46th Infantry Division (Wehrmacht)
German 46th Infantry Division
|Active||24 November 1938 – May 1945|
|Engagements||World War II|
The 46th Infantry Division was a division of the German army from 1938 until 1945. It was formed in the latter part of 1938, and was constituted of recruits from the Sudetenland.
The division fought in the invasion of Poland in 1939, and then was held in reserve until May 1940, when it was transferred to France. The division fought in the Loire Valley until the fall of France.
After the invasion of the Soviet Union, the division was involved in the assault on the Crimea late in 1941. While engaged in heavy fighting in the Kerch Peninsula in December, and with Soviet landings both at the tip of the Kerch Peninsula and at Feodosiya, the 42nd Corps commander, General von Sponeck gave the order to pull back. This order was countermanded by the 11th Army commander, von Manstein, but since von Sponeck had already disassembled his wireless set, the order to hold ground was not received. The 46th Infantry Division avoided encirclement and eventually helped stem the tide of the Red Army landings at Feodosiya. General von Sponeck was dismissed and subject to a trial in which Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring oversaw the proceedings. General von Sponeck was sentenced to death but this order was commuted by Adolf Hitler and reduced to seven years imprisonment. When Feldmarschall von Reichenau took command of Army Group South, he relayed a message to the divisional commander, Lieutenant-General Himer which read
"Because of its slack reaction to the Russian landing on the Kerch Peninsula, as well as its precipitate withdrawal from the peninsula, I hereby declare 46th Division forfeit of soldierly honour. Decorations and promotions are in abeyance until countermanded. Signed: von Reichenau, Feldmarschall".
The 46th Infantry division was a part of 54th Army Corps, under the command of General Hansen.
In March 1945, the division was renamed the 46th Volksgrenadier Division. With its numbers depleted, the division surrendered to the Soviets in May 1945.
- Generalleutnant Paul von Hase (24 September 1938 – 24 July 1940)
- Generalleutnant Karl Kriebel (24 July 1940 – 17 September 1941)
- Generalleutnant Kurt Himer (17 September 1941 – 26 March 1942)
- Generalmajor (Generalleutnant) Ernst Haccius (5 April 1942 – 7 February 1943)
- General Arthur Hauffe (7 February 1943 – 13 February 1943)
- General Karl von Le Suire (13 February 1943 – 27 February 1943)
- General Arthur Hauffe (27 February 1943 – 20 August 1943)
- General Kurt Röpke (20 August 1943 – 10 July 1944)
- Oberst Curt Ewrigmann (10 July 1944 – 26 August 1944)
- Generalleutnant Erich Reuter (26 August 1944 – 8 May 1945)