42nd Jäger Division (Wehrmacht)

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42nd Jäger Division
Active 1939 - 1945
Country Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Allegiance Adolf Hitler
Size Division
Engagements World War II

42nd Jäger Division was a German Infantry formation during World War II. It can trace its origins to the 187th Infantry Division which was based in Austria until September 1942, when it was redesignated as the 187th Reserve Division. The 187th was sent to Croatia and was redesignated the 42nd Jäger Division in January 1944. 42. Jäger-Division was formed 22 Dec 1943 in Croatia from the 187. Reserve-Division. After taking part in Operation Margarthe, (the military occupation of Hungary) in March 1944, and then returned to Yugoslavia in May. In July 1944 the division was transferred to Italy where it remained for the rest of the war and surrendered in April 1945.[1][2]

Background[edit]

The main purpose of the German Jäger Divisions was to fight in adverse terrain where smaller, coordinated formations were more facilely combat capable than the brute force offered by the standard infantry divisions. The Jäger divisions were more heavily equipped than their 'mountain' counterparts, but not as well armed as a larger infantry division. In the early stages of the war, they were the interface divisions fighting in rough terrain and foothills as well as urban areas, between the mountains and the plains. The Jägers (meaning hunters in German) relied on a high degree of training and slightly superior communications, as well as their not inconsiderable artillery support. In the middle stages of the war, as the standard infantry divisions were down sized, the Jäger model with two infantry regiments came to dominate the standard tables of organization.[3]

Adolf Hitler declared that all infantry divisions were to be Grenadier Divisions in 1943 except for his elite Jäger and Mountain Jaeger divisions.[3]

Commanders[edit]

Area of operations[edit]

As 187th Division
Austria (October 1939 - August 1942)

As 187th Reserve Division
Austria (August 1942 - September 1942)
Croatia (September 1942 - January 1944)

As 42nd Jäger Division
Croatia (January 1944 - March 1944)
Hungary (March 1944 - May 1944)
Yugoslavia (May 1944 - July 1944)
Italy (July 1944 - April 1945)[1]

Order of battle (1944)[edit]

  • Jäger Regiment 25
  • Jäger Regiment 40
  • Reconnaissance Battalion 142
  • Artillery Regiment 142
  • Pioneer Battalion 142
  • Panzerjäger (anti-tank) Kompanie 142
  • Mountain Flak Kompanie 142
  • Signals Battalion 142
  • Feldersatz Battalion 142
  • Versorgungseinheiten 142 [1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Wendal, Marcus. "42. Jäger-Division". Axis Hi. 
  2. ^ "42 jager division". Lexikon der Wehrmacht (German). Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
  3. ^ a b Mcoy, Breaker (2009). German Army 101st Light Division, 101st Jager Division 1941 - 42.