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SS-Sturmbannführer Dr. Egon Skalka

German Cross in Gold - 14.11.44
Iron Cross I Class - 19.02.42
Iron Cross II Class - 15.08.41
War Merit Badge II Class with swords - 20.04.44
General Assault Badge - 01.12.43
Wound Badge in Silver - 13.10.44
Eastern Front Medal - 01.08.42

Egon Skalka was born on the 29th October 1915 and volunteered for the SS (SS-VT) in 1935. His medical training including attended the SS-Military Medicine Academy outside Berlin, two semesters in Juna before going to Munich to finishing his 1st phase of medical training. He then went on to complete his military training in 1937 before attending the SS-Officer School at Bad Tölz graduating as an Untersturmführer in 1938.

His first unit was the SS-Polizei-Division near Pommern where he underwent horse-riding training on arrival earning him the Riders Badge in Bronze (Reiterabzeichung in Bronze). His posting was short lived as he went back to complete his medical training at the SS-Doctor's Academy near Graz. He graduated as a Doctor of Medicine in April 1941(in the third year of the war!).

As an Obersturmführer he was posted as the Medical Battalion's Adjutant to the SS-Division 'Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler' which was situated on the Polish Border ready for the invasion of the Russia. He stayed with this unit earning the Iron Cross II Class before moving to the SS-Werferabteilung 102 in November 1942. He was involved in the heavy fighting around Charkow saving many lives. He left on promotion in November 1943 to take command of the 2nd Company of the Medical Battalion in the 9th SS-Panzer Division 'Hohenstaufen'.

He saw action with this company in Russia near Tarnopol (May 1944) before moving to the 'invasionfront' in France in July 1944. After the breakout of the allied forces from Normandy, the division retreated north to Holland. SS-Hauptsturmführer Dr. Egon Skalka was given command of the Medical Battalion of the Hohenstaufen Division.

On the 17th September 1944, the 1st Airborne Division landed outside Arnhem and the Hohenstaufen's Medical Battalion was back into action. Over the period of the 17 - 26 September 1944, Skalka was responsible for organising medical supplies and conducting surgery on both Allied and German Soldiers throughout the Battle. He is most remembered for organising a cease fire to save wounded from the Oosterbeek pocket with his British counterpart Dr. Warrack. It is estimated that 2200 British wounded were evacuated during these cease fires. Dr. Warrack commended Dr. Skalka's work after the war. For his actions at Arnhem and previous units, Dr. Skalka was awarded the German Cross in Gold.

For most of the remainder of the war, Dr. Skalka was a Doctor with the 'Hohenstaufen' until he was transferred as a doctor with the 6th SS Army in the last week of the war. He surrendered to the Americans on the 9th May 1945 before being handed over to the British. He spent 2.5 years in a British Prison before being released in 1947. During his time in prison he received a lot of positive support from Arnhem veterans which was led by Dr. Warrack.

A sign identifying Skalka's 'main dressing station' (Hauptverbandplatz).

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