3rd Luftwaffe Field Division (Germany)
|3rd Luftwaffe Field Division|
The 3rd Luftwaffe Field Division (German: 3.Luftwaffen-Feld-Division) was an infantry division of the Luftwaffe branch of the Wehrmacht that fought in World War II. It was formed using surplus ground crew of the Luftwaffe and served on the Eastern Front from late 1942 to early 1944 at which time it was disbanded.
The 3rd Luftwaffe Field Division, one of several such divisions of the Luftwaffe, was formed in mid-1942 in Gross-Born Troop Maneuver Area, under the command of Generalmajor[Note 2] Robert Pistorious. Intended to serve as infantry, its personnel were largely drawn from surplus Luftwaffe (German Air Force) ground crew.
Towards the end of 1942, the division was assigned to Army Group Centre on the Eastern Front and fought in engagements at Nevel from November 1942 to October 1943. Responsibility for the division was transferred to the Army on 1 November 1943 and designated 3rd Field Division (L). Later that month, it participated in actions at Vitebsk against the Soviet Army and remained on the front lines until January 1944. Shortly afterwards, after suffering heavy losses in the fighting at Vitebsk, the division was disbanded. Surviving personnel were absorbed by the 4th and 6th Luftwaffe Field Divisions.
- This was later expanded to a regiment and designated I/43rd Motorised Flak Regiment.
- The rank of generalmajor is equivalent to that of brigadier general in the United States Army.
- Pistorious was later promoted to generalleutnant, which is equivalent to the rank of major general in the United States Army.
- Mitcham, Samuel W. (2007a). German Order of Battle, Volume Two: 291st–999th Infantry Divisions, Named Infantry Divisions, and Special Divisions in WWII. Mechanicsburg, PA, United States: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-3437-0.
- Mitcham, Samuel W. (2007b). German Order of Battle, Volume Three: Panzer, Panzer Grenadier, and Waffen SS Divisions in WWII. Mechanicsburg, PA, United States: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-3438-7.