|Waffen-SS Panzertruppen transported on Reichsbahn railway|
ϟϟ-Division „Das Reich“ and „Leibstandarte ϟϟ“
The front line divisions of the Waffen-SS that had suffered through the Soviet winter of 1941–1942 were withdrawn to recover (except for the SS-Division Wiking) and to be formed with a full regiment of tanks rather than only a battalion. The SS-Division Das Reich was pulled out of the fighting in the spring of 1942 and transferred to France for new formation and conversion into a SS-Panzergrenadier-Division and in November 1942, the division was retitled SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Das Reich. Severely understrength and completely exhausted, SS-Division Leibstandarte SS was pulled out of the line in August 1942 and spent the remainder of 1942 refitting as a SS-Panzergrenadier-Division in occupied France. They each received nine Tiger tanks, which were formed into the heavy panzer companies. Das Reich Division's manpower strength was 17,112 men and the Leibstandarte SS Division's manpower strength was 20,844 men in December 1942. Image: Screenshot from the Deutsche Wochenschau showing SS Panzer troops on a transport train loaded with tanks and other military vehicles. The SS-Obersturmführer to the left wears the Knight's Cross. He is one of the 457 men of the Waffen-SS who received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during the war. Public domain.