen-Regiment 3.
  • Polizei-anti tank Battalion.
  • Polizei-Pionier-Battalion.
  • Radfahr Company.
  • Artillery Regiment 300.
  • Signals Battalion 300.
  • Versorgungstruppen 300 .

1943.

  • SS-Panzergrenadier Regiment 7.
  • SS-Panzergrenadier Regiment 8.
  • SS-Artillery Regiment 4.
  • SS-Sturmgeschütz Battalion 4.
  • SS-Panzer Battalion 4.
  • SS-Panzerjäger Battalion 4.
  • SS-Flak Battalion 4.
  • SS-Signals Battalion 4.
  • SS-Panzer-Reconnaissance Battalion 4.
  • SS-Pionier-Battalion 4.
  • SS-Dina 4.
  • SS-Panzer-Instandsetzungs-Battalion 4.
  • SS-Wirtscharfts-Battalion 4.
  • SS-Medical Battalion 4.
  • SS-Polizei-Veterinary Company 4.
  • SS-War Reporter Platoon 4.
  • SS-Feldgendarmerie-Troop 4.
  • SS-Reserve Battalion 4 .

Manpower and strength of the 4th Nazi SS Polizei Division.

  • June, 1941 = 17,347.
  • Dec, 1942 = 13,399.
  • Dec, 1943 = 16,081.
  • June, 1944 = 16,139.
  • Dec, 1944 = 9,000 .

References to the 4th Nazi SS Polizei Division.

  • Huseman, Friedrich. (2003). In Good Faith: The History of 4. Nazi SS-Polizei-Panzergrenadier-Division, Volume 1, 1939 - 1943. Winnipeg, Canada: J.J. Fedorowicz, ISBN 0-921991-74-6.
  • Williamson, Gordon. (2003). The Waffen-SS, Osprey Publishing, ISBN 1841765899 .



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