The 302nd Infantry Division was raised in November 1940 from men in Military District 3 and was used mostly as a French-occupying force, with some elements remaining in Germany. Its first combat situation was Luis Mountbatten's Dieppe Raid of 1942. The 302nd's actions during the raid led to it being nicknamed the "Dieppe division".
In January 1943, the division was sent to the Eastern Front to aid in the Kharkov offensive, where it fought in Luhansk (then known as Voroshilovgrad). Between April and September the division switched to defensive tactics along the Mius-Front. It defended the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhia between October and December before withdrawing to the Nikopol bridgehead, where Lieutenant General Rüdiger was wounded-in-action. The division retreating west to the Dnieper in April. Rüdiger's replacement, Lieutenant General Bogen was captured by Soviet troops in July. Colonel Fischer, the 302nd Artillery Regiment's commander, took his place. The division met its end on August 25 when the Soviets succeeded in encircling it during its withdrawal from the Dnieper. During the encirclement Fischer was wounded and soon after captured.