Wilhelm Bittrich (February 26, 1894 – April 19, 1979) was a high-ranking Waffen-SS commander of Nazi Germany. Between August 1942 and February 1943, Bittrich commanded the SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer, in rear security operations (Bandenbekämpfung, literally: "bandit fighting") in the Soviet Union. From July 1944 until the end of the war Bittrich commanded the 2nd SS Panzer Corps in Normandy, during Market Garden and in Hungary.
- I once spent an hour and a half trying to explain a situation to "Sepp" Dietrich with the aid of a map. It was quite useless. He understood nothing at all.
- Quoted in "The Order of the Death's Head: The Story of Hitler's S.S." - Page 439 - by Heinz Höhne, R. Barry - 1969
- In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard.
- Commenting on the British Paratroopers at Arnhem (September 1944). Quoted in "Hitler's Generals" - Page 327 - by Correlli Barnett - History - 2003
Quotes about Bittrich
- Other visits (to the front) showed me that efforts were being made on the Western Front to arrive at understandings with the enemy on special problems. At Arnhem, I found General Bittrich of the Waffen-SS in a state of fury. The day before, his Second Tank Corps had virtually wiped out a British airborne division. During the fighting the general had made an arrangement permitting the enemy to run a field hospital situated behind the German lines. But party functionaries had taken it upon themselves to kill British and American pilots, and Bittrich was cast in the role of a liar. His violent denunciation of the party was all the more striking since it came from an SS general.