81st Infantry Division (Wehrmacht)

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81. Infanterie-Division
German 81st Infantry Division
81. Infanterie Division Insignia.png
81. Infanterie Division Insignia
Active 1 December 1939 – 8 May 1945
Country Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Branch Heer
Type Division
Role Infantry
Engagements

World War II

Commanders
Notable
commanders
Erich Schopper

The 81st Infantry Division (German: 81. Infanterie-Division) was a German division of foot soldiers, artillery and tanks in the German land forces (Heer) of the Unified Armed Forces of Germany (Wehrmacht) during World War II. It was formed on 1 December 1939.

During the Toropets-Kholm Offensive of late 1941, the division brought in by rail during the last days of December. Its first regiment—the 189th Infantry under Colonel Hohmeyer together with the 2nd Battalion of Artillery Regiment 181 and the 3rd Company of the Engineer Battalion 181—was immediately ordered to detrain at Toropets and Andreapol. From there, it advanced to Okhvat where it was encircled and completely destroyed on 14 January. 1,100 dead were later found in a forest near Okhvat, including the regimental commander who was posthumously promoted to Major General. A total of 40 survivors from the artillery battalion made it back to the German lines. The move into action and collapse was so swift that the regiment was not even identified on German situation maps.

Orders of Battle[edit]

81. Infanterie-Division 1939[edit]

  • Infanterie-Regiment 161
  • Infanterie-Regiment 174
  • Infanterie-Regiment 189
  • Artillerie-Regiment 181
  • Pionier-Battalion 181
  • Panzerabwehr-Abteilung 181
  • Infanterie-Divisions-Nachrichten-Abteilung 181
  • Infanterie-Divisions-Nachschubführer 181

81. Infanterie-Division 1944[edit]

  • Grenadier-Regiment 161
  • Grenadier-Regiment 174
  • Grenadier-Regiment 189
  • Divisions-Füsilier-Battalion 61
  • Artillerie-Regiment 181
  • Pionier-Battalion 181
  • Panzerjäger-Abteilung 181
  • Infanterie-Divisions-Nachrichten-Abteilung 181
  • Infanterie-Divisions-Nachschubführer 181

Commanding officers[edit]

  • Generalleutnant Friedrich-Wilhelm von Loeper, 1 December 1939 – 5 October 1940
  • Generalmajor Hugo Ribstein, 5 October 1940 – 8 December 1941
  • Generalleutnant Erich Schopper, 8 December 1941 – 1 March 1943
  • Generalleutnant Gottfried Weber, 1 March 1943 – 13 March 1943
  • Generalleutnant Erich Schopper, 13 March 1943 – 1 June 1943
  • Generalleutnant Gottfried Weber, 1 June 1943 – 30 June 1943
  • Generalleutnant Erich Schopper, 30 June 1943 – 5 April 1944
  • Generalleutnant Vollrath Lübbe, 5 April 1944 – 1 July 1944
  • Generalmajor der Reserve Dr. Ernst Meiners, 1 July 1944 – 10 July 1944
  • Generalleutnant Franz-Eccard von Bentivegni, 10 July 1944 – 8 May 1945

See also[edit]

External links[edit]