Friday, December 3, 2021

Enemy Elite Friday: Léon Degrelle (Belgium)

 

"The SS-Sturmbrigade ‘Wallonien’ belongs to the formations of the Heer and Waffen-SS that defied all enemy attacks during the weeks of combat in the Cherkassy pocket, fighting all alone.  Degrelle took over leadership of the Brigade after its former brave commander, SS-Sturmbannführer Lucien Lippert, died in battle on the 13.02.1944 after a shot to the chest.  Prior to this Degrelle had already distinguished himself several times through his personal bravery, and in his new role he demonstrated outstanding leadership during the decisive breakthrough fighting of the last days.  He and his brave Walloons acquitted themselves very well as they struggled side by side with soldiers of the Heer and the Germanic men of the Waffen-SS in a true comradely fashion.  I recommend that this brave leader of men be awarded the Knight’s Cross to the Iron Cross."  from his Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross citation, awarded on February 20th, 1944 as SS-Hauptsturmführer der Reserve of the 5.SS-Freiwilligen Sturmbrigade "Wallonien" / 8.Armee.
 
"An enemy attack on the 23.08.1944 that focused against Estonian formations led to the total disintegration of these units.  With this the entire west/southwest flank of Dorpat was exposed, and only defended by alarm units of minimal combat minor.  Meanwhile, during the morning hours of this day, SS-Sturmbannführer Degrelle was driving to a heavy Kompanie positioned further to the southwest. After discovering the situation he assembled the disorganized units in the vicinity of Lemmatsi that were fleeing towards Dorpat.  He reformed them into a Kampfgruppe buttressed by weak German units, and on the very same day he used this unit to create a firm security line along the axis of the main enemy advance.  His personal devotion to duty is characterized by the fact that he was able to persuade the less steadfast Estonians to hold their ground by giving his orders to them directly from the trenches themselves.  It was only his commitment to the action that prevented an enemy advance towards the city of Dorpat and the consequent cutting-off of friendly elements that were still positioned south of the city."  from his Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves citation, awarded on August 27th, 1944 as SS-Sturmbannführer der Reserve of the 28.SS-Freiwilligen-Panzer-Grenadier-Division "Wallonië".
 
Another vile enemy elite,
Brian & Mel

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