4th Parachute Division (Germany)

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4th Parachute Division
Active 1943 - 1945
Country Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Allegiance Adolf Hitler
Type Fallschirmjäger
Role Airborne Infantry
Size Division
Part of I Fallschirm Korps
Engagements World War II
Battle of Anzio
Decorations Referenced in the Wehrmachtbericht
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Heinrich Trettner

The 4th Parachute Division, (or in German 4 Fallschirmjäger Division), was a formation in the Luftwaffe during World War II. It was formed in Venice, Italy, in November 1943, from elements of 2 Fallschirmjäger Division and volunteers from the Italian 184 and 185 Airborne Division Folgore parachute divisions.[1]

Its first combat action was against the Allied landings at Anzio (Operation Shingle) as part of the I. Fallschirm Korps in January 1944.[1]

After Anzio, the Division fought a rear guard action in front of Rome, and was the last German unit to leave the city on 4 June; it withdrew towards Viterbo Siena Firenze and then managed to halt the Allies at the Futa pass.[2]
In the Winter of 1944/1945 it was positioned on the Gothic Line. In March 1945, the Division had to send the II Battalion, 12 Fallschirmjäger Regiment and the 2nd Company from the Pionier Battalion to the new 10 Fallschirmjager Division, which was being formed in Austria.[2]

It then fought at Nettuno, Florence, Rimini and Bologna and surrendered to the Allies in April 1945.[3]

Fallschirmjäger in Italy, January 1944

Commander[edit]

Order of battle[edit]

  • Division staff
    • Motorcycle Company
    • Military Police Troop (mot)
  • 10 Fallschirmjäger Regiment
    • Regimental Staff
    • Signals Platoon
    • Bicycle Reconnaissance Company
    • 3 x Battalions (mot)
      • Battalion Staff
      • Signals Platoon
      • 3 x Companies
      • Heavy Company
    • Mortar Company (mot)
    • Panzerjäger Kompanie (mot)
    • Pionier Kompanie (mot)
  • 11 Fallschirmjäger Regiment
    • As 10 Fallschirmjager Regiment
  • 12 Fallschirmjäger Regiment
    • As 10 Fallschirmjager Regiment
  • 4 Fallschirmjäger Mortar Battalion
    • Battalion Staff
    • Staff Company (mot)
    • 3 x Companies
  • 4 Fallschirmjäger Panzerjäger Battalion
    • Battalion Staff
    • Signals Platoon
    • 3 x Companies (mot)
  • 4 Fallschirmjäger Artillerie Regiment
    • Regiment Staff
      • 3 x Battalions
        • Battalion Staff
        • Staff Battery (mot)
        • 3 x Batteries
  • 4 Fallschirmjäger Flak Battalion
    • Battalion Staff
    • Heavy Supply Column
    • 3 x Batteries (mot)
    • 2 x Batteries (self propelled)
  • 4 Fallschirmjäger Pionier Battalion
    • Battalion Staff
    • Signals Platoon (mot)
    • 4 x Pioneer Companies
  • 4 Fallschirmjäger Signals Battalion
    • Signals Company (mot)
    • Radio Company (mot)
    • Supply Column (mot) [1]

Wehrmachtbericht reference[edit]

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
2 June 1944 In diesem Frontabschnitt haben sich die 65. Infanteriedivison unter Generalleutnant Pfeiffer, die durch Teile der 4. Fallschirmjägerdivision verstärkte 3. Panzergrenadierdivision unter Generalmajor Hecker und eine aus Einheiten des Heeres und der Fallschirmtruppe zusammengestellte Kampfgruppe unter Generalleutnant Greiner, hervorragend unterstützt durch Artillerie und durch Flakartillerie der Luftwaffe, besonders ausgezeichnet. [4] In this section of the front have the 65th Infantry Division under Lieutenant General Pfeiffer, augmented by parts of the 4th Airborne Division which reinforced the 3rd Mechanized Infantry Division under Major General Hecker and units from the Army and the parachute troops assembled combat group under Lieutenant General Greiner, well supported by artillery and anti-aircraft artillery of the Luftwaffe, particularly distinguished themselves.

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ a b c "axis.history". Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  2. ^ a b Quarrie, p 46
  3. ^ Windrow, p 17
  4. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 116.
Bibliography
  • Quarrie Bruce, German Airborne Divisions: Mediterranean Theatre 1942-45, Osprey Publishing, 2005, ISBN 1-84176-828-6
  • Windrow Martin, Luftwaffe Airborne and Field Units, Osprey Publishing, 1972, ISBN 0-85045-114-0
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, 1. Januar 1944 bis 9. Mai 1945 (in German). München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, 1985. ISBN 3-423-05944-3.