9th SS Hohenstaufen Division ball cap. This hat is also available in other colors, the thread color will also change depending on hat color chosen.
The 9th SS Panzer Division “Hohenstaufen” was a Waffen-SS armored division of Nazi Germany during World War II. It participated in battles on both the Eastern and Western Fronts. The division was activated in December 1942. Many of the men of the division were young German conscripts, with a cadre of NCOs and staff from the SS Division Leibstandarte and other Waffen SS divisions. Hohenstaufen took part in the relief of German forces in the Kamenets-Podolsky pocket, the Normandy battles, Operation Market Garden, the Ardennes Offensive and Operation Spring Awakening. The division surrendered to the United States Army on 5 May 1945, at Steyr.
Formation and Eastern Front
The SS Division Hohenstaufen was formed, along with its sister formation 10th SS Division Frundsberg, in France in February 1943. The division was mainly formed from Reich Labor Service conscripts. Originally, Hohenstaufen was designated as a Panzergrenadier division, but in October 1943 it was upgraded to Panzer division status, with an estimated manpower of about 19,000. At its formation, Hohenstaufen was commanded by SS-Obergruppenführer Wilhelm Bittrich. The title Hohenstaufen came from the Hohenstaufen dynasty, a German noble family who produced a number of kings and emperors in the 12th and 13th centuries AD.
After the encirclement of General Hans-Valentin Hube’s 1st Panzer Army in the Kamenets-Podolsky pocket in Ukraine, Field Marshal Erich von Manstein requested that the Hohenstaufen and Frundsberg divisions be sent to attempt to link up with the encircled force. Arriving in late March 1944, the divisions were formed into the II SS Panzer Corps and were sent into the attack near the town of Tarnopol. In three days of combat, the Hohenstaufen destroyed 74 Soviet tanks, 84 self propelled assault guns, 21 anti tank guns, and 12 mortars. After heavy fighting in the season of rasputitsa (“roadlessness”), the division effected a link-up with Hube’s forces near the town of Buchach. The division’s actions helped prevent the encirclement of the 1st Panzer Army. During these battles, Hohenstaufen had suffered 1,011 casualties. The II SS Panzer Corps was to act as reserve for Army Group North Ukraine. After the Allied invasion of northern France on 6 June 1944, the II SS Panzer Corps, including Hohenstaufen, was sent west on 12 June, to defend Caen in Normandy.