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ROBERT C. STERN, illustrated by DON GREER and RON VOLSTAD
1. Motorcyclist, SS-V Division, France, Spring 1940. He is wearing the Motorcyclist's Waterproof Coat.
2. SS-Mann, Assault Gunn Loader, Leibstandarte SS "Adolf Hitler" (mot), France, Summer 1940. He is wearing the Field Grey version of the Special Panzer Uniform. His shoulder straps are piped with the Pink waffenfarbe of armored troops.
3. SS-Sturmmann, Armored Car Gunner, Leibstandarte SS "Adolf Hitler" (mot), Greece, Spring 1941. He wears the Special Panzer Uniform. Note the Brown shirt and Black tie, characteristic of SS armored units early in the war.
4. Motorcycle Assault Trooper. SS-Totenkopf-Division, Russia, Summer 1941. He is dressed in a standard SS Camouflage Smock which has faded to the point that the pattern has almost disappeared.
5. Munitions Handler, SS-Panzer-Division "Totenkopf", Russia, Winter 1942. He wears the standard mid-war overcoat with felt and leather Snow Boots and fur cap.
After only four days OKH had realized that, at best, any relief would require some assistance from the two trapped corps. On 7 February, Wiking was ordered from its position on the Eastern edge of the pocket to the Western, facing Shenderovka. On the evening of 11 November, the Germania regiment led the attack in the capture of that village. It then had to be held for five days against Russian counterattacks. When the realization finally dawned on OKH that LAH and the relief force were hopelessly bogged down still three miles from the pocket, permission was given for the encircled troops to attempt a breakout on the evening of 16 February. The breakout was to be led by a now much weakened Wiking division. After a day and a half of vicious combat the breakthrough was achieved, but at terrible cost. The divisions that linked up with LAH had suffered well over 30% casualties and the loss of nearly all heavy equipment. It was perhaps the greatest of ironies that at the same time that Wiking emerged from the Korsun Pocket completely denuded of fighting vehicles, it was officially reclassified as a Panzer-Division.
1. Panzergrenadier and SS-Ober-scharführer, Tank Commander, 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division "Prinz Eugen", Yugoslavia, Winter 1943. The grenadier is wearing a camouflage Shelter Quarter over a standard Mountain Uniform and Field Grey Toque. The Tank Commander wears the upper half of the standard Snowsuit under his Black Panzer Uniform.
2. SS-Unterscharführer, Panzergrenadier, SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division "Das Reich", 4. SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment "Der Führer", Russia, Spring 1943. Note the retention of the early style collar tabs and right shoulder strap in spite of being officially superceded in mid-1940. Otherwise he wears a standard Field Grey uniform and an SS-pattern camouflage cap. Note three of the many possible styles of medical chests.
3. Tanker, 5. SS-Panzer-Division "Wiking", Russia, Spring 1944. He wears the Reed Green denim Panzer Uniform with an Olive Green sweater. Note he carries a 1942 pattern gasoline can, the water can having different lettering. Note also the Army style cockade on his cap.
4. SS-Unterscharführer, Tanker, 1. SS-Panzer-Division "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler", France, Spring 1944. He is wearing the late-war shortened Panzer Jacket and low boots. Note that SS tankers now wear a Grey shirt, similar to Army tank crew.
One of the vehicles that bore the brunt of the first attacks, a Tiger of Das Reich's schwere Panzer-Abteilung [Heavy Tank Detachment]. During a lull in the action, some of the Tiger's accompanying panzergrenadiers dig in under the protection of the tank's big gun, within sight of a peaceful looking windmill. [Bundesarchiv]