On July 13, 1944, Koniev’s First Ukrainian Front began its summer offensive towards Southern Poland which totally surprised the Germans. With three tank armies and two cavalry-mechanized groups spearheading the advance, Koniev’s forces quickly succeeded in trapping XIII Armee-Korps in a pocket around the town of Brody. The Germans corps seemed a perfect prey with some weak infantry units, including a security division, and few armor available, barring some Sturmgeschutze and a small company-sized unit with captured T-34 tanks. The corps also fields the 14. Waffen Grenadier Division der SS, an Ukrainian outfit. Unwilling to risk capture by the Red Army, the Germans tried to break the Soviet 60th Army ring and escape to the southwest. One of these escape attempts occurred on the 21st of July when a group from the SS headquarters of the 29th Regiment joined a mixed German detachment with a tank led by a cold-headed officer. The last obstacle was Kniazhe, a town heavily disputed on the preceding days, with streetcars, vehicles and rubble in the streets, blazes raging over some buildings and a stream full of animals and human bodies in decay. Shouting “Slava!”, their war cry, the Ukrainians stormed the town with their German “comrades”, showing no mercy.
Attacker: German (SS) (Waffen SS-Grenadier Regiment 29 and Division Gruppe 183)