In the first week of April, Totenkopf gained a moment's respite as it rested in the area near Târgu Frumos in Romania. In Early February 1943 Totenkopf was moved back to the Eastern Front as part of Erich von Manstein's Army Group South. Oktober 1939 und 9. Totenkopf had suffered heavy losses during the campaign, including over 300 officers. It was sent to Hungary December 1944 where it took part in the failed attempt to relieve Budapest.It surrendered to US forces in Austria, but was promtly turned over to the Soviets and few survived. The officer had a dark-green wool collar appended to the jacket with officer-quality insignia including a hand-made silver bullion skull collar tab of the Totenkopf Division variety. The II SS Panzer Corps (renamed after the formation of the I SS Panzer Corps one month earlier), was to attack the southern flank of the salient as the spearhead for Generaloberst Hermann Hoth's 4th Panzer Army. Totenkopf. Hermann Priess succeeded Eicke as commander. Totenkopf saw action a number of times during the French campaign. Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Norfolk Regiment, had become isolated from their regiment. It took place on 27 May 1940, during the Battle of France, at a time when the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was attempting to retreat through the Pas-de-Calais region during the Battle of Dunkirk. Tamelander M, Zetterling N; Niklas Zetterling (2003). Infanterie-Division, on 5 July 1941 made an official complaint to LVI Panzerkorps about the behaviour of SS-Totenkopf-Infanterie-Regiment 1 during the capture of Kraslau (Krāslava), including looting and unprofessional behaviour during the assault itself leading to unnecessarily high losses among the German troops.It remained in the Leningrad area until the Soviet counteroffensive pushed the Germans back and it was encircled at Demyansk January to March 1942 when it broke out. In October 1943, the division was reformed as 3rd SS Panzer Division Totenkopf. 5Holders of the German Cross in Gold (125)Holders of the German Cross in Silver (2)- Schuster, Friedrich-Wilhelm, 15.03.1945, SS-Obersturmbannführer, Div.Ing. It was drawn from Army supplies in 1940 when the Totenkopf and SS-Polizei-Divisions were being assembled during the Western Campaign. Leeb's force was tasked with advancing on Leningrad and formed the northern wing of Operation Barbarossa. Volume 2: The Structure, Development and Personalities of the 3.SS-Panzer-Division by Mark C. Yerger, Ignacio Arrondo. By the time the Soviet bridgehead was eliminated, the division had lost 1,500 soldiers; the Panzer regiment was reduced to 20 tanks. SS-Panzer-Division Totenkopf was formed October 1939 from concentration camp guards of the SS-Totenkopfverbände with the addition of officers from the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT) and men from SS-Heimwehr Danzig. SS Panzer Division Totenkopf was formed in October 1939 from the guards of the concentration camps and the officers of the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT) and men from SS-Heimwehr Danzig. See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions. The division attacked towards the city of Korsun, attempting to secure a crossing over the Gniloy-Tilkich river. 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. On 29 September the Standarte travelled to Bydgoszcz to conduct an "intelligentsia action". This Waffen SS Division has a tainted history because initially its soldiers were recruited from concentration camps. Attacking the border between the Totenkopf and the Hungarian 2nd Armoured Division, contact was soon lost between the two formations. SS-PANZER-DIVISION TOTENKOPF: FRENTE POLACO 1944 - AUSTRIA 1945. Fast Shipping. June 1943) SS-Sturmbannführer Baldur Kelelr (? Hitler teki itsemurhan 30. huhtikuuta 1945, mutta taistelu Berliinistä jatkui 2. toukokuuta saakka. After The Soviet Operation Bagration and the destruction of Army Group Centre the German lines had been pushed back over 300 miles, to the outskirts of the Polish capital. By November, Totenkopf was engaged fighting intense defensive actions against Red Army attacks over the vital town of Krivoi Rog to the west of the Dniepr. The plan was for a joint attack by the Wiking and