12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend mug
11 oz dishwasher proof and microwave proof mug
Few German formations surrounded by as much legend and notoriety as the Hitler Youth Division. There is very good reason for that. The 12th SS Panzer Division “Hitlerjugend” was one of the premier formations of the entire Nazi military apparatus despite being composed largely of boys below the age of 18. Let’s take a look at the 12 SS Panzer Division’s history, from birth to death.
Amid a dwindling supply of manpower, the existence of an entire generation of ideologically pure boys, raised as Nazis, eager to fight for the Fatherland.
Waffen-SS division was first proposed by Arthur Axmann, the Nazi leader of the Hitler Youth to Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler in early 1943. The plan for a combat division made up of Hitler Youth members born in 1926 was passed on to Adolf Hitler for his approval. Hitler approved the plan in February and SS-Gruppenführer Gottlob Berger was tasked with recruiting.
A recruitment drive began, drawing principally on 17-year-old volunteers, but younger members 16 and under eagerly joined. During July and August 1943, some 10.000 recruits arrived at the training camp.
HJ Division with enough experienced soldiers and officers, Waffen-SS survivors from the Russian Front, including members of the elite Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler, were brought in. Fifty officers from the Wehrmacht, who were former Hitler Youth leaders, were also reassigned to the division. The remaining shortage of squad and section leaders was filled with Hitler Youth members who had demonstrated leadership aptitude during HJ paramilitary training exercises. The division was placed under of the command of 34-year-old SS Brigade Führer Fritz Witt.
12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend was the 12th German Waffen SS armoured division, which fought during the last phase of World War II. The majority of its enlisted men in the Hitlerjugend Division were very young men, teenagers, drawn from members of the Hitler Youth born in 1926. The division first saw action on June 7, 1944, as part of the German defence of the Caen area during the Normandy.