2nd Light Division (Wehrmacht)
The 2nd Light Division (sometimes described as Light Mechanized or Light Panzer to distinguish it from Light infantry divisions) was created in November 1938. In 1939 it fought in the Invasion of Poland. Afterwards it was reorganized as the 7th Panzer Division, in October 1939.
As the 7th Panzer Division it participated in the 1940 Battle of France under the command of the soon-to-be-famous Erwin Rommel, earning its nickname Gespenster-Division ("Ghost Division",) because it advanced so rapidly into and beyond the French front lines that higher headquarters lost track of where it was. It remained in France on occupation duty until early 1941.
In June 1941 it joined Operation Barbarossa and fought on the Eastern Front until the spring of 1942, when it was shipped back to France for rehabilitation. It returned to the east in early 1943 and was used in the attempt to shore up the front line after the Battle of Stalingrad and continued with Army Group South as the Germans were pushed back through the Ukraine. In July 1944 it was transferred to Army Group Center and moved northward to fight in Lithuania and Courland. It continued to be driven westward along with the front lines until it surrendered to the Soviets at Schwerin in Pomerania at the war's end in May 1945.
Soldiers from the division took part in atrocities against Polish citizens during September Campaign. On the 12th of September in the village of Kozłowice, soldiers of the division killed 5 Polish prisoners of war. Near Opatowiec 45 Polish prisoners of war were killed by the soldiers of the division.
- Panzertruppe, Panzer, Panzer division
- Division (military), Military unit
- Heer, Wehrmacht, List of German divisions in World War II
- Szymon Datner (1974). Zbrodnie Wehrmachtu (Crimes of the Wehrmacht)
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