Totenkopf from the town of Tata attacking along the Bicske-Budapest line. While the II SS Panzer Corps had halted the Soviet counteroffensive and inflicted heavy casualties, it had exhausted itself and was no longer capable of offensive action. Totenkopf Tigers by Wolfgang Schneider. La 3ª Divisione Panzer SS " Totenkopf ", costituita nel novembre 1939 con la riorganizzazione dei corpi armati delle SS con le Totenkopfverbände (circa 6.500 soldati) che avevano partecipato alla campagna polacca, insieme a uomini provenienti dalle SS-Verfügungstruppen e dalla compagnia Heimwehr Danzig, fu trasferita a Dachau per iniziare l'addestramento. The name “Thule” as such refers to a mystical, ancient Nordic high culture, which figured largely in the Nazi belief system. After holding the Kremenchug bridgehead for several months, the Soviets finally broke out, pushing Totenkopf and the other axis divisions involved back towards the Romanian border. SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Totenkopf (a partir del 9 de noviembre de 1942), compuesta por: SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 1 Totenkopf; SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 3 Totenkopf; Panzer-Regiment 3 SS-Totenkopf-Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung; SS-Totenkopf-Aufklärungs-Abteilung; SS-Totenkopf-Kradschützen-Bataillon; SS-Totenkopf-Panzerjäger-Abteilung Infanterie-Division, on 5 July 1941 made an official complaint to LVI Panzerkorps about soldiers of SS-Totenkopf-Infanterie-Regiment 1 looting the town of Kraslau (Krāslava) after it was captured by the German forces. Gille's corps was too depleted to take part in the assault, instead it provided flank support to assaulting divisions during the beginning of the operation. By 7 May, the front had quietened and the Totenkopf went back to the business of reorganizing. The 3rd Waffen-SS Panzer Division "Totenkopf," 1939-1943: An Illustrated History, Vol.1 Hardcover – Illustrated, March 28, 2018. by Massimiliano Afiero (Author) 4.8 out of 5 stars 4 ratings. Totenkopf had the task of advancing from the direction of Sarkeresztes toward Lovasbereny; the division was to shield the northern flank near Patka and the woods three killometers west of Patka. With the invasion of Poland, the Totenkopfverbände troops were called on to carry out "police and security measures" in rear areas. (4)45 civilians in Vandelicourt / Berles-Montchel were killed by soldiers from SS-Totenkopf-Infanterie-Regiment 2 22 May 1940. The attack was rebuffed by the defending Soviets. The division was officered by men from the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT), many of whom had seen action in Poland. On 24 March, another Soviet attack threw the exhausted IV SS Panzer Corps back towards Vienna, and all contact was lost with the neighbouring I SS Panzer Corps. It was during February 1943 that the 3rd SS Panzer Regiment received a company of Tiger I heavy tanks (9th Company/3rd SS Panzer Regiment). The French surrender found the division located near the Spanish border, where it was to stay, resting and refitting, until April 1941. The first divisional commander of the Totenkopf division was Theodore Eickeand he commanded from 1939 to 1941. But that does not alter the fact that men of the 3rd SS Panzer Division Totenkopf Division were some of the toughest soldiers Germany (Perhaps the world) ever produced. SS-Division „Totenkopf“, auch als SS-Totenkopf-Division bekannt, war zwischen dem 16. The Totenkopfverbände was to become one of the elite SS divisions, but from the start they were among the first executors of a policy of systematic extermination. After two weeks of heavy fighting, again alongside the Panzergrenadier-Division "Großdeutschland" west of Ivanovka, the Axis forces again fell back, withdrawing to the Dniestr on the Romanian border near Iaşi. Chris Mann , SS – Totenkopf. Hermann Priesssucceeded Eicke as commander. It was initially held in reserve during the campaign in the west, but was soon sent to the front in Belgium. Historia dywizji Waffen SS 1940–1945. To qualify for the Knight's Cross, a soldier had to already hold the 1939 Iron CrossFirst Class, though the Iron Cross I Class was awarded concurrently with the Knight's Cross in rare