227th Infantry Division (Wehrmacht)

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227. Infanterie-Division
German 227th Infantry Division
Active 26 August 1939 – 1945
Country  Nazi Germany
Branch Heer
Type Division
Role Infantry
Engagements World War II
Decorations reference in the Wehrmachtbericht

The 227th Infantry Division named "Rheinisch-Westfälische" was created on 26 August 1939 in Krefeld. The Division was deployed for the last time in February 1945 in the Tuchola Forest.

Operational history[edit]

Activation and the low countries[edit]

The 227th Infantry Division was formed during the 3rd wave mobilization in August 1939 in Krefeld. Shortly thereafter it served with the 5th Army performing border protection in the Eifel region. In December 1939 it was assigned to the 6th Army and became a part of Army Group B in preparation for 'Fall gelb' (case yellow). In early 1940, motorcycle components of the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler under Kurt Meyer were attached to the 227th Infantry Division during the preparations for the invasion of the Netherlands.[1][2] The division took part in the invasion of the Netherlands and France in May–June 1940. As part of the X Army Corps of the 18th Army, it participated in the advance through Enschede and Deventer, and helped to capture the fort at Pannerden and the break through the Grebbe line. After the crossing of the Leie the division advanced through Ghent, Zwolle and Amersfoort. Shortly thereafter came the capitulation Holland.

Leningrad[edit]

Following the victory in France the division performed occupation, security and coastal defense duties along the Normandy coast near Le Havre from July 1940 until December 1941, when it was transferred to Army Group North on the Eastern Front. There, the division engaged in continual fighting in and around Leningrad. In January 1942, the division was part of Herbert Loch's 28th Army Corps (XXVIII AK),[2] in the 18th Army.[3] The division engaged in heavy fighting during the Red Army's main offensive at Sinyavino Heights, the Chernaya and the south shore of Lake Ladoga. The division suffered heavy casualties in what was called the Battle of Lake Ladoga from August through September of 1942.[3]

In January 1943 the Soviets launched Operation Iskra (the second Battle of Lake Ladoga) and the division became encircled in Schlüsselburg, along with two battalions of the 96th Infantry Division. After fierce fighting the division was able to rally and break out of the pocket.[4] It reached the German lines to the south, but three of its grenadier battalions were so badly mauled that they were disbanded, with the survivors being transferred to other grenadier battalions in the division.

In January 1944 the pressure from the Soviet army was such that the 227th Infantry Division and the rest of the XLIII Army Corps had to withdraw to positions behind Narva. During this withdrawal the division suffered heavy losses. In February 1944 the division was strengthened by elements of the 9th Luftwaffe Field Division, which itself had suffered heavily and been dissolved. Intense fighting followed in Courland, when the division was picked up by the German Navy during the evacuation, linking up with Army Group Vistula's 2nd Army and transferred to West Prussia.[4] It fought on in the Vistula, Danzig and Gotenhafen, where it was finally decimated completely by March 1945. In April 1945, the staff of the division was absorbed by the staff of the Panzer-Verband Ausbildungs Ostsee.

Commanding officers[edit]

Reference in the Wehrmachtbericht[edit]

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
12 February 1944 Im Nordabschnitt der Ostfront haben sich die rheinisch-westfälische 227. Infanterie-Division unter Führung des Generalleutnants Berlin und die Heeresartillerie unter Führung des Eichenlaubträgers Generalleutnant Tomaschki hervorragend bewährt.[5] In the northern sector of the eastern front, the Rhenish-Westphalian 227th Infantry Division under the command of Lieutenant General Berlin and the Army artillery under the command of Oak Leaves recipient Lieutenant General Tomaschki have proven themselves to be excellent.
3 August 1944 (Addendum) In den schweren Kämpfen bei Liepna haben sich die rheinisch-westfälische 227. Infanterie-Division unter Oberst Wengler und eine Kampfgruppe unter Major Busch besonders hervorgetan.[6] The Rhenish-Westphalian 227th Infantry Division under Colonel Wengler and a battle group under Major Busch have particularly distinguished themselves in the heavy fighting at Liepna.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ Meyer, Kurt (30 Jun 2005). Grenadiers: the story of Waffen SS General Kurt "Panzer" Meyer. Stackpole Books. ISBN 0-8117-3197-9. 
  2. ^ a b Forczyk, Robert (22 Sep 2009). Leningrad 1941-44: The Epic Siege. Campaign series. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84603-441-8. 
  3. ^ a b Glantz, David M. (26 May 2001). The siege of Leningrad, 1941-1944: 900 days of terror. Zenith Imprint. ISBN 0-7603-0941-8. 
  4. ^ a b Mitcham, Samuel W. (2007). German Order of Battle, Volume 1: 1st-290th Infantry Divisions in World War II. Stackpole Books. ISBN 0-8117-3416-1. 
  5. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 33.
  6. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 188.
Bibliography
  • 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.