Wisch, Theodore Peter Johann “Teddy”.

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Wisch, Theodore Peter Johann “Teddy”, born on 13-12-1907 in Wesselburener Koog, in Holstein, the oldest son of three brothers to a humble farmer. He lost his mother at the age of four, so that the father had to raise the three sons on the farm himself. In 1923 Wisch obtained his secondary school leaving certificate and learned the trade of agriculture, which he completed with a qualification as a state-certified farmer at the Schleswig State Agricultural School. Theodore learned practical skills in Ostholstein and in Holland. He joined the NSDAP, Nr  369.050 and the SS in 1930, Nr 4.759. Then he was transferred to the 1st Battalion of 53rd SS-Standarte “Dithmarschen” under SS-Sturmbannführer Karl Herwig . Herwig became a bad war criminal but survived the war with only a year in prison and died age 71 on 20-01-1967 in Welmbüttel. Then SS-Hauptsturmführer Wisch married his fiancée Hanna “Hannele” Mühlenhardt (1916–2006) in November 1936, and the marriage had four children. At the outbreak of the World War II, Wisch took part in the invasion of Poland, with the rank of Hauptmann, SS-Hauptsturmführer . From November 1940 to May 1941, Wisch fought in the Balkans Campaign.
The Balkans campaign of World War II began with the Italian invasion of Greece on 28-10-1940. In the early months of 1941, Italy’s offensive had stalled and a Greek counter-offensive pushed into Albania. Germany sought to aid Italy by deploying troops to Romania and Bulgaria and attacking Greece from the east. Meanwhile, the British landed troops and aircraft to shore up Greek defences. A coup d’état in Yugoslavia on 27 March caused Adolf Hitler to order the conquest of that country.
Then, from 22-06-1941, Wisch articipated in Operation Barbarossa.  
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for the German Empire’s attack on the Soviet Union on 22-06-1941 during World War II. The military operation was named after Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa of the Holy Roman Empire, one of the leaders of the Third Crusade. The Third Crusade (1189–1192) was an attempt led by three European monarchs of Western Christianity (Philip II of France, Richard I of England and Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor) to reconquer the Holy Land following the capture of Jerusalem by the Ayyubid sultan Saladin in 1187. For this reason, the Third Crusade is also known as the Kings’ Crusade.
The operation itself lasted until December 1941, but the war on the (from the German perspective) Eastern Front that it had initiated did not end until May 1945, with the German unconditional surrender to the Soviet Union and the other Allies.
On the Eastern Front, Wisch fought at Kharkov as commander of the 2nd SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment, “Das Reich” In July 1943,
    Wisch here with Heinrich Himmler and with Generaloberst Erhard Raus was appointed as commander of the 1st SS-Panzerdivision Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (did you know) The division was sent to Hungary where it had rough battles in February 1945 and had to retreat through Austria. On 08-05-1945 most of the division surrendered to the US forces in Steyer area. 1.500 men with 16 tanks surrendered, the strength of the division in June 1944 was 19.700 men. Total casualties amongst the Waffen-SS will probably never be known, but one estimate indicates that they suffered 180.000 dead, 400.000 wounded, and 40.000 missing. World War II casualties indicates that the Waffen-SS suffered 314.000 killed and missing, or 34.9 per cent. By comparison, the United States Army suffered 318.274 killed and missing in all theatres of the war. For his bravery and audacity, Wisch was decorated with the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross  in September 1941, and in February 1943, with German Cross in Gold.  During the winter of 1943 and 1944, Wisch’s division suffered heavy loss during ferocious battles that took place around the cities of Schitomir, Korosten and Berditschew.
    In February 1944, Wisch received the Oakleaves to the Knight’s Cross . In June 1944, he was transferred with his division to France and, after the Allied invasion in Normandy, in August 1944, he and his SS men fought with bravery at the Battle of the fatal Falaise Pocket  in which his division got encircled by the advancing Allied armies but were able to escape with heavy losses through a corridor which were kept open.
On 8 August, Allied ground forces commander General Bernard Montgomery    ordered the Allied armies to converge on the Falaise–Chambois area to envelop Army Group B, with the First US Army forming the southern arm, the British the base, and the Canadians the northern arm of the encirclement. The Germans began to withdraw on 17 August, and on 19 August the Allies linked up in Chambois. Gaps were forced in the Allied lines by German counter-attacks. The biggest was a corridor forced past the 1st Polish Armoured Division under command of  General Stanislaw Wadyslaw Maczek, on Hill 262, a commanding position at the pocket mouth. By the evening of 21 August, the pocket had been sealed, with est. 50,000 Germans trapped inside. Many Germans escaped, but losses were huge. The Allied Liberation of Paris came a few days later, and on 30 August the remnants of Army Group B retreated across the Seine, completing Operation Overlord.
Wisch was severely wounded by grenade shrapnel in both legs . On 21-08-1944, he was decorated with the Swords to the Knight’s Cross.  Wisch spent the rest of the war in a military hospital. In May 1945 he was taken prisoner by the Allies, but was released in 1948. Long after the war, in 1990, he published a book, “Twelve Years 1st Company Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler”. 

Death and burial ground of Wisch, Theodore Peter Johann “Teddy”.

Theodor Wisch left with SS Oberstgruppenführer  Sepp Dietrich  and SS Brigadeführer Hugo Kraas,
  died in Norderstedt, Schleswig-Holstein, old age of 87, on 11-01-1995. Teddi Wisch is buried with his wife Hanna, born Mühlenmardt, who died old age 90, in 2006, on the Stadtfriedhof of Barsbüttel.
  P1140505-1

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