April 20, 1943. Colonel-General Heinz Guderian, inspector-General of tank troops of the Wehrmacht in the course of inspection 1. SS-Panzer-Division “Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler” in the Belgorod area.
Tank “Panther” And Pz.Kpfw. V Ausf. A. 1-Panzer SS regiment (SS Panzer-Regiment 1) of the 1st SS Panzer division “Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler” (1. SS-Panzer-Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler), lined the narrow country road.
18th December 1944, the third day of Hitler’s Ardennes offensive on 6. SS Panzer Armee’s front on the northern shoulder of the Bulge:
SS-Grenadiers from Kampfgruppe Hansen (I/SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment-1), taking a rest under an american M8 armored car from Task Force Mayes (14th US Cavalry Group) on the road between Recht and Poteau near St Vith.
A Jagdpanzer IV self-propelled gun armed with the long 7.5cm L/70 cannon is seen by-passing the wrecked US column and heading across-country.
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.
1 & 2: Russian soldiers playing piano in a wrecked living room. Photographed by Dmitri Baltermants (1912-1990) in Breslau, Germany. 1945.
3: The crew of the IS-2 tank commanded by Lieutenant B.I. Degtyarev, 1st Ukrainian Front, 87th Guards Heavy Tank Regiment. Turret gunner B.V. Kalyakin is playing classic music for his comrades, tank driver A.I. Kozeikin is standing next to him. Picture taken by Anatoly Yegorov in Breslau, Germany. 1945.
4: A SS soldier plays the piano after the fight. The men belong to the 1st SS Panzer Division “Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler”. Kharkov, Ukraine. 1943
5: U.S. Marines play a piano rescued from the ruins of the village of Agat following the Allied success retaking the island of Guam from the Japanese. Agat, Guam, Mariana Islands. August 1944.
6: French soldier playing the piano in the midst of a ruined village in France. 1916.
7: G.I.’s gather around a Steinway “Victory Vertical” Piano. Steinway made about 3,000 “Victory Vertical” pianos in olive drab, blue or grey for troops between 1941 and 1953. North Africa, 1943
8: Australian troops inspect the keys of a piano left in the centre of a coconut plantation by the Japanese. Finschhafen, New Guinea. 27 November 1943.
9: A Lebanese fighter plays the piano in a house recently taken over during the 1975-90 civil war. Beirut, Lebanon. 1984.
10: Chechen rebel playing an abandoned piano outside of a music school (kultprosvetuchilische) in Grozny, Chechnya. December 1994.
11: Russian soldier playing an abandoned piano in Grozny, Chechnya. 1995.
12: US Corporal Matt Sweazy plays the piano in one of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s palaces. Baghdad, Iraq. April 21, 2003.
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.