26th Infantry Division (Wehrmacht)

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26. Infanterie-Division
German 26th Infantry Division
26. Infanterie-Division(Wehrmacht).svg
Active 1 April 1936–1945
Country  Nazi Germany
Branch Heer
Type Division
Role Infantry
Engagements World War II

The 26th Infantry Division (26. Infanterie-Division) was a pre-Second World war German Infantry Division of the 1st mobilisation wave (1. Welle). It was mobilised for World War II on September 26, 1939, disbanded on September 10, 1944 near Radom and reformed as the 26th Volksgrenadier Division (26. Volksgrenadier-Division) on September 17, 1944 near Poznań by absorption of the new 582nd Volksgrenadier Division of the 32nd mobilisation wave (32. Welle). Remnants of the Division entered U.S. captivity in the Harz region in 1945.

Commanding officers[edit]

Operational history[edit]

The 26th Infantry Division spent the early war years on the Western Front, taking part in the Battle of France in May/June 1940, first under the command of the Sixteenth Army (16. Armee) and later the Twelfth Army. The division was transferred to the Eastern Front in June 1941 to serve under Army Group Centre (Heeresgruppe Mitte). It participated in the Battle of Kursk in July 1943. After this action the 26th Infantry Division absorbed the 174th Reserve Division (174. Reserve-Division). The division was disbanded after casualties were sustained near Kowel on September 10, 1944; suriviving troops were transferred to the 253rd Infantry Division (253. Infanterie-Division).

A new 26th Volksgrenadier Division was formed on September 17, 1944 in the Warthelager (now Biedrusko in west central Poland), near Poznán by absorption of the 582nd Volksgrenadier Division and remnants of the old 26th Infantry Division. This new division spent the rest of the war on the Western Front under Army Group B (Heeresgruppe B) until it entered U.S. captivity in the Harz in 1945.

Organisation[edit]

1939[edit]

  • Infanterie-Regiment 39, I-III Battalions
  • Infanterie-Regiment 77, I-III Battalions [1]
  • Infanterie-Regiment 78, I-III Battalions
  • Artillerie-Regiment 26, I-III Battalions plus the Ist Battalion of Artillerie-Regiment 62
  • Aufklärungs-Abteilung 26
  • Panzerjäger-Abteilung 26
  • Pionier-Abteilung 26
  • Infanterie-Divisions-Nachrichten-Abteilung 26
  • Feldersatz-Bataillon 26

1944[edit]

  • Füsilier Regiment 39, I and II Battalions
  • Grenadier Regiment 77, I and II Battalions
  • Füsilier Regiment 78, I and II Battalions
  • Artillerie-Regiment 26, I-IV Battalions
  • Divisions-Füsilier-Kompanie 26 (later expanded to Füsilier-Bataillon 26)
  • Panzer-Jäger-Abteilung 26
  • Pionier-Abteilung 26
  • Infanterie-Divisions-Nachrichten-Abteilung 26
  • Feldersatz-Bataillon 26

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Burkhard Müller-Hillebrand (1969). Das Heer 1933-1945. Entwicklung des organisatorischen Aufbaues (in German). Vol. III: Der Zweifrontenkrieg. Das Heer vom Beginn des Feldzuges gegen die Sowjetunion bis zum Kriegsende. Frankfurt am Main: Mittler. p. 286. 
  • Georg Tessin (1970). 'Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg, 1939 - 1945 (in German). Vol. IV: Die Landstreitkräfte 15 -30. Frankfurt am Main: Mittler.