|SS-Division Das Reich|
ϟϟ-Division „Das Reich“
During the invasion of the Soviet Union, the SS-Division Das Reich fought with Heeresgruppe Mitte, taking part in the Battle of Yelnya near Smolensk, and then in the spearhead to capture Moscow. The war in the Soviet Union was going well but the cost to the Waffen-SS was extreme, Reich had lost 60 percent of its strength and was still to take part in the Battle of Moscow, and was decimated in the following Soviet offensive; the SS-Regiment Der Führer was reduced to 35 men out of the 2,000 that had started the campaign in June 1941. With the Soviet capital in sight of the division, weather, massive losses and a major Soviet Winter Counter-Offensive pushed the division back. Image: A reconnaissance patrol of SS-Division Das Reich, with improvised winter camouflage clothing, in the Rshew sector in March 1942. Commons: Bundesarchiv.