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August Wilhelm Trabant
1 SS Infantry Brigade January 1944, Standartenführer Wilhelm Trabandt in the front row
Born (1891-07-21)July 21, 1891
Died 19 May 1968(1968-05-19) (aged 76)
Place of birth Berlin, Germany
Place of death Hamburg, Germany
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg, Waffen SS
Years of service World War I 1914–1918
World War II 1936–1944
Rank Brigadeführer
Unit Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler
1 SS Infantry Brigade (mot)
18th SS Panzergrenadier Division Horst Wessel
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards World War I
Iron Cross I class
Iron Cross II class
Wound Badge
Honour Cross for Combatants
World War II
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Iron Cross I Class
Iron Cross II Class
German Cross in Gold
Honour Roll Clasp of the Army

August Wilhelm Trabandt (1891–1968) was a Brigadeführer (Brigadier General) in the Waffen SS during World War II. He 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. He also served in World War I and because of this service held the Iron Cross I & II class in both the 1914 and 1939 versions.

Early life[]

August Wilhelm Trabandt was born in Berlin, Germany on the 21 July 1891. He served in World War I and was awarded the Iron Cross I & II class and the Wound Badge.

Between wars[]

In May 1936, Trabandt volunteered to join the SS-VT (SS service number 218.852).

World War II[]

At the start of World War II, Trabandt was the commander of the III. Battalion, Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler Regiment. He took part in the Polish Campaign and was awarded the Iron Cross II class in September 1939.

He was also involved in the Battle of France. He has been given the credit for designing the Leibstandarte insignia in 1940, after the campaign in France had ended. The insignia was a picklock that opens all doors, (a reference to the performance of the LSSAH in the battle of France) and it was also the name of the regiment's commander Sepp Dietrich: dietrich means picklock in German.

Trabandt was disgraced at the end of the Battle of France. When trying to cross the border back into Germany, he was stopped at the customs post who discovered a large quantity of French wine bottles. Facing accusations of smuggling, he was posted to the 1 SS Infantry Brigade.

The 1 SS Infantry Brigade was used on anti partisan duties and also took part in the extermination of the Jewish population of the occupied territories in the Soviet Union.

He was given command of the SS Panzergrenadier Regiment 39 in March 1943, and took over command of the Brigade in September 1943. As the brigade commander he was awarded the Iron Cross I class in September and the German Cross in Gold in October.

He was awarded the Knight's Cross on the 6 January 1944, just before the Brigade was disbanded and used to form the cadre of the 18th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division Horst Wessel. Trabandt was given command of the Division and remained in command until April 1945.

Post war[]

Trabandt survived the war and became a captive in the Soviet Union for the next nine years and released in 1954. He died on 19 May 1968, in Hamburg, Germany.


Further reading[]

  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas, 2000. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • 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
  • Mitcham Samuel, The German Defeat in the East, 1944-45,Stackpole Books, 2007. ISBN 0-8117-3371-8

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