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German Units & Elements Encountered by the South Africans 1944 - 1945

By J.C von Winterbach & Rex Barret

44. Reichsgrenadierdivision “Hoch und Deutschmeister”

  44 ID 44 ID

65. Infanteriedivision

65 ID 

94. Infanteriedivision

 94 ID

155. (Feldausbildungs Division) Infanteriedivision

  155 ID

278. Infanteriedivision

  278 ID

305. Infanteriedivision

305 ID 

334. Infanteriedivision

  334 ID

356. Infanteriedivision

  356 ID

362. Infanteriedivision

  362 ID

5. Gebirgsdivision

  5 GJD

157. Gebirgsdivision/
8. Gebirgsdivision

  57 GJD 8 GJD

3. Panzergrenadierdivision

  3 PzGD

15. Panzergrenadierdivision

  15 PzGD

29. Panzergrenadierdivision

  29 PzGD

90. Panzergrenadierdivision

  90 PzGD

16. SS-Panzergrenadierdivision “Reichsführer-SS”

  16 SS PzGD

26. Panzerdivision

  26 PzD


 

Schwere Panzerabteilung 504

  504 SPzA

Schwere Panzerabteilung 508

  508 SPzA

 

Fallschirm-Panzerdivision “Hermann Göring”

  HG FPD

1. Fallschirmjägerdivision

  1 FJD

4. Fallschirmjägerdivision

  4 FJD

44 ID 44 ID

44. Reichsgrenadier-Division “Hoch und Deutschmeister” Italy
(August 1943 – November 1944)

(Generalleutnant Dr. jur. Franz Beyer – 01/06/1943 – 01/01/1944, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross)
(Generalleutnant Dr. rer. pol. Friedrich “Fritz” Franek – 01/01/1944 – 01/05/1944, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross)

(Generalleutnant Bruno Ortner – 01/05/1944 – 25/06/1944)
(Generalleutnant Hans-Günther von Rost – 25/06/1944 – 23/03/1945, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross) (KIA on 23 March 1945 near Székesfehérvár, Hungary)

• Reichsgrenadier-Regiment Hoch und Deutschmeister
• Grenadier-Regiment 131
• Grenadier-Regiment 132
• Aufklärungs-Abteilung 44
• Artillerie-Regiment 96
• Granatwerfer-Bataillon 44
• Pionier-Bataillon 80
• Panzerjäger-Abteilung 46
• Feldersatz-Bataillon Hoch und Deutschmeister
• Nachrichten-Abteilung 64
• Versorgungseinheiten 44

65. Infanterie-Division: Italy
(August 1943 – April 1945)

(Generalleutnant Gustav Dietrich Adolf Heisterman(n) von Ziehlberg – 31/05/1943 – 01/12/1943, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross)
(Generalleutnant Hellmuth Pfeiffer – 01/12/1943 – 22/04/1945, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves)

65 ID
• Grenadier-Regiment 145
• Grenadier-Regiment 146
• Grenadier-Regiment 147
• Füsilier-Bataillon 65
• Artillerie-Regiment 165
• Pionier-Bataillon 165
• Panzerjäger-Abteilung 165
• Feldersatz-Bataillon 165
• Nachrichten-Abteilung 165
94 ID

94. Infanterie-Division: Italy
(August 1943 – April 1945)

(General der Artillerie Georg Pfeiffer – 01/03/1943 – 02/01/1944, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross)
(Generalleutnant Bernhard Steinmetz – 02/01/1944 – 22/04/1945)

• Grenadier-Regiment 267
• Grenadier-Regiment 274
• Grenadier-Regiment 276

• Aufklärungs-Abteilung 194
• Artillerie-Regiment 194
• Füsilier-Bataillon 194
• Pionier-Bataillon 194
• Panzerjäger-Abteilung 194
• Feldersatz-Bataillon 194
• Nachrichten-Abteilung 194
• Versorgungseinheiten 194

155. Feldausbildungs-Division: Italy
(November 1944 – January 1945)

– (Converted to 155. Infanterie-Division on January 31st, 1945)
(Generalmajor Georg Zwade - (00/12/1944 – 11/02/1945)

