Steiner, Felix Martin Julius

    Date of birth:
    May 23rd, 1896 (Ebenrode/Eastern Prussia, Germany)
    Date of death:
    May 12th, 1966 (Munich/Bavaria, Germany)
    Service number:
    253351 (SS)
    Nationality:
    German (1933-1945, German Reich)

    Biography

    Felix Steiner was de commandant van de SS-Standarte Deutschland, SS-Division (mot.) Germania, SS Division Wiking and III SS Panzerkorps. He reached the rank of SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS.

    Promotions:
    1 June 1936: SS-Standartenführer
    1939: SS-Oberführer
    9 November 1940: SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS
    1 January 1942: SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS
    1 July 1943: SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS

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    Period:
    First World War (1914-1918)
    Awarded on:
    October 9th, 1914
    Eisernes Kreuz 2.Klasse (1914)
    Period:
    First World War (1914-1918)
    Awarded on:
    November 3rd, 1917
    Eisernes Kreuz 1.Klasse (1914)
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Oberführer
    Awarded on:
    September 17th, 1939
    Details:
    Had already received the Iron Cross 2nd Class on 9th October 1914.
    1939 Spange zum Eisernen Kreuzes 2er Klasse 1914
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Oberführer
    Awarded on:
    September 26th, 1939
    Details:
    Had already received the Iron Cross 1st Class on 3rd November 1917.
    1939 Spange zum Eisernen Kreuzes 1er Klasse 1914
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Oberführer
    Unit:
    Kommandeur, SS-Standarte “Deutschland”, “SS-Verfügungsdivision”,18.Armee, Heeresgruppe B
    Awarded on:
    August 15th, 1940
    Action:
    Steiner's Knight's Cross recommendation reads as follows...

    "SS-Oberführer Steiner's regiment "Deutschland" was the only infantry regiment of Kampfgruppe Hausser that took part in capturing the island group Seeland from French troops. SS-Oberführer Steiner's superior leadership was instrumental in the Regiment's swift, three day thrust to Vlissingen and the storming of two powerful defensive positions. He distinguished himself personally throughout this endeavor and employed his Battalions and Stuka support against heavy enemy fixe at the Beveland Canal and the causeway to Walcheren Island. This swift success had far reaching influence upon the fighting in Belgium, especially at Antwerp, which was now accessible from the Schelde. SS-Oberführer Steiner also distinguished himself during the fighting in northern France, at La Bassee Canal, at the Lys and the southern front."

    Details:
    166th Award.
    Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Gruppenführer / Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS (Major-general)
    Unit:
    Kommandeur, SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division “Wiking”, Heersgruppe A
    Awarded on:
    April 22nd, 1942
    Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Gruppenführer / Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS (Major-general)
    Unit:
    Kommandeur, SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division “Wiking”, Heersgruppe A
    Awarded on:
    June 16th, 1942
    Details:
    Awarded with swords.
    Vapaudenristin 1.luokka (VR 1)
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Gruppenführer / Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS (Major-general)
    Unit:
    Kommandeur, SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division “Wiking”, Heersgruppe A
    Awarded on:
    December 23rd, 1942
    Action:
    Awarded for his successes on the Eastern front as commander of the SS-Pz.Gren.Div. "Wiking", especially in the fighting along the Terek river. He particularly distinguished himself through the relief of the 13. Panzer-Division near Gisel, as well as the smashing of a Soviet Guards division that was trying to disrupt the only road into the Korps area near Tschikola (specifically this deed was undertaken by the III./SS-Nordland-Regiment, the so-called Finnish battalion).
    Details:
    159th Award.
    Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Obergruppenführer / General der Waffen-SS (Lieutenant-General)
    Awarded on:
    July 6th, 1943
    Details:
    Awarded with swords.
    Vapaudenristin 1.luokka rintatähtineen (VR 1 rt)
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Obergruppenführer / General der Waffen-SS (Lieutenant-General)
    Unit:
    Kommandierende General, III.SS-Panzer-Korps
    Awarded on:
    August 10th, 1944
    Action:
    Awarded for the following command achievements...

    1) Overseeing the creation of the Division "Nordland" and the Brigade "Nederland", and their organization under the banner of the III. (germanisches) SS-Panzerkorps.

    2) The successful defence by these units against enemy breakout attempts from the Oranienbaum pocket.

    3) Keeping his forces intact during the retreat from Leningrad and in their redeployment along the Narva front.

    4) The epic defense of his units along the Tannenberg line in July of 1944. Despite overwhelming enemy force his soldiers held their ground against all the odds, during which heavy enemy casualties (including 1020 tanks claimed destroyed) were inflicted.
    Details:
    86th Award.
    Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Obergruppenführer / General der Waffen-SS (Lieutenant-General)
    Awarded on:
    August 1st, 1944
    Wehrmachtbericht

    Sources

    • Photo 1: Willi Schumacher Collection
    • Photo: Willi Schumacher Collection
    • - MOONEY, PETER, Waffen-SS Knights and their Battles, Schiffer Pub Ltd, 2008.
      - THOMAS, FRANZ & WEGMANN, GÜNTER, Die Eichenlaubträger 1940-1945, Biblio-Verlag, 1998.
      - Die Ordensträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht (CD), VMD-Verlag GmbH, Osnabrück, 2002
      - Kwasny A., Kwasny G., Die Eichenlaubträger 1940-1945 (CD), Deutsches Wehrkundearchiv, Lage-Waddenhausen, 2001
      - Fellgiebel W.P., Elite of the Third Reich, The recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939-1945: A Reference, Helion & Company Limited, Solihull, 2003, ISBN 1-874622-46-9
      - Patzwall K., Scherzer V., Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941-1945, Geschichte und Inhaber Band II, Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall, Norderstedt, 2001, ISBN 3-931533-45-X
      - Schneider J.W., Their Honor was Loyalty!, R. James Bender Publishing, 1977

    Photo