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Bjørn from Norway
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Post by Bjørn from Norway » 01 May 2002 12:54

A little bit more:

23. Pz.Gren. Rgt "Norge" (11.SS Nordland)

All available Germanic volunteers were to be concentrated in this division Nordland), which would join with Wiking to form the IIIrd (Germanic) SS-Panzerkorps. Wiking supplied the Nordland Regiment as a cadre for the the new division, which at first was to be named "Wärager" in reference to the Varangians, who were medieval rovers and raiders related to the Vikings. Adolf Hitler considered the reference too obscure, and changed the name to "Nordland" to reflect the source regiment.
The Nordland Division (ultimately titled the 11th SS-Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division "Nordland") was to include three infantry regiments, one Danish (based on the Frikorps Danmark), one Norwegian (based on the Regiment Nordland combined with volunteers of the disbanded"Den norske Legion"), and one Dutch (based on the Vrijwilligers Legioen Nederland), along with full supporting units (which would include Germanic volunteers). All available Swedes in the Waffen-SS (perhaps 50 at this time) were also concentrated in Nordland, where they formed the IVth Platoon of the 3rd Company of SS-Armored Reconaissance Battalion 11.
The assembled Dutch volunteers considerably outnumbered the other nationalities, with far more than enough manpower to constitute a regiment. This would have led to many Dutchmen being used to fill out the rest of Nordland, where they would serve outside of a specifically Dutch unit. Anton Mussert and the NSB leadership protested this, and the SS-FHA finally honored their wish by establishing the separate 4th SS-Volunteer Panzergrenadier Brigade "Nederland," which in effect was a scaled-down division.
The total of available Danes, Norwegians, Dutch and other Germanics remained insufficient to completely fill out one division, let alone a division and a large brigade, so the rosters of Nordland and Nederland were filled out with ethnic-Germans, primarily the most recently recruited (usually through conscription) men from the Banat (the traditionally ethnic-German community centered around the city of Temesvar/Timiosara, where the Serbian, Hungarian, and Romanian borders met). Most officers and NCOs in both units were German nationals, though Germanics were well represented among the ranks of the junior officers and junior NCOs, and this improved as more young men graduated from officer and NCO training courses. But the senior leadership remained almost entirely German, as relatively few professional officers joined the Waffen-SS, and most of those who had been present during 1941-1942 often left German service as the tide of war changed.
German nationals always constituted at least 25% of Nordland's strength, and ethnic Germans usually made up another 35%, leaving a maximum of 40% Germanics, a number that decreased as casualties depleted the division and fewer Germanic volunteers stepped forward with German defeat in sight. During December 1943, a study showed that German nationals in Nordland numbered 232 officers, 1496 NCOs, and 2403 men (the latter primarily in the various supporting elements). Danes amounted to 41 officers, 193 NCOs, and 1123 men (1357 total); and Norwegians to 29 officers, 62 NCOs, and 705 men (796 total). It should be noted that the number of Danes in Nordland always exceeded that of Norwegians due to the existence of the separate Norwegian SS-Ski Battalion in which many (about 1200) preferred to serve. This all-Norwegian unit was formed late in 1943. This was the successor of the "Det norske Skikompani" which had served for a year, even if formally a Police - not SS company, with 6.SS-Geb.Jäg.Div. "Nord" . In December 1943, Nordland also included roughly 100 assorted Germanic volunteers of other nationalities, including Swiss, Swedes, Dutch and Flemings. The entire division amounted to 11,393 men.
Nederland was in a similar state, with around 2500 Dutch volunteers forming the core of its two infantry regiments, and ethnic Germans filling out the enlisted men. One thousand ethnic-Germans were added to each infantry regiment during formation, when the original single Dutch regiment was removed from Nordland. German nationals again made up most of the officer and NCO corps, with the brigade's strength at approximately 6000 men. This would increase as the brigade gradually became a division in all but name, and was finally reclassified as a division in early 1945.

The first core of Rgt "Norge" was built around the app. 300 (NOT 600) volunteers from "Den norske Legion". The number was more likely about 290.

"Norge" was composed primarily of Norwegians and ethnic Germans from Hungary and Romania. There were never as many Norwegians in Norge as there were Danes in Danmark because of the existence of the Norwegian Ski-Jager Battalion of the same name which fought on the Arctic Front. I Battalion Norge was destroyed in January 1944 and was sent back to Germany to refit. It never rejoined Norge, instead in December 1944 it was assigned to the 5th SS Wiking for the Budapest relief attempt.

Regimental Commanders: Finn Finson 5/43?-5/43?,Wolfgang Joerchel 5/1/43-1/8/44, Arnold Stoffers 1/8/44-2/8/44, Albrecht Krügel 2/25/44-5/4/44?, Fritz Knöchlein 5/4/44?-1/1/45, Fritz Geiger ?-8/1/44, Wilhelm Körbel (WiA) 2/45-4/24/45, Rudolf Ternedde 4/24/45-5/2/45.

Regiment Feldpost Nr.41 891

Norwegian Company and Battalion (B) commanders of 23. Pz.Gren. Rgt. "Norge", Division Nordland

(Initial period)

Hstuf Finn Finnson (B)
Hstuf Reidar Egil Hoel (Pionier-Kompanie) (B)
Ostuf Tor Marstrander (B)
Ostuf Kristian Prytz
Ostuf Hans Georg Holter
Ostuf Frode Halle
Ostuf Petter Sandborg
Ostuf Sverre Hagtun
Ustuf Magne Berg
Ustuf Kristoffer Dahl
Ustuf Olaf Tryggve Lindvig

About 50 Norwegians served as platoon commanders. About 600 Norwegians were in "Norge" at this time, June 1943.


This unit consisted of about 40 Norwegians, of which the most well-known are:

Ustuf Olaf Tryggve Lindvig (Commander of 1. Company)
SS-Hstuf. Per Børresen, (surgeon) EK I awarded 2 February, 1944.
SS-Uscha. Sverre "Nahkampf" Larsen (infamous personality!)
SS-Uscha. Alf Guttorm Johnsen
SS-Ostuf. Dr. Thor Storm (KIA, unit surgeon)
SS-Ustuf. Fritjof Røssnæs (KIA)
SS-Ustuf. Karl Aagard Østvig (KIA)
SS-Ustuf. Oskar Strømsnes (KIA)
SS-Ustuf. Rolf Harry Jansen (KIA)
SS-Ustuf. Felix Thoresen
SS-Uscha. Jon Sem
SS-Rttf. Amund Enger
SS-Uscha Sydeng
SS-Rttf. Olaf Herstad
SS-Uscha. Lars Sandbeck (KIA)
SS-Strm. Arno Vego
SS Ostuf Svein Åge Marthinsen (periodic commander)
SS Ustuf Ivar Grønnerud

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