33rd Infantry Division (Wehrmacht)

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33rd Infantry Division
33rd Infanterie-Division logo 1.jpg
The division's emblem
Active 1 April 1936 – 11 November 1940
Country  Nazi Germany
Branch Heer (Army)
Type Infantry
Size Division
Garrison/HQ Darmstadt

The 33rd Infantry Division (German: 33. Infanteriedivision) was a German Army infantry division active in World War II. It served in the battle of France and subsequently was converted into the 15th Panzer Division.

History[edit]

The formation was created as the 33rd Infantry Division in 1936, as part of the regular peace time army's expansion to 36 divisions. It was mobilized in 1939, but remained on the defensive in the west and did not take part in the invasion of Poland.

In May 1940 the 33rd Infantry division was attached to Panzer Group Kleist, and followed in reserve behind the panzer attack, through Luxembourg and Bastogne. Marching into France, it reached the battle front near St Quentin, and took up defensive positions along the Somme at Peronne[1] The division built a bridgehead across the river, which was used by the armored divisions of XVI motorised Army Corps in the relaunch of the German offensive on 6 June 1940. Attacking alongside the panzers the 33rd division broke through the Weygand line, and advanced to the south. When the XVI Panzer Corps was withdrawn on 8 June for reassignment, the 33rd took over the 3rd Panzer division sector, and continued the advance towards Paris.[2] The division then accelerated its pace, crossing first the Marne, followed by the Seine and the Loire, finally reaching the Cher at Montrichard[1]

Following the French surrender it spent 2 months with the occupation forces until it was returned to Germany and in November 1940 dissolved. The bulk of the division was reorganized as the 15th Panzer division by incorporating the 8th Panzer Regiment from the 10th Panzer Division. Its surplus 110th Infantry Regiment went to the 112th Infantry Division and its horse drawn elements were incorporated into the newly forming 129th Infantry Division.[3]

Commanders[edit]

Organization[edit]

1940

  • 104 Infantry Regiment
  • 110 Infantry Regiment
  • 115 Infantry Regiment
  • 33 Artillery Regiment
  • 33 Anti-tank battalion
  • 33 Reconnaissance battalion
  • 33 Engineer battalion
  • 33 Signals battalion
  • 33 Division services

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Werner Haupt, Die deutschen Infanterie-division, p134-136
  2. ^ Armored Bears: Vol.1, p100
  3. ^ Samuel W. Mitcham, German Order of Battle: Panzer, Panzer Grenadier, and Waffen SS Divisions in WWII v. 3, p41