278th Infantry Division (Wehrmacht)

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278. Infanterie-Division
German 278th Volksgrenadier Division
Active Feb 1943 – 1945
Country  Nazi Germany
Branch Heer
Type Division
Role Infantry
Engagements

World War II

Commanders
Notable
commanders
Lt General Harry Hoppe

Formed in 1940 from older personnel, the first 278th never saw combat and was dissolved after the fall to France. The second 278th was formed in mid 1942 in Belgium and was sent to Army Group C Italy in late 1943.

Operational history[edit]

Serving on coastal defense duties and taking part in anti-partisan operations in Istria while continuing its training. In mid-May 1944, the 278th division received orders to move to the battle area on the Adriatic for operational assignment to the 10th German Army. Facing Lieutenant General Wladyslaw Anders’ Polish II Corps, Hoppe’s division fought a ferocious defensive battle for the port city of Ancona from mid-June until early July 1944. After halting the Polish attack early in July the 278th Infantry Division faced a renewed attack by General Anders’ corps on July 17. Pushing the Germans beyond the Esino River, Ancona fell to the Poles on the 18th.]

Mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht [Armed Forces Communiqué]: 6 July 1944: In continuous and heavy defensive fighting, the 278th Infantry Division, commanded by Generalleutnant Hoppe, fought especially bravely against an overwhelming enemy and inflicted heavy casualties on him. All enemy breakthrough attempts [to capture Ancona] failed in the face of the division’s obstinacy.

It was then assigned to LXXVI Panzer Corps defending the Gothic Line. After heavy losses the 278th was formed into a Volksgrenadier Division in early 1945 Later it was transferred to the 1st Parachute Corp defending the Brenner Pass where most of the division was encircled, the remainder later surrendered on the May 2, 1945

Organization[edit]

1944

  • Grenadier-Regiment 992
  • Grenadier-Regiment 993
  • Grenadier-Regiment 994
  • Artillerie-Regiment 278,
  • Divisions-Füsilier-Kompanie 278
  • Panzer-Jäger-Abteilung 278
  • Engineer-Battalion 278
  • Signals Battalion 278

References[edit]

  • Mitcham, W, Samuel. Hitlers Legions