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Helmut Dörner
Born (1909-06-26)26 June 1909
Died 11 February 1945(1945-02-11) (aged 35)
Place of birth Mönchengladbach
Place of death Budapest
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Waffen-SS
Years of service 1939-1945
Rank Oberführer
Commands held II./SS-PolSchtzRgt 2
SS-PzGrenRgt 8

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

Helmut Dörner (26 June 1909 in Mönchengladbach – 11 February 1945 in Budapest) was a highly decorated German Waffen-SS officer. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Helmut was one of the heroes of the 1941/42 Winter war, in the same category as August Dieckmann, Otto Baum, Georg Bochmann, Hinrich Schuldt, Otto Kumm, Wilhelm Bittrich and Hermann Fegelein.


Born in 1909, Dörner soon reminded his superiors of his true potential, winning both Iron Crosses in the Battle of France as a company commander. Promoted to Major and commander of II./Polizei-Schützen-Regiment 2, he and his battalion soon established a reputation within the Army Group North as a crack unit. During one of the numerous combat patrols the battalion managed to smash the Russian frontline and destroy 53 bunkers in 3 hours with minimal losses. The first recognition of his achievements came in December 1941 when he received the German Cross in Gold.

In early 1942 Army Group North sent the battalion to Wolchow to counter the Russian breakthrough there (2nd Army - Andrey Vlasov). Deceiving Russians of his real strength by constant attacks he managed to stop the breakthrough of Wlassow's 2nd Army and thus helped considerably in its encirclement and destruction.

Dörner stayed with the Polizei division (from 1943 named KG Polizei division) until late 1943. After some earned holidays he returned to the division which was reforming in Greece and becoming the commander of SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt.8. When Karl Schümers (divisional commander) was killed in a partisan ambush, Helmut took over the command until the arrival of the new commander.

In September 1944 the division, now known as 4. SS-Polizei Panzergrenadier Division, was sent to Rumania and Hungary in order to slow the Russian offensive. Dörner again proved his worth, especially at the Szolnok bridgehead. During this attack a Tiger battalion was sent to reinforce the unit.

During the siege of Budapest, he became the commander of a mixed KG and died while leading the breakthrough attempt.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Thomas 1997, p. 126.
  2. Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 90.
  3. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 163.
  4. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 92.
  5. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 47.
  • Berger, Florian (2000). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges (in German). Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 3-9501307-0-5.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945 (in German). Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Patzwall, Klaus D. and Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941–1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall (in German). ISBN 3-931533-45-X.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
  • Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 3-7648-2299-6.
  • Thomas, Franz and Wegmann, Günter (1998). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Teil III: Infanterie Band 4: C–Dow (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 3-7648-2534-0.

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