SS-Obersturmbannführer Ludwig Spindler

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Knight’s Cross – 27.09.44
German Cross in Gold – 17.09.44
Iron Cross I Class – 01.08.41
Iron Cross II Class – 5.10.39
Infantry Assault Badge – 1.07.42
Wound Badge in Black – 1.10.41
Eastern Front Medal – 13.08.42

Ludwig Spindler was born in München in 1910 and was in military service by the age of 18. He became a member of the German Police and served with the Landespolizei in Beieren until 1934. It was in 1934 he joined the SS-VT and his career with the Waffen-SS began. At the outbreak of the war he was with Regiment Deutschland and by May 1940 was in command of the 13th Company (Regimental Gun Company).

For ‘Operation Barbarossa’, SS-Hauptsturmführer Spindler was in command of an Infantry Company for 2 months before going back to artillery and the Battery Commander of the 10th Batterie, SS Art Regt 2 ‘Das Reich’. He stayed with the 2nd SS Division ‘Das Reich’ for another year and a half holding the positions of Battery Commander and Regimental Adjutant. He did spend a small period of time in 1942 as an instructor at the SS-Officer School outside München. He was posted on promotion in April 1944 to the new SS Panzer Division ‘Hohenstaufen’ as commander III./SS Art. Regt 9. He commanded this Battalion during the relief of Tarnopol but was moved to the 1st Battalion in June 1944 in Normandy. It was during this time (in Russia) that SS-Sturmbannführer Spindler was recommended for the German Cross in Gold.

Making it out of the Falaise Pocket, Spindler and the rest of the Division retreated back through Belgium to Arnhem, Holland where they were tasked to prepare to move to Germany for refitting. He was now in Command of the whole Artillerie Regiment. On the 17th of September, SS-Sturmbannführer Spindler was awarded the German Cross in Gold for his command during Normandy. However the same day the 1st Airborne Division started to drop its Battalions in Oosterbeek and the division was put on alert.

Ludwig Spindler was placed in charge of developing a Blocking Line to stop the 1st Airborne Division from advancing into Arnhem. He force was small to start which allowed the British 2PARA sneak past but as further reinforcements arrived, Spindler’s force became a formidable defensive line that the British could not break throughout the battle. When the British withdrew into the Oosterbeek pocket, Spindler’s force went onto the offensive putting pressure on the pocket until the 26th September 1944 when the Airborne forces had withdrawn. The following day, SS-Sturmbannführer Spindler was awarded the Knight’s Cross for his actions at Arnhem.

However during the Ardennes Offensive, SS-Obersturmbannführer Spindler was killed when aircraft attacked the vehicle he was traveling in killing him instantly. He was Killed on the 27th December 1944 and is now buried in Altenkirchen War Cemetery, Westerwald.

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Published in: on February 23, 2017 at 5:05 am  Leave a Comment  

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