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From the Arctic Circle to the Don River: SS Regiment “Thule”

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From the Arctic Circle to the Don River

SS Regiment “Thule,” 1940-1943

  • by Richard Landwehr
    • Merriam Press Siegrunen Series
      • First Edition 2012
      • 228 6x9-inch pages
      • 232 photos and illustrations
      • 2 maps
This is the first book to cover the story of the largely unheralded SS Regiment “Thule” in words and in pictures. While the author was only able to sketch out a fairly brief history of the formation, the mostly never before published photos more than justify the overall project and will provide some new and valuable historical insights.

SS-Regiment “Thule” began as a battalion-sized security force in Norway in 1940 and ended up as the prototype for a “rapid light infantry” deployment force, about a half-century ahead of its time!

The intent in 1942 was to convey most of the “Thule” personnel either on motorcycles or in fast vehicles so that they could be sent rapidly to wherever they were most needed. Unfortunately the debilitating battles around Kharkov in early 1943 put an end to this concept; the so-called “motorcycle-rifle” regiment became a luxury that the Waffen-SS could no longer

Therefore, both SS Regiment “Thule” in the 3rd SS Panzer Division “Totenkopf” and its sister formation with the 2nd SS Panzer Division “Das Reich,” SS Regiment “Langemarck,” which had both been deployed in effective, but piecemeal battlegroups near Kharkov, taking significant casualties in the process, had to be abandoned. The survivors were sent elsewhere as replacements. In the case of “Langemarck,” the title lived on with a Flemish volunteer brigade and division, but as for “Thule,” after a brief but futile (and unpopular) effort to bestow the name on SS Panzergrenadier Regiment 5 “Totenkopf” in the summer of 1943, the name was retired forever in the autumn of that year.

In this book you will get a glimpse of the impressive soldiers of SS Regiment “Thule” in training, at their barracks, in transit, in the field and in combat. In the savage battle against Soviet communism they did their duty to the utmost and this volume will hopefully give some small inkling of their valor and sacrifice.

  • Acknowledgments
  • Foreword
  • Notes on Spellings
  • Chapter 1: Formation and Initial Deployment
  • Chapter 2: Into Action
  • Chapter 3: Autumn Fighting in Finland
  • Chapter 4: To the Volkhov Front
  • Chapter 5: Reformation and Redeployment in France
  • Chapter 6: Reactivation for Combat Duty
  • Chapter 7: To the Don River Front
  • Chapter 8: Desperate Fighting to the South of Kharkov
  • Chapter 9: Counterattack, 1-8 March 1943
  • Chapter 10: Fighting to Regain Kharkov
  • Chapter 11: Action on the Don River Front
  • Chapter 12: SS Regiment “Thule” is Dissolved
  • Chapter 13: Aftermath: The “Death March” of the SS “Totenkopf Division
  • Appendix 1: Regimental Commanders
  • Appendix 2: Notes on Insignia
  • Bibliography

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