The following information concerns the actions of the
14.Waffen-Grenadier-Divison der SS "Galizien" in the
Slovak uprising, and this section will soon
After the rebuilding of the 14.Waffen-Grenadier Divison der SS "Galizien" had begun at Neuhammer (in Silesia), a crisis broke out in Slovakia. Faced with the impending Russian invasion, a revolt against the pro-German government of President Josef Tiso was planned at Neusohl in the Carpathians and put into effect on 23 August 1944, by members of the Cabinet under Defense Minister General Catlos, backed by a group of the Army under General Golian. Russian agents had been instrumental in bringing about the revolt and two Russian airborne brigades were flown in an dropped behind the German lines to reinforce the rebels. The situation was very serious for the already disillusioned Germans - it threatened the very retreat of the 8th Army from Galicia.
If the revolt was to be put down effectively, it had to be done at once and without suitable troops in the immediate vicinity, the Germans had to imporovise. While the SD hunted the leaders, the immediate need for armoured fighting troops was met by forming an ad-hoc armoured regiment from a Waffen-SS school, and a training and replacement battalion in the neighbouring Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia, with the staff and cadets from the SS-Panzer Grenadier Schule in Kienschlag and SS-Pz.gren. Ausb.u-Ers. Btl.10 in Brno. The Regiment was SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment "Schill", reported variously as having been formed on 20 July 1944, as an "Alarmeinheit"; and in September 1944, and October 1944 as a garrison for Bratislava (Pressburg). The Regiment moved on the center of the revolt at Neusohl and managed to take the town and capture many of the leaders. In the meantime, it had been decided to call in other Waffen-SS troops, and reinforced battalion groups from the 14th SS "Galician", and 18th SS "Horst Wessel" Divisions were ordered into Slovakia. (Shutzzone Slowakei.)
A battle group was ordered on 22 September 1944, made up of a reinforced infantry battalion. To this base provided by IIIrd Battalion of Waffen-Gren.Rgt. der SS 29, were added a light infantry gun platoon and a medium anti-tank gun section. (some sources state that the battle group was somewhat stronger, being composed of a battalion from Waffen-Gren. Rgt.der SS 29, supported by a light battery, two sections of the AT battalion, two engineer platoons, part of the signals battlion and supply troops.) The battle group was led by the commander of the divisional artillery rgt., SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer Friedrich Beyersdorff, and thus was known as SS-Kampfgruppe "Beyersdorff." It arrived in Slovakia from the East. Precisely what part Beyersdorff's men played in the quelling of the Slovak uprising is unclear, and as the rebels were fellow Slavs, it is possible that their role was purely nominal, perhaps merely releasing German combat troops from routine duties. After a short time, Beyersdorff and his men rejoined the rest of their Division, which had been transferrered to Zilina in Slovakia in the latter part of September 1944, to complete its combat training, keep order, and clear the region of remaining partisans. (Tessin does not show the Division in Slovakia until Dec. 1944 - probably because of feldpost number allocation discrepancies).
It is of interest to note in passing that Himmler appointed Gottlob Berger as C-in-C of Slovakia on the 31st of August, 1944, as he felt him capable of restoring some semblance of order in the Slovak puppet state after the revolt. Berger was only in command for two weeks before being replaced by SS-Obergruppenführer Hermann Hoefle. The latter became the HSSPF in Slovakia with his seat in Bratislava, and succeeded in pacifying the country with the help of Einsatzgruppe H under SS-Obersturmbannführer Dr. Witiska.
Gruppenführer Walther Schimana, 6.30.43 - 11.20.43
Brigadeführer Fritz Freitag, 11.20.43 - 4.22.44
Brigadeführer Sylvester Stadler, 4.22.44 - 7.??.44
Brigadeführer Nikolaus Heilmann, 7.??.44 - 9.5.44
Brigadeführer Fritz Freitag, 9.5.44 - 4.24.45
Brigadeführer Pavlo Schandruk, 4.24.45 - 5.8.45