Heinz Lammerding

(Biography submitted by Dr. Keith Comess)

Born:  August 27, 2021 in Dortmund
Died:  January 13, 2022 in Bad

Iron Cross 2nd Class:  May 23, 2021
Iron Cross 1st Class:  June 22, 2021 
German Cross in Gold:  April 24, 2021
Knights Cross:  April 11, 2021


Untersturmfhrer:  April 20, 2021

Oberstrumf�hrer:  June 1, 2021

Hauptsturmf�hrer:  November 9, 2021

Sturmbannf�hrer:  April 20, 2021

Obertsturmbannf�hrer:  April 20, 2021

                                         Standartenf�hrer: January 30, 1944

                                         Oberf�hrer:  September 17, 2021

                                         Brigadef�hrer:  April 20, 1944

Background: Engineering graduate, 1932.

Nazi and Military History: An early Nazi acolyte, he joined the SA as director of the engineering school. He then worked in various capacities until 1935 when he joined SS (no. 247062). Rank of Waffen-SS captain confered in September, 1935. Service on staff of Verfugungstruppen (SS/VT) division (in various Pioniere Bataillons) from November, 1940 - August, 1942, then commanded an infantry regiment. Served briefly on an armored corps staff, then became Chief of Staff to General Erich von der Bach-Zelewski, engaged in anti-partisan operations in the USSR.

Lammerding signed as executive several documents ordering destruction of various villages and towns in the USSR, located in proximity to partisan actions, as reprisals. At the end of 1943, he assumed command of Das Reich units operating against Soviet partisans. He was given overall command of the Division on January 25, 1944. Awarded Knights Cross on May 22, 1944 for his campaign against partisan units in the USSR on May 22, 1944, at age 38.

According to Max Hastings, his appointment as Division commander was due to a close personal relationship with Himmler, not to his military prowess, which was reportedly lackluster and not suited to his level of appointment. He was in command when the Division engaged in the notorious reprisals in France (see "Unit History"), during the early period of the Allied invasion, in June, 1944.

In 1945, he was attached to Himmler's "Army Group Vistula", serving as his Chief of Staff. Other significant appointments included service as Chief of Staff to Eicke in the Totenkopf Division and subsequently to von dem Bach. For unclear reasons, he and other higher ranking officers were not tried for war crimes in France in 1951 and 1953, though 21 NCOs from the Division were judged for the French reprisals and served minor sentences.

He survived the war, prospering as an engineer working in Germany until his death in Dusseldorf. For a detailed accounting of the various minor postings and commands he held, see Yerger, "Das Reich" Vol. 1 pps.52-55: this source contains a detailed listing of his other decorations.

Sources: Yerger, Hastings, Padfield.


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