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159th Infantry DIvision

Kommandeur der Ersatztruppen IX

159. Division

Division Nr. 159

159. Reserve-Division

159. Infanterie-Division
Active August 1939 – February 1945
Country  Nazi Germany
Branch Army (Wehrmacht)
Type Infantry
Size Division
Engagements
Commanders
Notable
commanders
  • Hermann Meyer-Rabingen
  • The 159th Infantry Division (German language: 159. Infanterie-Division) was an infantry division of the German Heer during World War II. The unit, at times designated Commander of Reserve Troops IX (German: Kommandeur der Ersatztruppen IX), 159th Division (German: 159. Division), Division No. 159 (German: Division Nr. 159), and 159th Reserve Division (German: 159. Reserve-Division), was active between 1939 and 1945.

    History[edit | edit source]

    Commander of Reserve Troops IX[edit | edit source]

    The Commander of Reserve Troops IX was formed in Kassel as part of German general mobilization on 26 August 1939.[1] Its initial purpose was to form a command staff for reserve units in the ninth Wehrkreis (military district). This military district was headquartered in Kassel and included most of Hesse as well as parts of Thuringia.[2]

    159th Division[edit | edit source]

    The 159th Division was formed as a result of the redesignation of the Commander of Reserve Troops IX on 9 November 1939.[2]

    Division No. 159[edit | edit source]

    The 159th Division was redesignated Division No. 159 on 1 January 1940. The division was deployed from Kassel to Frankfurt am Main on 11 January 1940.[2]

    159th Reserve Division[edit | edit source]

    The Division No. 159 was split in two as a result of the restructuring of the Replacement Army on 1 October 1942. While one part of the division became the 189th Reserve Division, the rest retained the ordinal number 159 and became the 159th Reserve Division.[2] Subsequently, it was made ready for its first deployment outside of Germany.[1]

    The division was placed under the supervision of the LXVI Army Corps and deployed to Bourg in France. The division consisted of the Reserve Infantry Regiments 214 (nicknamed Brunhilde, infantry batallions 106, 367, 388) and 251 (infantry batallions 36, 81, 205, 471). The Brunhilde Reserve Infantry Regiment 214, now designated Grenadier Regiment 870, was soon passed to the 356th Infantry Division. In turn, the 159th Reserve Division received the Reserve Grenadier Regiment 9 from the 189th Reserve Division.[2] In November 1942, the 159th Reserve Division, which now consisted of the Reserve Grenadier Regiments 9, 52 and 251, participated in Case Anton, the de facto annexation of Vichy France by Germany.[1]

    In December 1943, the 159th Reserve Division consisted of the following units:[2]

    • Reserve Grenadier Regiment 9, Lyon
    • Reserve Grenadier Regiment 251, St Etienne
    • Reserve Artillery Detachment 9, Valbonne
    • Reserve Pioneer Batallion 15, Tournon
    • Reserve Division Supply Leader 1059, Bourg

    159th Infantry Division[edit | edit source]

    On 9 October 1944, the army command of the 19th Army ordered the remainders of the 159th Reserve Division reorganized into an infantry division of the 32nd Aufstellungswelle.[2]

    The planned composition for the 159th Infantry Division in October 1944 consisted of the following units:[2]

    • Grenadier Regiment 1209, formerly Reserve Grenadier Regiment 9
    • Grenadier Regiment 1210, formerly Reserve Grenadier Regiment 251
    • Grenadier Regiment 1211
    • Fusilier Company 159, later Division Fusilier Batallion 159
    • Artillery Regiment 1059
    • Panzerjäger Detachment 1059
    • Pioneer Battalion 1059
    • Intelligence Battalion 1059
    • Field Replacement Battalion 1059
    • Supply Units 1059

    This planned strength was never fully realized, as the retreat from France resulted in constant attrition and combat losses. Furthermore, the Regiment 1211 was not fully deployed until January 1945, weeks before the division's destruction.[2]

    The 159th Infantry Division, which had participated in Operation Nordwind in January 1945, was trapped in the Colmar Pocket starting on 20 January and destroyed by early February.[2]

    Superior formations[edit | edit source]

    Between February 1943 and March 1945, the 159th Reserve Division and 159th Reserve Infantry Division were subordinate to the following formations:[2]

    159th Reserve Division[edit | edit source]

    159th Infantry Division[edit | edit source]

    Noteworthy individuals[edit | edit source]

    References[edit | edit source]

    1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Mitcham, Samuel W. (2007). "159th Infantry (Formerly Reserve) Division". German Order of Battle: 1st-290th Infantry divisions in World War II. Stackpole Books. ISBN 9780811734165. 
    2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Tessin, Georg (1972) (in German). Die Landstreitkräfte 131-200. Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945. 7. Osnabrück: Biblio Verlag. pp. 113–117. ISBN 3764808721. 

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