ϟϟ-Division „Totenkopf“ redesignated
From May 1942, elements of the SS-Division Totenkopf were withdrawn to rebuild in France, and new subunits were formed, so that a new Totenkopf Division organized even as the last of the old version bled to death in the Demyansk Pocket. Its survivors were finally withdrawn in October 1942, after German counter-attacks had finally driven the Soviets far enough back for the salient to be considered secure. At Demjansk, about 80% of its members were killed, wounded or missing in action. Only 6,400 Totenkopf soldiers remained alive. The Totenkopf Division now received replacements from the general élite pool of Waffen-SS thoroughly trained recruits and was redesignated SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Totenkopf in November 1942, but the division´s affiliation with the Allgemeine-SS in its early years even today stain the reputation of the later-formed élite division 3.SS-Panzer-Division Totenkopf. The Totenkopf Division's manpower strength was 21,186 men in December 1942. Image: A cheerful-looking unidentified SS-Unterscharführer of the Totenkopf Division 1943. Photographer: SS-Kriegsberichter Hermann Grönert. U.S. National Archives. Fair use.