|Kessel von Demjansk|
By late February 1942, the Totenkopf ´s sector had been so widely infiltrated by Soviet troops that all contact with nighbouring German units had been lost. The SS-Division Totenkopf´s positions were often penetrated and the Soviets driven out only after fierce fighting. The SS troops were cold, exhausted, lice-ridden and suffering from frostbite, but had driven off Soviet units greatly superior in numbers. By the time the Soviet attacks began to tail off in mid-March 1942, as the spring thaws set in, they had lost well over 20,000 troops in their attempt to crush the Demyansk Pocket. The Totenkopf Division, in the same period, had lost around 7,000 men. Image: Commons: Bundesarchiv.