12.ϟϟ-Panzerdivision „Hitlerjugend“

Panther n°128 of SS-Pz.Div. Hitlerjugend
Panther n°128 of SS-Pz.Div. Hitlerjugend
Fallen Waffen-SS Panzergrenadier in Normandy
Although fanatical in their determination and tenacity to fight to the death, it did not take long for the 12.SS-Panzer-Division Hitlerjugend to suffer horrendous casualties. In their first engagement with the Canadians, the division destroyed 28 Canadian tanks while losing only 6 soldiers for their efforts. They fought with a very high degree of determination. However, the odds were against them in the long run. In slightly over one month of combat, the Hitlerjugend Division had lost over 60 per cent of its forces due to combat actions. Top clips: Panther 128 of the division's most potent combat unit fires on British-Canadian positions north of Caen during the Normandy campaign in June 1944. The main tanks fielded by the Hitlerjugend Division were the Panzer IV, deployed in 1.Bataillon of the division´s armoured regiment and the Panzer V Panther tank. The Panther weighed 44.1 tons, mounted a 70-calibres long 7.5cm gun and possesed well-sloped armour protection. The Panther outperformed Allied tanks in terms of combined lethality and survivability. In addition to these two tank types, the division also deployed Jagdpanzer IV´s tank destroyers. Source: 5sswiking. Footage from Die Deutsche Wochenschau. Fair use. Bottom image: A dead and looted young SS-Panzergrenadier. With his helmet firmly in place, the MG spare barrel carrying case still slung around his lifeless body, this young member of a machine gun unit lies on the edge of a sunken lane somewhere in Normandy. Around him are strewn the contents of his pockets, his cigarette case and playing cards, thrown away as just so much rubbish not wanted by the U.S. soldiers who have searched through his pockets. He lies on top of a belt of unspent MG ammunition. Image: U.S. Army Signal Corps Collection, National Archives. Fair use.

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