Helmuth Raithel (9 April 1907 – 12 September 1990) was a German officer who held the rank of SS-Standartenführer (colonel) in the Waffen-SS during World War II. While still at school, Raithel was swept up in the excitement of the Munich Beer Hall Putsch of 9 November 1923 led by Adolf Hitler, and was subsequently awarded the coveted Blood Order, even though he was not a member of the Nazi Party. He joined the Reichswehr (interwar German Army) in 1926.

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dbo:abstract
  • Helmuth Raithel (9 April 1907 – 12 September 1990) was a German officer who held the rank of SS-Standartenführer (colonel) in the Waffen-SS during World War II. While still at school, Raithel was swept up in the excitement of the Munich Beer Hall Putsch of 9 November 1923 led by Adolf Hitler, and was subsequently awarded the coveted Blood Order, even though he was not a member of the Nazi Party. He joined the Reichswehr (interwar German Army) in 1926. After World War II broke out he fought in the invasion of Greece in summer 1941, then against the Soviet Red Army in northern Finland before transferring to the Waffen-SS in 1943.Raithel subsequently commanded a regiment of the newly formed 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian) and led it during fighting against the Yugoslav Partisans in the Independent State of Croatia. Raithel was seriously wounded in mid-1944 and was replaced. When a new Waffen-SS division was to be raised in June 1944, the cadre was provided by the 13th SS Division and Raithel was appointed as the divisional commander. The 23rd Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Kama (2nd Croatian) never reached full divisional strength and did not see action as a formation, but elements of the division fought briefly in southern Hungary in early October 1944. Raithel quickly suppressed a mutiny by the Bosnian Muslim soldiers of the division in mid-October 1944, but it was disbanded and its reliable troops were absorbed by the 13th SS Division and the 31st SS Volunteer Grenadier Division. Raithel was then appointed to command a regiment of 6th SS Mountain Division Nord in Alsace, where his regiment fought the United States Army. He received a serious head wound during fighting northeast of Frankfurt in early April 1945 and was captured by the Americans.Raithel recovered from his wounds and had a career in agriculture after the war, working in South Africa for many years. He returned to Bavaria when he retired and earned a doctorate of history from the University of Munich. His interest in mountaineering continued and he regularly climbed in the Alps into his seventies. He maintained contact with his former comrades from the 6th SS Division, attending many reunions. On 12 September 1990 at the age of 82, he was returning home from the Semmering Pass in eastern Austria when he was killed in a traffic accident. (en)
dbo:allegiance
  • (to 1933)
dbo:award
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  • 23rd Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Kama (2nd Croatian).
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  • 1926-01-01 (xsd:date)
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  • 2017-09-30 23:43:13Z (xsd:date)
  • 2018-05-01 05:19:53Z (xsd:date)
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  • Helmuth Raithel wearing Waffen-SS uniform (en)
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  • Iron Cross 1st Class (en)
  • German Cross in Gold (en)
  • Blood Order (en)
dbp:battles
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  • 1907-04-09 (xsd:date)
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  • Raithel as an SS-Obersturmbannführer (en)
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  • 23 (xsd:integer)
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  • 1990-09-12 (xsd:date)
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  • (SS-Standartenführer) (en)
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  • Agriculture (en)
  • Mountaineering (en)
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  • Helmuth Raithel (en)
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  • SS-Standartenführer (en)
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  • 1926 (xsd:integer)
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  • 6 (xsd:integer)
  • 13 (xsd:integer)
  • * (en)
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  • Helmuth Raithel (9 April 1907 – 12 September 1990) was a German officer who held the rank of SS-Standartenführer (colonel) in the Waffen-SS during World War II. While still at school, Raithel was swept up in the excitement of the Munich Beer Hall Putsch of 9 November 1923 led by Adolf Hitler, and was subsequently awarded the coveted Blood Order, even though he was not a member of the Nazi Party. He joined the Reichswehr (interwar German Army) in 1926. (en)
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  • Helmuth Raithel (en)
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