ϟϟ-Division „Reich“

SS-Division Reich
During the invasion of the Soviet Union, the SS-Division 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. With the Soviet capital in sight of the division, weather, massive losses and a major Soviet Winter Counter-Offensive pushed the division back. The Soviet numerical advantage was considerable and the Red Army proved it could replace huge losses quickly. The first winter in Russia came as a shock to the Waffen-SS. They had to strip the fallen for warm clothing. For the rest of the war in the Soviet Union, Waffen-SS and the Wehrmacht would be short of infantry and support services. Image: A reconnaissance patrol of SS-Division Reich, with improvised winter camouflage clothing in the Rshew sector in March 1942. In May 1942, the division was renamed as SS-Division Das Reich.  Commons: Bundesarchiv.

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