German 212th Infantry Division
|Active||August 1939 – 1945|
|Engagements||World War II|
212th Infantry Division
212th Volksgrenadier Division
578th Volksgrenadier Division
The German 212th Infantry Division was raised in August 1939 and remained on garrison duty in Germany until March 1941, when it spent three months as a coastal defense unit along the English Channel. In November 1941 it was transferred to the Eastern Front where it joined Army Group North near Leningrad and along the Volkhov Front. It continued with Army Group North until the summer of 1944, when it had been pushed back to Lithuania and was transferred to the control of Army Group Center. The division was destroyed there in August or September, and the survivors were immediately reconstituted as the 578th Volksgrenadier Division, which was renamed as 212th Volksgrenadier Division almost as soon as it had been formed. The division retained a number of experienced officers and Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs, sergeants). The replacements received were mostly from Bavaria and were rated as above-average. Rebuilt to full personnel strength the division had weaknesses shared by almost all Volksgrenadier divisions: not enough communications equipment and a lack of assault guns. On 16 December 1944, the start of the Battle of the Bulge, the division only had 4 assault guns out of an authorized strength of 28. The reconstituted division transferred to the western front in December 1944. The division was assigned to the LXXX Corps of the German Seventh Army which formed the southern shoulder of the German armies attacking in the Ardennes: Battle of the Bulge. General der Panzertruppe Erich Brandenberger, the German Seventh Army commander, rated the 212th Volksgrenadier Division as his best division. Because of this it was assigned the mission of protecting the southern flank of the Seventh Army. In this battle the 212th Volksgrenadier Division attacked elements of the US Army's 4th Infantry Division. The division achieved some success but not nearly what was required for it to succeed in seizing its assigned objectives. After the conclusion of the Battle of the Bulge the 212th Volksgrendier Division participated in subsequent defensive operations along the Rhine, surrendering to the Americans near the end of the war.
Commanding officers[edit | edit source]
212th Infantry Division[edit | edit source]
- Generalmajor Walter Friedrichs, 1 September 1939 – 15 September 1939
- General der Artillerie Theodor Endres, 15 September 1939 – 1 October 1942
- Generalleutnant Hellmuth Reymann, 1 October 1942 – 1 October 1943
- Generalmajor Dr. Karl Koske, 1 October 1943 - 1 May 1944
- Generalleutnant Franz Sensfuß, 1 May 1944 – 15 September 1944
212th Volksgrenadier Division[edit | edit source]
- Generalleutnant Franz Sensfuß, October 1944 - 1 April 1945
- Genralmajor Max Ulich, 1 April 1945 - 21 April 1945
- Generalmajor Jobst Freiherr von Buddenbrock, 21 April 1945 - 8 May 1945
See also[edit | edit source]
- Division (military), Military unit, List of German divisions in WWII
- Heer, Wehrmacht
- Battle of Krasny Bor
References[edit | edit source]
- Wendel, Marcus (2004). "212. Infanterie-Division". Retrieved April 9, 2005.
- Wendel, Marcus (2004). "212. Volksgrenadier-Division". Retrieved April 9, 2005.
- "212. Infanterie-Division". German language article at www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de. Retrieved April 9, 2005.
- "212. Volks-Grenadier-Division". German language article at www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de. Retrieved April 9, 2005.
- "578. Volks-Grenadier-Division". German language article at www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de. Retrieved April 9, 2005.
- Cole, Hugh M., The Ardennes: Battle of the Bulge, Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, Washington, D.C., 1965
- Arnold, James R., Ardennes 1944, Hitler's Last Gamble in the West, Osprey Military Campaign Series #5, Reed International Books Ltd., 1990
- Ellis, John, The Military Book Club's World War II, The Encyclopedia of Facts and Figures, Copyright 1993 by John Ellis
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