70th Infantry Division (Wehrmacht)
|70th Infantry Division|
|Engagements||World War II|
The German 70th Infantry Division was a unit of the German Army during World War II. It was formed late in 1944 from personnel previously exempted from military service due to stomach disorders or injuries (sometimes referred to as a "Stomach division").
As World War II progressed, German manpower resources available for military service declined and this was exacerbated by the severe losses suffered in Normandy, Tunisia and Stalingrad, for example. Groups of men, previously declared unfit for active service, were drafted or recalled into service. These included those with stomach complaints and it was decided that these men would be concentrated into a single formation to facilitate the provision of special foods and to isolate infectious or unpleasant conditions (hence the unofficial description of "White Bread" or Magen (Stomach) Division).
In August, 1944, the Division garrisoned Walcheren Island and South Beveland and in October consolidated on Walcheren during the assault by the 2nd Canadian Corps. Although not a first-class formation, the 70th was installed in static defences and, supported by ample heavy artillery, held out for several days. The Division, left with no escape route from Walcheren, surrendered on 5 November 1944 and 10,000 Germans became prisoners of war.
Later, during the Battle of the Bulge, the Germans employed another "Stomach" unit, the Infantrie Ersatz- und Ausbildungs-Battaillon 282 (M) , falsely referred to as Stomach Trouble battalion 282 by the 749th tank battalion.
Order of Battle
- "Enemy Forces - South Beveland and Walcheren; 70th Infanterie Division". Retrieved 7 Dec 2011.
- Levine, Alan (2000). From the Normandy beaches to the Baltic Sea: the Northwest Europe campaign, 1944-1945. Greenwood Publishing Group. Retrieved 7 Dec 2011.
- "NEWSLETTER - AUGUST 2001". South African Military History Society. Retrieved 7 Dec 2011.
- "Lexikon der Wehrmacht.de". Retrieved 12 Apr 2014.