Eugen Systems announced today that ‘First Blood’, the free anniversary update for Steel Division: Normandy 44, will be available on May 17th and will feature 2 new FREE divisions and unlock 2 ace models.
Let’s focus today on the most famous and dreaded division of the Waffen-SS, 1. SS-Panzerdivision “Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler“.
LSSAH traces its origin back to Hitler’s Stabswache (staff guard), his small group of bodyguards, back in 1923 when the Nazi party was still in its infancy and mostly involved in brawls with communists. It was their leader, Julius Schreck, who resurrected for them the old Totenkopf (Death Head) symbol & black uniform of the elite Totenkopfhusaren from Frederik the Great & Napoleon’s wars. Disbanded in 1923 after Hitler’s failed coup in Bavaria, it was recreated in 1925, expanded and reorganized several times that same year, until finally being known as Schutzstaffel (roughly “Protection Squadron”), more commonly referred to as SS.
Among the new members of that reformed SS was Heinrich Himmler, who in under two years was to rise as deputy-commander of the SS, and two more years later as its supreme commander. From a battalion-size unit when he took command, Himmler was to build an organization of a bit under a million men by the end of the war, with control over the army, the entire State security apparatus (from intelligence services to police and concentration camps) and a large part of the economy, etc.
But prior to the beginning of WW2, the SS was still a modest force. Membership started to rise in the early 30’s, concurrently with the Nazi party’s political successes. In 1933, when Hitler rose as Germany’s chancellor, his bodyguard had expanded to a regiment, 1. SS-Standarde, which provided the nucleus of the new chancellor’s guard. This new elite unit went on by several names before being finally named Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler in April 1934, under the command of Josef “Sepp” Dietrich for most of the war, throughout its expansion.
Read the rest of this blog post HERE.