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38th SS Division Nibelungen

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Naming History: Named by epos "Das Nibelungenlied" what was written in 13th of century in Austria.
Divisional Status: in name only
Nationality: Germany, Estonian.
Fought in: Western Front: Rhein, Donau, Ingolstadt, Kehlheim.
Fate: Surrended to the Americans in Alpen-Donau room, on the 8th of May 1945


The division was formed on 27 March 1945 from personnel and students of the SS-Junkerschule at Bad Tölz . It was first intended that the unit should be named SS-Junkerschule Bad Tölz, but was renamed to SS-Division Junkerschule and finally to 38. SS-Grenadier-Division Nibelungen by the commander of the cadet school Richard Schulze-Kossens . The name ‘ Nibelungen ' comes from German mythology, which was the name of a lineage of dwarves, who were defeated by Siegfried .

Although it was called a division it never had more than a brigade strength (roughly around 6000 men). The division was raised in the upper Rhein regions Freiburg , and Todtnau in Schwarzwald , with the divisional headquarters in Geschwend bei Todtnau .

Although formed from men of the Junkerschule, the division also received additional strength from parts of other units. This included an SS “special use” Begleit-Battaillon Reichführer SS (received on 9 April 1945), two Zollgrenzschutz battalions , soldiers from 6th SS Mountain Division Nord , a company from 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen (with Volksdeutsche members) officers from the 30th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (2nd Russian) (who were incorporated in the SS-Polizei-Bataillon-Siegling ) and a whole battalion of Hitlerjugend members. The first commander was Richard Schulze-Kossens, who was the Commanding officer of the SS-Brigade Nibelungen and the Junkerschule at Bad Tölz. He was followed by Martin Stange on 12 April (Heinz Lammerding and Karl Ritter von Oberkamp were also assigned to command, but never took the post). The division had 2 Grenadier regiments ( SS-Grenadier-Regiment 95 under the KC holder SS-Ostbf. Markus Faulhaber & SS-Ostbf. Richard Schulze-Kossens from 12 April. SS-Grenadier-Regiment 96 was commanded by the KC & OL holder SS-Ostbf. Walter Schmidt), which were both raised from the SS-Brigade Nibelungen. Some sources also claim the existence of a SS-Grenadier-Regiment 97, but it is likely that it was never more than two battalions strong. The divisions Panzerjäger-Abteilung 38 received the majority of its men from the ‘Prinz Eugen' division and officers from ‘Nord'. The Abteilung received about 10 Jagdpanzer 38s shipped on April 15, it also had some 75 mm towed PaK 40 anti-tank guns (the Abteilung served under 17. SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Götz von Berlichingen from 17 to 24 April, until it came under its parent division).

In action

The 38th SS division was first alerted for action on 7 April 1945 - at the time only 7 battalions strong. The unit was recognised as ready for battle on 24 April, when it entered the ranks of the XIII SS Armeekorps on the Danube river Front, facing American forces south of the river. The ‘Nibelungen' was supposed to hold the Korps' right wing from Vohlburg to Kelheim . The frontline which it was supposed to hold was too long for its strength, so the division retreated on the 26 April to a new front, which it held to the 28th. On 29 Apr they had to retreat across the Isar river and establish a new position south of Landshut , while resisting strong pressure on its both flanks . The next day the division retreated again, this time to a defensive line northwest of Pastetten . 1 May brought more retreating as the unit withdrawed for almost 20km to Wasseburg . The U.S. 20th Armored Division breached the entire divisions' front on 2 May, forcing the ‘Nibelungen' to retreat to Chiemsee . The remains of the division regrouped on 4 May and established a new defensive line west of Oberwoessen . Although battered the division put up a determined resistance until the ceasefire was called on 5 May. The division surrendered to the American forces on 8 May 1945.


  • SS-Obersturmbannführer Richard Schulze-Kossens (6 Apr 1945 - 9 Apr 1945)
    • SS-Gruppenführer Heinz Lammerding (? Apr 1945 - ? Apr 1945)
    • SS-Obergruppenführer Karl Ritter von Oberkamp (? Apr 1945 - ? Apr 1945)
    • SS-Standartenführer Martin Stange (12 Apr 1945 - 8 May 1945)
  • Chief of Operations (Ia)
    • SS-Sturmbannführer Heinrich Wulf (6 Apr 1945 – 8 May 1945)
  • Quartermaster (Ib)
    • SS-Sturmbannführer Ernst Fritscher (6 April 1945 - 8 May 1945)
  • Chief Intelligence Officer (Ic)
    • SS-Untersturmführer Hermann Buhl (6 Apr 1945 – 8 May 1945)

Area of operations
Southern Germany (Mar 1945 - May 1945)

Order of battle (Apr 1945)

  • SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 95
    • 3x Battaillon
  • SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 96
    • 4x Battaillon
  • SS-Artillerie-Regiment 38
    • 1. Abteilung
    • 2. Abteilung
    • 5. Batterie
    • 6. Batterie
  • SS-Panzerjäger-Abteilung 38
    • 2x Panzerjäger-Kompanie
    • 1x Flak-Kompanie
  • SS-Pioneer-Abteilung 38
  • SS-Flak-Abteilung 38
  • SS-Nachrichten-Abteilung 38
  • SS-Ausbildung und Ersatz Abteilung 38
  • SS-Polizei-Bataillon-Siegling
  • SS-Wirtschafts-Battaillon 38