Leibstandarte ϟϟ on anti-partisan duty and the Boves massacre

Eastern front veterans of the Waffen-SS entering a town in Italy
SS-Sturmbannführer Joachim Peiper and fellow officers
SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 2 LSSAH in Reggio Emilia
After the failure at Kursk, SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Leibstandarte SS was sent to Northern Italy to reinforce German forces and for security duties. It was transferred from the Kursk salient in late July 1943. During this period, SS-Sturmbannführer Joachim Peiper's battalion was involved in several skirmishes with Italian partisans. On one occasion, Peiper was met by an Italian officer who warned that his forces would attack unless Peiper's unit immediately vacated the Province of Cuneo. Peiper refused, which as intended goaded the Italians into attacking. The Italians were no match for the veterans of Leibstandarte SS who defeated them and then proceeded to disarm the remaining Italian forces in the area. In September 1944 an incident in the village of Boves took place that is known as the Boves massacre. Two of Peiper's NCOs had been kidnapped and were held by partisans in the vicinity of Boves. Peiper reacted characteristically by leading his battle-hardened SS grenadiers to the rescue. On arrival a fire fight took place and the Leibstandarte SS shelled the village. Peiper's men were freed, but some 20 civilians died in the process. In December 1968, an Italian court decided that there was insufficient evidence for a war crimes case and German District Court in Stuttgart reached the same conclusion, terminating any potential prosecution of Peiper. During its period in Italy, the Leibstandarte SS was reformed as a full panzer division, and redesignated 1.SS-Panzer-Division Leibstandarte SS. In early November 1943, the division was ordered back to the Eastern Front. Top clip:: Clip from Die Deutsche Wochenschau showing Waffen-SS troops in Italy aboard an armored personnel carrier. Fair use. Bottom clips: SS-Hauptsturmführer Paul Guhl, SS-Sturmbannführer Joachim Peiper and SS-Untersturmführer Werner Wolff marching with SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 2 through the Italian town of Reggio Emilia in August 1943. Footage from Die Deutsche Wochenschau - the official German war newsreel. Fair use.

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