ϟϟ-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS Hausser
In January 1943 SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, Das Reich and Totenkopf were organized into the SS-Panzerkorps. In early February 1943, Hitler ordered the newly formed corps moved to the Eastern Front with all possible speed to join Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein's Army Group South in the Ukraine. SS-Obergruppenführer Paul Hausser was placed in charge of the corps, and was tasked with defending the strategic city of Kharkov. The SS-Panzerkorps was an immensely powerful force and Hitler pinned his hoped-for stabilization of the southern sector of the Eastern Front on it. The first elements to arrive were the Leibstandarte´s 1.SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment, which threw an improvised defence ring around Kharkov blocking the direct route to the city. The Das Reich´s SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment Deutschland, was sent to extend the screen northwards. Image: Paul Hausser (here as SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS). Photographer Heinrich Hoffmann. Public domain.