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Rudolf Pannier
Born (1897-07-10)July 10, 1897
Died 9 August 1978 (1978-08-10) (aged 81)
Place of birth Gera, Germany
Place of death Hamburg, Germany
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen SS
Years of service 1939–1945
Rank Standartenführer and Oberst of Polizei
Unit 4th SS Polizei Panzergrenadier Division
14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Galicia (1st Ukrainian)
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross[1]
German Cross in Gold
Iron Cross 1st Class
Iron Cross 2nd Class
Eastern Front Medal 1941/42
Wound Badge in Black

Rudolf Pannier was a Standartenführer (Colonel) and Oberst of Polizei in the Waffen SS during World War II who was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, which was awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership by Nazi Germany during World War II.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Rudolf Pannier was born in Gera on the 10 July 1897.[1][2] He volunteered for service with the Imperial German Army during World War I and saw service on both the Eastern and Western Fronts.

Interwar period[edit | edit source]

Following the end of World War I, Pannier became a member of the Freikorps. He later joined the Schutzpolizei stationed in Hamburg.

World War II[edit | edit source]

By the outbreak of World War II, Pannier had risen in rank to Hauptmann (Captain). During Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union, he was a company commander in the 4th SS Polizei Division which was part of Army Group North. Awarded the Iron Cross (2nd class) in January 1942, he was awarded the Iron Cross again the following month, this time, the 1st class award.[1][2]

Pannier was promoted to Sturmbannführer (Major) and Major of Schutzpolizei in May 1942, just prior to his award of the Knight's Cross for bravery in combat while in command of the I. Battalion, 2nd SS Polizei Schutzen Regiment.[1][2] He was later promoted to the rank of Standartenführer (Colonel) and while recuperating from his wounds, received the German Cross in Gold.[1][2]

In 1943 Pannier was given commanded of SS Jäger Battalion 500,[2] a Waffen SS unit that specialized in anti-partisan warfare and was stationed in the Minsk area. This unit was disbanded in June 1944 and all its men sent as replacements to other Waffen-SS units, following which Pannier was given command of the 31st Waffen-Grenadier Regiment der SS, 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Galicia (1st Ukrainian).[2]

Pannier was again wounded on 9 April 1945, but survived the war.

Later life[edit | edit source]

Pannier died on 19 August 1978 in Hamburg.[2]

References[edit | edit source]

Further reading[edit | edit source]

  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas, 2000. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Williamson Gordon, German Military Police Units 1939-45, Osprey Publishing, 1989. ISBN 0-85045-902-8
  • Huseman, Friedrich. In Good Faith: The History of 4. SS-Polizei-Panzergrenadier-Division: Volume 1, 1939-1943. J.J. Fedorowicz, 2003 ISBN 0-921991-74-6
  • Mitcham, Jr.Samuel, Retreat to the Reich, Stackpole books 2007. ISBN 0-8117-3384-X
  • Henschler Henri & Fay Will, Armor Battles of the Waffen-SS, 1943-45 Stackpole Books, 2003. ISBN 0-8117-2905-2

External links[edit | edit source]

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