Wilhelm Bittrich

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Wilhelm Bittrich (February 26, 1894April 19, 1979) was an Obergruppenführer of the German SS and a Waffen-SS General during World War II. He is perhaps now best remembered for his contribution to the defeat of the failed allied airborne offensive Operation Market Garden which took place in the Netherlands in September of 1944. Bittrich survived the War and died in a local hospital in Wolfratshausen, Bavaria on April 19, 1979.


  • 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
In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard.

Quotes about Bittrich[edit]

  • 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.

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