17. SS-Panzergrenadier is an Axis Mechanized division in Steel Division II, available in the Tribute to D-Day pack.
The only Panzer Grenadier division in Normandy, the 17. lacked many vehicles, yet had a full complement of modern StuG IV assault guns. Engaged in bocage country, its lack of heavy equipment was less of a handicap. There, the low profile StuGs worked wonders, as effective in ambush as in counter-attacks.
Ostendorff was a veteran from 2. SS-Panzer Division 'Das Reich', an aggressive infantry commander specialised in combined arms counter-attacks.
Ostendorff first fought in the Interwar Freikorps against communist groups in East Prussia, before enlisting in the army in 1925. He initially transferred to the Luftwaffe, and finally transferred to the SS in 1938.
A consummate soldier, Ostendorff served in more roles than many of his counterparts: infantryman, instructor, pilot, aerial observer, intelligence officer, anti-aircraft commander, divisional & corps' chief of staff...
Distinguishing himself on the Russian Front, especially at the (third) battle of Kharkov, he was promoted to commander of the newly formed 17. SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division which he led in Normandy.
Facing the American 101st Airborne in the Carentan sector, he launched a series of counter-attacks which came close to recapturing the city, had not the Americans received the timely reinforcements of their 2nd Armoured Division.
Wounded a few days later, Ostendorff would later be the last commander of 'Das Reich', and would die of his wounds one week before the end of the war.
This page was last edited on 27 January 2021, at 14:36.
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