|Fritz Witt as a SS-Obersturmbannführer|
ϟϟ-Standartenführer der Waffen-SS Witt
In 1931, Fritz Witt (May 25 1908 – June 14 1944) joined the SS and was one of the original 120 men picked for the special SS guard unit, known as the Stabswache, which was organized by Sepp Dietrich to provide security for Adolf Hitler. By 1933, Witt had reached the rank of SS-Sturmführer in the Stabswache, which had become known as “Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler”. The young officer had been marked as one of the rising stars of the Waffen-SS for exploits during the early war years. In March 1943, Leibstandarte SS took part in the Third Battle of Kharkov. Witt's force was reinforced with tanks, artillery and assault guns, and was given the task of attacking from the North. SS-Kampfgruppe Witt was to form one of three pincers which would destroy Mobile Group Popov and recapture Kharkov. The attack got underway on March 2 1943, and by March 10 1942 SS-Kampfgruppe Witt had reached the suburbs of Kharkov. After ferocious fighting near Dergatschi, SS-Standartenführer Witt broke through and advanced into the city centre, fighting alongside Kurt Meyer's Kampfgruppe. Over the next few days, the SS-Kampfgruppes of Witt and Meyers' saw intense fighting, and were cut off several times inside the city. Despite this, they held and SS-Kampfgruppe Peiper reached them and together the three Leibstandarte SS units annihilated the Soviet defenders. For his leadership and bravery in a number of actions, both in Greece and in the Soviet Union, he won the Oakleaves to his Knight's Cross on March 1 1943. Image: Fritz Witt enjoying spring sun with the commander of the Leibstandarte SS Sepp Dietrich. Commons: Bundesarchiv.
Labels: A6: Knights in Kharkov 1943