100th Light Infantry Division (Wehrmacht)

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100th Jäger Division
100th Jaeger Division Logo 1.svg 100th Jaeger Division Logo 2.svg
Unit logos of the 100th Jäger division
Active 10 October 1940 – 1945
Country Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Branch Heer
Type Infantry
Size Division

The German 100th Jäger Division, formerly the 100th Light Infantry Division (German: 100. Leichte Infanterie Division) was a light infantry division. As such, it was provided with partial horse or motor transport and lighter artillery. Light divisions were reduced in size compared to standard infantry divisions. During the latter stages of the war, the division was composed of members from most of Germany's geographic areas and a large number of German-speaking Walloons (Belgian/French). Today, 6,000 men are still unaccounted for.

Background[edit]

The main purpose of the German Jäger Divisions was to fight in adverse terrain where smaller, coordinated formations were more facilely combat capable than the brute force offered by their standard infantry counterparts. The Jäger divisions were more heavily equipped than the mountain equivalents, but not as well armed as a larger infantry division. In the early stages of the war, it was the interface divisions fighting in rough terrain and foothills as well as urban areas, between the mountains and the plains. The Jägers (means "hunters" in German) relied on a high degree of training, and slightly superior communications, as well as their not inconsiderable artillery support. In the middle stages of the war, as the standard infantry divisions were down-sized, the Jäger model with two infantry regiments came to dominate the standard tables of organization.[1]

In 1943, Adolf Hitler declared that all infantry divisions were now VolksGrenadier Divisions except for his elite Jäger and Mountain Jäger divisions.[1]

Operational history[edit]

Initially established in December 1940 as the 100th Light Infantry Division, the unit was raised in Upper Austria, and based in Ried. The 54th Jäger Regiment was detached from the 18th Infantry. The division comprised two-thirds Austrian and one-third Silesian men.

The 100th Light Infantry Division's first campaign as a fighting force was Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union, where it served with the 17th Army in the Southern Sector. Its first campaign was in the Battle of Uman, followed by action at Kiev and Odessa.[2]

In October, the 369th Reinforced Croatian Infantry Regiment was attached to the division to bolster its size when attacking the Eastern Front.[3]

The formation was the only German Jäger Division that fought at the Battle of Stalingrad. The 100th Light Infantry Division, along with the 369th Reinforced Croatian Infantry Regiment, was virtually destroyed at Stalingrad.

The 100th Jäger Division was reestablished and fought partisans in the Balkans, Croatia, Albania, and was deployed on coastal protection duties in the Strait of Otranto.

Divisional Make-up[edit]

  • 54th Jäger Regiment (moved from 18th Infantry Division)
  • 227th Jäger Regiment
  • 83rd Artillery Regiment
  • 100th Reconnaissance Battalion
  • 100th Tank-Destroyer Battalion
  • 100th Engineer Battalion
  • 100th Signal Battalion
  • 100th Field Replacement Battalion
  • 100th Divisional Supply Troops
  • 369th (Croatian) Reinforced Infantry Regiment (attached from October 1941)

Commanding officers[edit]

  • Lieutenant General Werner Sanne (10 October 1940 – 6 July 1942)
Redesignated 100th Jäger Division
  • Lieutenant General Werner Sanne (6 July 1942 – 31 January 1943)
  • Lieutenant General Willibald Utz (25 April 1943 – 1 January 1945)
  • Colonel Hans Kreppel (1 January 1945 – 31 January 1945)
  • Major General Otto Schury (1 February 1945 – May 1945)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mcoy, Breaker (2009). German Army 101st Light Division, 101st Jäger Division 1941 – 42. 
  2. ^ Mitcham, 2012, pp. 247–248 
  3. ^ Muller, 2012, pp. 97–98 

Bibliography[edit]