Research on the German Armed Forces 1918-1945
This Division was formed originally from the 999 Afrika Brigade, a unit that
was formed in 1942 of court-martialed Germans for whom combat duty had been
prescribed as a means of punishment and rehabilitation. All Officers and
NCOs were regular German commanders without any sort of criminal record.
The brigade was reformed into a division in March of 1943, and was named as the 999.leicht Afrika-Division. In late March/April of 1943, two regiments of the 999th were sent to North Africa and fought in Tunisia. While in route to North Africa, the divisional commander of the 999th, Kurt Thomas, was killed.
Elements of the 999th fought in Tunisia within various Kampfgruppe, as with many other German units in North Africa at the time. Pichon, Fondouk and "Longstop Hill" were three important places elements of the 999th fought while in Tunisia. The 999th also took part in heavy defensive fighting for a number of weeks before the final surrender of the Axis forces in North Africa to the Allies in May, 1943.
The remains of the 999th that were not sent to North Africa were formed into the 999.Festung-Infanterie-Regiment, a fortress unit, and other portions were sent to Rhodos to become a part of the Sturm-Division "Rhodos" , an occuption unit based on the Axis held island of Rhodos in the Aegean Sea.
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