Independent Nebelwerfer Units of the Waffen-SS

by Jason Long

SS-Werfer-Brigade 1
Formed in April 1945? Feldpost number assigned then.

SS-Werfer-Abt. 107
Formed in June 1944, but used to reform SS-Werfer-Abt. 104 in July.

SS-Werfer-Batterie 500
SS-Werfer-Abt. 500 (1945)

Raised in May '44. When received 15cm NbW. 41 in 1945 it was redesignated as SS-Werfer-Abteilung 500.

SS-Werfer-Abt. 101
Began formation 27 July 43 as Werfer-Abt./I. SS-Panzerkorps, but was reformed into schwere SS-Artillerie-Abt. 101 in February 44.

SS-Werfer-Abt. 501
[Munoz: Dec 44 assigned to 6th Panzer Army with three batteries]
Existence not confirmed by Tessin, no fieldpost number assigned

SS-Werfer-Abt. 102
SS-Werfer-Abt. 502 (Sep 44)

This battalion began formation in late 1942 near Celle with cadres supplied by the SS-Werfer-Ausbildungs-Batterie and the SS-Artillerie-Ausbildungs-Regiment. It had four batteries, each with six 15cm launchers and was designated as schw.Werfer-Abt./Generalkommando. SS-Panzerkorps. It was assigned to the SS-Panzerkorps and joined it in Russia beginning on 8 Feb '43. It supported the corps' recapture of Kharkov the following month. It was pulled back to the rear for refresher training and to receive a fifth battery equipped with four Vielfachwerfer launchers on 3 July. These were a German copy of the Soviet 8cm BM-8 rocket launcher, the 'Stalin Organ', mounted on ex-French Somua half-tracks. It supported the Totenkopf Division for most of the Battle of Kursk and followed it to the Mius River where the fifth battery was removed on 11 August.

By 22 October it had exhausted all its ammunition during the retreat to the Dneiper River and was reduced to serving as infantry. It followed Das Reich to positions east of Zhitomir in November and was resupplied with rockets. On 26 December it was decided to send it back to France for refitting along with the majority of Das Reich, but it didn't ship out until 8 January. Left behind were its 1. and 3. Batteries as Werfergruppe Krosta, after the commander of 3. Batterie.

It was transferred to the Kurmark Training Grounds in East Prussia on 15 April '44 to await the survivors of Werfergruppe Krosta. They arrived in May and reorganization took until July. It was ordered to Normandy on 12 July, but its arrival was delayed until 21 July due to Allied fighter-bombers. It finally reached the front on 26 July where it resumed its customary role as fire support for II. SS-Panzerkorps. It wasn't trapped in the Falaise Pocket, but didn't retreat over the Seine River without losses. On 7 September it organized two combat-ready batteries as SS-Werfergruppe Nickman, under the command of the Abteilung commander, while the rest moved to Guben to be refitted. On 11 September it had 16 Werfers.

The Abteilung was reunited at Bonn on 1 December in preparation for the Ardennes Offensive in mid-December where it supported II. SS-Panzerkorps. It was reduced to the strength of a single battery by mid-January '45 and was pulled out of the line to Arbach to be refitted. It rejoined II. SS-Panzerkorps near Raab, Hungary in February for the relief of Budapest and stayed with it after the Soviets rebuffed the relief attempt. It was reduced to a single battery by mid-April and the rest of the Abteilung was reduced to infantry. It surrendered to the Americans near Stockerau, Austria.

Commanders:
Hstuf. Neitzel (late 42-July 44?)
Hstuf. Nickmann (July 44?-15 January 45)
Hstuf. Weiss (15 January 45-February 45)
Hstuf. Wolters (February 45-end of March 45)
Ostuf. Bogs (April 45-May 45)

Strength:
DateOff/NCO/Men5cm AT guns15cm Werfer 41
10 Feb 4321/105/584524
1 May 4326/91/565

1 June 43
528
11 July 4318/103/617

11 Oct 4318/75/437

11 Nov 43
428
1 Jul 44645
24
1 Aug 44

10
11 Sep 44537
16

Casualties (13 Feb 43-24 Dec 43): 48 killed; 3 missing; 259 wounded (125 of which remained with the unit); 2 to non-combat causes

SS-Werfer-Abt. 103
SS-Werfer-Abt. 503 (Sep 44)

Formation began in the summer of 1943 as Werfer-Abt./III. (Germ.) SS-Panzerkorps and was redesignated as SS-Werfer-Abt. 103 22 Oct 43. Consisted of five batteries. Feb 44 4. and 5. disbanded, but 5. reformed. Presumbably went to the Narwa front in early '44 for service under III. SS-Panzerkorps. There it usually controlled SS-Werfer-Batterie 521. June '44 1.-3. disbanded? September '44 reformed with 5 batteries?

