Raised in Holland in 1939, Das Reich became on of the deadliest of Hitler's tank divisions, fighting with distinction in many of the war's major ... Show synopsis Raised in Holland in 1939, Das Reich became on of the deadliest of Hitler's tank divisions, fighting with distinction in many of the war's major battles. After taking part in the Blitzkrieg in the West, Das Reich moved east and took part in operations in the Balkans and Operation 'Barbarossa'. Hitler's invasion of Russia. It stayed on the eastern front until October 1943, taking part in some of the biggest tank battles in history, such as those at Kharkov and Kursk.In Normandy, Das Reich's mixture of veterans and recruits was all but destroyed by the time the Falaise gap was closed. It would spend the last days of the war refitting and then fighting in Hungary and Austria, where it surrendered to American forces.Mike Sharpe has written and contributed to many aviation and military titles, while Brian Davis is a uniform and insignia specialist who has written extensively on the subject.