By George M Nipe
This e-book is the 1st exact and entire account of the Kharkov counteroffensive, the operations of the SS divisions and the helping activities of Armeeabteilung Fretter-Pico and 1. Panzerarmee, and is supported by means of over 210 photos and maps. via the tip of January of 1943, Hitler's armies have been dealt a sequence of defeats by means of the Russians, starting with the catastrophe at Stalingrad. Successive Soviet offensives had destroyed the German 6. Armee and annihilated the armies of Germany's Axis allies, Italy, Rumania and Hungary. Germany teetered close to defeat in international battle II as the Soviet strengthen threatened to force to the Dnepr River and encircle the remainder Germans armies in southern Russia. Stalin and the Russian excessive command believed that the battle should be received with only one extra nice attempt. as a result, they deliberate and introduced offensives, unique Operations "Star" and "Gallop." The focal issues of the 2 offensives incorporated the recapture of Kharkov, the economic middle of the Ukraine and the destruction of Armeeabteilung Hollidt, four. Panzerarmee and a couple of. Armee. Feldmarschall Erich von Manstein entered the image in overdue 1942 whilst he used to be appointed commander of Heeresgruppe Don. starting in February he engineered a amazing operation that modified the process the conflict in Russia. Manstein's counteroffensive destroyed or seriously broken 4 Russian armies and regained a lot of the territory misplaced in January. The troops that performed an important function within the offensive have been 3 divisions of the Waffen-SS. "Leibstandarte," "Das Reich" and "Totenkopf" have been mixed for the 1st time right into a corps, which used to be commanded by means of SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Paul Hausser, the senior commander of the Waffen-SS. "Leibstandarte" and "Das Reich" participated within the protection of Kharkov, besides the elite military department "Grossdeutschland" supported through 3 vulnerable infantry divisions. This handful of divisions was once attacked via 4 Soviet armies, yet less than command of Armeeabteilung Lanz, was once capable of carry town for 2 weeks. On 14 February, 1943 the SS-Panzerkorps and the remainder of Armeeabteilung Lanz withdrew from Kharkov less than disputed conditions that concerned Hausser and his violation of a right away order from Hitler. virtually precisely a month later, the Germans had recaptured Kharkov and destroyed or crippled the 4 Soviet armies that had pushed them out of town in February. The divisions that performed the most important function in Manstein's counteroffensive have been the 3 divisions of the Waffen-SS. whereas "Leibstandarte" defended the availability base of the SS-Panzerkorps from the complete Soviet third Tank military, "Das Reich" and "Totenkopf" carried out a posh sequence of operations that begun with a a hundred kilometer thrust to the south which kept the Dnepr bridges, hence securing offer traces for the armies of Heeresgruppe Don/Sud. next operations by way of the SS divisions drove the Russians clear of the rail web south of Kharkov and wrested Kharkov from the Russians once more. in the course of the recapture of town, there has been controversy concerning Hausser's command judgements. Hausser has been accused of brushing aside his directions from greater officials and throwing his divisions into expensive strive against within the urban for purposes of non-public and SS status, for you to regain Hitler's prefer. This learn has discovered that the files of the SS-Panzerkorps and four. Panzerarmee supply a unique cause of Hausser's activities.
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Extra resources for Last victory in Russia. The SS-Panzerkorps and Manstein's Kharkov counteroffensive. February - March 1943.
Upon reaching the review stand, the battalion broke into the strenuous parade march (goose step), crossing the finish line in immaculate order. There is evidence that the SS training, besides the physical fitness component, had benefits of practical use on the battlefield. In May 1939, Regiment "Deutschland" conducted a combat exercise at the Munsterlagen Training Area before an audience that included Hitler, Himmler and a number of Army officers. The exercise plan called for a battalion assault on a prepared enemy position behind outposts and barbed wire, accompanied by live artillery fire.
He encouraged Hitler to create more and more 55 divisions and enthusiastically agreed with Paul Hausser, the senior military officer of the WaffenS5, who proposed that the 55 divisions needed tanks and armored vehicles to maximize their effectiveness. The ground work for creating additional 55 divisions and corps was begun by Himmler in mid-1942 and was not a consequence of the recapture of Kharkov, as is commonly believed. (Credit National Archives) be converted into a Panzergrenadier division by the addition of a tank battalion and the required support units.
This list includes Werner Ostendorff, Otto Kumm, Felix Steiner, Sylvester Stadler and Heinz Harmel. SS-Panzer-Division "Wiking" and subsequently III. Germanische-Panzer-Korps. SS-Panzer-Division "Frundsberg" in 1944. Ostendorff was an intelligent and outstanding officer who was the first la of SS-Gerieralkommando, which became 44 The first commander of "Das Reich's" Panzer Regiment was Herbert Vahl. Vahl had extensive combat experience gained through his service in the German Army during World War 1.