cases.Unit commanders could also be awarded the medal for exemplary conduct by the unit as a whole. Totenkopf. K-G Klietmann - Die Waffen-SS: eine DokumentationChristine Levisse-Touzé - La campagne de 1940Peter Lieb - Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg? SS-Obergruppenführer Theodor Eicke was wounded 7 July 1941 by a Soviet mine that blew up his command car.2. He served from 1941 to 1943. The attack was launched on New Year's Day, 1945. K (V) 3. SS-Panzer-Division Totenkopf (tyska för ’dödskalle’), även SS-Totenkopf Division, var en pansardivision inom Waffen-SS.Divisionen stred i Frankrike 1940 och på östfronten 1941–1945. In the second week of March, after a fierce battle near Kirovograd, the Totenkopf fell back behind the Bug River. In February 1944, 56,000 German troops were trapped in the Korsun Pocket. The division, as a part of SS-Obergruppenführer Paul Hausser's SS Panzer Corps, took part in the third Battle of Kharkov, blunting the Soviet offensive. It was ordered to be discontinued in 1943 but was used until the end of the war.A totenkopf collar was initially worn by all members of the division, in vertical format until May 1940 and then in horizontal format. In the early morning of 9 July, 6th SS Panzergrenadier Regiment "Theodor Eicke" attacked northwards, crossing the Psel and attempted to seize the strategic Hill 226.6, located to the east of the fortified village of Kliuchi. The division mounted an assault to secure the crash site and recover their commander's body, he was buried with full military honours. After the launch of Operation Bagration and the collapse of Army Group Centre, the central-Eastern front was a mess; the IV. 2 (2005), pp. 6 „Theodor Eicke“SS-Obergruppenführer Theodor Eicke (17 Oct. 1892 – 26 Feb. 1943) was infamous as one of the architects of the concentration camp system. After running out of ammunition, the defenders surrendered to the German troops. 3 “Totenkopf”- Zollhöfer, Emil, 15.07.1942 (1096), SS-Sturmbannführer, Kdr. Totenkopf was sent towards Cherkassy to assist in the relief attempts. SS-Totenkopf-Div.- Rademacher, Theo, 25.05.1942 (1000), SS-Oberjunker, SS-Inf.Rgt. These SS-Totenkopf-Standartentook over the supervision of these camps from the SA in 1934. Totenkopf immediately began taking up new defensive positions. Generaloberst Fedor von … The division remained in the Modlin area for the rest of the year, grouped with the 3 SS "Totenkopf" and the IV SS Panzer Corps. However, the relief forces could not achieve their goal, despite tearing a 15-mile hole in the Soviets' line and destroying the 135th Rifle Corps. SS-Panzer-Division „Totenkopf“), est l'une des 38 divisions de la Waffen-SS durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. “Totenkopf” means “death’s head” and this division was named after the concentration camp guards of the Totenkopfverbände (= death’s head units), from which it was built, with the addition of new recruits and transfers from SS-VT units.One regiment within this division was also named:SS-Pz.Gren. (3)Generalmajor Otto Lancelle, commander of 121. SS-Totenkopf-Division (1939 - 1942) SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Totenkopf (1942 - 1943) 3. "Totenkopf 1939-1943" by Jacek Solarz, page 18. Generaloberst Fedor von Bock visited the division on 19 April 1940 and later wrote: The combat readiness of the SS non-commissioned officers and squadrons in insufficient. : Kriegführung und Partisanenbekämpfung in Frankreich 1943/44Kurt Mehner - Die Waffen-SS und Polizei 1939-1945James Pontolillo - Murderous Elite: The Waffen-SS and its complete record of war crimesMarc J. Rikmenspoel - Waffen-SS EncyclopediaRaffael Scheck - Hitler's African Victims: The German Army Massacres of Black French Soldiers in 1940Raffael Scheck - “They Are Just Savages”: German Massacres of Black Soldiers from the French Army in 1940, Journal Modern History 77, Nr. In the battle to hold it open, the "Hohenstaufen" bled itself white, but Gille's corps managed to escape. They were committed on 16 May to the Front in Belgium. (4)Soldiers from SS-Totenkopf-Infanterie-Regiment 1 and SS-Pionier-Bataillon Totenkopf killed 48 civilians in Beuvry 24 May 1940. By 11 July, SS-Hauptsturmführer Erwin Meierdress had led his 1st Company/3rd