War & Conflicts Discussions => Waffen-SS Panzer Grenadier Divisions => Topic started by: stoffel on 16 January 2010, 14:52:41

Title: 17th SS panzergrenadierdivision "Gotz von Berlichingen"
Post by: stoffel on 16 January 2010, 14:52:41
The 17th SS Panzergrenadierdivison was formed at Poitiers, France.

Men were drawn away from the algemeine SS and had a large number of Romanian and French volunteers.
The name was given from a 15th century German Knight. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6tz_von_Berlichingen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6tz_von_Berlichingen))

Symbol of the division was an iron fist used by the knight after he lost his hand.

Commander of 17th SS PzGren Div was Obersturmbahnführer Otto Binge.
Brigadeführer Werner Ostendorf led the panzergrenadier-regiment.

February 1944 the division lacked means of transport and was granted to steal all kinds of vehicles they could find in the French countryside.
The Division had no tanks except for a batallion of StuG's IV.
June '44 the number of men was insufficient to fill the ranks and lacked approx. 1000 men.

Combat history
The division first fought against 101st Ab and 2nd US armor at Carentan.
It was severely mauled during operation Cobra when it tried to stop the US advance.
Before the remnants could escape the Falaise hell it was also used in the Mortain counterattack.
At the end of July'44 the division retreated to Metz to refit.
September '44 the division took over the remnants of SS panzergrenadier brigades 49 and 51. They also received small numbers of Volksdeutsche recruits.

Next assignement was to attack the US 5th and 80th Inf. Div. at the Moselle river.
The attack failed and the division spend the next months defending Metz and by the end of November '44 Metz was liberated and the division retreated to the Maginot line.
Only 4000 men and a few vehicles survived the French campaign.
Again the division was refitted with new recruits, reducing the strength and experience of the unit.

Operation Nordwind
At the French-German border he division attacked the US 44th and 100th infantry divisions at Rimling.
Supported by flamethrower-tanks from 352nd and 353th kompanie, a Panther kompanie from 21st division, 36th VolksGrenadierDiv. and heavy tankdestroyer Bn. 653 with Jagdtigers.
Only limited progress was made, and the division lost his commander who was captured by a US patrol.
March '45 the remnants retreated across the Rhine and participated until April '45 in the defense of Nuremberg.
A few weeks later the divisions surrendered at Moosburg after a short battle with the US 14th armored division.
The final surrender of some surviving units took place on May 7th 1945.

OOB June 1944

37th SS Panzergrenadier Regiment
38th SS Panzergrenadier Regiment
17th SS Artillery Regiment
17th SS Panzerjäger Battalion
17th SS Sturmgeschütz Battalion (42 StuG IV)
17th SS FlaK Battalion
17th SS Signal Battalion
17th SS Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion
17th SS Pionier Battalion
17th SS Divisions Nachschubtruppen
17th SS Wirtschafts Battalion
17th SS Medical Battalion