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7th Nazi SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen.


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7th Nazi SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen.
Insignia of 7th Nazi SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz 
      Eugen (Óss rune)
Insignia of 7th Nazi SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen (Óss rune)
Active 1942 - 1945
Country Flag of Germany Nazi Germany
Allegiance Adolf Hitler
Branch Flag Schutzstaffel Waffen-SS
Role Mountain Infantry
Size Division
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Artur Phleps

The 7th Nazi SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen. was formed on March 1942 from Volksdeutsche (ethnic Germans) volunteers from Croatia, Serbia, Hungary and Romania, it was initially called the Nazi SS-Freiwilligen-Division Prinz Eugen. (SS-Volunteer Division Prinz Eugen). It was engaged in anti partisan operations in the Balkans during World War II.

Formation.

The Prinz Eugen was formed in 1942 from Volksdeutsche volunteers and named as a Gebirgs (Mountain) Division. They were issued with non standard German weapons but used captured equipment such as Czech machine guns and French light tanks.

When the Division was formed it was assigned to the Balkans as an anti-partisan mountain division.

The division's first action was in the Serbian-Montenegro border in the mountains east of the Ibar River and afterwards it took part in Fall Weiß in the Zagreb - Karlovac area, where together with Italian forces attempted to defeat the partisans commanded by Tito, the operation failed and most of the partisans managed to evade the main attack.

In May 1942 the division was involved in Fall Schwarz, against the Serbian guerilla forces under General Draža Mihailovic in Hercegovina and Montenegro.

1943.

The Division attacked Mostar in Hercegovina and also deployed units northwest of Sarajevo. The operation was successful and Mihailovic and his forces were forced to retreat to Serbia. In August 1943, Prinz Eugen became a part of the XV Gebirgs Armee korps and sent to the Dalmatian coast, to disarm the Italian forces in September 1943 after the Italian Government had surrendered to the Allies. It then occupied Hvar, Brac and Korcula islands and the Pelješac peninsula and participated in Operation Landstrum, another anti - partisan operation in Omis, Ploce and Biokovo.

The Division was reorganized on 22 October 1943 and was renamed the 7th Nazi SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen. In November the unit was attached to the V Nazi SS Mountain Corps and took part in anti-partisan operations in Kugelblitz and Schneesturm in December 1943.

1944.

Artur Phleps the Prinz Eugen first commander
Artur Phleps the Prinz Eugen first commander.

In March 1944 the Division was involved in more anti-partisan action Operation Maibaum (April 1944) and the next large offensive, Operation Rösselsprung the assault on Drvar, which began on 25 May 1944. this operation had the task of killing or capturing Tito, and the division was supported by the 500th Nazi SS Fallschirmjäger-Bataillon and the Brandenburg Regiment.

In May the Division also saw action in Operations Waldrausch, Operation Freie in June, Operation Jagd in July and Operation Rübezahl (12 Aug - 30 Aug 1944), which prevented the partisans escaping into Montenegro. During that time the Russian, Red Army had advanced to the Balkans and the Division had begun fighting Russian and Bulgarian units suffering heavy casualties in the process.

On 21 September 1944, Obergruppenführer, Artur Phleps, the division’s first commander was believed to have been killed when en route from Montenegro to Transylvania.

The Division's next action was together with the 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the Nazi SS Handschar (1st Croatian) the 23rd Waffen Mountain Division of the Nazi SS Kama (2nd Croatian) and the 21st Waffen Mountain Division of the Nazi SS Skanderbeg (1st Albanian) were given the task of creating a corridor which would allow the retreat of 35,000 German soldiers from Greece and the Aegean.

On 20 October 1944, the Russians captured Belgrade and Prinz Eugen was the rear guard for the German retreat.

In the beginning of November the Nazi SS 1st Albanian Skanderberg Division was disbanded and its remnants incorporated into the 14th Regiment of Prinz Eugen, which received its honor title Skanderbeg.

1945.

In January 1945 the Division was again in action against the Russians and Tito’s partisans at Otok and Vukovar. The retreat from Bosnia continued and Prinz Eugen retreated to Croatia in April 1945. On 10 May 1945 the Division retreated towards Celje in Slovenia where it surrendered on 11 May 1945 to Yugoslav forces.

War Crimes.

