129th Infantry Division (Wehrmacht)

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German 129th Infantry Division
129. Infanterie-Division
129th Infanterie Division Logo.svg
Divisional insignia of the 129th Infantry Division
Active 1941-1945
Country  Nazi Germany
Branch Balkenkreuz.svg Heer
Size Division
Engagements

World War II

Commanders
Notable
commanders
Heribert von Larisch

The 129th Infantry Division (German: Hessen-Thuerinische 129. Infanterie-Division) was an Infantry Division of the German Army during World War II.

History[edit]

The 129th Infantry Division was formed in Hanau, in Wehrkreis XI on 20 October 1940 as Division 11 and incorporated personnel from Hessen and Thuringia.[1] Elements of 9th, 33rd and 251st Infantry Divisions formed approximately 30% of the division.[1]

After the training of the division ended in April 1941, it was sent to East Prussia and took part in Operation Barbarossa.[1] As part of Army Group Center, the division fought in several battles of the central sector of the Eastern Front, such as those in Białystok, Smolensk and Vyazma.[1] In October–November 1941 the division suffered heavy casualties defending the Kalinin Bridgehead and on 25 December it absorbed the 326th and 369th Regiments of the destroyed 162nd Infantry Division. The 236th Artillery Regiment of 162nd Infantry Division was incorporated into the 129th Artillery Regiment of the Division as well. The following year it took part in the heavy fighting near Rzhev, where it remained from November 1941 to early March 1943.

After the retreat from Rzhev, the division fought in Bryansk, Mogilev and Vitebsk, while it was reinforced with the 566th Grenadier Regiment of the 390th Field Training Division.[1] Due to the high losses suffered in central Belorussia, namely in Bobruisk and Baranovka, it was reorganised in July 1944. Under the leadership of Generalmajor Heribert von Larisch, the 129th Infantry Division distinguished itself in the defensive battles in Narew river and was referenced in the Wehrmachtbericht on 12 September 1944.[2]

In der Schlacht am unteren Narew zeichnete sich die hessisch-thüringische 129. Infanteriedivision unter Führung von Generalmajor von Larisch und die württembergische 5. Jägerdivision unter Führung von Generalleutnant Sixt durch Standfestigkeit und Angriffsschwung besonders aus.[2] The Hessian-Thuringian 129th Infantry Division under the leadership of Generalmajor von Larisch and the Württembergian 5th Jägerdivision under the command of Generalleutnant Sixt distinguished themselves in the battle at the lower Narew with firmness and offensive drive.

In January 1944, the division was still fighting near Narew, in Różan, but was soon forced to retreat.[1] The 129th Infantry Division was eventually destroyed in East Prussia and disbanded around February. The surviving elements were transferred into the 4th Army and fought in the last battles in East Prussia. The Headquarters of the division served as the Kommandatur of Frisches Haff.[3]

Commanders[edit]

Award Holders[edit]

List of Knight's Cross Recipients 129th Infantry Division[edit]

Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves[edit]

Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross[edit]

Staff[edit]
427th Grenadier Regiment[edit]
  • Joachim Borrmann on 13 October 1943 as Hauptmann and commander of the III Battalion of the 427th Grenadier Regiment
  • Paul Danhauser on 10 February 1942 as Oberst and commander of the 427th Grenadier Regiment
  • Bernhard Hoffmann on 26 September 1942 as Major der Reserve and commander of the I Battalion of the 427th Grenadier Regiment
  • Paul Schumacher on 11 December 1943 as Oberleutnant der Reserve and chief of the II Battalion of the 427th Grenadier Regiment
428th Grenadier Regiment[edit]
  • Günther Drange on 16 October 1944 as Oberst and commander of the 428th Grenadier Regiment
  • Rudolf Hegewald on 28 October 1944 as Feldwebel and Zugführer in the 5th Battalion of the 428th Grenadier Regiment
  • Dr.rer.pol. Werner Matthis on 22 January 1944 as Oberst and commander of the 428th Grenadier Regiment
  • Dr.jur Herbert Seidenstücker on 18 November 1943 as Hauptmann der Reserve and commander of the 2nd Battalion of the 428th Grenadier Regiment
430th Grenadier Regiment[edit]
  • Hellmuth Boehlke on 24 September 1942 as Oberst and commander of the 430th Infantry Regiment
  • Bruno Fröhlich on 22 January 1943 as Feldwebel and Zugführer in the 7th Battalion of the 430th Grenadier Regiment
  • Nikolaus Purlis on 28 October 1944 as Unteroffizier and group leader in the 6th Battalion of the 430th Grenadier Regiment
  • Hans Uhl on 22 January 1943 as Hauptmann and leader of the 2nd Battalion of the 430th Grenadier Regiment
  • Bruno Weisse on 28 October 1944 as Hauptmann der Reserve and leader of the 2nd Battalion of the 430th Grenadier Regiment
  • Willy Wesche on 9 April 1943 as Major and commander of the 430th Grenadier Regiment
129th Artillery Regiment[edit]
  • Hermann Kremer on 23 March 1945 as Major der Reserve and commander of the 2nd Battalion of the 129th Artillery Regiment
  • Kurt Schneider on 11 September 1943 as Hauptmann der Reserve and chief of the 7th Battalion of the 129th Artillery Regiment
  • Albrecht Wüstenhagen on 2 December 1942 as Oberst and commander of the 129th Artillery Regiment

129th Panzerjäger Battalion[edit]

129th Füsilier Battalion[edit]

  • Helmut Groß on 31 August 1943 as Major and commander of the 129th Füsilier Battalion
  • Josef Heichele on 31 January 1944 as Hauptmann and leader of the 129th Füsilier Battalion

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Mitcham, p. 181
  2. ^ a b Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 3, p. 241.
  3. ^ Mitcham, p. 182

Sources[edit]

  • Mitcham, Samuel W. (2007). German Order of Battle, Volume One: 1st to 290th Infantry Divisions in World War II. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0811734165. 
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 3, 1. Januar 1944 bis 9. Mai 1945 (in German). München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, 1985. ISBN 3-423-05944-3 (German)

Further reading[edit]

  • Boucsein, Heinrich: Halten oder Sterben. Die hessisch-thüringische 129. Infanterie-Division im Rußlandfeldzug und Ostpreußen 1941 - 1945. Kurt Vowinckel Verlag KG, Berg am See/Potsdam 1999