SS Panzer Regiment across the Psel on hastily constructed pontoon bridges, reinforcing the tenuous position. The Totenkopf (Death’s Head) Division had its origins in the highly infamous units that guarded the concentration camps. The division was involved in several war crimes, most notably a massacre of British soldiers during the Battle of France. The division then advanced past Demjansk to Leningrad where it was involved in heavy fighting from 31 July to 25 August. Theodor Eicke, who was the commandant of the Dachau concentration camp, inspector of the camps and murderer of Ernst Röhm, later became the commander of the 3 SS Totenkopf Division. The head of the concentration camp inspection was the equally disreputable Theodor Eicke. Despite initial gains, Konrad I ran into heavy Soviet opposition near Bicske, during the battle the 1st Battalion, 3rd SS Panzer Regiment's commander, SS-Sturmbannführer Erwin Meierdress was killed. The relief attempts were to be codenamed Operation Konrad. It was sent back to the Eastern front where it fought at Kursk and Kharkov. On 14 July, Hitler called off the operation. November 1939 schuf Eicke aus Teilen von Polizei und Totenkopfverbänden die SS-Totenkopf-Division. A column of Totenkopf Tigers was caught up in the fighting, and several were lost. The 3rd SS Panzer Regiment was part of the Totenkopf Division—one of the 38 Waffen-SS divisions active during World War II. June 1943 - 1 Oct 1943) SS-Obersturmbannführer Erich Eberhardt (22 Oct 1943 - 1 Mar 1945), SS-Sturmbannführer Paul Geisler (? He was awarded the Iron Cross for his actions during this period. Totenkopf was thrown into action against the bridgehead. The failure to capture the hill meant that the drive along the north bank of the Psel was temporarily halted, forcing Hausser to also delay the Southern advance. The SS Panzer Corps, including Totenkopf, was then shifted north to take part in Operatio… DivisionsMark C. Yerger - Waffen-SS Commanders: The Army, corps and divisional leaders of a legend (2 vol), Massimiliano Afiero - Totenkopf: la divisione 'Testa di morto' della Waffen SSHerbert Brunnegger - Saat in den Sturm: Ein Soldat der Waffen-SS berichtetRupert Butler - Hitler's Death's Head Division: SS Totenkopf DivisionJack Holroyd - SS Totenkopf France 1940: Images of WarRoger Hunt - Death’s Head: Combat record of the SS Totenkopf Division in France, 1940 (translation of a book published 1942)Cyril Jolly - The vengeance of Private PooleyRichard Landwehr - From the Arctic Circle to the Don River: SS Regiment "Thule" 1940-1943Eric Lefevre - SS Totenkopf: France 1940Chris Mann - SS-Totenkopf: The History of the 'Death's Head' Division 1940-45Martin Månsson & Charles Trang - Thule: SS-Infanterie Regiment 9Wolfgang Schneider - Tiger der Division 'Totenkopf'Jacek Solarz - Totenkopf 1939-1943Charles W. Sydnor - Soldiers of Destruction: The SS Death's Head Division, 1933-1945Paul Thomas & Stephen Andew - March of the Death's Head DivisionUwe Timm - In My Brother's Shadow: A Life and Death in the SSCharles Trang - TotenkopfKarl Ullrich - Like a Cliff in the Ocean: The History of the 3. “Totenkopf”- Schulz, Eberhard, 18.04.1942 (935), SS-Sturmann, 1./SS-Inf.Rgt. Approximately 800 Polish civilians and what the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) termed "potential resistance leaders" were killed. Notorious for its brutality, most notably a mass execution of British prisoners in the battle of France, “Totenkopf” had a fearsome reputation. SS-Obergruppenführer Theodor Eicke was killed 26 February 1943 when his Fieseler Storch aircraft was shot down by Soviet ground fire.3. While there, the Division took part in Case Anton, the takeover of Vichy France in November 1942. The Totenkopf was formed from concentration camp guards and men from the SS-Heimwehr Danzig. Battles on the Mius Front – Retreat to the Dniepr. Flak and artillery battalions were added to its strength. During the hot summers in Russia, these were often worn in the field. British prisoners of war with a Pzkpfw Ib German tank in Calais in May, 1940. The division was involved in ferocious fighting to hold the pocket. As the offensive stalled, the Soviets launched a major attack, the Vienna Offensive, on 16 March. Although the two divisions