302nd Static Infantry Division (Wehrmacht)

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The 302nd Static Infantry Division was raised over the winter of 1940-1941 and stationed in northern France for occupation duties. According to Hauptmann Joachim Lindner: 'Day after day nothing.'

An Allied amphibious raid, to determine if a large landing could be attempted, was made at Dieppe, France on 19 August 1942. The Allies suffered heavy losses with men and tanks strewn over the beach along with landing craft. The operation painted a grim picture for any future Allied incursion. A German major observed, 'I have not witnessed images more terrible. In one landing craft the entire crew of about forty men had been wiped out by a direct hit. On the water we could see bits of wreaks, ships in ruins, corpses floating and soldiers wrestling with death. In Paris there was jubilation. The enemy's operation was smashed in just over nine hours!'

Over 6,000 troops landed at Dieppe (mainly Canadians) and less than 2,500 of them succeeded in returning to Britain afterwards. The Germans suffered a coastal battery damaged, 48 Luftwaffe planes destroyed, and approximately 600 casualties.

In October the division was reorganized as the 302nd Infantry Division (with improved mobility and offensive capabilities), and after a few additional months serving as a reserve in France was transferred to the Russian Front in early 1943 to help shore up the line after the German defeat in the Battle of Stalingrad. Thereafter it was pushed back along with the front line until it was destroyed in western Ukraine in August 1944, whereupon surviving elements were used to rebuild other weakened infantry divisions.

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