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Waffen-SS troopers stand their ground, bearing the harsh frigid cold of the Russian Motherland. Nobody, not even Hitler himself could have imagined how truly inhospitable the Winter would be when launching Operation Barbarossa in the Summer of 1941. The Soviet Union would have been dismantled far quicker if Mother Nature hadn't inflicted such a wrath.

Waffen-SS troopers stand their ground, bearing the harsh frigid cold of the Russian Motherland. Nobody, not even Hitler himself could have imagined how truly inhospitable the Winter would be when launching Operation Barbarossa in the Summer of 1941. The Soviet Union would have been dismantled far quicker if Mother Nature hadn't inflicted such a wrath.

Waffen SS in front of a burning Russian T-34 tank.

Waffen SS in front of a burning Russian T-34 tank.

SS-Sturmbannführer Gustav Knittel, commander of SS-Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 1 of the Leibstandarte Division, photographed confering with his men during Operation Zitadelle in July 1943.

SS-Sturmbannführer Gustav Knittel, commander of SS-Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 1 of the Leibstandarte Division, photographed confering with his men during Operation Zitadelle in July 1943.

SS-Standartenführer Joachim Peiper (right), serving with SS-Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler on the Eastern Front, is photographed in conversation with another officer probably in 1943. Peiper, adjutant to Heinrich Himmler between 1940 and 1941, was Himmler's protege and one of the most aggressive young panzer commanders of WW2. He survived the war and was murdered in France in 1976.

SS-Standartenführer Joachim Peiper (right), serving with SS-Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler on the Eastern Front, is photographed in conversation with another officer probably in 1943. Peiper, adjutant to Heinrich Himmler between 1940 and 1941, was Himmler's protege and one of the most aggressive young panzer commanders of WW2. He survived the war and was murdered in France in 1976.

Hauptsturmführer Miervaldis Adamsons from 19th Waffen SS 2nd Latvian Division, pin by Paolo Marzioli

Hauptsturmführer Miervaldis Adamsons from 19th Waffen SS 2nd Latvian Division, pin by Paolo Marzioli

Taking a breather. Both men wear the short camouflage smock and helmet cover, both standard issue for the Waffen SS.

Taking a breather. Both men wear the short camouflage smock and helmet cover, both standard issue for the Waffen SS.

Portrait of a Totenkopf Division soldier in the battlefield during Operation Barbarossa in 1941.

Portrait of a Totenkopf Division soldier in the battlefield during Operation Barbarossa in 1941.

Waffen SS Colonel Max Wunsche, commander of the 12th SS Regiment of the Hitlerjugend Division (bandaged head) with men of the 25th regiment of the SS at Po (village in France) on June 9, 1944. Partly seen on the right side of the image is Rudolf, son of German foreign minister von Ribbentrop.

Waffen SS Colonel Max Wunsche, commander of the 12th SS Regiment of the Hitlerjugend Division (bandaged head) with men of the 25th regiment of the SS at Po (village in France) on June 9, 1944. Partly seen on the right side of the image is Rudolf, son of German foreign minister von Ribbentrop.

SS-Sturmbannführer Vinzenz "Zenz" Kaiser (Kommandeur III.Bataillon / SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 4 "Der Führer")

SS-Sturmbannführer Vinzenz "Zenz" Kaiser (Kommandeur III.Bataillon / SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 4 "Der Führer")

Waffen SS in the West, 1940 (Detuschland cuff title).

Waffen SS in the West, 1940 (Detuschland cuff title).

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