1. Marine-Infantriedivision on the Oder Front 1945

Berlin: German

1. Marine-Infantriedivision on the Oder Front 1945

1. Marine-Infantriedivision (1st Navy Infantry Division) was formed in February 1945 in Stettin (Szczecin) from Marine-Schützen-Brigade Nord (Navy Rifle Brigade North). 1. Marine-Infantriedivision formed around Marine-Schützen-Brigade Nord, which had been created in November 1944 in Husum to guard the North Sea coast. Marine-Schützen-Regiments 1, 2 and 4 were used form the division. However, 3rd Regiment had already been deployed on the Vistula River.  

Replacement troops were provided by 1. Marine-Infanterie-Ersatz und Ausbildungs-Bataillon (1st Navy Infantry Replacement and Training Battalion) located in Lübberstedt bei Wesermünde in North-western Germany. These replacements consisted largely, but not exclusively, of naval personnel with little training in land warfare. 

While the division was organised on the paper the same as a Heer Volksgrenadier Division, the division initially received virtually no heavy weapons and were equipped mainly with rifles and Panzerfaust anti-tank weapons. Due to this, since the formation several planned support units were delayed or incomplete, the initial fighting power of the division was limited. Their total strength on 16 February 1945 was 8,956 men.

The division was first placed under the command of the Oder Corps of the Ninth Army, Army Group Vistula.  In April the division was transferred to 46. Panzerkorps, Third Panzer Army, Army Group Vistula where it fought on the front to the north-east of Berlin.

Berlin Front

After heavy and costly defensive battles in March around Bad Freienwalde, Schwedt, Altdamm and Greifenhagen the division was pushed back across the Oder River. The division then tried to establish new defensive positions on the west bank of the Oder between the Tantow-Greifenhagen Road and the southern edge of Stettin (Szczecin).

The division was then pushed further south to the area east of Angermünde and Eberswalde in late March, where they were engaged in more hard fought defensive battles on the Oder on the front around Hohensaaten, taking high casualties in the process. The following rear-guard actions to the northwest saw the loss of an entire regiment and the divisional engineer battalion at Kasekow on the night of 23 April 1945.

On the night of 27 April, the defensive line of division west of Prenzlau was broken through. While trying to conduct a fighting retreat, the remaining elements of the division were dispersed and scattered in several individual battle groups in the area of Furstenberg, Templin and Lychen. The remnants of the division, which had suffered huge losses, was still fighting around Neustrelitz, before retreating westwards towards Ludwigslust. On 4 May 1945 they surrendered to the British.


Division commanders

31 January to 17 February 1945 Rear Admiral Hans Hartmann

17 February to 4 May 1945, General-Major/Rear Admiral Wilhelm Bleckwenn (Heer)

Order of Battle

Marine-Infanterie-Regiment 1 (2 Battalions) Commander: Kapitän zur See Axel von Bleßingh

Marine-Infanterie-Regiment 2 (2 Battalions) Commander: Kapitän zur See Fritz Nötzold

Marine-Infanterie-Regiment 4 (2 Battalions) Commander: Kapitän zur See Wilhelm Herwegh

Marine-Füsilier-Kompanie (in April became Marine-Füsilier-Bataillon 1 (4 Companies))

Marine-Artillerie-Regiment 1 (1 Abteilung with 4 batteries)

Marine-Panzerjäger-Abteilung 14 (1 Company, from April 5 Companies)

Marine-Pionier-Bataillon 1 (from 15 April 1945, 4 Companies)

Marine-Nachrichten-Abteilung 1 (from April 1945, 4 Companies)

Marine-Feldersatz-Bataillon 1 (6 Companies)

In Flames Of War

You can field this division using the 1st & 2nd Marine-Grenadier Divisions Berlin: German Command Cards.

Last Updated On Monday, March 6, 2023 by Wayne at Battlefront