Lower Dnieper Offensive
Hitler reluctantly agreed on September 15 1943 to allow Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein to pull his troops back behind the Dnieper. The Das Reich, Totenkopf and Wiking Divisions were now operating under the command of the 8.Armee during the withdrawal back to the Dniepr at Kremenchug. The three once-proud SS-Panzergrenadier divisions were now badly weakened by almost three month of constant combat. Image: Unidentified Waffen-SS gun crew at the frontline fires its PaK at a Soviet tank on September 27 1943. The 50mm PaK 38 Anti-tank Gun made up of the loader, spotter and gunner. It could fire explosive armor piercing rounds which destroyed any light vehicles immediately and any armor in a few shots. Waffen-SS artillery played a key role in breaking up mass Soviet attacks. Photographer: SS-Kriegsberichter Rottensteiner. Fair use.