The 6th SS Panzer Army was a powerful military unit of the Waffen-SS. Formed on October 26, 1944, it was composed of five SS Panzer Divisions, which were reinforced with two German Army and Luftwaffe's elite divisions. Although at the beginning it was not considered as an army of the Waffen-SS, it was put in reserve, under the command of SS-Oberst Gruppenführer Josef "Sepp" Dietrich, as the Sixth Armored Army. Their men saw combat action both on the Western (the Ardennes Counteroffensive) and the Eastern Front (Hungary) at the end of World War II.
The armored divisions making up this mighty SS military unit were 1st SS Division Leibstandarte "Adolf Hitler", led by Wilhelm Mohnke; the 2nd SS Panzer Division "Das Reich", under Heinz Lammerding; the 9th SS Panzer Division "Hohenstaufen", commanded by Sylvester Stadler; the 12th SS Panzer Division "Hitlerjugend", led by Hugo Kraas; the Wehrmacht's 6th Panzer Division, and the Luftwaffe's 10th Fallschirmjäger Division. All these units were grouped into two SS Corps: the I SS Panzer and the II SS Panzer Corps.
Upon creation, the 6th SS Panzer Army was put in strategic reserve, while the German Army High Command drew the future battle plans. Then it would play a key role in the Battle of the Bulge, leading the northern wing of the Ardennes counteroffensive on December 16, 1944. Its unit gouged out big holes in the Allied positions, pouring deep into enemy-held territory. However, their efficient and powerful tanks (Tiger I and Panther) ran out of gasoline as the counteroffensive ground to a halt.
On January 8, 1945, Adolf Hitler ordered the Sixth Armored Army to withdraw to be refitted as it had suffered heavy casualties and loss of armored vehicles. Next, it was transferred to Hungary, with the new official designation as 6th SS Panzer Army. However, their units were forced to fall back to Vienna, Austria, by an unrelenting Red Army offensive. Finally, this Waffen-SS army was pushed out of Vienna and their commanders surrendered to the US Army.
Below, a map shows the 6th SS Panzer Army position at the beginning of the Ardennes counteroffensive, with the main and final objective being the Belgian port of Antwerp.
Below, a StuG III assault gun of the 6th Panzer Army's 9th SS Panzer Division Hohenstaufen on the first day of the Ardennes counteroffensive