155 ID

• Grenadier-(Feldausbildungs)-Regiment 1227
• Grenadier-(Feldausbildungs)-Regiment 1228
• Grenadier-(Feldausbildungs)-Regiment 1229
• Füsilier-Bataillon
• Artillerie-(Feldausbildungs)-Abteilung 155
• Versorgungseinheiten 155
• Nachrichten-Abteilung 630
• Divisionseinheiten 155
• Pionier-(Feldausbildungs)-Bataillon 1054

155. Infanterie-Division: Italy
(January 1945 – May 1945)

(Generalmajor Georg Zwade - (00/12/1944 – 08/05/1945)

• Grenadier-Regiment 1227
• Grenadier-Regiment 1228
• Grenadier-Regiment 1229
• Füsilier-Bataillon
• Artillerie-Abteilung 155
• Nachrichten-Abteilung 630
• Versorgungs-Regiment 155

278 ID

278. Infanterie-Division: Italy
(February 1944 – April 1945)

(Generalleutnant Harry Hoppe – 01/12/1943 – 28/01/1944, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves)
(Generalmajor Paul Bornscheuer – 28/01/1944 – 05/03/1945, Iron Cross 1st Class (1914) with Clasp to the Iron Cross 1st Class (1939)
(Generalleutnant Harry Hoppe – 05/03/1944 – 24/04/1945, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves)

• Grenadier-Regiment 992
• Grenadier-Regiment 993
• Grenadier-Regiment 994
• Füsilier-Bataillon 278
• Artillerie-Regiment 278
• Pionier-Bataillon 278
• Panzerjäger-Abteilung 278
• Feldersatz-Bataillon 278
• Nachrichten-Abteilung 278
• Versorgungseinheiten 278

305. Infanterie-Division
“Bodensee-Division, Fels im Meer”: Italy
(August 1943 - May 1945)

(General der Artillerie Friedrich-Wilhelm Hauck – 05/03/1943 – 00/12/1944, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross)
(Oberst Friedrich Trompeter – 00/12/1944 – 29/12/1944)
(Generalmajor Friedrich von Schellwitz – 29/12/1944 – 08/05/1945)

305 ID
• Grenadier-Regiment 576
• Grenadier-Regiment 577
• Grenadier-Regiment 578
• Füsilier-Bataillon 305
• Aufklärungs-Abteilung 305
• Artillerie-Regiment 305
• Pionier-Bataillon 305
• Panzerjäger-Abteilung 305
• Feldersatz-Bataillon 305
• Nachrichten-Abteilung 305
• Versorgungseinheiten 305
344 ID

334. Infanterie-Division: Italy
(November 1943 – January 1945)

(Generalleutnant Otto Hellmuth Böhlke – 27/11/1943 – 16/04/1945, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves)

• Grenadier-Regiment 754
• Grenadier-Regiment 755
• Grenadier-Regiment 756
• Füsilier-Bataillon 334
• Artillerie-Regiment 334
• Pionier-Bataillon 334
• Panzerjäger-Abteilung 334
• Feldersatz-Bataillon 334
• Nachrichten-Abteilung 334
• Versorgungseinheiten 334

356. Infanterie-Division “Eichenlaub-Division”: Italy
(October 1943 – January 1945)

(Generalleutnant Karl Faulenbach – 15/05/1943 – 10/12/1944, Iron Cross 1st Class (1914) with Clasp to the Iron Cross 1st Class (1939)
(Generalmajor Claus Kühl – 10/12/1944 – 14/03/1945, Iron Cross 1st Class (1914) with Clasp to the Iron Cross 1st Class (1939)

356 ID
• Grenadier-Regiment 869
• Grenadier-Regiment 870
• Grenadier-Regiment 871

• Aufklärungs-Abteilung 356
• Artillerie-Regiment 356
• Pionier-Bataillon 356
• Schnelle Abteilung 356
• Feldersatz-Bataillon 356
• Nachrichten-Abteilung 356
362 ID

