wss-37

The 37. SS-Freiwilligen-Kavallerie-Division (usually listed as 37. SS-Freiwilligen-Kavallerie-Division Lützow but the usage of that honor title is not supported by any primary sources located so far) was formed in February 1945 from remnants of the Florian Geyer & Maria Theresa divisions with additions of Hungarian volksdeutsche (ethnic Germans) near Marchfeld on the Hungarian-Slovakian border.
In March 1945 a kampfgruppe from Lützow consisting of all battle ready elements of the division, commanded by SS-Oberstrumbannführer Karl-Heinz Keitel (son of Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel) and entitled SS-Kampfgruppe Keitel, was sent to 6. SS-Panzer-Armee. It arrived on 4 April and was subordinated to I SS Panzerkorps Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler were it saw heavy action during the retreat through Austria where it surrendered at the end of the war.

Some men from the division took part in a mass breakout from the Altheim POW Camp 13 May when they were not released as the soldiers from the regular Wehrmacht units had been.

Commanders

SS-Oberführer Waldemar Fegelein (26 Feb 1945 - ? Mar 1945)
SS-Standartenführer Karl Gesele (? Mar 1945 - ? May 1945)

Quartermaster

SS-Hauptsturmführer Walter Jens (20 Feb 1945 - ? May 1945)

Area of operations

Hungary (Feb 1945 - May 1945)

Honor titles

Adolf Freiherr von Lützow (1782 – 1834) was a Prussian Generalmajor, who in 1813 formed the Lützwosche Freikorps (Lützow’s Free Corps), which was also known as the Schwarze Schar (“Black Troop”) – apparently, this made the use of Lützow’s name an appropriate link to the past for an SS combat unit.
Ironically a helicopter unit of the communist East Germany was also named after him, the Kampfhubschraubergeschwader 5 Adolf von Lützow.

Order of battle

SS-Kavallerie Regiment 92
SS-Kavallerie Regiment 93
SS-Kavallerie Regiment 94
SS-Artillerie-Abteilung 37 (two batteries with le.FH18 10,5cm)
SS-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 37
SS-Panzerjäger-Abteilung 37 (one company equipped with Hetzer)
SS-Pionier-Bataillion 37
SS-Nachrichten-Kompanie 37
SS-Sanitäts-Abteilung 37
SS-Nachschub-Truppen 37
Feldersatz-Bataillon 37

Notable members

Karl-Heinz Keitel (son of Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel)

Sources used

Georges M. Croisier - Waffen-SS (PDF)
Dr Jeffrey T. Fowler - Axis Cavalry in World War II
Dr. K-G Klietmann - Die Waffen-SS: eine Dokumentation
Richard Landwehr - Steadfast Hussars: The Last cavalry Divisions of the Waffen-SS
Kurt Mehner - Die Waffen-SS und Polizei 1939-1945
Marc J. Rikmenspoel - Waffen-SS Encyclopedia
John E. Strandberg - Horsepower: The use of horses by the German armed forces during World War II (in Military Advisor Vol 21, No 4)
Gordon Williamson - German Security and Police Soldier 1939-45
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

Hanns Bayer - Die Kavallerie der Waffen-SS (Selbstverlag)
Hanns Bayer - Die Kavallerie-Divisionen der Waffen-SS im Bild (Munin Verlag)
Richard Landwehr - Steadfast Hussars: The Last cavalry Divisions of the Waffen-SS
Rolf Michaelis - Die Kavallerie-Divisionen der Waffen-SS
Charles Trang - The Florian Geyer Division

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