163rd Infantry Division (Wehrmacht)

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163. Infanterie-Division
German 163rd Infantry Division
163rd Infanterie-Division Logo.jpg163rd Infanterie-Division Logo 1.jpg
Active 1939 – 1945
Country  Nazi Germany
Branch Heer
Type Division
Role Infantry
Engagements World War II

The German 163rd Infantry Division was raised in November 1939. In April 1940 it was employed in the invasion of Norway, landing at Oslo, Kristiansand, Arendal, and Stavanger. Thereafter it remained on occupation duty in Norway until June 1941, when it was subordinated to the Finnish army to support operations along the River Svir during Operation Barbarossa. In February 1942 it joined the German XXXVI Mountain Corps near Kandalaksha, and remained there until the Germans withdrew from Finland back into Norway in the fall of 1944. In early 1945 it was transferred back to Germany, standing in reserve for a time at Berlin, then destroyed by the Soviets in Pomerania in March.

Transit through neutral Sweden[edit]

During the start of Operation Barbarossa and the Continuation War the 163rd Division was to be transferred from Norway to Finland, and Sweden decided to allow safe transit of the division by railway through Swedish territory. The decision was in conflict with the Swedish neutrality-policy causing a political crisis (the "Midsummer Crisis" of 1941), and it raised many challenging questions about Sweden's neutrality during World War II. This is still to this very day a highly debated subject in Sweden and in the Nordic countries. The division was transferred June 25 to July 12. In Swedish literature the division is better known as "Division Engelbrecht" after its commander

Commanding officers[edit]

  • General der Artillerie Erwin Engelbrecht, 25 October 1939 – 15 June 1942
  • General der Infanterie Anton Dostler, 15 June 1942 – 28 December 1942
  • Generalleutnant Karl Rübel, 29 December 1942 – 8 March 1945

See also[edit]

References[edit]