18th Artillery Division (Wehrmacht)
The 18th Artillery Division (German: 18.Artillerie-Division) was established by the end of 1943 after disbanding the 18th Panzer Division. The unit was planned as a mobile artillery force, but due to lack of equipment it was never raised to its planned strength. It was surrounded in the Kamenets-Podolsky Pocket in north-western Ukraine; although it managed to break through the Soviet encirclement, the division suffered heavy losses and was disbanded a few months later.
The 18th Artillery Division was formed by the Stab (Staff) from remaining parts of the disbanded 18th Panzer Division on October 1, 1943. This was the first artillery division planned as an independent and mobile artillery force and a part of Aufstellungsbefehls. The ideal structure for the division was never achieved. It was formed from an infantry assault-gun and armored observation company (with four medium tanks). This formation was reinforced with an infantry rifle battalion which had the task of defending the division.
The division was part of the 1st Panzer Army, it was in action until late March 1944, when it was encircled in the Kamenez-Podolsky pocket. It managed to break through but it lost all of its heavy equipment. Until November 4, 1944, it was engaged in mostly infantry battles; due to heavy casualties the division ceased to exist. It was listed as an integral part of the official Kriegsgliederung in April 1944 for the last time [Kampfgruppe 18. Art.Div. per 15.4.44]. The division was formally disbanded on July 27, 1944. Its remaining officers and men was used to form Generalkommando Panzer-Grenadier-Division Großdeutschland and the artillery regiments were to become Heeres-Artillerie-Brigaden.
- Generalleutnant Karl Thoholte (October 20, 1943 - February 28, 1944)
- Generalmajor Gerhard Müller (February 28, 1944 - April 1944)
- Generalleutnant Karl Thoholte (April 1944 - July 1944)
Order of battle
- Artillerie-Regiment 88 (mot)
- Artillerie-Regiment 288 (mot)
- Artillerie-Regiment 388 (mot)
- Sturmgeschütz-Batterie 741
- Heeres-Flakartillerie-Abteilung 280
- Beobachtungs-Abteilung 4
- Divisions-Nachrichten-Abteilung 88
- Artillerie-Feldersatz-Abteilung 88
- Schützen-Abteilung (tmot) 88
- Kommandeur der Div.Nachschubtruppen 88
- Verwaltungseinheiten 88
- Sanitätseinheiten 88
Reference material on this division
Wolfgang Paul - Geschichte der 18. Panzer Division 1940-1943 mit Geschichte der 18. Art. Division
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