Lot 5420

SS-Obersturmbannführer Heinz Harmel - a Recommendation for Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Orders & Military Collectibles from 1919 onwards | A94r | Live auction | 169 Lots

Description

Four pages folded, manila-colored paper, typed recommendation by SS-Oberführer and Division Führer commander Vahl for the award of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross to Heinz Harmel, dated 25.3.43. Includes short explanation of Harmel’s successful efforts commanding SS-Panzergrenadier Regiment “Deutschland” during the planned attack of Nowomoskawsk and the night attack and capture of Pereschtschepino, resulting in the destruction of an enemy regiment and establishment of a bridgehead. Further actions resulted in the destruction of two enemy battalions in a night-time push towards Dmitrijewka-Golubewka, disabling an enemy advance and enabling the attack of Powlegrad by the SS-Pz. Gr.Div. “Das Reich”. Top of pages with with minor damage, small tears at top and bottom of fold, two punch holes for binder insertion. Includes typewritten English translation. Heinz Harmel (29 June 1906 – 2 September 2000), a SS commander during World War Two. He commanded the 10th SS Division Frundsberg. Harmel was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. Born in 1906, Harmel volunteered for the SS-Verfügungstruppe (later known as the Waffen-SS) in 1935 and 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 the 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 Schörner. 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. Harmel died in 2000.

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