4th Parachute Division (Germany)

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German 4th Parachute Division
4. Fallschirmjäger Division.png
4 Fallschirmjäger Division Insignia
Active 1943–45
Country  Nazi Germany
Branch Balkenkreuz (Iron Cross) Luftwaffe
Type Fallschirmjäger
Role Airborne forces
Size Division
Part of I Parachute Corps
Engagements World War II
Battle of Anzio
Decorations Referenced in the Wehrmachtbericht
Heinrich Trettner

The 4th Parachute Division, (German: 4. Fallschirmjäger-Division), was a divisional-sized elite formation in the Luftwaffe during World War II. It was formed in Venice, Italy, in November 1943, from elements of 2 Fallschirmjäger Division and volunteers from the Italian 184 and 185 Airborne Division Folgore parachute divisions.[1] Its first combat action was against the Allied landings at Anzio (Operation Shingle) as part of the I. Fallschirm Korps in January 1944.[1] The division was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht on 2 June 1944.[2]

After Anzio, the division fought a rear guard action in front of Rome, and was the last German unit to leave the city on 4 June; it withdrew towards Viterbo Siena Firenze and then managed to halt the Allies at the Futa pass.[3]
In the winter of 1944/1945 it was positioned on the Gothic Line. In March 1945, the division had to send the II Battalion, 12 Fallschirmjäger Regiment and the 2nd Company from the Pionier Battalion to the new 10 Fallschirmjager Division, which was being formed in Austria.[3] It then fought at Nettuno, Florence, Rimini and Bologna and surrendered to the Allies in April 1945.[4]



  1. ^ a b "axis.history". Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  2. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 116.
  3. ^ a b Quarrie, p 46
  4. ^ Windrow, p 17
  • Quarrie Bruce, German Airborne Divisions: Mediterranean Theatre 1942-45, Osprey Publishing, 2005, ISBN 1-84176-828-6
  • Windrow Martin, Luftwaffe Airborne and Field Units, Osprey Publishing, 1972, ISBN 0-85045-114-0
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, 1. Januar 1944 bis 9. Mai 1945 (in German). München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, 1985. ISBN 3-423-05944-3.