167th Volksgrenadier Division (Wehrmacht)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
167th Volksgrenadier Division
167th Infanterie Division Logo.svg
Active November 1939 - April 1945
Country Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Branch Heer
Type Volksgrenadier
Size Division
Engagements Second World War

The 167th Volksgrenadier Division (German: 167. Volksgrenadierdivision), formerly the 167th Infantry Division (German: 167. Infanteriedivision) was a German Army infantry division in World War II.

Operational history[edit]

Formation and France[edit]

The 167th Infantry Division was formed in the Bavarian capital of Munich in November 1939, absorbing the 7th; 27th and 34th Field-Replacement Battalions from their respective divisions in January. It was also at this point that its commanding officer, Colonel Gilbert, was promoted to Major General, shortly before his replacement by Lieutenant General Oskar Vogl.[1]

The division took part in the initial 1940 invasion of France with Army Group C, capturing Ouvrage Kerfent and Ouvrage Bambesch - two components of the Maginot Line - between 20–21 June.[2] The division remained in occupied France until February 1941, when it returned to its garrison in Bavaria. In August 1940, Major General Hans Schönhärl took over as commanding officer, being promoted to Lieutenant General in December.

Barbarossa and the Soviet Union[edit]

In June 1941, the division was transferred to the occupied Polish capital of Warsaw as the Axis forces began their assault on the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa. In August, Schönhärl was replaced as commanding officer by Major General Verner Schartow, himself replaced by Major General Wolf Trierenberg.

On December 17, Red Army forces succeeded in punching a hole in the 167th's sector, only to be forced back by support from the 112th Infantry, with some tank support.[3]

The Ardennes[edit]

The re-created division, now designated "167. Voksgrenadierdivision", took part in the Ardennes Offensive. On December 29, it and the 1st SS-Panzer Division were support divisions under General of the Panzer Troops Hasso von Manteuffel's Fifth Panzer Army as the remnants of his army attempted to re-encircle Bastogne.[4] During the initial assault divisional morale was high, and a non-commissioned officer was confident that the army would reach the English Channel shortly.[5]

On New Years Day, the 167th Volksgrenadier and 5th Parachute Divisions aided the panzers in defending the area around the Belgian town of Lutrebois in Luxembourg. While the three were able to hold off the approaching Americans and dealt heavy casualties to their enemies, the situation elsewhere in the Ardennes was different and the 167th was ordered to fall back.[6]

Components[edit]

  • 315th Infantry Regiment
  • 331st Infantry Regiment
  • 339th Infantry Regiment
  • 328th Artillery Regiment
  • 167th Fusilier Battalion
  • 238th Tank-destroyer Battalion
  • 238th Engineer Battalion
  • 238th Signal Battalion
  • 238th Divisional Supply Troops

Commanders[edit]

  • Major General Martin Gilbert (1 December 1939 – 10 January 1940)
  • Major General Oskar Vogl (10 January – 2 August 1940)
  • Lieutenant General Hans Schönhärl (2 August 1940 – 11 August 1941)
  • Major General Verner Schartow (11 August 1941)
  • Lieutenant General Wolf Trierenberg (11 August 1941 – 25 November 1943)
  • Colonel Hans Hüttner (25 November 1943 – October 1944)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Hanskurt Höcker (October 1944)
  • Major General Harald Schultz (3 September 1944 – 8 May 1945)[1]

Further reading[edit]

  • Franz Mayrhofer (1975), Geschichte des Grenadier-Regiment 315 der bayrischen 167. Infanterie-Division-Almhütten-Division-1939-1945

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mitcham, Samuel W. (2007). German Order of Battle: 1st-290th Infantry divisions in World War II. Stackpole Books. pp. 219–220. 
  2. ^ Rupp, Martin; Romanych, Marc (2010). Maginot Line 1940: Battles on the French Frontier. Osprey Publishing. pp. 7, 25. 
  3. ^ Schäufler, Hans (2012). Panzer Warfare on the Eastern Front. Stackpole Books. pp. 7, 25. 
  4. ^ Kurowski, Franz (2011). Elite Panzer Strike Force: Germany's Panzer Lehr Division in World War II. Stackpole Books. p. 193. 
  5. ^ Hart, Stephen; Hart, Russell; Hughes, Matthew (2000). The German Soldier in World War II. Zenith Imprint. p. 33. 
  6. ^ Kane, Steve (1997). The 1st Ss Panzer Division in the Battle of the Bulge. Merriam Press. p. 167. 

See also[edit]