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45th Infantry Division (Wehrmacht)

With the annexation in 1938 of Austria by Nazi Germany, what was once the 4th Austrian Division was incorporated into the Wehrmacht (German Army) and re-designated the 45th Infantry Division.[1] In the 1939 Invasion of Poland, the division was on the right wing of Gerd von Rundstedt's Army Group South.

45th Infantry Division
45. Infanterie-Division
Divisionsabzeichen 45. Infanterie-Division.jpg
Active1 April 1938 – 8 May 1945
Country Nazi Germany
BranchArmy
TypeInfantry
SizeDivision
EngagementsWorld War II

On 22 June 1941, the 45th Infantry Division began Operation Barbarossa by starting the 9-day long siege of the Brest Fortress.[2] In March 1942 the Red Army defeated the division at Livny, Russia and captured the archive of the division. That was the first time the Red Army learned about the defense of Brest Fortress[3] It suffered heavy casualties during the Battle for Kursk. It was rebuilt but virtually destroyed at Bobruisk during Operation Bagration. It was again rebuilt as the 45th Volksgrenadier Division in the autumn of 1944 in Poland. The division fought at Warsaw and Radom in 1945, retreating through Silesia to Koniggratz, and finally to Czechoslovakia, where it surrendered.[4]

Commanding officersEdit

  • Generalleutnant Friedrich Materna 1 April 1938 – 25 October 1940
  • Generalmajor Gerhard Körner, 25 October 1940 – 27 April 1941
  • Generalleutnant Fritz Schlieper, 27 April 1941 – 27 February 1942
  • Generalleutnant Fritz Kühlwein, 27 February 1942 – 25 April 1943
  • Generalleutnant Hans Freiherr von Falkenstein, 25 April 1943 – 30 November 1943
  • Generalmajor Joachim Engel, 30 November 1943 – 27 February 1944
  • Generalmajor Gustav Gihr, 27 February 1944 – 9 April 1944
  • Generalmajor Joachim Engel, 9 April 1944 – 19 July 1944
  • Generalmajor Richard Daniel, 19 July 1944 - March 1945
  • Generalmajor Erich Hassenstein, March 1945 - May 2, 1945

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Samuel W. Mitcham : German Order of Battle: 1st–290th Infantry divisions in World War II. Books.google.co.uk. p. 89. ISBN 0811734161. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  2. ^ Christian Ganzer: German and Soviet Losses as an Indicator of the Length and Intensity of the Battle for the Brest Fortress (1941). In: The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, Volume 27, Issue 3, p. 449-466.
  3. ^ Бешанов В.В. ”Бресткая крепость” Минск, 2004 (in Russian) page 130
  4. ^ German Order of Battle, Samuel W. Mitcham, Stackpole, ISBN 0811734161