By Tim Ripley
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Extra info for SS Steel Storm: Waffen-SS Panzer Battles on the Eastern Front, 1943-1945
No major operation would be undertaken without some sort regrouping forces to meet objectives Forming a kampfgruppe was a routine event and there were well-established procedures for it. The divisional commander would first set out his tactical plan, setting objectives for his regiments. He would then assign divisional assets from his specialist battalions, or elements of other regiments, to specific regimental commanders. The regimental commander, in turn, would divide up his newly assigned assets between his battalion commanders.
Tank until the late summer of 1943, so durMany Panzer Ills were also equipped with ing the battles around Kharkov and at skirt armour in an attempt to keep them batKursk, the Waffen-SS had to make do with tle-worthy, but the tank's 50mm cannon Panzer Ills and IVs, backed up by a couple of dozen Tiger Is. 2mm F-34 gun. The Tiger I was introduced into Waffenwere their panzergrenadier regiments. These units were able to trace their lineage back to 55 service in late 1942 after making its com- a • Below: During the battles on the Eastern Front in the winter of 1941-42, Waffen55 units displayed a steadfastness in defence that contrasted sharply with many army units.
They were to be a small, elite force, distinct from the Nazi Party's paramilitary Stormtrooper, or SA, militia which boasted tens of thousands of members throughout Germany. Eventually known as the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (Bodyguard Regiment Adolf Hitler), the squad had soon grown into 200 well-armed men who were fanatically loyal to their Fuhrer. Hitler came to view the SA as a potential rival power base, and within months of coming to power he had purged its leadership of disloyal elements.