Walter Schmidt (SS officer)

Walter Schmidt (SS officer)

Walter Schmidt
Born (1917-01-28)28 January 1917
Bremen, Germany
Died 28 July 2000(2000-07-28) (aged 83)
Bremen, Germany
Allegiance Nazi Germany
Service/branch Waffen SS
Years of service 1935–45
Rank Obersturmbannführer
Unit 5th SS Panzergrenadier Division Wiking
38th SS Division Nibelungen
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross with Oakleaves
German Cross in Gold
Iron Cross 1st Class
Iron Cross 2nd Class
General Assault Badge
Eastern Front
Close Combat Clasp in Silver
Wound Badge in Silver
Tank Destruction Badge in Silver
Infantry Assault Badge in Silver [1]

Walter Schmidt (28 January 1917 – 28 July 2000) was an Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) in the Waffen SS during World War II. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak leaves, an award that recognized extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership by Nazi Germany during World War II.

Walter Schmidt joined the SS in 1935 (SS-Nr. 311 100) and was posted to the III. Battalion, SS Standarte Germania. He was later selected to become an officer, attending the SS-Junkerschule at Bad Tölz. Upon graduation he was promoted to Untersturmführer (Second Lieutenant).[2] He returned to the Germania as a platoon commander in the 4th Company, in time for the Polish Campaign. After that campaign he was given command of the Panzerspähzuges (Armoured car platoon) in the SS-VT Division, serving with them over the Battle of France.[2]

In June 1941 he was posted to the Wiking Division, and took part in the invasion of Russia, Operation Barbarossa.[2] On 9 April he was awarded the German Cross in Gold and was given command of the III. Battalion, Westland, SS Wiking.[1][2]

Schmidt was awarded the Knight's Cross for his battalion's successful defense in the Izium sector. He then led his battalion out of the Cherkassy pocket, for which he was promoted to Hauptsturmführer (Captain) and was awarded the Oak leaves to his Knight's Cross.[1][2][3]

In November 1944 he was promoted again to Sturmbannführer (Major) and returned to the SS-Junkerschule in January 1945 as an instructor.[2]

In March 1945, he was given command of the 96th SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment,[4] the 38th SS Division Nibelungen, which was formed from instructors and students from the SS Junkerschule. The regiment surrendered to the American forces on the 8 May 1945.[1][2][5]

Schmidt survived the war and died on the 28 July 2000[1] in his home town of Bremen, Germany.


  1. ^ a b c d e "frontkjemper". 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "personregister". 
  3. ^ Fellgiebel, p.311
  4. ^ "38dgren". 
  5. ^ "junkerschule". 
  • Schaulen, Fritjof (2005). Eichenlaubträger 1940 – 1945 Zeitgeschichte in Farbe III Radusch – Zwernemann [Oak Leaves Bearers 1940 – 1945 Contemporary History in Color III Radusch – Zwernemann] (in German). Selent, Germany: Pour le Mérite.  
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag.  
  • Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag.