ϟϟ-Division „Wiking“ crossing the Kuban

SS-Panzer-Abteilung 5 Wiking
SS-Division Wiking crossing the Kuban
The Soviet rearguards were unable to occupy one position for long or mount any effective resistance. The SS-Division Wiking forced them to be constantly on the retreat. During the pursuit, Heer Major Diering continually reported that the Wiking was moving within a flood of Russians that was rolling toward the south. Although the Wehrmacht Daily Report of August 4 1942 reported that mechanized formations of the Waffen-SS had reached the Kuban River on a broad front, the Wiking Division initially halted a suitable distance from the river. The Wiking were welcomed by two elderly Cossacks in Czarist uniforms complete with decorations. Following the Russian custom, the SS-volunteers were given bread and salt. On August 6 1942, the Wiking was standing on the river´s west bank. Images: SS-Division Wiking in the Caucasus 1942. Top image: Wiking members stand on their tank, taking a brief rest from the rigors of battle. Bottom image: Combat-hardened Waffen-SS troopers paddle furiously towards the west bank of the Kuban River. Photos: SS-Kriegsberichter Willy Altstadt. US National Archives and Records Administration. Fair use.

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