Platz der Leibstandarte

Panzergrenadiers of SS-Panzerkorps 
Platz der Leibstandarte
The élite Waffen-SS divisions were frequently deployed where the fighting was expected to be the harshest. Many of its casualties were in the city of Kharkov itself, which only fell after five days of intense close-guarter combat. The Waffen-SS gained a great victory in the battle of Kharkov where it destroyed substantial Soviet forces and recaptured the city. It was solely a Waffen-SS victory, the feat being achieved by the Leibstandarte SS, Das Reich and Totenkopf Panzer Divisions. After enduring the losses necessary to retake the city´s blood stained streets SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Leibstandarte SS renamed the enormous Red Square as “Platz der Leibstandarte” in honour of the fallen. Kharkov was retaken and for the time being the Eastern Front seemed to have stabilized. In preparing the defences of Kharkov the Germans used slave labour in form of 25,000 Soviets, presumably both prisoners of war and conscripted civilians to carry out the work required. Top image: Waffen-SS Panzergrenadiers after the many small actions across the countryside and the spectacular retake of Kharkov. Source: 5sswiking. Footage from Die Deutsche Wochenschau. Fair use. Bottom image: Aerial photo of Kharkov´s Red Square, taken from a Fieseler Storch reconnaissance plane. Fair use.  

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