18th Volksgrenadier Division (Wehrmacht)
|18th Volksgrenadier Division|
The division was formed in Denmark, in September 1944, by redesignating the 571st Volksgrenadier Division. The division, which was under the command of Günther Hoffmann-Schönborn, absorbed elements of the 18th Luftwaffe Field Division. It contained the 293rd, 294th and 295th Grenadier Regiments, Panzerjäger-Bataillon 1818, Pionier-Bataillon 1818, Füsilier-Bataillon 1818 and the 1818th Artillery Regiment.
The division fought in the Ardennes, inflicting on the 106th US Infantry Division the worst defeat suffered by U.S. forces in the ETO, when over 8,000 US soldiers surrendered to the volksgrenadiers. On December 21, the 18th VGD captured St. Vith, winning a great victory. As the offensive steam came to an end in the Ardennes, the division went on the defensive, and there they would stay. Eventually retreating through Germany until the end of the war, when it surrendered. On February 5, 1945 General Walter Botsch took over command of the division. On March 6, 1945 when Botsch was ordered to take command of the LIIIrd Army Corps, the 18th VGD division was absorbed into the 26th VGD led by Heinz Kokott, Heinrich Himmler's brother-in-law.
Knights Cross Holders
- Wilhelm Drueke December 30, 1944
- Gunther Rennhack December 30, 1944
- Friedrich Hadenfeldt March 17, 1945
- Axis History Factbook
- "18. Volksgrenadier-Division". Axis History Factbook. 2 July 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-08.