The division is infamous for its cruelty and massive atrocities committed in the area of Nikšic in Montenegro:

Everything they came across they burnt down, they murdered and pillaged. The officers and men of the Nazi SS division Prinz Eugen committed crimes of an outrageous cruelty on this occasion. The victims were shot, slaughtered and tortured, or burnt to death in burning houses. Where a victim was found not in his house but on the road or in the fields some distance away, he was murdered and burnt there. Infants with their mothers, pregnant women and frail old people were also murdered. In short, every civilian met with by these troops in these villages was murdered. In many cases, whole families who, not expecting such treatment or lacking the time for escape, had remained quietly in their homes were annihilated and murdered. Whole families were thrown into burning houses in many cases and thus burnt. It has been established from the investigations entered upon that 121 persons, mostly women, and including 30 persons aged 60-92 years and 29 children of ages ranging from 6 months to 14 years, were executed on this occasion in the horrible manner narrated above. The villages [and then follows the list of the villages] were burnt down and razed to the ground.

Credit: Dr. Dušan Nedeljkovic, Yugoslav State Commission, Document D-940

Commanders.

  • SS-Obergruppenführer Arthur Phleps (30 Jan 1942 - 15 May 1943).
  • SS-Brigadeführer Karl Reichsritter von Oberkamp (15 May 1943 - 30 Jan 1944).
  • SS-Brigadeführer Otto Kumm (30 Jan 1944 - 20 Jan 1945).
  • SS-Brigadeführer August Schmidthuber (20 Jan 1945 - 8 May 1945) .

Order of battle.

October 1943 - Croatia.

  • Division Staff.
  • SS-Volunteer Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 13.
  • SS-Volunteer Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 14 "Skanderberg".
  • SS-Volunteer Gebirgs-Artillerie-Regiment 7.
  • SS-Volunteetr Gebirgs Reconnaissance Battalion (mot) 7.
  • SS-Panzer Battalion 7.
  • SS-Panzerjäger Battalion 7.
  • SS-Gebirgs-Pionier-Battalion 7.
  • SS-Gebirgs-Flak Battalion 7.
  • SS-Radfahr-Battalion 7.
  • SS-Cavalry Battalion 7.
  • SS-Gebirgs-Signals Battalion 7.
  • SS-Gebirgs-Resetve Battalion 7.
  • SS-Medical Battalion 7.
  • SS-Feldgendarmerie-Troop 7.
  • SS-Volunteer Gebirgs Veterinary Company 7.
  • SS-Volunteer Gebirgs War Reporter platoon 7.
  • SS-Divisions Versorgungs Truppen 7 .

November 1944 - Balkans.

  • Division Staff.
  • SS-Volunteer-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 13 Artur Phleps.
  • SS-Volunteer Gebrigsjäger-Regiment 14 Skanderbeg.
  • SS-Volunteer Gebrigs Artillery Regiment 7.
  • SS-Volunteer Gebirgs-Reconnaissance Battalion (mot) 7.
  • SS-Panzer-Battalion 7.
  • SS-Gebirgs-Panzerjäger Battalion 7.
  • SS-Sturmgeschutz Battalion 7.
  • SS-Gebirgs-Pionier-Battalion 7.
  • SS-Flak Battalion 7.
  • SS-Radfahr-REconnaissance Battalion 7.
  • SS-Cavalry Battalion 7.
  • SS-Motorcycle Battalion 7.
  • SS-Gebirgs-Signals Battalion 7.
  • SS-Reserve Battalion 7.
  • SS-Medical Battalion 7.
  • SS-Volunteer Gebirgs Veterinary Company 7.
  • SS-Volunteer Gebirgs War Reporter Platoon 7.
  • SS-Propaganda-Zug.
  • SS-Feldgendarmerie-Troop 7.
  • SS-Werkstatt-Company 7.
  • SS-Nachshub-Company 7.
  • SS-Reserve Battalion 7.
  • SS-Wirtschafts-Battalion 7.
  • SS-Wehrgeologisches-Battalion 7 .

Alternative names.

  • Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division.
  • SS-Freiwilligen-Division Prinz Eugen.
  • SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division Prinz Eugen.
  • 7.SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division Prinz Eugen .

References.

  • Mitcham, Samuel W, German Order of Battle, Volume 3.
  • Casagrande, Thomas: Die Volksdeutsche Nazi SS-Division "Prinz Eugen", Frankfurt am Main: Campus Verlag, 2003..
  • Kumm, Otto - The History of the 7. Nazi SS Mountain Division Prinz Eugen.
  • Pipes, Jason. "7.SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen"". Retrieved July 28, 2005..
  • Wendel, Marcus (2005). "7.SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen"". Retrieved July 28, 2005..
  • "7.SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen"". German language article at www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de. (Follow links for the entire unit history.) Retrieved July 28, 2005..
  • The Trial of German Major War Criminals. Nuremberg, 1946 .


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