5th Parachute Division (Germany)

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German 5th Parachute Division
5. Fallschirmjäger Division.png
5. Fallschirmjäger Division Insignia
Active 1944–45
Country  Germany
Branch Balkenkreuz (Iron Cross) Luftwaffe
Type Fallschirmjäger
Role Airborne forces
Size Division
Gustav Wilke
Sebastian-Ludwig Heilmann

The 5th Parachute Division (German: 5. Fallschirmjäger-Division) was an elite Fallschirmjäger (airborne) division of the German Wehrmacht (Luftwaffe) during the Second World War, active from 1944 to 1945.

The division was formed in France in early 1944, commanded by Gustav Wilke and was the last division to receive near full fallschirmjäger training. It contained the 13th, 14th and 15th Fallschirmjäger Regiments, and the 5th Fallschirmjäger Artillery Regiment.[1]

Only the 15th Regiment was ready during the Battle of Normandy and was attached to 17th SS Panzergrenadier Division in the early stages of the campaign. The rest of the division was slowly committed later in July. It took heavy losses during the campaign and was subsequently withdrawn to the Netherlands to rebuild and refit.

The division notably took part in the Battle of the Bulge and was one of the few German units to achieve its mission objectives.[2]

After withdrawing through Germany, part of the division was captured near the Nürburgring in mid-March 1945, the rest of the division was captured in the Ruhr Pocket in April.

Commanding officer[edit]