3rd Mountain Division (Wehrmacht)

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3. Gebirgs-Division
(English: 3rd Mountain Division)
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1984-019-20, Eduard Dietl.jpg
Eduard Dietl – first commander of the 3rd Mountain Division
Active Raised April 1, 1938, Surrendered 1945
Country Nazi Germany
Branch Heer
Type Mountain Division
Part of Created as 3. Gebirgs-Divisionin 1940.
Garrison/HQ Graz
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Generaloberst Eduard Dietl
General der Gebirgstruppen Julius Ringel

The 3rd Mountain Division (German: 3 Gebirgs-Division) was a formation of the German Wehrmacht during World War II. It was created from the Austrian Army's 5th and 7th Divisions following the Anschluss in 1938.

History[edit]

The division took part in the Invasion of Poland 1939 as part of Army Group South, but was transferred to garrison the West Wall before the end of the campaign. In 1940 it joined the invasion of Norway, most famously sending its 139th Mountain Regiment under General Eduard Dietl to seize the ice-free Arctic port of Narvik. The Allies briefly managed to take the town back, but abandoned it to the Germans after the invasion of France.

In 1941 the division moved into Lapland to participate in Operation Silberfuchs, the attack on the Soviet Arctic as part of Operation Barbarossa, but failed to capture Murmansk. The division was withdrawn to Germany for rehabilitation at the end of the year, but left its 139th Mountain Infantry Regiment behind to operate independently. After rehabilitation, the division returned to Norway in 1942, where it served as a reserve. It was then transferred to the Eastern Front, where it served as a reserve for Army Group North near Leningrad. In November 1942 it was committed to the front where the Soviets had surrounded Velikiye Luki, and then transferred to the far south to help in the attempt to relieve Stalingrad. It fought the remainder of the war in the south, retreating with the front lines through the Ukraine, Hungary, Slovakia, and finally surrendering to the Soviets in Silesia at the end of the war.

Austrian-born German snipers Sepp Allerberger and Matthäus Hetzenauer served in the Eastern Front as part of the division.

Commanders[edit]

Order of Battle 1939[edit]

138. Gebirgsjäger Regiment
139. Gebirgsjäger Regiment
Gebirgs-Artillerie-Regiment 112
Aufklärungs-Abteilung 12
Panzerabwehr-Abteilung 48
Gebirgs-Pionier-Bataillon 83
Gebirgsjäger-Feldersatz-Bataillon 68
Gebirgs-Divisions-Nachschubtruppen 68
Gebirgs-Divisions-Nachrichten-Abteilung 68
Radfahr-Abteilung 68
Aufklärungs-Abteilung 83

See also[edit]

References[edit]