14.Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (ukrainishe Nr.1)
|The following information concerns the actions of the14.Waffen-Grenadier-Divison der SS “Galizien” in theSlovak uprising, and this section will soonbe expanded.|
After the rebuilding of the 14.Waffen-Grenadier Divison der SS”Galizien” had begun at Neuhammer (inSilesia), a crisis broke out in Slovakia. Faced with the impending Russianinvasion, a revolt against the pro-German government of President JosefTiso was planned at Neusohl in the Carpathians and put into effect on 23August 1944, by members of the Cabinet under Defense Minister GeneralCatlos, backed by a group of the Army under General Golian. Russian agentshad been instrumental in bringing about the revolt and two Russian airbornebrigades were flown in an dropped behind the German lines to reinforce therebels. The situation was very serious for the already disillusionedGermans – 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 onceand without suitable troops in the immediate vicinity, the Germans had toimporovise. While the SD hunted the leaders, the immediate need for armouredfighting troops was met by forming an ad-hoc armoured regiment from aWaffen-SS school, and a training and replacement battalion in theneighbouring Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia, with the staff and cadets fromthe 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 forBratislava (Pressburg). The Regiment moved on the center of the revolt atNeusohl and managed to take the town and capture many of the leaders. In themeantime, it had been decided to call in other Waffen-SS troops, andreinforced 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 reinforcedinfantry battalion. To this base provided by IIIrd Battalion ofWaffen-Gren.Rgt. der SS 29, were added a light infantry gun platoon and amedium anti-tank gun section. (some sources state that the battle group wassomewhat stronger, being composed of a battalion from Waffen-Gren. Rgt.derss 29, supported by a light battery, two sections of the AT battalion, twoengineer platoons, part of the signals battlion and supply troops.) Thebattle group was led by the commander of the divisional artillery rgt.,SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer Friedrich Beyersdorff, and thus was known asSS-Kampfgruppe “Beyersdorff.” It arrived in Slovakia from the East.Precisely what part Beyersdorff’s men played in the quelling of the Slovakuprising is unclear, and as the rebels were fellow Slavs, it is possiblethat their role was purely nominal, perhaps merely releasing German combattroops from routine duties. After a short time, Beyersdorff and his menrejoined the rest of their Division, which had been transferrered to Zilinain Slovakia in the latter part of September 1944, to complete its combattraining, keep order, and clear the region of remaining partisans. (Tessindoes not show the Division in Slovakia until Dec. 1944 – probably becauseof feldpost number allocation discrepancies).
It is of interest to note in passing that Himmler appointed Gottlob Bergeras C-in-C of Slovakia on the 31st of August, 1944, as he felt him capable ofrestoring some semblance of order in the Slovak puppet state after therevolt. Berger was only in command for two weeks before being replacedby SS-Obergruppenführer Hermann Hoefle. The latter became the HssPFinSlovakia with his seat in Bratislava, and succeeded in pacifying thecountry with the help of Einsatzgruppe H under SS-ObersturmbannführerDr. 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