MG-34 machine gun, of the 3rd SS Panzer Division “Totenkopf» (SS-Panzer-Division «Totenkopf»), in the Kursk area. Those gunners hidden masked with Gesichstarnmasken. Mask has been developed for the Waffen SS and was commonly used by snipers. On the machine gun a magazine Gurttrommel, capacity of 50 rounds.
Red Army soldiers and personnel being searched by soldiers of the Totenkopf Division in Demyansk area during Operation Barbarossa in the autumn 1941. Some of them were dressed in civilian clothes to escape captivity.
Soldiers of the Totenkopf Division pose in front of their truck on a rural road in France, May-June 1940. The division quickly established its fighting reputation during the Western Campaign, which Generalfeldmarschall von Manstein later stated to be ‘great dash in the assault and steadfast in defence’.
The men of the Totenkopf Division in Kharkov in March 1943, just after the recapture of the city. The morale of the division had been dealt a blow when its commander, Theodor Eicke, was shot down and killed during an aerial reconnaissance on 26 February 1943. The aircraft crashed behind enemy lines, but a party from the division managed to retrieve his body. Despite his death, the Totenkopf Division continued to fight the way Eicke had taught it. As he himself said: “Hardness saves blood. In fact hardness saves more. It saves bitterness, it saves shame, it saves worry, it saves sorrow.”
The commander of the Totenkopf Division SS-Brigadeführer Hermann Prieß (right) and the commander of SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 5 SS-Obersturmbannführer Otto Baum (center) photographed in July of 1943 in the southern sector of Kursk salient, where the division was heavily committed to the huge tank battles around Prohorovka.