battle of kharkov

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In 1933, Max Hansen joined the SS-Verfügungstruppe and by 1939 was the commander of the 12th Company in the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. In 1941, he was awarded the German Cross in Gold and promoted to Sturmbannführer (Major). He was given command of the II./1st Panzer Grenadier Regiment LSSAH.

It was whilst commanding this battalion during the Third Battle of Kharkov on 28 March 1943 that Hansen was awarded the Knight’s Cross. His battalion broke through to Red Square in Kharkov, conducted house-to-house fighting and opened the way to the city centre, so that the northern part of Kharkov could be taken.

Hansen later went on to command the 1st SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment LSSAH. With his regiment he took part in the Ardennes Offensive and the offensive in Hungary, Operation Spring Awakening in 1945 during which he was awarded the Oak Leaves to his Knight’s Cross. He ended the war as a Standartenführer.

Hansen was born on 31 July 1908 in Niebüll, Germany, and died on 7 March, 1990 in his home town of Niebüll, aged 81.


ERICH von Manstein

Erich von Manstein (November 24, 1887 - 9 of June 1973), Field Marshal(Generalfeldmarschall) German, considered one of the greatest military strategists of Nazi Germany.

He participated in:

* Invasion of Poland 1939
* Battle of France
* Operation Barbarossa
* Battle of Sebastopol
* Siege of Leningrad
* Battle of Stalingrad
* Third Battle of Kharkov
* Battle of Kursk
* Crossing the Dnieper

In 1944, American paratroopers captured Yang Kyoungjong in Normandy. They thought he was a Japanese soldier in German uniform. He wasn’t, he was a Korean with an amazing story.

He’d been forcibly conscripted by the Japanese after they invaded Manchuria. Later he was captured by the Red Army at the Battle of Khalkhin-Gol. They sent him to a labour camp, from which they forcibly conscripted him into the Red Army in 1942.

A year later he was captured by the Germans at the Battle of Kharkov, and in 1944, they sent him to France as part of a Wehrmacht Soviet Battalion, where he was captured after D-Day by the paratroopers.

From Normandy he was shipped to a Prison Camp in the UK, after which he emigrated to the US, where he finally passed away in 1992 as a US citizen, resident in Illinois.

10 Bloodiest Battles of World War II

Battle of Monte Cassino, 17 January–18 May 1944: 185,000 casualties

Battle of the Bulge, 16 December 1944–25 January 1945: 186,369 casualties

Battle of Kursk, 5 July–23 August 1943: 257,125–388,000 casualties

Second Battle of Kharkov, 12 May–28 May 1942: 300,000 casualties

Battle of Luzon, 9 January–15 August 1945: 332,330–345,330 casualties

Battle of France, 10 May–25 June 1940: 469,000 casualties

Battle of Narva, 2 February–10 August 1944: 550,000 casualties

Battle of Moscow, 2 October 1941–7 January 1942: 1,000,000 casualties

Battle of Berlin, 16 April–2 May 1945: 1,298,745 casualties

Battle of Stalingrad, 23 August 1942–2 February 1943: 1,250,000–1,798,619 casualties

I always loved the history behind this picture, the proof that WWII was really a global conflict:

Yang Kyoungjong (March 3, 1920 – April 7, 1992) was a Korean soldier who fought in the Imperial Japanese Army, the Soviet Red Army, and later the German Wehrmacht.

In 1938, at the age of 18, Yang was in Manchuria when he was conscripted into the Kwantung Army of the Imperial Japanese Army to fight against the Soviet Union. At the time Korea was ruled by Japan. During the Battles of Khalkhin Gol, he was captured by the Soviet Red Army and sent to a labour camp. Because of the manpower shortages faced by the Soviets in its fight against Nazi Germany, in 1942 he was pressed into fighting in the Red Army along with thousands of other prisoners, and was sent to the European eastern front.

In 1943, he was captured by Wehrmacht soldiers in Ukraine during the Third Battle of Kharkov, and was then pressed into fighting for Germany. Yang was sent to Occupied France to serve in a battalion of Soviet prisoners of war known as an “Eastern Battalion”, located on the Cotentin peninsula in Normandy, close to Utah Beach. After the D-Day landings in northern France by the Allied forces, Yang was captured by paratroopers of the United States Army in June 1944. The Americans initially believed him to be Japanese in German uniform, and he was placed in a prisoner-of-war camp in the United Kingdom. At the time, Lieutenant Robert Brewer of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, reported that his regiment had captured four Asians in German uniform after the Utah Beach landings, and that initially no one was able to communicate with them. Yang was sent to a prison camp in Britain. Later he was transferred to a camp in the United States. After he was released at the end of the war, he settled in Illinois where he lived until his death in 1992.

The Recapture of Kharkov
After the destruction of the 3rd armored army, despite reinforcements sent by the Stavka south of Kharkov, the Soviets can no longer contain the 4.Panzerarmee offensive towards the Donets basin city. The town falls into the hands of the Germans on the 15 or 16 of March (the date of the end of the battles in the town cannot be determined precisely, as a few isolated groups of Russian soldiers tried for several days to rejoin their lines), that is a month after being abandoned by Paul Hausser.

Photo: the only division troops fighting in the Kharkov itself are from Kampfgruppe “Kuntsmann”. 7.Kp./SS-Pa.Regt.3 is part of it. Its chief SS-Oberturmführer Behr, is on the left with the headphones. One of his section chiefs share a brief respite with him.