6.ϟϟ-Panzerarmee (Unternehmen Frühlingserwachen)

Leibstandarte SS Panzer unit
Wehrmacht troops
Die Deutsche Wochenschau
On March 6 1945, after the fall of Budapest, the remainder of SS-Oberstgruppenführer Josef Dietrich's 6.SS-Panzerarmee (I.SS and II.SS-Panzerkorps), launched one of the final German offensives of World War II, the Operation Spring Awakening (Frühlingserwachen) around Lake Balaton in Hungary. A last desperate attempt in terrible conditions to halt the Soviet advance into Europe. The operation involved many German Wehrmacht units withdrawn from the failed Ardennes Offensive on the Western Front, including the 6th Panzer Army and its subordinate Waffen-SS divisions. After the failure of the offensive, the I.SS and the II.SS-Panzerkorps was involved in defensive battles alongside SS-Obergruppenführer Herbert Otto Gille's IV.SS-Panzerkorps, consisted of 3.SS-Panzer-Division Totenkopf and 5.SS-Panzer-Division Wiking, executing a fighting withdrawal towards Wien in Austria. The I.SS-Panzerkorps consisted of 1.SS-Panzer-Divison Leibstandarte SS, 12.SS-Panzer-Division Hitlerjugend and schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 501. The II.SS-Panzerkorps consisted of 2.SS-Panzer-Division Das Reich and 9.SS-Panzer-Division Hohenstaufen. Top image: According to Süddeutsche Zeitung; a Panzer unit of the Leibstandarte SS in the area of Lake Balaton on March 24 1945, shortly after Germany's last major offensive on the Eastern Front. Commons: Bundesarchiv. Bottom clips: Shots from Die Deutsche Wochenschau: German troops aboard a Sd.Kfz. 250 during the German offensives in Hungary in 1945. A variety of weapons are seen in the film including a Mauser Karabiner 98, an MP40 submachine gun and a Sturmgewehr 44. Fair use.

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