Dynamic young Officers of the Waffen-SS

SS-Obersturmbannführer Joachim Peiper
From the battles in and around Kharkov, SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Leibstandarte SS emerged with 13 Knight´s Crosses to its credit, Das Reich 10 and the Totenkopf six. Many of those who were honoured would go on to become some of the best known of all Waffen-SS soldiers, their future careers marked by further awards for gallantry and leadership. Dynamic young officers such as SS-Sturmbannführer Albert Frey, SS-Sturmbannführer Hugo Kraas, SS-Sturmbannführer Joachim Peiper, SS-Sturmbannführer Max Hansen, SS-Sturmbannführer Max Wünsche, SS-Sturmbannführer Wilhelm Weidenhaupt, SS-Obersturmbannführer Kurt Meyer, SS-Obersturmbannführer Rudi Sandig and SS-Standartenführer Fritz Witt personally led attack columns that struck deep into the city. After the recapture of Kharkov and restoration of the German front in February and March 1943 the battle worn Waffen-SS Panzergrenadiers would soon be preparing for one of the greatest battles in history, and one which would certainly be the turning point of World War II – The Battle of Kursk. Image: within a year after the fierce battles around Kharkov Jochen Peiper was promoted to the rank of SS-Obersturmbannführer. Private collection, with permission. Credit: Tobias Kurtz. Fair use.

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