Home
WSS-XVII Armee Korps
WSS-,,Hunyadi" 1
WSS-,,Hunyadi" 2
WSS-,,Hungaria" 1
WSS-,Hungaria" 2
WSS-,,Hungaria" 3
WSS-,,Gombos" & other Divisions
WSS-,,Szalasi"
WSS-Alarm Battalion
RFSS-,,Deak"
RFSS-1st Schi Battalion
RFSS-Brigade ,,Ney"
RFSS-1st Sturmjaeger Regiment
Uniforms & Insignia
Soldbuch's
Paperwork
Sources/Contact
Links
WSS-,,Szalasi"

Unit History

 

February 6 1945: The Hungarian SS divisions (25. SS ,,Hunyadi” and 26. SS ,,Hungária”) are training at Neuhammer camp when the Russians advance comes near. Due to the divisions being only partly formed an Alarm Regiment is organised from volunteers from both 25. ,,Hunyadi” and 26. ,,Hungaria” (please see the section on 25. SS ,,Hunyadi” for full details)

February 7 1945: Due to the German – Hungarian Agreement that says that the Hungarian SS Divisions could only fight on Hungarian soil volunteers are asked for to make up the Alarm Battalion. During the formation of the Alarm Regiment the Waffen SS Grenadier battalion ,,Szalasi” is formed. Its name being taken from the fact that most if not all the volunteers are from the Arrow cross movement and are still wearing the black uniforms of the movement (1). The men want to fight in their black uniforms but they are unsuitable and also illegal under the Geneva Convention. Jozsef Grassy personally intervenes and gets the battle group their regulation uniforms.  The volunteers are already boarding trains at Oberleschen railway station when lorries arrive carrying field-grey uniforms. The men change uniforms in the open air and then carry on boarding the train. It is unlikely that Szalasi knows of the battle group named after him. The battalion numbers approximately 250 men. The officers and non-commissioned officers' are mainly Hungarian with the exception of some platoon sergeants and an officer. SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Rudolf von Keitz (who is already at Neuhammer camp) is named as the battalion's commander but he does not take the position in the end. The eventual commander is a Hungarian Waffen-Obersturmbannfuhrer (D.L.?). The large part of the battalion is inexperienced and untrained 

February 8 1945: In the course of Neuhammer camp's evacuation Kampfgruppe ,,Szalasi” leaves Neuhammer and heads for Dresden and after another march pass into the Zwickau area.

February 14 1945: February 14 – 21. Kampfgruppe ,,Szalasi” arrives and sets up camp between Aue and Reichenberg. During this time the kampfgruppe receives orders to move to an area close to Görlitz.

February 21 1945:
The kampfgruppe is removed from the Hungarian SS division’s command.

February 22 1945: The kampfgruppe starts the march to the area as instructed but a new command is received which directs them to the Hirschberg area, where the kampfgruppe stays until the end of February.

March 1 1945: Somewhere around Schreiberhau Kampfgruppe ,,Szalasi”(numbering approximately 200-300 men ) becomes part of the 31. SS volunteer grenadier division and the kampfgruppe becomes part of the 31. SS volunteer fusilier battalion. (2)Shortly after the battalion receives around 8 - 10 SS-Untersturmfuhrer’s who have attended the Prague SS military academy recently (SS-Junkerschule) and some German NCO's, thus resulting in little or no Hungarian officer’s at the corps. Later at Waldenburg SS-Untersturmführer Zvonimir Bernwald takes command of the battalion (3). The volunnteers are loaded up in Waldenburg and as part of the  31st SS division are transferred to the Strehlen area replacing the 100th Jaeger Division. The battalion's command post is established in Striegé which is in the centre of the sector covered by ,,Szalasi'' opposite the sugar factory which is occupied by the Russians. The 'front' consists of a series of foxholes due to the length covered by the battalion (4)

April 13 1945: During a battle reconnaissance, the battalion's commander, SS-Untersturmfuhrer Zvonimir Bernwald receives a splinter wound from Soviet mortar and leaves the battalion for treatment (his runner, a SS Unterscharfuhrer is killed)

April 30 1945:
SS-Untersturmfuhrer Zvonimir Bernwald  is replaced as commanding officer of  Kampfgruppe ,,Szalasi'' (now 31 SS division Fusilier Battalion.)

May 5 1945: SS-Untersturmfuhrer Zvonimir Bernwald  (5)  returns to the battalion but not as company commander.He is moved to a quartermasters position  (possibly the 7th) and ordered to look for accommodation in the rear of the area were ,,Szalasi'' is based.

May 7/8 1945: After heavy casualties in earlier fighting around Strehlen  and casualties inflicted by Czech partisans  the remaining elements of what had been Kampfgruppe ,,Szalasi” are captured by the Russians shortly after the capture of Breslau.

 
 

 



(1 The volunteers for Kampfgruppe ,,Szalasi” came from Arrow Cross members from both 25. SS Division ,,hunyadi” and 26. SS Division ,,Hungaria” The majority of the volunteers are from 26 SS division ,,Hungaria'' and are 16-17 yrs old.

(2) In some sources it is listed as becoming SS Fusilier Battalion 31 ,,Szalasi". The FP nr. for the fusilier battalion is 22397

(3)   In his memoirs Bernwald recalls that "it was somewhere near Waldeburg, where I took command of the battalion of the Hungarian division ,,Hunyadi" " He also states that when the offices from Prague arrived the orderly officer gave them each a glass of cognac (but forgetting Bernwald)

(4) Bernwald states that during this time that the Fusilier battalion was a weak battalion with most of the NCO's being German and all the other ranks being very young Hungarians, most of which had only received 8 weeks training. He also states that they only had some heavy mortars as support weapons. He states that language was a problem with interpreters being required (Bernwald used a Unterscharfuhrer as his personal interpreter)

 

(5)   SS nr.171,954

 

 


HomeWSS-XVII Armee KorpsWSS-,,Hunyadi" 1WSS-,,Hunyadi" 2WSS-,,Hungaria" 1WSS-,Hungaria" 2WSS-,,Hungaria" 3WSS-,,Gombos" & other DivisionsWSS-,,Szalasi"WSS-Alarm BattalionRFSS-,,Deak"RFSS-1st Schi BattalionRFSS-Brigade ,,Ney"RFSS-1st Sturmjaeger RegimentUniforms & InsigniaSoldbuch'sPaperworkSources/ContactLinks