managed to halt the offensive, inflicting heavy casualties and destroying over 800 tanks, the Soviets outflanked the defenders, forcing them to abandon the city on 23 August. Many officers who were field commanders often took enlisted tunics and wore them, often with modifications. The 6th Army was tasked with eliminating the Soviet bridgehead over the Mius River. This particular jacket has many interior modifications. Elements of the Soviet 5th Guards Tank Army had forced a crossing at Kremenchug and were soon threatening to break through the Dniepr line. Two survived, with injuries, and hid until they were captured by German forces several days later. The terrain around Modlin is excellent for armour, and Totenkopf's panzers exploited this to their advantage, engaging Soviet tanks from a range where the superiority of the German optics and the 75 mm high-velocity gun gave the Panthers an edge over the T-34s. SS-Pz.Div. Totenkopf had to resort to firing artillery pieces in an anti-tank role, and were saved only by the intervention of Luftwaffe dive-bombers. Despite encountering stiff Soviet resistance and several pakfronts (anti-tank positions), the Totenkopf's panzers continued the advance, albeit at a slower pace than had been planned. In April 1941, the division was ordered East to join Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb's Army Group North. The division remained in France until February, 1943, when their old commander, Theodor Eicke, resumed control. Totenkopf was involved in heavy fighting over the next several weeks. SS-Panzer-Division Totenkopf was formed October 1939 from concentration camp guards of the SS-Totenkopfverbände with the addition of officers from the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT) and men from SS-Heimwehr Danzig. During these kessel (cauldron) battles, Totenkopf suffered so greatly, that due to its reduced size, it was re-designated Kampfgruppe "Eicke". Although they had been on the verge of rescuing the IX SS Mountain Corps, the encircled troops could not be reached and so therefore capitulated in mid-February. 5 is often incorrectly listed with the title „Thule“The Thule-Gesellschaft (= „Thule Association“) was a neo-Germanic, racist and anti-semitic nationalist organization founded in 1918, which used the “sunwheel” swastika, combined with a dagger, as its symbol and was somewhat involved in the founding of the Nazi Party. (Courtesy of Willi Schumacher), This is a herring bone twill drill jacket used by the troops when in garrison. Oct 1939 - ? (Courtesy of Willi Schumacher). In Early February 1943 Totenkopf was moved back to the Eastern Front as part of Erich von Manstein's Army Group South. 325-344Jacek Solarz - Totenkopf 1939-1943George H. Stein - The Waffen-SS: Hitler's Elite Guard at War 1939-1945James C. Steuard - Tactical Markings of the Waffen-SS, Part 2 (in AFV-G2 Vol 4 No 4)Charles W. Sydnor - Soldiers of Destruction: The SS Death's Head Division, 1933-1945Frank Thayer - Waffen-SS unit collar insignia (in The Military Advisor, Vol 5 No 2)Gordon Williamson & Thomas McGuirl - German military cuffbands 1784-presentGordon Williamson - The Waffen-SS: 1. to 5. To the northeast of Cambrai the division took 16,000 French prisoners. The efforts of the Totenkopf, Wiking and Hermann Göring divisions allowed the Germans to hold the Vistula line and establish Army Group Vistula. Further defensive actions in Romania further reduced the division’s strength. The division, as a part of SS-Obergruppenführer Paul Hausser's SS Panzer Corps, took part in the third Battle of Kharkov, blunting the Soviet offensive. There are indications of twin upper pockets including a scalloped pocket flap; however, there are no pockets. It reached as far as Budapest's northern suburbs, by 12 January panzergrenadiers of the "Wiking" division spotted the church spires and turrets of the Hungarian capital's skyline. Both the 3rd SS Panzer Division of the Waffen-SS, and the World War II era Luftwaffe's 54th Bomber Wing Kampfgeschwader 54 were given the unit name "Totenkopf", and used a strikingly similar-looking graphic skull-crossbones insignia as the SS units of the same name. On 1 August 1944, the Armia Krajowa (the Polish Home Army), rose up in Warsaw itself. The