HARMEL Heinz NEW
Knights Cross awarded: 31.03.1943
as: Obersturmbannführer Kommandeur SS-PzGrenRgt 3 "Deutschland"
Awarded Oak leaves (296th recipient) awarded: 07.09.1943 as Standartenführer
Kommandeur SS-PzGrenRgt "Deutschland"
Awared Swords (116th recipient) awarded: 15.12.1944 as Brigadeführer Kommandeur 10.SS-PzDiv "Frundsberg"
Postwar signed photo of Harmel measuring 3 1/2" x 5" signed in gold ink. Very desirable autograph of a Divisional Commander Swords winner
Harmel served as a company commander in the SS-Regiment "Der Führer", with which he took part in the Battle of France in 1940. In 1941, Harmel took part in the Balkans Campaign and Operation Barbarossa. In December 1941, Harmel took command of SS-Infanterie-Regiment "Deutschland". Harmel participated in the capture of Kharkov on 15 March 1943. Harmel received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 31 March 1943. On 7 September 1943, he received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. In early 1944 after completing a divisional commanders' training course, Harmel took command of the SS Division Frundsberg.
During the summer 1944, the division moved to the Western Front, in Normandy. Harmel had been ordered to break the enemy's lines, to free the German units encircled in Falaise pocket numbering approximately 125,000 troops of the 7th Army. The operation ended with heavy losses and serious damage. Harmel was then sent to the Netherlands. He fought against the Allied offensive (Operation Market Garden) After the battles around Nijmegen, Harmel received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords on 15 December 1944. His division was then transferred to Alsace, where Harmel was ordered to establish a bridgehead to join the Colmar Pocket. After the failure of the December 1944/January 1945 offensive in Alsace, Harmel's division was transferred to the Eastern Front, initially fighting in Pomerania and Brandenburg to hold the Oder Front. The division was subsequently transferred to Heeresgruppe Mitte where in late April it was ordered to counterattack the forces of Marshal Ivan Konev. Harmel refused and was dismissed from command by Field Marshal Schoerner. Harmel subsequently commanded an ad hoc battle group formed around the 24th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS, the SS Officer's School at Graz and other smaller units. Harmel surrendered to the Allied forces in Austria and ended up in British captivity.
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