362. Infanterie-Division: Italy
(November 1943 – April 1945)

(Generalleutnant Heinrich Greiner “The Lion of Yelnya” – 00/11/1943 – 01/01/1945, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves)
(Generalmajor der Reserve Max Reinwald  - 01/01/1945 – 00/02/1945, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves)
(Generalmajor Alois Weber – 00/02/1945 – 23/04/1945, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves)

• Grenadier-Regiment 956
• Grenadier-Regiment 1059
• Grenadier-Regiment 1060

• Füsilier-Bataillon 362
• Artillerie-Regiment 362
• Pionier-Bataillon 362
• Panzerjäger-Abteilung 362
• Feldersatz-Bataillon 362
• Nachrichten-Abteilung 362

5. Gebirgs-Division “Gamsbock-Division,
Sumpfjäger-Division”: Italy
(April 1943 – May 1945)

(Generalleutnant August Max-Günther Schrank – 10/02/1944 – 18/01/1945, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross)
(Generalmajor Hans Steets – 18/01/1945 – 08/05/1945)

5 GJD
• Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 85
• Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 100
• Aufklärungs-Battalion 95

• Gebirgs-Artillerie-Regiment 95
• Gebirgs-Pionier-Battalion 95
• Panzerjäger-Battalion 95
• leichte Flak Batterie 73 (Luftwaffe)
• Nachrichten-Battalion 95
• Gebirgs-Divisions-Nachschubtruppen 95
57 GJD

157. Gebirgs-Division: Italy
(January 1944 – February 1945)

8 GJD

8. Gebirgs-Division: Italy
(February 1945 – May 1945)

(Renamed as the 8. Gebirgs-Division on 27 February 1945)
(Generalleutnant Dipl. Ing. Paul Schricker – 01/09/1944 – 27/02/1945)

• Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 296
• Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 297
• Gebirgs-Artillerie-Regiment 1057
• Gebirgs-Pionier-Bataillon 1057
• Panzerjäger-Abteilung 1057
• Feldersatz-Bataillon 1057
• Nachrichten-Abteilung 1057
• Gebirgs-Divisions-Nachschubführer 1057

(Generalleutnant Dipl. Ing. Paul Schricker – 27/02/1945 – 03/05/1945)

• Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 296
• Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 297
• Aufklärungs-Abteilung 1057
• Gebirgs-Artillerie-Regiment 1057
• Gebirgs-Pionier-Abteilung 1057
• Panzerjäger-Abteilung 157
• Feldersatz-Bataillon 1057
• Gebirgs-Nachrichten-Abteilung 1057
• Gebirgs-Divisions-Nachschubtruppen 1057

3 PzGD

3. Panzergrenadier-Division: Italy
(June 1943 – August 1944)

(Generalleutnant Hans-Günther von Rost – 01/06/1944 – 25/06/1944, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross)
(Generalleutnant Walter Denkert 25/06/1944 – 00/04/1945, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross)

• Panzergrenadier-Regiment 8
• Panzergrenadier-Regiment 29
• Panzer-Abteilung 103
• Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 103
• Artillerie-Regiment 3 (mot)
• Pionier-Bataillon 3 (mot)
• Panzerjäger-Abteilung 3
• Feldersatz-Bataillon 3
• Nachrichten-Abteilung 3 (mot)

15. Panzergrenadier-Division: Italy
(June 1943 – August 1944)

(Generalmajor Eberhardt Rodt – 03/11/1943 – 09/10/1944, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves)

15 PzGD
• Panzergrenadier-Regiment 104
• Panzergrenadier-Regiment 115
• Panzer-Abteilung 115
• Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 115
• Artillerie-Regiment 33
• Pionier-Bataillon 33
• Panzerjäger-Abteilung 33
• Heeres-Flak-Artillerie-Abteilung 315
• Feldersatz-Bataillon 33
• Nachrichten-Abteilung 33
29 PzGD

