About SS Panzer Meyer

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About SS-Brigadeführer and Waffen-SS General Kurt Panzer Meyer

If ever any one individual was the living embodiment of the perfect SS officer it was Kurt Adolph Wilhelm Meyer. He was a classic example of an aggressive and ruthless Waffen-SS officer and a first rate leader who pushed his troops (and himself) to their very limits. He was an exceptional personality in military leadership, of special character and strong charisma.

Meyer earned the nickname “Panzer” while enrolled at the police academy after he fell off of a roof while playing a prank on a classmate. He broke 18 bones in the accident and his friends began calling him “Panzer” because they said he was as tough as a tank. Later, while in the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, his keen tactical sense and mental agility earned him his second nickname “Schnelle Meyer” or “fast Meyer” for racing out ahead of the troop advance on his motorbike. His unorthodox methods were further tested on the Eastern Front where he and his troops sometimes ventured far behind enemy lines and then blasted their way back out. By early 1943, his reckless, albeit highly effective, style of combat had already earned him the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd class, the Knight´s Cross, and the Oak leaves to the Knight´s Cross.

It is believed he earned his SS Honor Ring for his actions in Operation Barbarossa that commenced in June 1941. In the most difficult of situations Meyer never hesitated for a second, for he was a determined SS soldier of quick actions.  During Operation Barbarossa the Abteilung his unit captured the city of Mariupol on the Black Sea, Meyer ordered his men to “angriff auf die gewehre” (charge the guns) and this action resulted in the capture of the city and also an entire Soviet division. Mariupol was of significant strategic importance due to its deep-water port and heavy industry. This battle was a typical example of Meyer’s style of command: lightning fast, daring and brave. Like his commander SS-Oberstgruppenführer Sepp Dietrich, Meyer preferred to be at the front of his assaults usually astride a motorbike. At the time an SS-Sturmbannführer, his SS Honor Ring is dated 21.12.41, less then a year later he was promoted to SS-Obersturmbannführer.

On September 6th, 1944 “Panzer” Meyer was captured by partisans in Durnal, Belgium and promptly handed over to the Americans. While in their custody he was severely beaten and robbed of all his medals, ring, watch and money.