|SS-Panzergrenadiers Battle of Kursk|
Battle of Kursk
SS-Panzergrenadiers stride through a Russian village which has only just been taken by advancing Waffen-SS troops. The advance continued with village after village having to be cleared of Soviet defenders. Hand grenades and MG 42 machine guns were their weapons of choice for close-quarter combat with Soviet infantry. Behind them a group of Soviet prisoners awaits transport to the rear and an uncertain fate in captivity. More than 3 million died in German POW camps, about 60% of all Soviet prisoners of war. Similar death rates prevailed among German soldiers in Soviet captivity. The capturing government itself, not the Waffen-SS nor any other frontline organization, was responsible for what happened behind the front lines. Image: Kursk salient in July 1943. Commons: Bundesarchiv.