29. Panzergrenadier Division “Falke-Division”: Italy
(July 1943 – April 1945)

(General der Panzertruppen Walter Fries – 01/03/1943 – 24/08/1944, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords)
(Generalleutnant Dr. rer. pol. Fritz Polack – 24/08/1944 – 24/05/1945, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross)

• Panzergrenadier-Regiment 15
• Panzergrenadier-Regiment 71
• Panzer-Abteilung 129
• Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 129
• Artillerie-Regiment (mot) 29
• Pionier-Bataillon (mot) 29
• Panzerjäger-Abteilung 29
• Heeres-Flak-Artillerie-Abteilung 313
• Feldersatz-Bataillon 29
• Panzergrenadier-Nachrichten-Abteilung 29
• Panzergrenadier-Nachschubtruppen 29

90. Panzergrenadier Division “Afrika-Division”: Italy
(July 1943 – April 1945)

Generalleutnant Carl-Hans Lungershausen – 23/03/1943 – 20/12/1943, Iron Cross 1st Class (1914) with Clasp to the Iron Cross 1st Class (1939)
Generalleutnant Ernst-Günther Baade – 20/12/1943 – 09/12/1944, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords)

90 PzGD

General der Panzertruppe Gerhard “Gerd” Helmuth Detloff Graf von Schwerin – 09/12/1944 – 26/12/1944, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords)
Generalmajor Heinrich Alexander Ferdinand Baron von Behr – 17/12/1944 – 28/04/1945, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross)

• Panzergrenadier-Regiment 155
• Panzergrenadier-Regiment 200
• Panzergrenadier-Regiment 361
• Panzer-Abteilung 190
• Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 190
• Artillerie-Regiment 190
• Pionier-Bataillon 190
• Panzerjäger-Abteilung 190
• Feldersatz-Bataillon 190
• Nachrichten-Abteiliung 190
• Versorgungs-Truppen 190

16 SS PzGD

16. SS-Panzergrenadier-Division “Reichsführer-SS”: Italy
(June 1944 – December 1944)

(SS-Gruppenführer Max Simon – 03/10/1943 – 24/10/1944, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves)
(SS-Brigadeführer Otto Baum – 24/10/1944 – 08/05/1945, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords)

• SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 35
• SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 36
• SS-Panzer-Aufklärungsabteilung 16

• SS-Artillerie-Regiment 16
• SS-Pionier-Bataillon 16
• SS- Panzerjäger-Abteilung 16
• SS-Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 16
• SS-Flak-Abteilung 16
• SS-Feldersatz-Bataillon 16

• Feldgendarmerie-Kompanie
• Divisions-Begleit-Kompanie
• SS-Nachschub-Truppen 16
• SS-Instandsetzungs-Abteilung 16
• SS-Wirtschafts-Bataillon 16
• SS-Nachrichten-Abteilung 16
• SS-Sanitäts-Abteilung 16
• Divisions-Kampfschule 16.SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division

26. Panzer-Division: Italy
(July 1943 – May 1945)

(Generalleutnant Smilo Walther Hinko Oskar Constantin Wilhelm Freiherr von Lüttwitz – 08/05/1944 – 06/07/1944, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords)
(Generalmajor Eduard Crasemann – 01/10/1944 – 14/01/1945, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves)

26 PzD

(Generalleutnant Victor Leopold Linnarz – 01/03/1945 – 08/05/1945, Iron Cross 1st Class (1914) with Clasp to the Iron Cross 1st Class (1939)

• Panzer-Regiment 26
• Panzergrenadier-Brigade 26
• Panzergrenadier-Regiment 9
• Panzergrenadier-Regiment 67
• Kradschützen-Bataillon 26
• Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 26
• Panzer-Artillerie-Regiment 93
• Panzer-Pionier-Bataillon 93
• Panzerjäger-Abteilung 51
• Heeres-Flak-Artillerie-Abteilung 304
• Panzer-Nachrichten-Abteilung 93

• Panzergrenadier-Regiment 1027 (Became Panzergrenadier-Brigade 1027 on 30 May 1944, then disbanded and integrated in 26. Panzer-Division on 9 June 1944)

