1st Ski Division (Wehrmacht)

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1. Skijäger Division
(English: 1st Ski Division)
VerbAb1SkiJgDivW.jpg
Unit insignia
Active 1943–45
Country  Nazi Germany
Branch Army
Type Infantry
Role Ski warfare
Size Division
Engagements World War II

The 1st Ski Division (German: 1. Skijäger-Division) was an infantry unit of the German Army trained to use skis for movement during winter. It was created on the Eastern Front in the autumn of 1943 in preparation for upcoming winter operations. It was enlarged into a full division in the summer of 1944. The division fought exclusively on the Eastern Front as part of Army Group Centre, including an approach to the Vistula river and during the retreat into Slovakia, southern Poland and the Czech lands (now the Czech Republic), where it surrendered to the Red Army in May 1945.

Formation and Organization[edit]

Skijäger-Brigade in 1944.

The American writer and publisher George Nafziger states that the 1st Skijäger Division was formed on 2 June 1944 by expanding the 1st Skijäger Brigade, which had been initially formed in September 1943. As was usual for German formations at this point in the war, the division was formed around existing units which were strengthened with new recruits. Elements of the 19th Panzergrenadier Brigade, the 65th Heavy Artillery Regiment, the 152nd Panzerjǎger Battalion and the 18th Werfer (Rocket) Battalion with the 615th Flak (anti-aircraft) Battalion which was used to expand the brigade into a division.

Commanding officers[edit]

  • Günther von Manteuffel, 1 April 1943 – September 1943
  • Martin Berg, 13 May 1944 – 2 August 1944
  • Gustav Hundt, 3 October 1944 – 15 November 1944

References[edit]

Bibliography
  • Anderson, Thomas, Skijäger: une "nouvelle race" de guerriers, Batailles & Blindés n°40, décembre 2010-janvier 2011, éditions Caraktère.