As Gen. Hausser’s troops were becoming almost completely surrounded in Kharkov, Hitler ordered him to hold the city at all costs. Hausser refused to obey such insane orders and pulled out with his troops in tact. They lived to fight another day, and after the Soviet offensive ran out of steam and got over extended, they actually recaptured Kharkov. Even though Hitler could be very intimidating and full of bluster, I am not aware of any general he ever had executed simply for breaking out of an untenable position.
Later in the war, Hitler did order the execution of commanders who abandoned fortresses. Some were actually carried out. But by then, the Germans were eating their own.
Hausser’s abandonment of Kharkov came with the full approval of Field Marshal von Manstein, who covered for him. Von Manstein is even now preparing his counter-stroke, “the Miracle of the Donetz” whereby he will temporarily recapture Kharkov and Belgorod, and restore the situation in the South. The thaw and exhaustion will prevent him from eliminating that pesky salient around Kursk, however.
Maybe he’ll get around to that later.
But Hitler will not forget that Hausser abandoned Kharkov, and because of that he will be passed over for promotion to the elite SS Panzer units. Hausser will eventually be stuck commanding 7th Army in Normandy, a non-SS unit, when it is destroyed in Operation Cobra.