Research on the German Armed Forces 1918-1945
Formed in May 1943 as the SS-Sturmbrigade "Langemarck" from the
SS-Freiwilligen Legion "Flandern".
In May 1943, the SS-Freiwilligen Legion Flandern had been withdrawn from the front, north of Leningrad. By order of the SS-Führungshauptamt, on May 31st, 1943, the SS-Freiwilligen Legion Flandern was to be reformed into the SS-Freiwilligen Sturmbrigade "Langemarck". For this the Legion was sent to the SS-training ground at Debica.
A Finnish volunteers battalion, a contingent of Flemish volunteers, and new recruits were added to the forming Sturmbrigade. A Panzerjäger-Kompanie, a Sturmgeschütz-Bataillon, and a Flak-Bataillon were also formed and added to the new Sturmbrigade.
In October of 1943, the newly formed SS-Freiwilligen Sturmbrigade "Langemarck" was redesignated as the 6.SS-Freiwilligen-Sturmbrigade "Langemarck".
The new 6.SS-Freiwilligen Sturmbrigade "Langemarck" was, in December of 1943, ready to be moved to the front. On the 26th of December, 1943, the Sturmbrigade was transported to the front in the region of the Ukraine. In the next few weeks the Sturmbrigade was involved in heavy defensive battles. Together with 2.SS "Das Reich", the Sturmbrigade was trapped in the region of Shitomir and Jampol. In the attempt to break the siege, the unit lost many of its men and equipment.
In the end of April 1944, the Sturmbrigade was transfered to the region of Böhmen for regrouping. It was during this period that the Sturmbrigade formed a seperate fighting-unit for use elsewhere on the front. On the 19th of July, 1944, Kampfgruppe "Rehmann" was formed from elements of the Sturmbrigade and sent to the front at the Narva River.
The Kampfgruppe became a part of the III.SS-Germanische Panzerkorps "Steiner". The Kampgruppe was formed with 4 Kompanies and was commanded by Hauptsturmführer Rehmann, as Stubaf. Schellong was still recovering from wounds at this time. It was sent to the Narva front shortly after its formation.
The Battle for Narva was preceeded on the 22nd of June, 1944, when the Russians launched the largest and most devastating offensive in history. Over a front of 400Km, the Russians pushed forward. After only a few days the German divisions in the path of the offensive were for the most part, completely crushed, and the front was on the verge of collapse any moment. On the 10th of July, 1944, the lines between Heeresgruppe "Mitte" and Heeresgruppe "Nord" were lost. 29 Russian infantry divisions and one tank brigade had punched a 25Km long gap in the front-line between the two Army Groups, and now rushed along the Duna river towards Lativia and Lithuania. This meant that Heeresgruppe "Nord" was trapped, sealed off from the rest of the front by this break in the front line.
On the 23rd of July, 1944, German troops cleared the city of Narva and the forced bridgeheads over the Narva Rvier. Kampfgruppe "Rehmann" arrived in Lithuania, and the 24th of July, 1944, Kampfgruppe "Rehmann" arrived in Estonia and linked up with the 5.SS-Freiwilligen Sturmbrigade "Wallonien". Bt this time, the Russians had occupied Hungerberg and Riigi. The 3rd Baltic Army, consisting of 20 divisions, now faced the German forces in the region of Narva, and the entire Northern front was ready to explode. Then, in a pincer movement, the Soviet forces attempted to encircle the III.SS-Panzerkorps "Steiner", in an attempt to destroy it.
On the 25th of July, 1944, Kampfgruppe "Rehmann" received orders to dig-in on the area on the Narva battlefield known as the "Kinderheim-Höhe". At 22.30 hours, the Narva and the Narva bend were being evacuated and troops were taking up position along the Tannenbergstellung. To the right was the "Nordland" Division, to the left was the brigade "Nederland", and in the center position was Kampfgruppe "Rehmann".
Then on the 26th of July, 1944, the Narva front exploded. The Soviet launched attacks everywhere. Russian artillery laid a tremendous volley of fire on the Kinderheim-Höhe postions. A shell managed to hit the command bunker of the Kampfgruppe, and the commanders of the 1./ and 2./Kompanie were killed, and Rehmann was heavely wounded. This shell hit was devastating for the Kampfgruppe, as it lost more than half its leading officers. After the massive Soviet heavy artillery attack, the fighting strength of the Kampfgruppe was greatly reduced. Untersturmführer D'Hease took command of the Kampfgruppe, after Rehmann was injured.
On the 27th of July, 1944, the 3 small hills of the Tannenbergstellung (Tannenberg Postion), became increasingly important because they controlled the whole region. The German positions on and around the Kinderheim-Höhe, Grenadier-Höhe and Höhe-69.9, were cut in two by the main road between Narva and Reval. In the North was the Brigade "Nederland", and from there along the coast was the 20.SS-Waffen.Grenadier-Division der SS (estnische Nr.1), the Pi.Batl.54, and I/49 and II/49 with connections to the Division "Nordland" around the main road. To the south were the III/24, II/24 and III/23, with connection to the 11.Infanterie-Division. Kampfgruppe "Rehmann" had now taken positions on the Kinderheim-Höhe, and the Grenadier-Höhe and Höhe-69.9 were taken by Estonians(??) and 2 companies from the SS-Pi.Batl.11. In the south stood "Norge".
On the 28th of July, 1944, the Russians stood before the Tannenberg Position with 11 infantry divisions an 6 tank brigades. Steiner had only 4 divisions to defend with, and they could not hold much longer.
On the 29th of July, 1944, German artillery laid a heavy fire on the attacking Russians, hoping to force them to pull back. Panzers and Sturmgeschütze from the "Nordland" Division mangage to clear the left flank of Russian troops and put pressure on the retreating Russian tanks. German troops had managed to retake the positions. The battle on the Narva had ended, and in 3 days, 113 Russian tanks were destroyed.
Later in June of 1944, the Sturmbrigade raised a second Panzergrenadier Abteilung, and the Sturmgeschütz-Batterie became an Abteilung, but did not actually increase its strength.
Then, in September of 1944, the remains of Kampfgruppe "Rehmann" were evacuated over Sea to Swinemünde, and later, on the 18th of October, 1944, the Sturmbrigade was redesignated as the 27.SS-Freiwilligen-Grenadier-Division "Langemarck".
Feldgrau Forums |
Reichswehr 1919-1935 |
Axis Powers |
Foreign Volunteers |
Awards & Medals
Copyright © 1996- FeldGrau.com