504 SPzA

Schwere-Panzer-Abteilung 504: Italy
(June 1944 – May 1945)

(Hauptmann .... Kühn – 00/11/1943 – 00/09/1944)
(Major .... Nill – 00/09/1944 – 02/05/1945)

• Stab
• Stabskompanie (3x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E)
  
Nachrichtenzug
  
gepanzerter Aufklärungszug (SPW)
  
Erkundungszug
  
Pionierzug
  
Fliegerabwehrzug
• 1. Schwere Panzerkompanie
  
Kompanietrupp (2x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E)
  
1. Zug (4x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E)
  
2. Zug (4x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E)
  
3. Zug (4x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E)
• 2. Schwere Panzerkompanie
   
Kompanietrupp (2x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E)
   
1. Zug (4x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E)
   
2. Zug (4x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E)
   
3. Zug (4x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E)
• 3. Schwere Panzerkompanie (Radio-control)
  
Kompanietrupp (2x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E)
  
1. Zug (4x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E, 5x Borgward IV Ausf.A)
  
2. Zug (4x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E, 5x Borgward IV Ausf.A)
  
3. Zug (4x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E, 9x Borgward IV Ausf.A)
• Sanitätsdienst
• Kfz. Instandsetzungsgruppe
• Gefechtstross I
• Gefechtstross II
• Gepäcktross
• Werkstattkompanie
  
1. Werkstattzug
  
2. Werkstattzug
  
Bergezug
  
Waffenmeisterei
  
Funkmeisterei
  
Ersatzteilgruppe

Schwere-Panzer-Abteilung 508: Italy
(August 1943 – February 1945)

(Major Helmut Hudel – 00/01/1944 – 00/05/1944, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves)
(Hauptmann Joachim Stelter – 00/08/1944 – 02/05/1945)

508 SPzA
• Stab
• Stabskompanie (3x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E)
  
Nachrichtenzug
  
gepanzerter Aufklärungszug (SPW)
  
Erkundungszug
  
Pionierzug
  
Fliegerabwehrzug
• 1. Schwere Panzerkompanie
  
Kompanietrupp (2x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E)
  
1. Zug (4x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E)
  
2. Zug (4x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E)
  
3. Zug (4x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E)
• 2. Schwere Panzerkompanie
  
Kompanietrupp (2x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E)
  
1. Zug (4x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E)
  
2. Zug (4x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E)
  
3. Zug (4x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E)
• 3. Schwere Panzer(Pionier)kompanie
   Kompanietrupp (2x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E,
     8x Borgward IV Ausf.A)
   o 1. Zug (4x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E, 9x Borgward IV Ausf.A)
   o 2. Zug (4x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E, 9x Borgward IV Ausf.A)
   o 3. Zug (4x Pz.Kpfw VI “Tiger” Ausf.E, 9x Borgward IV Ausf.A)
• Sanitätsdienst
• Kfz. Instandsetzungsgruppe
• Gefechtstross I
• Gefechtstross II
• Gepäcktross
• Werkstattkompanie
   1. Werkstattzug
   2. Werkstattzug
   Bergezug
   Waffenmeisterei
   Funkmeisterei
   Ersatzteilgruppe
HG FPD

Fallschirm-Panzer-Division “Hermann Göring”: Italy
(May 1944 – August 1944)

(General der Fallschirmtruppe Paul Conrath – 21/05/1943 – 15/04/1944, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves)
(Generalleutnant Wilhelm Schmalz – 01/05/1944 – 30/09/1944, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves)

• Fallschirm-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 1 “Hermann Göring”
• Fallschirm-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 2 “Hermann Göring”
• Fallschirm-Panzer-Regiment “Hermann Göring”
• Fallschirm-Panzer-Füsilier-Bataillon 1 “Hermann Göring”
• Fallschirm-Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 1 “Hermann Göring”
• Fallschirm-Panzer-Artillerie-Regiment 1 “Hermann Göring”
• Fallschirm-Panzer-Pionier-Bataillon 1 “Hermann Göring”
• Fallschirm-Panzer-Feldersatz-Bataillon 1 “Hermann Göring”
• Fallschirm-Panzer-Nachrichten-Abteilung 1 “Hermann Göring”

