ϟϟ-Panzer-Regiment 12 „Hitlerjugend“ (Battle of Buron)

12.SS-Panzerdivision Hitlerjugend
Panzer PzKpfw IV Ausf H of SS-Pz.Reg.12 Hitlerjugend
The 12.SS-Panzer-Division Hitlerjugend, with 20,540 personnel, first saw action on June 7 1944. It was the first Waffen-SS division into action in the Normandy Campaign, blocking the Anglo-Canadian advance toward the strategically vital town of Caen during the first couple of days of the Allied invasion. The 12.SS-Panzer-Division Hitlerjugend was unique because the majority of its junior enlisted men were drawn from members of Hitlerjugend (The Hitler Youth) born as late as in 1926, while the senior NCOs and officers were generally veterans of the Eastern Front from the 1.SS-Panzer-Division Leibstandarte SS. By 1944 the Panzer IV was in widespread use within the Waffen-SS. It was fitted with armoured skirts to provide protection from Allied antitank rockets. The SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 arrived on the morning of June 7 1944 to spearhead the division´s counterattack. Their Panzers proved bulwarks of the German defence in Normandy. However, they were not immune to Allied bombing. Top image: Members of this young tank crew have painted their girlfriends´and mothers´names on their tank (turret number 615). Information based on original photographs of wrecked vehicles: this Panzer IV n°615 was later captured at the Battle of Buron where the Canadians had been badly mauled in the fierce fighting on June 8 1944. Commons: Bundesarchiv. Bottom image: A notable feature of the newly formed 12.SS-Panzer-Division Hitlerjugend panzer uniform was the wearing of leather surplus from Germany's U-boat arm. France 1944. Commons: Bundesarchiv.

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