7th Infantry Division (Wehrmacht)
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|German 7th Infantry Division
|Active||1 October 1934 – 8 May 1945|
The 7th Infantry Division (7. Infanterie-Division) was a formation of the German Wehrmacht during World War II. It was formed 1 October 1934 in Munich from the Artillerieführer VII staff and renamed 7. Infanterie-Division with the disclosure of German rearmament on 15 October 1935. In preparation of the Invasion of Poland, the division was transferred to Slovak Republik on 1 August 1939. The division surrendered to Soviet forces near Stutthof after the unconditional surrender of 8 May 1945.
Translated from Wikipedia in German (Not totally objective):
The 7th infantry division was sent to Slowakia on August 1, 1939, where it was mobilized on August 26. From September 1, 1939, the division took part in the Polish campaign. After advancing to the Jablunka pass and the Zwardoń saddle, it pursued Polish troops over the Dunajec and participated in the taking of Przemyśl.
Upon conclusion of the Polish campaign, the 7th infantry division was transferred to the western border of the German Reich. From there it took part in the Western campaign and on May 10, 1940 attacked through Löwen and Tournai in the Schelde sector, where it participated in the battle on the Schelde. Afterwards, the 7th infantry division crossed the Lys and took part in the fighting around Lille. Following the truce in June, the division remained stationed in northern France as an occupation troop.
In April, 1941, the 7th infantry division was transferred to the Generalgouvernement (Poland) to get ready for Operation Barbarossa. The division took part in the surprise attack on the Soviet Union from June 22, 1941, advancing past Bialystok to Minsk, then to Mogilev and Roslavl. The 7th infantry division took part in the battle of encirclement and annihilation at Smolensk, advanced over the Nara and participated in the battle of Moscow, during which the German offensive came to a halt about 60 kilometers west of Moscow due to the contrary weather conditions. Following the start of the Soviet counter-offensive on December 5, 1941, the division fought in the Shelkovka-Dorokhovo sector.
Early in 1942 the withdrawal to the Nara and the Gshatsk position occurred.
In 1943, the 7th infantry division fought in the Orel salient and retreated over the Desna and the Dnieper to Gomel.
Later, in early 1944 there was the retreat past the Pripyat swamps through Pinsk and Bielsk to the Bug, with the division fighting between the Bug and the Narew in the following weeks and months.
Afterwards, in 1945, following combat at Włodawa-Węgrów and Castenburg [?] between the Narew and the lower Vistula, it had to retreat, still fighting, past Ciechanów, Toruń, and Grudziądz to Gdansk. After the last defensive combat around the Vistula bridgehead, the division capitulated in the Sztutowo-Stegna sector.
- Franz Halder 1 October 1934 – 12 November 1936
- Otto Hartmann 12 November 1936 – 31 July 1939
- Eugen Ott 1 August 1939 – 30 September 1939
- ??? 30 September 1939 – 1. December 1939
- Eccard Freiherr von Gablenz 1 December 1939 – 13 December 1941
- Hans Jordan 13 December 1941 – 1 November 1942
- Fritz-Georg von Rappard 1 November 1942 – 2 October 1943
- Carl Andre 2 October 1943 – 30 November 1943
- Gustav Gihr 30 November 1943 – 8 December 1943
- Fritz-Georg von Rappard 8 December 1943
- Alois Weber August 1944 – May 1945
- Burkhard Müller-Hillebrand: Das Heer 1933–1945. Entwicklung des organisatorischen Aufbaues. Vol.III: Der Zweifrontenkrieg. Das Heer vom Beginn des Feldzuges gegen die Sowjetunion bis zum Kriegsende. Mittler: Frankfurt am Main 1969, p. 285.
- Georg Tessin: Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg, 1939 – 1945. Vol. III: Die Landstreitkräfte 6 -14. Mittler: Frankfurt am Main 1967.