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The LSSAH participated in combat during the invasion of Poland, and was amalgamated into the Waffen-SS together with the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT) and the combat units of the SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV) prior to Operation Barbarossa in 1941.

By mid-1942 it had been increased in size from a regiment to a Panzergrenadier division and was designated SS Panzergrenadier Division "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler". It received its final form as a Panzer division in October 1943.