1. Fallschirmjäger-Division: Italy
(September 1943 – May 1945)

(General der Fallschirmtruppe Richard Heidrich – 01/05/1943 – 17/11/1944, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords)
(Generalmajor Karl-Lothar Schulz – 18/11/1944 – 02/05/1945, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords)

1 FJD
• Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 1
• Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 3
• Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 4
• Fallschirm-Artillerie-Regiment 1
• Fallschirm-Pionier-Bataillon 1
• Fallschirm-Panzerjäger-Abteilung 1
• Fallschirm-Flak-Abteilung 1
• Fallschirm-Feldersatz-Bataillon 1
• Luftnachrichten-Abteilung der Fallschirm-Jäger-Division 1
• Fallschirm-Sanitäts-Abteilung 1
4 FJD

4. Fallschirmjäger-Division: Italy
(October 1943 – May 1945)

(General Heinrich “Heinz” Trettner – 04/10/1943 – 03/05/1945, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves)

• Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 10
• Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 11
• Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 12

• Fallschirm-Artillerie-Regiment 4
• Fallschirm-Granatwerfer-Bataillon 4
• Fallschirm-Pionier-Bataillon 4
• Fallschirm-Panzerjäger-Abteilung 4
• Fallschirm-Flak-Abteilung 4
• Fallschirm-Feldersatz-Bataillon 4
• Fallschirm-Luftnachrichten-Abteilung 4
• Fallschirm-Sanitäts-Abteilung 4

Notes:

* All above mentioned Divisions were engaged by the South Africans but the definitely known Regiments to have been engaged have been highlighted in Bold. The Rest are Divisions that were engaged by the South Africans but was only mentioned in Divisional format.
** The Tiger I E Tanks that were engaged by the South Africans have either functioned as Divisional Support or were engaged while part of their respective Schwere-Panzer-Abteilung’s as the supplied information doesn’t make any specific designation.

From literature written on the 6th South African Armoured Division (And Regimental Histories) during the war in Italy, there are some obscure mentioning of engagements & prisoners taken from the Units listed below. As the information is limited solely to the name of the Brigades or Battalions the following are plausible explanations:

“Lehr Brigade”

• “On 27 August 1944, a Partisan with an FC/CTH patrol went forward into Le Piagge well across the river and reported the enemy there. Mortar fire from “A” Company, FC/CTH was brought down and killed 6 Germans. That night a deserter from the Lehr Brigade attached to 26. Panzer-Division gave himself up to the 5th Battalion, Grenadier Guards. Battalions from his Brigade and from Grenadier-Regiment 1059, which was also attached to 26. Panzer-Division from 362. Infanterie-Division were committed on the 24th Guards Infantry Brigades front”
• “Along about 10000m of extremely broken country, the 24th Guards Infantry Brigade found itself up against 2 Battalions of the Lehr Brigade and 2 Battalions of the 362. Infanterie-Division, well dug in and with a large section of the front covered by wire, minefields and some concrete pillboxes. 1st Battalion, The Scots Guards patrols made contact on September 13th, 1944.

Artillerie-Lehr-Brigade: Italy (July 1944 – May 1945)
(Formed 3 July 1944, by Re-designation from Stab./Artillerie-Lehr-Regiment 2)
•    Artillerie-Lehr-Regiment 1 (Re-designation of Heeres-Artillerie-Abteilung III)
•    Artillerie-Lehr-Regiment 2 (Re-designation of Heeres-Artillerie-Abteilung I)
•    Artillerie-Lehr-Regiment 3 (Re-designation of Heeres-Artillerie-Abteilung IV)


98. Infanterie-Division “Sudetendeutscher Adler”: Italy
(August 1944 – May 1945)

(Generalleutnant Alfred-Hermann Reinhardt – 01/02/1944 – 11/04/1945, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords)
(Generalmajor Otto Schiel – 11/04/1945 – 08/05/1945, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves)
 
