6th SS Panzer Army
The 6th SS Panzer Army was a military unit of the Waffen-SS. It played a very important role in the Battle of the Bulge, which took place from December 16, 1944 to January 25, 1945. Created in the Autumn of 1944, the 6th SS Panzer Army belonged first to the German Army (Heer) and was known as the 6th Panzer Army, or 6.Panzer-Armee in German. In November 1944, it was transferred to the Waffen-SS, just a month before the Ardennes Offensives as it was put under the command of Sepp Dietrich. It did not receive the SS designation until after the Battle of the Bulge, but the SS designation came into general use in military history after the World War II for the formation as assembled prior to that campaign.
The 6th SS Panzer Army that fought in the battle of the Bulge was composed of four SS Panzer divisions and one Kampfgruppe: the 1rst SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte “Adolf Hitler”, the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich, the 9th SS Panzer Division HohenStaufen, the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend, and Kampfgruppe Peiper. These divisions were equipped with Panther, Tiger I, and Tiger II tanks, as well as with Jagdpanther, Jagdpanzer, and Panzerjäger Tiger Elefant anti-tank armored vehicles.
When the Ardennes Offensive was called off, the 6th SS Panzer Army was transferred to Hungary. Then, in March 1945, it launched Operation Frühlingserwachen, which was the German offensive around Lake Balaton. During this operation the 3rd SS Panzer Division Totenkopf was part of this Panzer Army. In April 1945, towards the end of the war, the 6th SS Panzer Army defended Vienna during the Soviets Vienna Offensive. When the war ended, on May 8, 1945, the 6th SS Panzer Army was in Austria in the area between Vienna and Linz.