wss-28

The 28. SS-Freiwilligen-Grenadier-Division Wallonien was formed when 5. SS-Freiwilligen-Sturmbrigade Wallonien was upgraded to a division. It consited of mainly Belgian volunteers but also some French and Spanish. In September 1944 all Rexist refugees in Germany aged 16-55 were conscripted into the division and Rexist volunteers in other units such as the NSKK, Garde Wallonne, Kriegsmarine and Ersatz-Bataillon 36 were also used to expand the brigade into a division.
It fought on the Eastern front until the end of the war when parts of the unit managed to retreat to Denmark while the rest surrendered to the Soviets.

Lineage

Wallonisches-Infanterie Bataillon 373 (Heer) (? 1941 - June 1943)
SS-Sturmbrigade Wallonien (June 1943 - Oct 1943)
5. SS-Freiwilligen-Sturmbrigade Wallonien (Oct 1943 - Sep 1944)
28. SS-Freiwilligen-Grenadier-Division Wallonien (Sep 1944 - May 1945)

Commanders

SS-Obersturmbannführer Léon Dégrelle (18 Sep 1944 - 3 May 1945)

Chief of Staff

SS-Sturmbannführer Franz Hellebaut (18 Sep 1944 - 3 May 1945)

Quartermaster

SS-Obersturmführer Karl Hermann (? - ?)

Area of operations

Germany (Feb 1944 - May 1945)

Manpower strength

Dec 1944 4.000

Honor titles

Wallonien (or “Wallonie” in French) is the name of the French-language part of Belgium south of the Flemish-French language border.

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Knight's Cross (1, unofficial/unconfirmed)
- Leroy, Jaques 20.04.1945 SS-Untersturmführer Führer 1./SS-Freiw-Gren.Rgt 69 / 28. SS-Freiw-Pz.Gren.Div „Wallonien“
[no proof in Bundesarchiv ; assumed by Fellgiebel : an award via Chef HPA Gen Burgdorf in Berlin -> statement by V.S. : this is not very probable because 28. SS-Div was in action in Pommerania with HGr Weichsel during march/april 1945 and not in the area Berlin ; files of the Ordenskommission of the OdR in this case not open due to Bundesarchivgesetz [-> 30 years after death of a person files are open , in case of L. -> 2026] ; according to Krätschmer the award was confirmed by the ex Div-Adjutant in 1957 and by the Div.Kdr in 1973]

Order of battle

SS-Panzergrenadier Regiment 69
- I./SS-Panzergrenadier Regiment 69
- II./SS-Panzergrenadier Regiment 69
SS-Panzergrenadier Regiment 70
- I./SS-Panzergrenadier Regiment 70
SS-Artillerie Regiment 28
SS-Panzerjäger Abteilung 28
SS-Panzeraufklärungs Abteilung 28
SS-Nachrichten Abteilung 28
SS-Pionier-Bataillon 28
SS-Nachschub-Kompanie 28
SS-Flak-Kompanie 28
SS-Verwaltungskompanie 28
SS-Sanitäts-kompanie 28
SS-Veterinär-Kompanie 28
SS-Ersatz-Bataillon 28
SS-Sturm-Bataillon
Kampfgruppe Capelle

Insignia

The "Wallonien" cuff title was authorized for this unit.
A collar insignia with the cross of Burgundy was issued but soon replaced by the SS runes.

Sources used

Christopher Ailsby - Hitler's Renegades: Foreign nationals in the service of the Third Reich
John R. Angolia - Cloth insignia of the SS
Georges M. Croisier - Waffen-SS (PDF)
Eddy De Bruyne & Marc Rikmenspoel - For Rex and for Belgium: Leon Degrelle and Walloon Political & Military Collaboration 1940-45
Dr. K-G Klietmann - Die Waffen-SS: eine Dokumentation
Richard Landwehr - The "Wallonien": The history of the 5th SS-Sturmbrigade and 28th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division
Kurt Mehner - Die Waffen-SS und Polizei 1939-1945
Marc J. Rikmenspoel - Waffen-SS Encyclopedia
George H. Stein - The Waffen-SS: Hitler's Elite Guard at War 1939-1945
Frank Thayer - SS Foreign volunteer collar insignia and their reproductions (in The Military Advisor, Vol 4 No 2)
Gordon Williamson & Thomas McGuirl - German military cuffbands 1784-present
Gordon Williamson - The Waffen-SS: 24. to 38. Divisions and Volunteer Legions
Mark C. Yerger - Waffen-SS Commanders: The Army, corps and divisional leaders of a legend (2 vol)

Reference material on this unit

Massimiliano Afiero - Wallonie: I volontari belgi valloni sul fronte dell'est
Thomasz Borowski - Last Blood On Pomerania: Leon Degrelle And The Walloon Waffen SS Volunteers, February-May 1945
Eddy De Bruyne & Marc Rikmenspoel - For Rex and for Belgium: Leon Degrelle and Walloon Political & Military Collaboration 1940-45
Eddy De Bruyne - Les Wallons meurent à l'Est
Léon Degrelle - La Campagne de Russie 1941-1945
Richard Landwehr - The "Wallonien": The history of the 5th SS-Sturmbrigade and 28th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division
Jean Mabride - Brigade d'assaut Wallonie
Jean Mabride - Division de choc Wallonie

Do you have any corrections or additions to the material presented on the site?
Please help us improve the site by sending them to us.