Monday, February 1, 2016

Wiking Company Commanders in Poland 1944

With their mission complete, SS-Hauptsturmführer Hans-Georg Jessen (left), the commander of a company in SS-Panzer Regiment 5, has time to confer with Friedrich Hannes, the commander of a armored company of SS-Panzergrenadier Regiment 9 Germania, while having a smoke, Żerczyce area (Poland), 22 July 1944. Jessen was one of the first officers assigned to the Wiking’s tank battalion in 1942 and was hand-picked by Johannes-Rudolf Mühlenkamp in 1943 to be one of the new tank regiment’s company commanders. Only 25 years old at the time, he was awarded German Cross in Gold on 15 December 1943 for leading the Division’s Sturmgeschütz battery during the retreat to the Dnieper River the previous autumn. He was well know in the division as a steady hand in battle and had already earned the Panzerkampfabzeichen, II.Stufe (Panzer Assault Badge, Second Class) for taking part in separate tank engagements for 25 days or more. The picture was taken by SS-Kriegsberichter Ernst Baumann

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