5.SS-Panzer-Division “Wiking” (History, Battles, Org, Service)


  • Nordische Division (Nr.5)
  • SS-Division Germania (mot)
  • SS-Division “Wiking”
  • SS-Panzergrenadier-Division “Wiking”
  • 5.SS-Panzer-Division “Wiking”

5th SS Panzer Division “Wiking” History

WW2 German 5th SS-Panzer-Division EmblemThis Division was formed in December 1940. Initially, the Division was called Germania but the title of the unit was changed to Wiking in January 1941. In February, a Finnish Volunteer unit was raised and attached to the 5th SS Panzer Division (For more about this specific foreign unit, please look under the section on German foreign units in the section on Finland). Training for the Division took part at Truppenübungsplatz Heuberg. The Division was ready for action in April 1941.

SS Wiking Battles

Wiking first saw action as a part of Army Group South fighting for Tarnopolin Galacia on June 29th, 1941. In August 1941, the Division fought on the Dnieper River in attempts to establish a bridgehead. Soon after, the Division moved through Dnepropetrovsk and on to Rostov. In the Winter of 1941, the Division moved back to the line of the Mius River where it spent the winter months.

When the Germans launched offensives in the Spring and Summer of 1942, Wiking fought into and through the Caucasus region, pushing very far South. Wiking stayed in the Caucasus region until the Spring of 1943.

In the Wiking Division, as was common with many Divisions, elements were added and removed many times throughout its existence. The Nordland Regiment was removed to help establish another Waffen SS Division, as were elements of the 5th SS Panzer Division that contained Scandinavian members. Also, Narwa, an Estonian unit, was transferred to the Division and then removed in1944.

In October 1943, the 5th SS Panzer Division was renamed a full Panzer Division. In the Summer and Fall of 1943, the Division fought in defensive operations in the Area of Kharkov and the Dnieper River. When the Soviets launched their massive offensive against the German Army Group Center in June 1944, Wiking was one of many Divisions that was trapped in numerous pockets that were created as the Soviets rushed Westward towards the Reich. Wiking was trapped in the Cherkassy Pockets, and being the only Panzer unit in that pocket, spearheaded an attempt to break out. At the time, an independent foreign formation, Wallonien, was a part of Wiking. Although the 5th SS Panzer Division managed to break out, it lost all its Armor and a great deal of equipment and personnel while doing so.

The remaining men and equipment that managed to survive the Cherkassy Pocket were formed into a Kampfgruppe that was soon transferred to Poland and amalgamated into a reformed 5.SS-Panzer-Division “Wiking”. At the same time that Wiking was reformed, the Soviets had pushed all the way to the Vistula River and to Warsaw in Poland. Wiking took part in the desperate attempts along with the 3.SS.Panzer-Division “Totenkopf” and the Heer 19.Panzer-Division to stem the Soviet advance. Wiking helped to push the Soviets out of Warsaw and back across the Vistula River where the Front stabilized until January 1945.

Wiking was pulled from Warsaw in December 1944 and transferred south for the attempted break-through to Budapest to rescue 45,000 trapped Germans located in that City. Wiking pushed forward for two weeks, but could not reach the city against massive Soviet strength and resources. Wiking then fought to the West of Budapest in more defensive operations, moving into the area of Czechoslovakia, where the Division surrendered to the Soviets in May 1945.

Foreign Volunteers

The Wiking Division was well known not only for being a fierce and bitter fighting unit, but because a great number of its members were not German, but were foreign volunteers from many other Western and Northern European Countries. The following listing is a general break-down of the foreigners in the ranks of Wiking.

Holland: 631 Dutchman were reported in the Westland Infantry Regiment in June 1941.

Flanders (Flemish Speaking Belgium): Members of this area were found mainly in the Westland Infantry Regiment.

Norway: 294 Norwegians were reported in the Division on June 22, 1941, in the Nordland Infantry Regiment. According to some, another unit was made up of Norwegian members, the SS Freiwilligen Panzer Grenadier Abteilung, but others state that it was a part of Regiment Nordland, and not independent.

Denmark: 216 Danes were reported in the Nordland Infantry Regiment in June 1941. Another Danish unit was reported to have been formed called Danmark which may have been a special unit.

Switzerland: Conflicting information gives the Swiss contribution to this Division as being either a single individual, while another records the level at 800.

Finland: 421 Finns were in the Division in 1941, and the Finish Volunteer Battalion was added in 1942.

Sweden: Varying numbers of Swedes are said to have served in the Division.

Estonia: Estonians served in the SS Panzer Grenadier Abteilung Narwa.

Wallonia: (French-speaking Belgium)- Wallonian members served in these Strumbrigade Wallonien.

Volksdeutsche: Some divisional replacements were drawn from Volkdeutsche in the Balkans region, and a few other locations.