• Grenadier-Regiment 117 (Re-designation of Grenadier-Lehr-Regiment 117)
• Grenadier-Regiment 289
• Grenadier-Regiment 290
• Artillerie-Regiment 198
• Divisions-Füsilier-Bataillon 98
• Feldersatz-Bataillon 198
• Panzerjäger-Abteilung 198
• Pionier-Bataillon 198
• Nachrichten-Abteilung 198
• Versorungs-Regiment 198
• Verwaltungsdienste 198
• Sanitätsdienste 198
• Veterinär-Kompanie 198


The “Berlin-Spandau Infantry Lehr Regiment” (“Lehr-Regiment 309”) was an elite Pioneer/Assault Infantry Unit that specialised in “shock” infantry assaults (Clearing a hole in the enemy line and allow for exploitation). They were committed on Hitler’s personal order to the German offensive at Anzio/Nettuno (February 1944 - March 1944) where the Unit, having been well-trained but never seen combat, was tasked with leading the main German attack. There they suffered extremely heavy casualties under artillery fire. Lehr-Regiment 309 was later formed into Grenadier-Lehr-Brigade 290.

On September 19th, 1944, Grenadier-Lehr-Brigade 290 was incorporated into the 98. Infanterie-Division as Grenadier-Regiment 290. From there the Grenadier-Lehr-Brigade was transferred to the 44. Reichsgrenadier-Division “Hoch und Deutschmeister”, but this was cancelled Then on October 28th, 1944, the Grenadier-Lehr-Brigade was absorbed into the 98. Infanterie-Division as Grenadier-Lehr-Regiment 117 and finally re-designated Grenadier-Regiment 117 when the Grenadier-Lehr-Regiment 117 was disbanded.


“7 Luftwaffe Battalion”

• “The 13th South African Motorised Brigade captured two prisoners from 7 Luftwaffe Battalion at 07:45 on 18 April 1945, forward of Pt. 397 in the foothills south-east of Nuvoleta”

The 7 Luftwaffe Battalion could be the 7. Luftwaffen-Jäger-Bataillon.z.b.V. which was a Rehabilitation (Bewährungs) Battalion comprised of demoted Luftwaffe Officers and men who were required to “Prove” themselves in combat before being permitted to return to their former Units. When the first of these Battalions were formed in October 1942, they were called Luftwaffen-Feld-Bataillon.z.b.V. but a few month later their designation was changed to Luftwaffen-Jäger-Bataillon.z.b.V. A total of 10 Battalions were formed numbered 1 – 10 (1 – 6 & 10 served in Russia, while 7 – 9 served in the Balkans & Italy).

The 7th Luftwaffe Battalion could also be the 7th Bataillon of 3. Luftwaffe-Straf-Bataillon which was also comprised of demoted Luftwaffe Officers and men who had been sentenced by military courts and given an opportunity to earn a reprieve through combat service. The 3rd & 7th Battalions, each consisting of approximately 400 men, who had been broken up and scattered through the Regiments of the 4. Fallschirmjäger-Division.


Notes:

*Something to consider is that during the war attempting to hide/disguise which Units of your own were operating where was a common practice, faulty Unit identification of enemy Units did occur and is/was sometimes passed on through the written record as “Fact”.)
** With the Lehr Brigade, the literature may point to the actual Lehr troops from Grenadier-Lehr-Regiment 117 or maybe artillerymen from the Artillerie-Lehr-Brigade. They may have been an Infantry “screen” supported by the other Divisions mentioned or maybe temporarily attached.
*** With the 7 Luftwaffe Battalion, the literature may point to 7. Luftwaffen-Jäger-Bataillon.z.b.V. troops or maybe 7th Battalion of 3. Luftwaffe-Straf-Bataillon who’s men were scattered though the Regiments of the 4. Fallschirmjäger-Division. These Battalions may have operated independently or supported by the other Divisions mentioned or maybe temporarily attached.

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Last Updated On Thursday, April 17, 2014 by Wayne at Battlefront