Infanteriedivision Scharnhorst

Berlin: German

Infanteriedivision Scharnhorst

XX Korps, 12. Armee, Heeresgruppe Vistula 

The Infanteriedivision Scharnhorst was formed on 30 March 1945 from elements of 340. Volksgrenadierdivision, 167. Volksgrenadierdivision, Pionier-Schule Dessau and Volksartillerie-Korps 412 with additional manpower from the Führernachwuchsschulen (Officer Cadet schools) in Wehrkreis XI (Military District 11) and soldiers transferred from the Luftwaffe. A Füsilier-Bataillon was added soon after from surviving elements of Infanteriedivision Potsdam. It was organised as a Type 45 infantry division.

The three Grenadier Regiments were raised. Eighty percent of the recruits consisted of officer cadets, trainee NCOs and soldiers about to begin NCO training courses. The second regiment was partly made-up of highly decorated members of the Luftwaffe. As a Type 45 division the infantry equipment comprised K98 rifles, Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifles, MG34 and MG42 machine-guns, and Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck anti-tank weapons. Mortars, Anti-tank guns and infantry guns were surprisingly available at theoretical strength. 

The Panzerjäger-Abteilung (Anti-tank Battalion) had 7 Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer tank-hunters in it Jadgpanzer-KompanieAdditional weapons and vehicles were received from Oranienbaum airbase. These included some 3-ton tractors, some Kübelwagen and Schwimmwagen jeeps, twin and quadruple anti-aircraft guns, and twenty Anti-aircraft machine-guns. 

The division was ordered to assemble between 4 and 7 April in the area of Dessau-Roßlau (southeast of Magdeburg). On 8 April the division was named Infanteriedivision Scharnhorst. 

The division was ordered into action on 12 April and deployed in the area around Barby (halfway between Magdeburg and Dessau-Roßlau on the western bank of the Elbe River) against the Americans. 

On 11 April StuG-Abteilung 1170 (armed with 19 StuG and 12 StuH assault guns) was attached to the division near Lindeau. 

Berlin Offensive

It worked in cooperation with Grenadier-Regiment Scharnhorst 1 against the US 83rd Infantry Division and Combat Command R of the 2nd Armored Division, who were trying to expand bridgeheads across Elbe near Barby. Fighting in the area took place between 13 and 17 April, before the focus of both German units switch to fighting the Soviets coming from the east. 

On 26 April the division took part in the Twelfth Army’s thrust towards Beelitz against the Soviets.

They surrendered to the Americans on 2 May 1945 at Tangermünde on the Elbe River.

The division was named after Gerhard Johann David Waitz von Scharnhorst (1755 – 1813), a general in Prussian service. As the Chief of the Prussian General Staff, he was noted for his military theories, his reforms of the Prussian army, and his leadership during the Napoleonic Wars.



Generalleutnant Heinrich Götz
(1 Apr 1945 - 8 May 1945)  

Area of operations

Germany (April 1945 - May 1945) 

Order of battle

Grenadier-Regiment Scharnhorst 1

Grenadier-Regiment Scharnhorst 2

Grenadier-Regiment Scharnhorst 3

Artillerie-Regiment Scharnhorst

Panzerjäger-Abteilung Scharnhorst

Divisions-Füsilier-Bataillon Scharnhorst

Pionier-Bataillon Scharnhorst

In Flames Of War

You can field this division using the Volksgrenadier Company from Bulge: German.

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