It served from the invasion of France and took part in several major battles on the Eastern Front (particulary in the battle of Prokhorovka against The 5th Guards Tank Army at the titanic battle of kursk), before it was pulled back to France and took part in the fighting in Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge and the last, desperate fighting in Hungary and Austria. But, perhaps, the division is most infamous for the massacre of 642 French civilians in the village of Oradour-sur-Glane, on 10 June 1944.
The symbol for the Das Reich division was the wolf's hook or Wolfsangel rune.
Originally, the SS-V.T.-Division was composed of three of the original four SS-Standarten. Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LAH) was the other SS-Standarten, and it was developed on its own. The other three SS-Standarten were Deutschland, Germania and Der Führer. After the Western Campaign was over, the SS-V.T.-Division was reorganized. The SS-Standarten Germania was transferred out of the Division and along with the SS-Standarten Nordland and Westland, formed the backbone of a different SS-Division, Germania, which was soon to become the Wiking Division. For the loss of Germania, the SS-V.T.-Division was given an SS-Totenkopfstandarte designated as SS-Infanterie Regiment 11. Soon after, the Division changed its title from V.T. to Deutschland, and soon after that, to Das Reich.
On the morning of April 12th, 1941, SS Hauptsturmführer Fritz Klingenberg and members of his motorcycle assault company approached Belgrade from Pančevo along the bank of the Danube river. Forcing a crossing, Klingenberg crossed the river and approached the city, proceeding into downtown Belgrade with only six men. Soon after entering the city, Klingenberg encountered a group of twenty Yugoslavian soldiers and without firing a shot the Yugoslavs surrendered. Receiving some reinforcements the Das Reich detachment held the city against counterattacks, and unfurled a large swastika and raised it over the embassy to declare the capture of the city. Two hours later, the mayor of Belgrade arrived at the embassy and surrendered the city to Klingenberg. It was not until the next day that a sizable German force arrived to secure the city. For capturing Belgrade, SS Haupsturmführer Fritz Klingenberg was awarded the Knight's Cross.
After the capture of Belgrade, the Division was moved to Poland to take part in the upcoming invasion of the Soviet Union. During the invasion of the Soviet Union, Das Reich fought with Army Group Center, taking part in the Battle of Yelnya near Smolensk, and then in the spearhead to capture Moscow. Reich came within a few miles of the Soviet Capital in November 1941, reaching the "High Water Mark" of the German advance in the Soviet Union. With the Soviet capital within sight of the Division, weather, massive losses and a major Soviet Winter Counter-Offensive pushed the Division back.
In November, 1942, portions of the Division took part in an attempt to prevent the scuttling of the French Fleet at Toulon. Soon after, the Division was retitled again, this time to SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division "Das Reich".
In the Winter of 1943/1944, another massive Soviet winter counter offensive managed to encircle German units in the center of the front. Kamfgruppe Das Reich was one of the units encircled by the Soviet offensive, and an assault by II. SS Panzerkorps managed to rescue the trapped elements of Das Reich. In February 1944 the Kampfgruppe was transferred to France to join the rest of the Division already stationed there. The remaining small portion of Das Reich left in the East were renamed Kampfgruppe Weidinger and was involved in the retreats through Proskurov and Tarnopol. Most of Das Reich was stationed in the southern French town of Montauban north of Toulouse gaining new equipment and freshly trained troops.
Pulled back across the Seine River and then behind the West Wall fortifications in Germany, the 2nd SS Panzer Division took part in the operations to punch through the Ardennes Forest to reclaim the port of Antwerp on 16 December 1944. Coming within 23 miles of the River Meuse, the Division was halted at Manhay on 25 December, and then slowly smashed by fierce Allied counter-attacks. Das Reich panzer commander Ernst Barkmann became famous for the creation of Barkmann's Corner, where he destroyed numerous American tanks in small skirmishes.
|January 1941–March 1941||XXXXI||1. Armee||D||France|
|April 1941||XXXXI||12. Armee||-||Yugoslavia|
|May 1941–June 1941||Rest and refit||-||Wehrkreis XVII||Germany|
|July 1941–September 1941||XXXXVI||2. Panzergruppe||Mitte||Smolensk, Kiev|
|October 1941||LXVII||4. Panzergruppe||Mitte||Vyazma|
|November 1941–December 1941||XXXX||4. Panzergruppe||Mitte||Moscow|
|January 1942||XXXXVI||4. Panzer Armee||Mitte||Mozhaisk|
|February 1942||VI||9. Armee||Mitte||Rzhev|
|March 1942–April 1942||XXXXVI||9. Armee||Mitte||Rzhev|
|May 1942||XXVII||9. Armee||Mitte||Rzhev|
|June 1942||Reserve||9. Armee||Mitte||Rzhev|
|September 1942–November 1942||SS Panzerkorps||15. Armee||D||Rennes|
|December 1942–January 1943||Reserve||-||D||Rennes|
|February 1943||Reserve||Oberkommando des Heeres||B||South Russia|
|March 1943||SS Panzerkorps||4. Panzer Armee||Süd||Mozhaisk|
|May 1943–June 1943||Rest and refit||-||-||Kharkov|
|July 1943||II. SS Panzerkorps||-||Süd||Belgorod|
|August 1943||Reserve||4. Panzer Armee||Süd||Stalino|
|September 1943||III||8. Armee||Süd||Poltava|
|October 1943||XXIV||8. Armee||Süd||Dnjepr|
|November 1943||XXXXVIII||4. Panzer Armee||Süd||Kiev, Fastow|
|December 1943||XXXXII||4. Panzer Armee||Süd||Shitomir|
|January 1944||XXXXVIII||4. Panzer Armee||Süd||Vinnitsa|
|February 1944–March 1944||LXXXVI||1. Armee||D||Toulouse|
|April 1944||I. Panzerkorps||Rest and refit||D||Toulouse|
|May 1944–June 1944||Reserve||7. Armee||D||Toulouse|
|July 1944||LXXXIV||5. Panzer Armee||B||Normandy|
|August 1944||II SS Panzerkorps||7. Armee||B||Normandy|
|September 1944||I SS Panzerkorps||7. Armee||B||Eifel|
|October 1944||LXVI||6. Panzer Armee||B||Eifel|
|November 1944||Rest and refit||6. Panzer Armee||-||Paderborn|
|December 1944||Reserve||6. Panzer Armee||Oberkommando West||Ardennes|
|January 1945||II SS Panzerkorps||4. Panzer Armee||B||Ardennes|
|February 1945–March 1945||Rest and refit||BdE||Süd||Hungary|
|April 1945||II SS Panzerkorps||-||Süd||Hungary|
Ungarn, das Reich der Stephanskrone, Im Zeitalter der Reformation Und Konfessionalisierung: Multiethnizitat, Land Und Konfession 1500 Bis 1700
Jul 01, 2001; Early Modern European Ungarn, das Reich der Stephanskrone, im Zeitalter der Reformation and Konfessionalisierung:...