SS-Werfer-Abt. 104
Formation began in September 1943 as schw.Werfer-Abt./IV. SS-Panzerkorps and was redesignated as SS-Werfer-Abt. 104 22 Oct 43. Dissolved May '44 without seeing any combat.

SS-Werfer-Abt. 504
It was raised in July 1944 at the Kurmark training grounds from SS-Werfer-Abt. 107. It consisted of four 15cm batteries, each with six launchers, and was intended for assignment to IV. SS-Panzerkorps. It first went into action on 7 September at Warsaw. It remained in the area until the end of October when it fell back to positions east of Modlin. On 27 December it was shipped to the Slovak city of Komarno to support the relief of the encircled garrison of Budapest. After the failure of the first attempt it redeployed to the area south of Budapest for the second attempt in February '45. It was withdrawn for refitting later in February, but returned to action in March in the defense of the Stuhlweißenburg area. Its troops were reduced to infantry when its ammunition supply failed the following month. It surrendered to the Americans on 9 May 45.

Commander:
Hstuf. Krosta (Summer 44-9 May 45)

SS-Werfer-Abt. 105
Formation began in the summer of 1943 as Werfer-Abt./V. SS-Gebirgs-Armeekorps and was redesignated as SS-Werfer-Abt. 105 22 Oct 43. Dissolved June '44 without seeing any combat.

SS-Werfer-Abt. 505
This was formed in August '44 at Ebstorf near Celle from Volksdeutsch from a variety of East European countries. It was designated as SS-Werfer-Abt. 505 on 22 October. It consisted of the standard four batteries of 15cm Nebelwerfers, each with six launchers and one 50mm anti-tank gun. In December it was training at Kurmark Training Area. At the end of January '45 it joined V. SS-Gebirgs-Armeekorps on the Oder Front where it cooperated with the Army's 3. Werfer-Brigade. It was forced to abandon much equipment when the Soviets launched their offensive against Berlin in mid-April and found itself surrounded south of Berlin late in the month. Its men tried to exfiltrate out of the encirclement, but with little success. The remnants surrendered on 2 May.
At some point Oberst Han-Ulrich Rudel, the famous Stuka ace was shot down by Soviet flak and landed in the unit's positions where he was given first aid and sent on his way.

Commander:
Stubaf. des Coudies (end of September 44-2 May 45)

SS-Werfer-Abt. 506
It was raised on 25 February 45 from existing SS werfer units. It received two batteries from SS-Werfergruppe Kreischer and two other batteries from the Rhine Front. It was organized with three batteries of 15cm and one battery of 21cm launchers. It reached the front in early March and was assigned to the V. SS-Gebirgs-Armeekorps. It generally supported the 32. SS-Panzergrenadier Division 30 Januar and occasionally controlled the SS-Vielfach-Werfer-Batterie 521. It was overrun during the Battle of Berlin after it had destroyed its remaining equipment.

Commander:
Stubaf. Ruppel (25 February 45-May 45)

SS-Vielfach-Werfer-Batterie 521
This unit was raised at Langlingen from March to May 1943 with a 75mm anti-tank gun and four Vielfachwerfer launchers. It went East in May where it was assigned to II. SS-Panzerkorps for the summer where it generally worked closely with SS-Werfer-Abt. 102. After a short spell experimenting with the use of rockets against partisans it returned to Langlingen in October '43. It was reinforced with an additional pair of launchers and was sent to the Narva Front in April 44. It ended up in the Kurland Pocket along with III. SS-Panzer Corps and ended up seeing combat as infantrymen after their supply of rockets was exhausted. On 15 January 45 the survivors were evacuated from the pocket to reform at Luebbingen, possibly with ten launchers in the battery. In February they were committed to the Oder Front under V. SS-Gebirgs-Armeekorps and were sometimes subordinated to SS-Werfer-Abt. 506. The battery was destroyed during the Battle of Berlin.

