ϟϟ-Panzergrenadier-Division „Totenkopf“

SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Totenkopf
SS-Obergruppenführer Paul Hausser was determined to press forward the attack and ordered the II.SS-Panzerkorps to wheel northwestwards in a coordinated attack. Their objective was to seize the crossings over the River Psel and breach the Soviet third line. SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 6 Theodor Eicke of the SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Totenkopf led the advance on the western flank battling through the 52nd Guards Rifle Division pakfronts, while SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Leibstandarte SS was forming the spearhead. In the late morning the Totenkopf broke the back of the Soviet defence and was able to make big gains. However, in the afternoon large Soviet counterattacks by 2nd Guards Tank Corps battered the division´s right flank. Wave after wave of Soviet tanks surged forward, with some attacks involving more than 300 tanks. They were picked off one-by-one by the SS-Panzers and Panzergrenadiers picked off those that came too close and shot any tank-ridding infantry on their hulls. Thousands of Soviet infantrymen were mown down by well aimed artillery fire that was called down within a few hundred meters of the Waffen-SS new frontline. Image: SS-Panzergrenadiers of SS-Panzerdivision Totenkopf moving forward across the hot and dusty Russian steppe in July 1943. Photo: SS-Kriegsberichter Hans Cantzler. US National Archives and Records Administration. Fair use.

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