division, as a part of SS-Obergruppenführer Paul Hausser's SS Panzer Corps, took part in the third Battle of Kharkov, blunting the Soviet offensive. The first attack was Konrad I. SS-Panzer-Division "Totenkopf"Karl Ullrich - Wie ein Fels im Meer: BildbandVopersal - Soldaten, Kämpfer, Kameraden (9 vol)Michael Wood - Tigers of the Death's Head: SS Totenkopf Division's Tiger Company, Holders of the Close Combat Clasp in Gold, Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer, Damals: Erinnerungen an Grosse Tage der SS-Totenkopf-Division im Französischen Feldzug. Local vehicles were also commandeered from the French, many of the division's soft-skinned transport during Barbarossa was of French origin. (5). Organization 1944-45: During August, Totenkopf and the 5th SS Panzer division Wiking were deployed to defend access to Warsaw. Holders of the Close Combat Clasp in Gold (33)Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (4)- Meguscher, Johannes, 18.04.1942 (907), SS-Unterscharführer, Nachr.-Staffel Stb./Kradsch.Btl. During one, the Division was encircled for several months near Demjansk in what would come to be known as the Demjansk Pocket. The division mounted an assault to secure the crash site and recover their commander's body, he was b… Vuonna 1945 divisioona siirrettiin Unkariin. They suffered heavy losses compared to other units but managed to keep up the advance. Through the Battle of France, the division was generally equipped with ex-Czech weapons.. SS-Pz.Div. Ryszard Grajek (tłum. In December 1944, the IX SS Mountain Corps (Alpine Corps-Croatia) was encircled in Budapest. Desperate, Balck threw the veteran 9th SS Panzer Division "Hohenstaufen", into the area to hold open a route which could be used to withdraw - the Berhida Corridor. SS-Panzer-Division Totenkopf, 5. Soldiers from SS-Totenkopf-Infanterie-Regiment 1 killed 92 civilians in Aubigny-en-Artois in France 22 May 1940. In the afternoon, regiment "Eicke" managed to redeem itself by capturing the hill, but the northern advance slowed and the majority of the division was still south of the Psel, where elements of SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 5 Thule continued to advance towards Prokhorovka and cover the flank of the Leibstandarte. The collapse of the Army Group Center. At the beginning of September they repelled Russian units that had invaded the east… Prior to achieving division status, the formation was known as Kampfgruppe (battlegroup) "Eicke". La 3e division SS Panzer " Totenkopf » Créé en Novembre 1939 avec la réorganisation des forces armées de la SS avec Totenkopfverbände (environ 6.500 soldats) qui avaient participé à campagne polonaise, ainsi que des hommes de SS-Verfügungstruppen et la société Heimwehr Dantzig, Il a été déplacé à Dachau pour commencer la formation. I./SS-T Inf.Rgt. During the July–August battles for Hill 213 and the town of Stepanowka, the division suffered heavy losses, and over the course of the campaign on the Mius-Front, it suffered more casualties than it had during Operation Citadel. John R. Angolia - Cloth insignia of the SSRoger James Bender & Hugh Page Taylor - Uniforms, Organization and History of the Waffen-SS, vol 2Georges M. Croisier - Waffen-SS (PDF)Terry Goldsworthy - Valhalla's Warriors: A history of the Waffen-SS on the Eastern Front 1941-1945Dr. For his part in the massacre, Knöchlein was executed in 1949. They occupied and defended a farmhouse against an attack by Waffen-SS forces in the village of Le Paradis. The Totenkopf (death’s head) was one of the most readily recognized symbols of the Nazi Schutzstaffel , Adolf Hitler’s elite black guard and ideal Teutonic knighthood, along with other select Germanic political and armed forces of the Third Reich period.The distinctive insignia were worn as cap or collar devices on many unique paramilitary and military uniforms. 1940/41 wurden die Totenkopfverbände in die Waffen-SS eingegliedert und nehmen als Panzergrenadiervision am Rußlandfeldzug als Teil der Panzergruppe 4 teil. Ninety-seven British troops died. Kradschützen ("motorcycle infantry") of the 3rd SS Division Totenkopf on their way to Leningrad, 1941. The Americans promptly handed Totenkopf back to the Soviets, and many Totenkopf soldiers died in Soviet Gulags..