On 28 June 1940 five seaplanes landed in Kirkenes with 35 soldiers under the command of SS-Obersturmbannführer Ernst Deutsch to prepare for the arrival of the main German units to control the area. On 18 July the 946 men strong SS-Totenkopf-Bataillon Kirkenes (or SS-Totenkopf-Bataillon K) arrived to relieve the Norwegian soldiers who had remained on guard due to the lack of German troops in the area. The battalion was formed on 24 June as SS-Sonderbataillon Reitz and was redesignated SS-Totenkopf-Bataillon Norwegen on 28 June and finally SS-Totenkopf-Bataillon Kirkenes in July.

The SS-Totenkopf-Standarte Kirkenes (also SS-Totenkopf-Standarte K and SS-Totenkopf-Standarte 9) was formed in Kirkenes, Norway, in November 1940 from parts of SS-Totenkopf-Standarte 9, SS-Totenkopf-Standarte 12 and SS-Totenkopf-Bataillon Kirkenes.

The 1.030 men strong second sturmbanne of Kirkenes arrived in Luleå, Sweden, on 4 October 1940 on the cargo ship Isar from Stettin. They were transported by train through neutral Sweden across the Norwegian border to Narvik and then continued their journey further north in Norway. (1)

It was redesignated SS-Infanterie-Regiment 9 in February 1941 and was assigned to 6. SS-Gebirgs-Division Nord. It was disbanded in August 1942 and used to form a SS-Regiment Thule of SS-Totenkopf-Division.


SS-Obersturmbannführer Reitz

Manpower strength

July 1940 1.014


1. This was largely unknown in Sweden until 1980 when the local newspaper Norrbottens-Kuriren printed recollections of several Swedens who had seen the German soldiers in the harbor. This was however largely ignored in the national newspapers and it was not until the book "Slaget om Nordkalotten" by Lars Gyllenhaal & James F. Gebhardt was released in 1999 containing information about this transport that it was picked up by both national and international media.

Sources used

Research by Roland Pfeiffer
Lars Gyllenhaal & James F. Gebhardt - Slaget om Nordkalotten
Lars Gyllenhaal - Tyskar och allierade i Sverige
Alf R. Jacobsen - Blodröd augusti: Historien om de norska partisanerna
Dr. K-G Klietmann - Die Waffen-SS: eine Dokumentation
Richard Landwehr - From the Arctic Circle to the Don River: SS Regiment "Thule" 1940-1943
Kurt Mehner - Die Waffen-SS und Polizei 1939-1945
Martin Månsson & Charles Trang - Thule: SS-Infanterie Regiment 9

Reference material on this unit

Richard Landwehr - From the Arctic Circle to the Don River: SS Regiment "Thule" 1940-1943
Martin Månsson & Charles Trang - Thule: SS-Infanterie Regiment 9