Commander:
Hstuf. Schaenzlin (March 43-early November 43)
Hstuf. Flecke (early November 43-May 45)

SS-Vielfach-Werfer-Batterie 101
SS-Vielfach-Werfer-Batterie 522 (Sep 44)

Mar 43 formed in Lanlingen, Germany as 101st SS-Vielfachwerfer Batterie for service with the SS-Panzerkorps. Possibly at Kursk and attached to 5. SS-Polizei-Rgt. in August '43. Returned to Lanlingen October '43 for refitting. Tranferred back to the Eastern Front in March '44 where it was assigned to the III. SS-Panzer Corps. Disbanded November '44

Reformed January '45 at the Kurmark Training Area. Sent to the Oder Front where it served under the 506. SS-Werfer-Abt. All information on this unit is tentative as it isn't mentioned in Tieke's history of the corps (unless Werfer-Batterie Flecke isn't another name for SS-Vielfach-Werfer-Batterie 521. It appears that the sources are confusing these two units because Tieke has 521 disbanding in Oct '44 due to a shortage of ammo.).

SS-Werfergruppe Krosta
The 1. and 3. Batteries of SS-Werfer-Abt. 102 were left behind to provide the Kampfgruppe of Das Reich with some extra firepower in December '43. It was turned over its surviving equipment to 19. Panzer Division on 18 March 44, but wasn't shipped to France until 13 April. Unbeknownest to them their parent unit had been transferred to East Prussia earlier and they wouldn't be reunited until the next month.

SS-Werfergruppe Nickmann
The 2. and 3. Batteries of SS-Werfer-Abt. 102 were used in support of II. SS-Panzerkorps from September '44 while the rest of the Abteilung was rebuilt. It supported the German defense of Arnhem and remained there until November when it was transferred to Bonn to await the arrival of the rest of the Abteilung.

SS-Werfer-Ausbildungs-und-Ersatz-Abt.
This unit was formed from 4./SS-Infanterie-Geschütz-Ersatz-Abteilung in mid-August 1942 in Ede, the Netherlands. It was redesignated as the SS-Werfer-Ausbildungs-Batterie the following month. Near the end of the year most of the battery's personnel were used to form the new SS-Werfer-Abt. 102. Afterwards it was rebuilt into a full Abteilung in Wienhausen. In November 1943 it was transferred to Sambor in Galicia where it was thought that its rockets might be useful against the partisans. They were not and it was transferred to the Kurmark Training Area the following January. A year later the Soviet advance threatened threatened to overrun it; in response it formed a heavy werfer battery for service with the 32. SS-Panzergrenadier-Division 30 Januar, but it was disbanded when it exhausted its ammunition supply. In March '45 it was transferred to Eggenburg, north of Vienna to resume its training duties. However its respite was short-lived as the Soviet advance caused it to form most of its personnel into ad-hoc infantry units. However it did manage to form one fully-motorized 21cm battery that probably served with elements of the SS Kampgruppe Division Böhmen-Mahren in late April.

Bibliography:

Landwehr, Richard. "The History of the SS Rocket-Mortar Detachment 504" Siegrunen. Vol. 4:6, Mar 81
Ibid. "The SS Rocket-Mortar Detachment 505" Siegrunen SR Newsletter. Issue 1, Jan 82
Ibid. "SS Rocket Mortar Detachment 506" Siegrunen. Vol. 6:6, Oct-Dec 84
Ibid. "SS Rocket Mortar Training & Replacement Detachment" Siegrunen. Vol. 6:6, Oct-Dec 84
Ibid. "SS Rocket Mortar (Werfer) Detachment 102/502" Siegrunen. Vol. 6:6, Oct-Dec 84
Ibid. "SS-Werfer Battery 521 Vielfachwerfer" Siegrunen. Vol. 6:6, Oct-Dec 84
Ibid. "Werfergruppe Krosta" Siegrunen. Vol. 6:6, Oct-Dec 84
Munoz, Antonio J. Forgotten Legions: Obscure Combat Formations of the Waffen-SS
Tessin, Georg. Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945
Tieke, Wilhelm. Tragedy of the Faithful: A History of the III. (germanisch) SS-Panzer-Korps
Zetterling, Nikolas. Normandy 1944: German Military Organization, Combat Power and Organizational Effectiveness

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