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Field Marshall Model was the commander of Army Group B in late September 1944 and happened to be located only a few kilometers from the landing zones west of Arnhem when the landings occurred. He was very quick to react and had at his disposal an SS-Panzer Korps at his disposal to throw at the landings around Arnhem and Nijmegen. Due to the fact he was one of Hitler's 'favourites' he was able to get priority of reinforcements sent to the front. Such reinforcements included Kampfgruppe von Svoboda from Germany, Assault Gun Brigade 280 on route from Denmark and s.Pz Abt 506 which was made up of heavy Tiger II tanks.

He has a reputation of stabilising the front which he had done 4 times in the past. He quickly took hold of the situation at Arnhem and stopped the Allies advancing from the south. He continued to command Army Group B on the Western Front for the rest of the war until he committed suicide in late April 1945 when his Army Group was surrounded in the Ruhr Pocket.

Generalfeldmarschall Walter Model Commander - Heersgruppe B

Hans Rauter was holding the position of commander of all Waffen-SS and Police forces in Holland when the Allied landings occurred. This was an administrative position and therefore he did not command any troops during the battle. However he did make his presence known to some Waffen-SS and Police units fighting in Arnhem (mostly in the West) by visiting rear areas and providing support where possible through the allocation of weapons and transport.

He continued to hold this position into 1945 until his staff car was ambushed by partisans in March of that year. Rauter feigned death but the other occupants were killed. A patrol later took Rauter to the hospital. Even though he was seriously wounded he made a quick recovery and as a result of the ambush order the execution of hundreds of Dutch. He was found guilty of war crimes after the war and executed in 1949.

SS-Obergruppenführer Hanns Rauter Höhere SS und Polizeiführer Nordwest

Wilhelm Bittrich was the commander of the II SS Panzer Korps in 1944. He had led the Corps on the Eastern Front and during the Battle of Normandy. He had been tasked by higher command to withdraw the remnants of his unit from the front to the 'quiet area' of Arnhem. Here he was to reconstitute one division in place and send the second one to Germany. This plan was thrown to the wind when the allies landed in Holland on the 17th September 1944. He sent the 9th SS Panzer Division to take care of the threat in Arnhem whilst the 10th SS Panzer Division was tasked with the defense of Nijmegen.

He continued to lead the II SS Pz Kps for the rest of the war. Although Bittrich claimed to have conducted himself with honor throughout his career, after his capture on May 8, 1945, by American troops, he was extradited to France on charges of permitting hangings, pillage, and arson. A French military tribunal at Marseilles found him guilty and sentenced him to five years imprisonment on June 23, 1953.

SS-Obergruppenführer Wilhelm Bittrich Commander of II SS Panzer Corps

Walter Harzer was the temporary commander of the 9th SS Panzer Division during the Battle for Arnhem after his commander had been wounded in the retreat from Normandy. Harzer was quick to react to the landings and proved himself a capable commander under pressure. He was also responsible for setting up the blocking line south of the Arnhem bridge after it had been captured. This blocking line was known as Sperverband 'Harzer' and was made up of a mixture of units from different arms of service and commanded by a Heer Colonel. As a result of his leadership during the battle he was decorated with the Knights Cross.

He was was not part of the Ardennes offensive with the rest of the division as he was attending a Divisional Commanders course in Germany. After graduating he was appointed commander of the 4th SS Polizei Division which fought on the Eastern Front for the rest of the war.

SS-Obersturmbannführer Walter Harzer Commander 9th SS Panzer Division 'Hohenstaufen'


Heinz Harmel was the commander of the 10th SS Panzer Division during the battle of Arnhem. The II SS Pz Korps commander, Bittrich, had ordered the 10th SS to go to Nijmegen and hold the bridge denying its capture from the Allies. Harmel's units quickly found the Arnhem Bridge occupied by the enemy and some of his units were left behind to fight this resistance. The rest of the 10th SS went to Nijmegen via the Pannerden ferry.

After the capture of the Nijmegen Bridge, the 10th SS under the command of Harmel, fought in the Betuwe area for nearly a month. Harmel and his division went on to fight on the Western front for the rest of the year before moving to the Eastern Front in 1945. Harmel lost his division towards the end of the war for defying an order by Hitler. His life was most likely spared because he was popular with Hitler but not enough for him to loose his division.

SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel Commander 10th SS Panzer Division 'Frundsberg'

General von Tettau was responsible for holding defensive positions along the Waal with a few training units when the landings occurred on the 17th September 1944. He was immediately dispatched units towards Arnhem with the objective of putting pressure on the landing zones. Initially he had a few training units at his disposal which included the SS - Unterführerschule 'Arnheim' but the Kampfgruppe grew in number quite quickly. However a number of units that were provided to Kampfgruppe von Tettau were not of offensive capability. One unit, SS-Wachbattalion III 'Nordwest' had been guarding camps and there initial attacks where cut down causing very heavy casualties to the unit.

As the Oosterbeek pocket formed, Kampfgruppe von Tettau was responsible for keeping the pressure on the western side. A number of local attacks were made and major advancements were made only when the British had withdrawn from the area. General von Tettau went on to lead a Corp sized Combat Group on the Russian Front in 1945 where he earned the Oakleaves to his Knights Cross.

General die Infanterie Hans von Tettau Commander Kampfgruppe 'von Tettau'

Generalmajor Freidrich Kussin was the city commander of Arnhem when the allied landing occurred on the 17th September 1944. It was a post he had held for nearly two years. The German High Command appointed high ranking military staff to look after key cities across Germany and the occupied Territories which were known as Feldkommandantur. Arnhem was known as Feldkommandantur 642. It is believed that this unit did not have many troops under command at the time the allies landed. It is estimated that it had a few security platoons and a few heavy weapons in possession.

Due to the fact that Kussin was responsible for the defense of Arnhem in the event of an attack, on the 17th September 1944 he raced out west towards the landing zones to get an appreciation of the situation. He met with the commander of SS-A.u.E. Btl 16, SS- Hauptsturmführer Josef ‘Sepp' Krafft, who was already engaging the enemy. However on his return to Arnhem his staff car was ambushed by members of 3 PARA who had by-passed Krafft's position only hours before. All three occupants of the vehicles, including the General, were killed.

Generalmajor Friedrich Kussin (17.9.44) City Commander of Arnhem

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