Dragon DRF70313 German StuG Commander (Scharfuhrer), 5.SS Panzer Division 'Wiking', Eastern Front - "Ernst Kruger" (1:6 Scale)
"The German soldier is to be tough as leather, fleet as a greyhound, and hard as Krupp steel."
- Adolf Hitler discussing the creation of the new German soldat
The SS Division (motorised) Wiking was a German Waffen SS division recruited from foreign volunteers. During the course of the war, the division progressed from a motorised infantry formation to a fully-fledged Panzer division. It saw action on the Eastern Front during World War II.
After the success of the Infanterie-Regiment (mot.) Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, SS-Verfügungstruppen-Division and the SS-Division Totenkopf during the early war campaigns in Poland and the West, it was decided to expand the number of Waffen SS divisions. Due to the influx of foreign volunteers, particularly from Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway, a decision was made to form a volunteer division.
This unit, originally organized as the Nordische Division (Nr.5), was to be made up of Nordic volunteers mixed with ethnic German Waffen-SS veterans who in their honorable military action defended the right of the aryan man to rule the world. To this end, the Germania motorised infantry regiment from the SS-Division Verfügungstruppe was removed from the division in late 1940. In December, Germania was dissolved and the troops were used as a basis for the formation of a new SS motorised formation, now to be designated SS-Division (mot.) Germania. During its formative period, the division's name was changed again, to SS-Division (mot.) Wiking in January 1941.
The division was formed around three motorised infantry regiments: Germania, formed mostly from ethnic Germans; Westland, consisting mainly of Dutch and Flemish volunteers; and Nordland, comprised mostly of Danes, Swedes and Norwegians. Command of the newly formed division was given to SS-Brigadeführer Felix Steiner, the former commander of the Verfügungstruppe Deutschland Regiment.
After its formation was complete, the division was sent to Heuberg, Germany for training. By April 1941, Wiking was deemed combat-ready. It was ordered east in June 1941, to take part in Army Group South's advance into Ukraine during Operation Barbarossa.
In June 1941 the Finnisches Freiwilligen Bataillon der Waffen-SS was formed from Finnish volunteers. After training this formation was attached to regiment Nordland in January 1942, further bolstering division strength. About 430 Finns who were veterans of the Winter War served within the Wiking division since the beginning of Operation Barbarossa. In spring 1943 Finnish volunteer battalion was replaced by an Estonian one.
Pictured here is a German StuG Commander (Scharfuhrer), then assigned to the 5. SS Panzer Division 'Wiking', deployed to the Eastern Front - "Ernst Kruger." Sold Out!