11th SS "Nordland" Division

A World War II Living History Organization depicting the Norwegian volunteers that fought on the Eastern Front

About Us

 

We portray the 11th. SS Panzergrenadier Division 'Nordland' which was the first international Waffen-SS Division which included Norwegians, Danes, Dutch, Estonians, Finns, French, Swedish, Swiss, and approximately 6 British volunteers.  We are based in Pittsburg, Kansas and the Kansas City area with members in Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

The unit formed in 1995 and at first we were going to do the British Free Corps attached to the 11th SS Nordland Division but those with the unit charter for Nordland quit reenacting and gave up the charter. So we became Nordland and became a chartered unit in the World War Two Historical Reenactment Society at the end of 1995. During this time we averaged 12 members with three doing a BFC impression. By the end of 1997, no one in the unit was doing the BFC impression and all members were doing Nordland only.

The unit is made up of collectors and historians from all walks of life. We have law enforcement officers, government employees, store owners, a lawyer, and a doctor. We have members in the following states: Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Alabama, and others. For this reason we do not have unit meetings. We stay in touch by e-mail, telephone, letters, and at reenactment events. A unit member is not required to attend any certain number of events, they do have to join the World War Two Historical Reenactment Society and after their first year of membership pay $5.00 voluntarily annual unit dues. We are non-political and do not condone or tolerate any raciest, anti-Semitic, or anti-American beliefs. No one who does can or will be a member of the reenactment unit. We reenact to keep alive and preserve the history, traditions, uniforms, weapons, and equipment of the WW2 soldier. Our mission is to do this as well as educate the public and Honor Those Who Served.

The unit’s very first activity was to set up a display at the Kansas City International Military show in 1995. Our first battle was a public display battle at the Kirksville, Missouri Air Show in 1996. Since then we have been at numerous events in several different states and have continually improved our impressions, equipment, and uniforms. Many who have reenacted with us refer to my unit as the friendly SS as we strive usually to get along with everyone. We also remember that this is a hobby and we are not real WW2 soldiers. Some of our best friends are guys who do Allied impressions. We also have members doing the Spanish Blue Legion and Spanish SS for more information on the Spanish impression Please contact Dustin Strong at dustinrstrong(at)hotmail.com

During 2000 & 2001 we averaged 18 + members and had the British Free Corps out of Ohio join us as an auxiliary unit. The BFC unit commander is a real nice guy named Edwin Dyer. Many of our unit do Allied impressions also. Some of the activities that members of Nordland are involved in are, but not limited too are:

SCHOOL DISPLAYS AND DEMONSTRATIONS
PUBLIC DISPLAYS AND BATTLES
PARADES
THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS
DISPLAYS AT MILITARY SHOWS
TACTICAL BATTLES- NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
COLLECTING WW2 WEAPONS, EQUIPMENT, UNIFORMS, and VEHICLES

You might ask why we chose to do Nordland. We choose it because of its unique history as being one of the regiments to form the 5th. SS Wiking Division in 1941, and then when it was made a division in 1943 it became the first truly international Waffen SS Division. So far in my study of Nordland I have found no information of it as a division committing any war crimes. They were very hard and brave fighting men. Further the majority of the members of Nordland were not nazis, but very devout anti-communist, who wanted to stop the Red Menace from taking over Europe. Further the history of foreign volunteers in the WW2 German Army & Waffen-SS has been an somewhat overlooked subject. It is interesting to study the various reasons these foreign volunteers joined the German army, some where nazis, some forced, some where anti-communist who feared the Russian communist government and viewed it as the real enemy. The 11th. SS Division Nordland, as a division, never fought against the Western Allies, there is some evidence that some members of Nordland were at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, having fought on the eastern front against the Russians until the end of the war.

In 2008, we added a contingent of Spanish SS to our ranks.  Attached to Nordland in the last weeks of the war, the Nordland and Spanish SS troops were among the last defenders of Berlin in May of 1945.  The reenactors that make-up this contingent also depict the Ski Company of 250 Infantry "Division Azul", a regular army (Heer) division made up entirely of anti-communist Spanish volunteers that served on the Leningrad front for two years.  It is from this division's ranks that the Spanish SS troops came after the division was recalled to Spain in 1943.

If any of this is of interest to you and would like to become a WW2 reenactor we invite you to come and join us in the fun and excitement of WW2 reenacting. DO NOT JUST READ ABOUT OR WATCH MOVIES ABOUT WORLD WAR TWO. REENACT IT!

John Colyer
Unit Commander 11th SS Nordland

"We hope you will join us in WW2 reenacting."