Totenkopf Tigers by Wolfgang Schneider
Written by Wolfgang Schneider, one of the foremost experts on WW II armour warfare, Totenkopf Tigers is the history of the Tiger Kompanie of the 3. SS-Panzer-Division Totenkopf. In the Autumn of 1942, a heavy Tiger company was formed Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, Das Reich and Totenkopf SS-Panzer-Grenadier Divisions. While each of the Tiger companies of the other two divisions was used to form an independent Tiger battalion, the Totenkopf company remained as a company until the end of the war.
Totenkopf Tigers participated in the retaking of Kharkiv in 1943, Operation Zitadelle in July and at the Mius in July and August. The division withdrew behind the Dniepr at the end of September and fought at Ingulez in October 1943 and Kirovograd in January 1944. The company broke out toward Balta at the end of March and into Romania at the beginning of April. It remained there until the end of May 1944.
Totenkopf fought around Targul Frumos until the beginning of July, then transferred to Poland, where it fought near Grodno in July. The unit was a part of the whirlwind battle east of Warsaw, and two of its Tigers were involved in the Warsaw Uprising in August 1944 when they were passing through the city on their way back to their unit. The Totenkopf company was then transferred with its division to Hungary, where it participated in the three offensives to relieve Budapest. It then withdrew through Hungary and Austria, losing its remaining tanks along the way in bitter defensive fighting. Its men then fought as infantry armed with Panzerfausts.
It surrendered with its division to the Americans on May 8, 1945. Its men were then handed over to the Russians, many of whom did not return to Germany until 10 years later. Of the more than 500 men who served in this unit, approximately half were killed, wounded or taken prisoner. The company was in combat for two and a half years, all of it on the Eastern Front.
Author: Wolfgang Schneider
Photos: 448 black & white photos
Illustrations: 16-pages of colour illustrations, 55 maps
Physical: Hardcover, 300x230mm, portrait
A Not-so-Simple Beginning
Transport to the Eastern Front
First Opportunity to Prove Ourselves
Attack on Charkow and Belgorod
Preparations for the Great Decisive Battle
Employment at the Mius
Battle at the Mertschik
Withdrawal Behind the Dnjepr
Ingulez Battle Area
Defensive Battles around Kirowograd
The Chaos of Balta
Targul Frumos Battle Area
Defensive Battles at Grodno
Brief Employment at Siedlce
Tigers in Warsaw
Defensive Battles East of the Weischel
Relief Attack on Budapest
Relief of Budapest, the Second Attempt Retreat into the Reich – Last Battles