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Jürgen Wagner
Born (1901-09-09)September 9, 1901
Died June/August 1947 (aged 45)
Place of birth Strasbourg, German Empire
Place of death Belgrade, Yugoslavia
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen SS
Years of service 1915–1917
Rank Brigadeführer
Unit 23rd SS Volunteer Panzer Grenadier Division Nederland
4th SS Polizei Division
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross with Oakleaves
German Cross in Gold
Iron Cross 1st Class
Iron Cross 2nd Class
Wound Badge

Jürgen Wagner (9 September 1901 in Strasbourg – June/August 1947 in Belgrade) was a Brigadeführer in the Waffen SS during World War II, he was the commander of the 23rd SS Volunteer Panzer Grenadier Division Nederland and was awarded the Knight's Cross with Oakleaves.[1]

Early life[edit | edit source]

Jürgen Wagner was born on 9 September 1901 in Strasbourg, and was the son of Ernst Wagner.

In his early years he attended a number of schools in Wesel, Münster and Erfurt, in 1915 he joined the cadet corps in Naumburg and was transferred to the main cadet school at Berlin - Lichterfelde in 1917.

In 1920 he was living with his parents in Münster when he decided to return to Berlin to attend the National Education Institute, but he resigned prior to obtaining his baccalaureate.

He then joined the Reichswehr and was promoted to Fahnenjunker, Unteroffizier in 1925 and was betrothed to be married.

He left the Reichswehr in 1929 and held a number of positions, he studied engineering at Friedberg, was an assistant engineer at a power plant. His next occupation was in Quedlinburg where he opened a jewelry store with his wife and sister-in-law.

In 15 June 1931 he joined the SS {23692} and by October had been promoted to Scharführer and soon after Oberscharführer and by 1932 had been given command of the SS-Sportschule at Kalvoerde in the Altmark. On 1 November 1931 he joined the NSDAP {707279}

In 1933 he was selected to join the SS-Sonderkommando at Jüterbog which was one of the units that would become the Leibstandartes SS Adolf Hitler., initially in the 3rd Company, but would in October 1933 command the II Battalion LSSAH until 1939.[2]

World War II[edit | edit source]

Wagner transferred to the Das Reich in 1940, first in command of the Germania Regiment, then commander of the 11th SS Regiment for the invasion of the Balkans (Operation Marita).

In May 1942 he was given command of the 9th SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment Germania which was now part of the 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking and participated in heavy fighting in the Caucasus during Operation Barbarossa the invasion of Russia. For the destruction of the Tank Group Popov at Krassno - Armaiskoje he was promoted to Oberführer and awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.

In October 1943 he was given command of the 23rd SS Volunteer Panzer Grenadier Division Nederland, which was stationed in Croatia. After some small battles with Josip Broz Tito's Partisans, the Nederland were moved to the Leningrad sector of the Northern Front and become involved in the Battle for Narva Bridgehead, where the 48th SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment was surrounded and destroyed.

In April 1944 Wagner was promoted to SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS and given command of the 4th SS Polizei Division. The Division was located in the Pomerania sector and was relocated to Frankfurt for rest. The Division was then involved in numerous battles and suffered some heavy losses from Berlin back to the river Elbe, for which in December 1944 Wagner was awarded the Oakleaves to the Knight's Cross. In August 1944, Wagner was given command of Kampfgruppe Wagner which defended against the Tartu Offensive of the Soviet 3rd Baltic Front.[3]

Wagner was extradited to Yugoslavia in 1947. There, he was put on trial before the military tribunal of the 3rd Yugoslav Army from 29 May to 6 June 1947 in Zrenjanin. It is not precisely known for what he was indicted for, however his orders for the mass executions of civilians in 1941 and later on reportedly played a role in his conviction. Found guilty of the charges, he was sentenced to death by firing squad. It is unclear when the sentence was carried out.[4] Other sources mention 5 April 1947[2] as the execution date, but this seems unlikely, as he was still alive and under trial in June 1947.

Commands[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "frontkjemper". http://www.frontkjemper.info/show_person.php?P_ID=135. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "nexusboard". http://www.nexusboard.net/showthread.php?siteid=6365&threadid=231843. 
  3. Toomas Hiio (2006). "Combat in Estonia in 1944". In Toomas Hiio, Meelis Maripuu, & Indrek Paavle. Estonia 1940–1945: Reports of the Estonian International Commission for the Investigation of Crimes Against Humanity. Tallinn. pp. 1035–1094. 
  4. Böhme, Kurt W.: Zur Geschichte der deutschen Kriegsgefangenen des Zweiten Weltkrieges. Die deutschen Kriegsgefangenen in Jugoslawien 1949-1953. Vol. I/2, Gieseking, Ernst und Werner, GmbH, Verlag (1964), p. 19–20 ISBN 978-3-7694-0004-5
  • Berger, Florian. Ritterkreuzträger mit Nahkampfspange in Gold. Selbstverlag Florian Berger, 2004. ISBN 3-9501307-3-X.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) (in German). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches]. Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 

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