3rd Light Division (Wehrmacht)

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3rd Light Division
3. leichte Division
Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-121-0010-20, Polen, Kolonne motorisierter deutscher Truppen.jpg
Active10 November 1938 – 16 October 1939
Disbanded16 October 1939
Country Nazi Germany
RoleMechanized warfare

The 3rd Light Division (sometimes described as Light Mechanized or Light Panzer to distinguish it from the later Light infantry divisions) was raised in November 1938.[1] In 1939 it fought in the Invasion of Poland. On 4 September 1939, soldiers from the division entered the region of Katowice where they met resistance from the local Polish population. In retribution 80 Polish prisoners of war were gathered in Kosciuszko Square by German soldiers and executed.[2]

Due to shortcomings that the campaign revealed in the organization of the Light divisions it was reorganized as the 8th Panzer Division in October 1939.


  1. ^ Tessin 1965, p. 175.
  2. ^ Szymon Datner (1974). Zbrodnie Wehrmachtu (Crimes of the Wehrmacht)


  • Tessin, Georg (1965). Die Landstreitkräfte 1–5 [Ground forces 1–5]. Die Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939—1945 (in German). Frankfurt/Main: E.S. Mittler. p. 175.