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German 112th Infantry Division
112. Infanterie-Division
112th Infanterie-Division Logo.svg
Divisional insignia of the 112th Infantry Division
Active 1940-1943
Country  Nazi Germany
Branch Balkenkreuz.svg Heer
Size Division
Engagements

World War II

The 112th Infantry Division (German: 112. Infanteriedivision) was a German Army infantry division active in World War II.

History[]

The division was formed in December 1940 from elements of 34th Infantry division and 33rd infantry division, as part of the 12th wave of German mobilization.[1]

The 112th Infantry Division remained in OKH reserve during the opening phase of operation Barbarossa, and was committed to the southern wing in the second half of July during the battle of Smolensk.[2] Here elements of the Soviet 21st Army had pushed back forward German elements and advanced up to 80 kilometers in to the German rear.[3] The 112th Division helped to contain the incursion, and stabalise the southern flank. Attached to the second Army, the division pushes south in August, often against strong Russian resistance, towards a junction with Army Group South forces around Kiev.

The Soviet machine gunner covers attacking infantry near Tula, in November 1941

By the tail end of October the encirclement battles around Briansk were over, the 112th crossed the Oka river south of Belev, inching its way forward slowly through the mud, but the advance was breaking down due to deteriorating road conditions and supply difficulties. The long eastern flank of 2 panzer group was a problem, and Generaloberst Guderian shifted the 112th division as part of the LIII corps to his right to shore up the protection there [4]

The division, redeploying to the region south of Tula, met forces from the Soviet 13th Army near Teploye, who were attempting to advance on Tula from the east and disrupt the German amoured advance. The Soviets using the superior mobility of their cavalry units, delayed the LIII corps mission so much so, that Guderian had to reinforce it with tanks, artillery and flak, a move which slowed the whole advance of the Panzer Grupe. With the aid of the reinforcements, the 112th infantry division drove the 13th Army forces off to the east and advanced towards Stainogorsk. Here it was attacked by newly arrived Siberian infantry, supported by tanks, suffered a severe reverse, and showed 'signs of panic'. [5] Unprepared ofr the winter conditions, each infantry regiment had already lost 500 men to frostbite, and in the server cold machine guns failed to fire. The division was now very weak and unable to advance further.[5] On 2 November 1942 the division was disbanded. The remaining infantry were amalgamated and formed into the 112 divisional group (a regimental equivalent) and along with support elements from the division were used to build Corps Detachment B.[1]

Organization[]

1941

  • 110 Infantry Regiment
  • 256 Infantry Regiment
  • 258 Infantry Regiment
  • 86 Artillery Regiment
  • 112 Anti-tank battalion
  • 120 Reconnaissance battalion
  • 112 Engineer battalion
  • 112 Signals battalion
  • 112 Division services

Commanders[]

  • General der Infanterie Friedrich Mieth (10 December 1940 – 10 November 1942)
  • Generalmajor Albert Newiger (10 November 1942 – 20 Juni 1943)
  • General der Artillerie Rolf Wuthmann (20 Juni – 3 September 1943)
  • Generalleutnant Theobald Lieb (3 September 1943 – unknown)

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 George F. Nafziger, German Order of Battle: Infantry in World War II, p 152-153
  2. David M. Glantz, The Initial Period of War on the Eastern Front, 22 June - August 1941, see maps pages 222, 224, 225, 379, 426, 430
  3. David M. Glantz, Barbarossa Derailed: The Battles for Smolensk, July–August 1941 Volume 1
  4. W.V. Madeja, Russo-German War, Autumn 1941, p35-39
  5. 5.0 5.1 General Heinz Guderian, Panzer leader, p248


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