29th Infantry Division (Wehrmacht)

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29th German Infantry Division
29th Infanterie Division Logo.svg
Active 1 October 1936 – 8 May 1945
Branch Heer
Type Infantry
Size Division
Nickname Falcon Division
Engagements

World War II

The 29th Infantry Division was a unit of the German army created in the fall of 1936. It was based on the old Reichswehr 15th Infantry Regiment and drew its initial recruits from Thuringia. It was upgraded to 29th Motorized Infantry Division in the fall of 1937. The division was also known as the Falke-Division (Falcon Division).

Operational history[edit]

The division was mobilized in August 1939 and joined the XIV Corps of the German 10th Army for the invasion of Poland. It took part in the encirclement of Polish forces at Radom, Poland and committed the Massacre in Ciepielów.

In December 1939 it was transferred to the west. During the invasion of France it joined the 16th Army. As a strategic reserve it was used during the drive for the English Channel. After the Dunkirk evacuation it joined Guderians Panzergruppe (Heinz Guderian) for a speedy advance through eastern France. It was then employed in occupation duties in eastern France until early 1941.

Taking part in Operation Barbarossa it was attached to the German 4th Army and took part in a number of actions against isolated Soviet formations at Minsk, Smolensk and Bryansk. It was then sent to support Guderians Panzer Army near Tula. The division lost most of its vehicles and many killed and captured during the retreat from Moscow at Mordves, south of Kashira in the Moscow oblast.[1] In 1942 it spent the first 6 months in action near Orel and then in July 1942 was assigned to the German 6th Army as part of Army Group South. By August 1942 it was near Stalingrad and took part in the bitter battles in the Southern part of that city.

In early 1943 the division found itself surrounded and facing west against the Soviet forces. A report on 28 December noted that 6 of its 8 battalions were combat capable and it still had 30 guns, but only 3 operational anti-tank weapons. On 21 January 1943 it was attacked by the Soviet 21st Army, and destroyed as part of the Battle of Stalingrad.

It was then reconstituted in France in the early spring from the recently formed 345th Infantry Division. It was transferred to the Sicilian Campaign as the 29th Panzergrenadier Division for sometime in the defence of the Northern Route to Messina. Thereafter it fought in Italy at Salerno, Anzio, and San Pietro and was destroyed by the British in northern Italy just before the end of the war.

Innocent of War Crimes[edit]

The 29th Infantry Division was innocent of all war crimes, they treated prisoners with respect, but when they were captured at Stalingrad, they were marched to Gulag camps in Siberia, less than 8,000 of them ever returned home.

Commanding officers[edit]

See also[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Белов П. А. За нами Москва. — М.: Воениздат, 1963.

References[edit]

  • Wendel, Marcus (2004). "29. Infanterie-Division (mot)". Retrieved April 10, 2005.
  • Wendel, Marcus (2004). "29. Panzergrenadier-Division". Retrieved April 10, 2005.
  • 29. "Infanteriedivision". German language article at www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de, with photo. (Follow links to cover the division's entire history.) Retrieved April 10, 2005.
  • 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.