188th Reserve Mountain Division (Wehrmacht)
German Division Nr. 188[Notes 1] was raised in late 1939. It consisted of the 136th, 138th and 139th Mountain Replacement Regiments and the 112th Artillery Replacement Regiment, plus supporting units.[Notes 2] It began the war on border guard duty in the mountainous region between Austria and Yugoslavia with the primary mission of training reservists and replacements for the regular mountain divisions. In the spring of 1941 it joined the invasion of Yugoslavia, with the three mountain regiments given responsibility of seizing control of Carniola and Carinthia on the Yugoslav side of the border, which they carried out quickly and effectively against little to no resistance.
After the campaign the division remained in reserve at Innsbruck. On 8 October 1943 it was redesignated as the 188th Reserve Mountain Division and reorganized with Reserve Mountain Regiments 136, 137, 138, and 139, each with two battalions, and Reserve Artillery Regiment 112, also with two battalions, and transferred to northern Italy. On 27 February 1944 it was transferred to Istria and served on anti-partisan duties. A few days later it was again redesignated as the 188th Mountain Division and its regiments were redesignated as Mountain Regiments 901, 902, 903, 904 and Mountain Artillery Regiment 1088. It surrendered in Istria when the war ended in 1945.
Operations Officers (Ia)
Major Peter Hörmann (8 Oct 1943-1 Feb 1944)
Area of operations
Italy & Slovenia (Oct 1943 - Mar 1944)
Order of battle
- Reserve-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 136
- Reserve-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 137
- Reserve-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 138
- Reserve-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 139
- Reserve-Grenadier-Bataillon 499
- Reserve-Artillerie-Regiment 112
- Reserve-Gebirgs-Pionier-Bataillon 83
- Versorgungseinheiten 1088
- "Nr." is the abbreviation for German Nummer, "number", and refers to a type of division headquarters that was numbered in the regular series of infantry-type divisions, but usually was only a division on paper, without substantial combat assets. (Division Nr. 188 was exceptional in this regard, having three Mountain Replacement Regiments from the time it was formed.) Many of these divisions were later converted to regular divisions, sometimes for types such as Panzer or Mountain which were not normally numbered in series with the infantry divisions.
- The 139th Mountain Replacement Regiment does not appear to be related to the 139th Mountain Regiment associated with the 3rd and 9th Mountain Divisions.
- Stanton, pp. 12-14
- Tessin, pp. 240-1
- Shelby L. Stanton (1990). "Facts Behind the Counters: Into the Balkans with Division Nr. 188". Europa 15: 12–14.
- Tessin, Georg. Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945; Band 7 Osnabruck: Biblio, 1973 ISBN 3-7648-0872-1
- Wendel, Marcus (2004). "188. Reserve-Gebirgs-division". Retrieved April 12, 2005.
- Wendel, Marcus (2004). "Division Nr. 188". Retrieved April 12, 2005.
- "188.Gebirgs-Division". German language article at www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de. Retrieved April 12, 2005.
- "Kommandeur der Ersatztruppen XVIII / Division Nr. 188 ". German language article at www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de. Retrieved April 12, 2005.
- Andris J. Kursietis - The Wehrmacht at War 1939-1945
- Samuel W. Mitcham Jr - Hitler's Legions: The German Army Order of Battle World War II
- George F. Nafziger - The German Order of Battle: Infantry in World War II
- Gordon Williamson - German Mountain & Ski Troops 1939-45