WW2 German Wiking Panther Tanks
Wiking Panthers in Russia


General Composition
Stab der Division
SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 9 “Germania”
SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 10 “Westland”
SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment “Nordland” (Withdrawn from division in 1943)
Estnisches SS-Freiwilligen-Panzer-Grenadier-Batallion “Narwa” (Withdrawn in 1944)
Finnisches Freiwilligen-Batallion def Waffen-SS
SS-Sturmbrigade “Wallonien”
SS-Panzer-Regiment 5
SS-Panzerjager-Abteilung 5
SS-Sturmgeschutz-Abteilung 5
SS-Sturmgeschutz-Batterie 5
SS-Panzer-Artillerie-Regiment 5
SS-Flak-Abteilung 5
SS-Werfer-Abteilung 5
SS-Panzer-Nachrichten-Abteilung 5
SS-Panzer-Aufklarungs-Abteilung 5
SS-Panzer-Pionier-Batallion 5
SS-Dina 5
SS-Instandsetzungs-Abteilung 5
SS-Wirtschafts-Batallion 5
SS-Sanitats-Abteilung 5
SS-Feldlazarett 5
SS-Kriegsberichter-Zug 5
SS-Feldgendarmerie-Trupp 5
SS-Feldersatz-Battillon 5
I./SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 23 “Norge”
I./SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 24 “Danmark”


Obergruppenführer Felix Steiner, 12.01.40 – 5.01.43
Obergruppenführer Herbert Gille, 5.01.43 – 8.06.44
Oberführer Edmund Deisenhofer, 8.06.44 – 8.??.44
Standartenführer Rudulf Mühlenkamp, 8.??.44 – 10.09.44
Oberführer Karl Ullrich, 10.09.44 – 5.05.45

Knights Cross Holders

Helmut Bauer9/12/1944OberscharführerZugführer
Fritz Darges4/5/1945ObersturmbannführerFührer
Heinrich Debus5/4/1944ObersturmführerFührer
Sepp Draxenberger4/17/1945HauptscharführerZugführer
Hugo Eichhorn1/15/1943HauptsturmführerChef
Willi Esslinger6/19/1943HauptscharführerZugführer
Gerhard Fischer5/4/1944UnterscharführerZugführer
Hans Fluegel10/16/1944HauptsturmführerFührer
Herbert Gille10/8/1942OberführerKommandeur
Alfred Grossrock8/12/1944UntersturmführerZugführer
Eberhard Heder11/18/1944HauptsturmführerFührer
Willi Hein5/4/1944ObersturmführerChef
Karl-Heinz Lichte5/6/1945HauptsturmführerChef
Johannes Muehlenkamp9/3/1942SturmbannführerKommandeur
Karl Nikolussi-Leck4/9/1944ObersturmführerChef
Karl Picus4/17/1945Obersturmführer
Joachim Richter2/23/1944ObersturmbannführerKommandeur
Hugo Ruf10/16/1944OberscharführerZugführer
Max Schaefer2/12/1943ObersturmbannführerKommandeur
Karl Schlamelcher3/1/1942SturmbannführerFührer
Alois Schnaubelt11/16/1944UnterscharführerGeschützführer
Otto Schneider5/4/1944ObersturmführerFührer
Manfred Schoenfelder2/23/1944ObersturmbannführerIa
Kurt Schumacher5/4/1944UntersturmführerFührer
Paul Senghas12/11/1944ObersturmführerFührer
Paul Trabandt10/14/1943HauptscharführerZugführer

War Service

DateCorpsArmyArmy GroupArea
3.41Wehrkreis VIIHome
4.41XXIV11. ArmeeCHome
5.41Wehrkreis V2. PanzergruppeHome
6.41 – 8.41XIV1. PanzergruppeSüdTarnopol, Kiev
9.41 – 10.41III1. PanzergruppeSüdKiev, Rostov
11.41 – 5.42XIV1. Pz. ArmeeSüdMius (Taganrog)
6.42XIVSüdMius (Taganrog)
7.42LVIISüdSouth Russia
8.42LVII1. Pz. ArmeeACaucasus
9.42LVII17. ArmeeACaucasus
10.42 – 11.42LII1. Pz. ArmeeACauscasus
12.42III1. Pz. ArmeeACaucasus
1.43 – 2.43LVII4. Pz. ArmeeDonManytsch
3.43 – 5.43XXXX1. Pz. ArmeeSüdIsyum, Charkov
6.43XXIV1. Pz. ArmeeSüdIsyum, Charkov
7.43Reserve1. Pz. ArmeeSüdIsyum, Charkov
8.43XXXX and LVII1. Pz. ArmeeSüdIsyum, Charkov
9.43 – 12.43III8. ArmeeSüdDnjepr
1.44 – 3.44XI8. ArmeeSüdTscherkassy
4.44LVI2. ArmeeMitteKovel
5.44 – 7.44rebuildingMitteHeidelager
8.44 – 12.44IV. SS9. ArmeeMitteModlin
1.45Reserve6. ArmeeSüdHungary
2.45 – 4.45IV. SS6. ArmeeSüdHungary
5.45IV. SSOstmarkGraz