The German 148th Reserve Division (German: 148. Reserve-Division) was a German reserve infantry division during the Second World War, made up of three infantry regiments (281st, 285th, and 286th) and an artillery regiment.
History[edit | edit source]
The division was used as an occupation force in southern France and fought in Italy in 1944 and 1945. Redesignated 148th Infantry Division in September 1944, it fought in the Po River battles and surrendering to the Infantry Expeditionary Division on April 28, 1945 near the city of Fornovo at Galano.
On April 28, 1945, 148th Infantry Division´s forces were concentrated near Po river. Trying to stop the Germans' river crossing, Lieutenant Pitaluga´s squadron, equipped with M8 Greyhound armored recon cars, opened fire against German troops which, in sequence, blew the bridge behind them. Supported by a few Shermans of 760th American tank battalion, Brazilian 3rd artillery howitzer groups 105 mm and 155 mm, the Brazilian 1st Company/6th Infantry Regiment (the 6th Infantry Regiment was commanded by Col Nelson de Mello) attacked under heavy German artillery and machinegun fire and assembled a defense line 4 miles from Fornovo, on the line Gaiano–Segalora–Talignano. Near 0900 pm a furious German attack was launched against Segalora, trying to open a hole in the siege to get way to the city of Parma, where other Germans forces were concentrating, having been repelled by 3rd company /6th Infantry Regiment. On rise of April 29, Germans made another try to break the siege. At this moment the 2nd Company/6th IR, major Oest, supported by North American tanks, advanced toward Felegara, occupied by 3rd Company/6thIR and Pitaluga´s squadron. With Felegara dominated, the siege was complete and Germans forces retreated to Fornovo Di Taro´s downtown. Besieged, German started negotiations to surrender all forces to Brazilian command. These forces were composed by 148th German Infantry Division, remains of Italian Bersaglieri Division and 90th Panzer Grenadier Division. On April 29, 1945, at Fornovo-Ponte Dogna were situated 1st Company/6thIR command post, present four-star General Mascarenhas de Moraes, Chief Commander of Brazilian forces, parliamentars of German forces showed up to start 148th ID surrendering talks. Brazilian Colonel Floriano de Lima Brayner representing Brazilian´s forces and, at 0100PM, 13 ambulances with 400 injured Germans officers and troops started surrendering. They were removed immediately to Brazilian campaign hospital at Modena. An hour and half later another eight ambulances arrived with more injured men. The next first fighting unit to present to surrender was the 36th regiment of 9th motorized division. The troops laid their guns beside Collechio-Fornovo-Berceto Road. There were infantry guns( PACs) of several calibers, 75 and 150 mm mortar all remoqueds, many kinds of recon vehicles, a column of 105 mm artillery guns, 88 mm guns all remoqued by halftrack vehicles, 80 pieces in total. Much ammunition of all types and usages. Along 20 hours, 14,779 men surrendered to Brazilian forces, almost all Germans. Were capture 4,000 horses and 2,500 vehicles, 1,000 motorizeds. Then Italian general Mario Carloni presented and, at last, Lieutenant General Otto Fretter-Pico with all his staff surrendered. 5th Army commander, general Mark Clark, said: " A magnificent end to a magnificent actuation!".
Commanding officers[edit | edit source]
- Generalleutnant Hermann Böttcher, October 1942 - 1 April 1943
- Generalleutnant Friedrich-Wilhelm von Rothkirch und Panthen, 1 April 1943 - 25 September 1943
- Generalleutnant Otto Fretter-Pico, 25 September 1943 - 20 March 1944
- Generalleutnant Otto Schönherr, 20 March 1944 - 18 September 1944
148th Infantry Division
- Generalleutnant Otto Fretter-Pico, 18 September 1944 - 28 April 1945
Sources[edit | edit source]
- Mitcham Jr., Samuel W. (1985). Hitler's Legions. New York: Stein and Day. ISBN 0-8128-2992-1.
- Wendel, Marcus. "Heer units:148. Infanterie-Division". Axis History Factbook website. http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=2377. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
Brazilian Army Archive
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