4th Parachute Division (Germany)

The 4th Parachute Division, (German: 4. Fallschirmjäger-Division), was a divisional-sized elite formation in the Luftwaffe during World War II.

German 4th Parachute Division
4. Fallschirmjäger Division.png
Divisional insignia
Country Germany
BranchBalkenkreuz (Iron Cross) Luftwaffe
RoleAirborne forces
Part ofI Parachute Corps
EngagementsBattle of Anzio
Heinrich Trettner


It was formed in Venice, Italy, in November 1943, from elements of 2 Fallschirmjäger Division and volunteers from the Italian 184 and 185 Airborne Division Folgore parachute divisions.[1] Its first combat action was against the Allied landings at Anzio (Operation Shingle) as part of the I. Fallschirm Korps in January 1944.[1]

After Anzio, the division fought a rear guard action in front of Rome, and was the last German unit to leave the city on 4 June; it withdrew towards Viterbo Siena Firenze and then managed to halt the Allies at the Futa pass.[2]
In the winter of 1944/1945 it was positioned on the Gothic Line. In March 1945, the division had to send the II Battalion, 12 Fallschirmjäger Regiment and the 2nd Company from the Pionier Battalion to the new 10 Fallschirmjager Division, which was being formed in Austria.[2] It then fought at Rimini and Bologna and surrendered to the Allies on May 2nd 1945.[3]

War crimesEdit

The division has been implicated in Pedescala massacre (Veneto), between 30 April and 2 May 1945, when 63 civilians were executed.[4] [5]

Order of battleEdit

Structure of the division:[6]

  • Headquarters
  • 10th Parachute Regiment
  • 11th Parachute Regiment
  • 12th Parachute Regiment
  • 4th Parachute Artillery Regiment
  • 4th Parachute Tank Destroyer Battalion
  • 4th Parachute Engineer Battalion
  • 4th Parachute Signal Battalion
  • 4th Parachute Anti-Aircraft Battalion
  • 4th Parachute Heavy Mortar Battalion
  • 4th Parachute Field Replacement Battalion
  • 4th Parachute Divisional Supply Group



  1. ^ a b "axis.history". Retrieved 2009-02-03.
  2. ^ a b Quarrie, p 46
  3. ^ Windrow, p 17
  4. ^ "Pedescala Valdastico 30.4.1945–2.5.1945" (in Italian). Atlas of Nazi and Fascist Massacres in Italy. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  5. ^ "4. Fallschirm-Jäger-Division" (in Italian). Atlas of Nazi and Fascist Massacres in Italy. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  6. ^ German Order of Battle, 291st–999th Infantry Division, named infantry divisions, and special divisions in World War II. p. 179.
  • Quarrie Bruce, German Airborne Divisions: Mediterranean Theatre 1942–45, Osprey Publishing, 2005, ISBN 1-84176-828-6
  • Windrow Martin, Luftwaffe Airborne and Field Units, Osprey Publishing, 1972, ISBN 0-85045-114-0