Assault gun StuG III Ausf. A composition of motorized SS brigade “Leibstandarte SS "Adolf Hitler” is approaching it wrecked Soviet tank T-34. Army group “South”, June 1941.
According to others: SPG StuG III 1-St battery of the brigade assault guns of the SS division “Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler” and black burning a Soviet tank T-34 on the road at the village of Novospassky. In the background on the left, soldiers carry a wounded SS-untersturmführer Martin Bergemann of the 1st Panzer division LSSAH reconnaissance after an unsuccessful attempt to undermine Soviet tank with mine. Died of wounds the same day. T-34 tank was shot assault gun Stug III from a distance of 25 meters.
StuG III Ausf. C of the part of the 243-year battery assault guns. The Eastern front, 1941. In the background is lined with Soviet heavy tank KV-1.
The crew perekryvaet after the fight. 190 th division assault guns, 1941.
The first trophy — StuG III Ausf. B from structure battery assault guns 900th motorized brigade captured in full health by the Soviet troops. Western front, July 1941
The red “master” trophy assault gun StuG III Ausf. B captured on the outskirts of Kiev, August 1941. Judging by the logo — this car was part of the 197 th battalion of assault guns
Werner Wolff (28 November 1922 – 19 or 29 March 1945) was an Obersturmführer in the 1. SS Panzer Division ‘Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler’ (LSSAH) of the Waffen-SS, who was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. This was awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership by Nazi Germany during World War II.
Wolff was awarded the Knight’s Cross on 7 August 1943 while serving as Joachim Peiper’s Adjutant in the III Battalion of 2nd SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment. Peiper recommended Wolff for the his actions after he took command of the leaderless 13th Company, following the wounding of its commander, during the Battle of Kursk in early July, and stopped a Russian tank attack. Wolff destroyed one tank single handed and refused to give ground to the Russian attack.
In November 1943 Wolff was shot through the thigh and was due to have the leg amputated. However, when the medical orderly arrived to take Wolff to be operated on, he drew his pistol and warned the orderly he was not losing his leg, even firing a warning shot into the ground. Wolff made a complete recovery.
In the Normandy Campaign (Operation Overlord) he particularly distinguished himself during the defense of Tilly, and was awarded the Wehrmacht’s Honour Roll Clasp of the Army as a result.
Wolff is reputed to have died in Hungary, shortly after Operation Spring Awakening, on 19 March 1945. But according to Fellgiebel’s book, he died in the military hospital of Götzendorf, in Lower Austria, on 29 March 1945.
The bitter Russian winter of 1943/44 was matched by some of the toughest fighting of the ground war. Between the Carpathian Mountains and the Dnieper River elements of the 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler reinforced their fearsome reputation. Panthers of SS Pz.Rgt. 1 move forward to engage Soviet armour, passing a Tiger of the 13th Heavy Company LAH. Overhead, Fw190A’s of Hptm Erich Rudorffer’s II/JG54 lend support by hunting for Soviet ground attack aircraft ahead of the panzer spearhead.
Generaloberst Heinz Guderian visited the 13./SS-Panzer-Regiment 1 of the Leibstandarte Division in his capacity as Inspector General of the Armored Forces in mid-April 1943, Kharkov area, Ukraine. The company commander’s tank Tiger ‘405’ is displayed for Guderian.
A SS Panzer commander poses for the camera next to his Panzer IV. The special Black Panzer uniform for tank and armoured crews was developed from the existing Army equivalent. The uniform in this photograph is that of an SS-Untersturmführer of the Leibstandarte Division.
SS-Untersturmführer Werner Wolff photographed with the Knight’s Cross in 1943. Wolff, the battle-tested adjutant to Joachim Peiper (III./SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 2 “LAH"), took over a leaderless company, following the wounding of its commander, and stopped a massive enemy tank attack in which thirty Soviet tanks were destroyed in close combat during Operation Zitadelle in July 1943. Wolff destroyed one tank with hand held explosives and refused to give ground to the Soviet attack. For this he was decorated with the Knight’s Cross on 7 August 1943. Wolff fell in March 1945 near Inota, Hungary, as commander of the 7./SS-Panzer-Regiment 1 “LAH".
Hitler’s personal guard, the Leibstandarte, parade the streets of
München in 1939. The unit provided honour guards on many state occasions, as well as providing sentries for the new Reichskanzlei in Berlin. The Leibstandarte was often in the public eye, and only the best physical candidates were accepted for this high-profile unit.
By the end of 1941, the Leibstandarte Division had travelled 1600km (1000 miles) in just over four months. However, though it went to capture Rostov-on-Don, its overstretched supply lines coupled with Soviet resistance and continuously counter-attacks meant the city had to be relinquished. For Leibstandarte a long, hard winter defensive engagements in the area of Donets Basin was ahead. Here an officer with a 6x30 Sf.14Z Scherenfernrohr (scissor periscope) obeserves the enemy from a trench.
The members of the Leibstandarte shown here have been caught on camera while entering a Russian village soon after the start of Operation Barbarossa in the summer of 1941.
During the initial attack Leibstandarte was undergoing reorganisation into a division as part of the reserve of the First Panzer Army, Army Group South (Rundstedt) in the Lublin area, and as such took no part. It moved on to Ostorwiecz and finally, a week after the invasion, crossed the Vistula and headed into the western Ukraine, entering the battle attached to von Mackensen’s III Panzer Corps, itself part of von Kleist’s First Panzer Army, and which included the SS Wiking Division and the 13th and 14th Panzer Divisions.
Joachim Peiper (foreground) in his command vehicle Sd.Kfz. 251 west of Kharkov in February 1943. During this period the 320th Infantry Division was cut off by the Red Army with a wide gap of some 65km (40 miles) appeared between it and the Leibstandarte Division. A kampfgruppe under the command of SS-Sturmbannführer Joachim Peiper was formed and tasked with penetrating some 40km (25 miles) behind enemy lines, contacting the 320th Infantry Division, and guiding it back to the German lines. This was no small undertaking, but was one which Peiper accomplished with great success and remarkably little loss of life. For his achievement, Peiper was awarded the Knight’s Cross. It was the first of many daredevil exploits which would be carried out by this remarkable soldier.
In early November 1943 the Soviet High Command launched a massive offensive to seize Kiev, the Ukrainian capital. The Red Army pushed across the Dnieper and threatened to open a breach between the Wehrmacht’s Army Group South and its neighbour to the north, Army Group Center. Since things were getting hot with the fall of Kiev, the Leibstandarte Division was rushed to the Eastern Front from Italy to put out the fire. Here a Panzergrenadier, who was at the front for days, gives a situation report and shows particular targets in the field to a Panther crew during the swirling tank battles to the west of Kiev in late 1943. Large numbers of Panther tanks saw service with the Leibstandarte Division in the Ukraine, inflicting heavy losses on the Soviets.
Integral to the martial prowess of the Waffen-SS was its ability to counter enemy armour and massed ground forces on the battlefield. Here an 8.8cm FlaK gun of the Leibstandarte Division is in position and waiting for order to open fire on a distant target during Operation Barbarossa. Note the officers in the second photograph how they protect their ears because of the tremendous noise that this weapon makes when its fired.