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 22.Infanterie-Division by Jason Pipes
Unit Emblems

                

Lineage

  • 22.Infanterie-Division
  • 22.Infanterie-Division (Luftlande)

    Traditions


    Absorbed


    Mobilized

  • Part of standing Army in 1939, 1st mobilization wave

    Campaigns

  • West Wall 1939
  • Western Campaign 1940
  • Eastern Front 1941-1942
  • Crete/Aegean Islands 1942-1944
  • Balkans 1944-1945

    Notable Points

  • Portions airlanded into Holland in 1940
  • Helped storm Sevestapol in July 1942
  • Took part in capture of the Islands of Kos, Kalymnos, Leros, and Samos in Sept 1943

    Nicknames


    Fate

    Captured by Yugoslav units in early May 1945 in northwestern Yugoslavia.

    History

    The 22.Infanterie-Division was formed in October 1935 in Bremen.

    During the Polish Campaign the 22.Infanterie-Division took part in securing the Westwall along the French border in the region of Eifel and Saarpfalz. During the same time, Infanterie-Regiment 16 took part in the fighting in Poland along the Bzura. After the Polish Campaign in late October 1939, the 22.Infanterie-Division was transfered to troop training ground Sennelager where it was trained as an airlanding unit, the only one of its kind in the entire German miltiary. Its roll was to be air transported into battle well ahead of any advancing ground units. It was trained to be airlifted shortly after German paratroopers has secured an airfield or landing zone appropriate for transport aircraft to land in. With this training, the term Luftlande was added to the units name.

    The 22.Infanterie-Division (Luftlande) took part in the Western Campaign in 1940 in its intended airlanding role when the division was flown into Holland in the early hours of May 10th in the van of the attack on the low countries following the airbone assault of the 7.Flieger-Division. Infanterie-Regiment 47 and Infanterie-Regiment 65 were flown in Ju52 transport aircraft to three landing zones north of Rotterdam in the Hague region, while Infanterie-Regiment 16 was flown south into the Rotterdam region. Attempts were made to land portions of Infanterie-Regiment 47 and Infanterie-Regiment 65 in or around Valkenburg, Ockenburg and Ypenburg with varying degrees of success. At each location a combination of factors led to very heavy losses, including terrible coordination, Dutch resistance and horrible landing zones. This in turn led to a failure to reach the objectives of the first day, the securing of the airfields around the Hague and the capture of the Dutch high command and Royal family who managed to escape to England.

    To the south, Infanterie-Regiment 16 had a much better time of the landings managing to secure the airfield at Waalhaven rather soon after landing, although Dutch resistance made the landing zone dangerous for sometime. Once landed, the bulk of Infanterie-Regiment 16 was directed to march north and capture Rotterdam itself. To facilitate such a bold attack, an even bolder one was planned - the capture of the bridges over the Maas River in the very center of Rotterdam. Four bridges in the center of town connected the northern and southern portions of the city between the Maas and the island of Noordereiland. Their importance was that they were vital if Infanterie-Regiment 16 was to take Rotterdam at all. To capture them, 120 men of Pionier-Bataillon 22 and 11.Kompanie/Infanterie-Regiment 16 were formed into Kampfgruppe Schrader and flown to the base of the four bridges in He59 float planes. Their bold assault was a stunning success and they managed to seize the bridges without any losses. Their small numbers meant they would be under severe pressure from any Dutch counterattacks. Soon after the Kampfgruppe occupied the bridges they linked up with Fallschrimjäger that had dropped to assist. Dutch attacks began thereafter and constricted the German permitter to the base of the bridges, prohibiting them from expanding their hold farther to the north. The 120 men of the Kampfgruppe and the 50 Fallschirmjäger held out until those landed at Waalhaven could link up. In the meantime the Dutch responded by attacking the bridges from the air and water, including an attack by Dutch naval vessels at point blank range. Dutch gunboat Z-5 and torpedo boat TM-51 were sent in to rake the Germans with 75mm and 20mm fire. In the end, the landings in the north proved to be a failure and the scattered and uncoordinated troops were ordered to head south once it was clear the Hague would not be taken. In the south the Dutch withdrew on May 13th once it was clear that the Germans could not be defeated.

    During the second phase of the Western Campaign in June of 1940, the 22.Infanterie-Division (Luftlande), now regrouped and refreshed, took part in the advance into France fighting in the region of Dinant and Recroi to Saint Quentin.

    The 22.Infanterie-Division (Luftlande) next took part in the Invasion of the Soviet Union as a part of Armeegrupp Süd, fighting in southern Russia with the 11.Armee. Moving through Romania it crossed the Pruth River and fought to the Dnestr River and Stalin Line, which it fought through. Moving on to cross the Bug and Dneiper Rivers, the division eventually fought into the Crimea where it took part in fierce and bloody fighting for Sevastopol. The 22.Infanterie-Division led the assault against the heavily defended fortress city in its sector and stormed numerous Soviet positions, notably taking the Stalin Werke and Wolga Werke.

    After fighting in the Crimea, the 22.Infanterie-Division (Luftlande) was transfered to Crete where it took part in security and occupation operations in the region of Rethymon and Iraklion until 1944. During its occuption of Crete, the 22.Infanterie-Division was also used as the main assault force in various amphibious assault operations in the Aegean Sea in 1943 and 1944, most notably against the Islands of Kos, Kalymnos, Leros and Samos. The unitis well known for its role in the occupation of Leros against fierce British and Italian resistance in November of 1944.

    With German prospects in the Med fading, the 22.Infanterie-Division (Luftlande) was transfered from Crete and the Aegean in 1944 to Greece where it would take part in anti-partisan operations against Tito's forces before surrendering in May of 1945.

    Organization

    1940
    Infanterie-Regiment 16
    Infanterie-Regiment 47
    Infanterie-Regiment 65
    Artillerie-Regiment 22
    I./Artillerie-Regiment 58
    Aufklärungs-Abteilung 122
    Panzerjäger-Abteilung 22
    Pionier-Bataillon 22
    Nachrichten-Abteiliung 22
    Sanitäts-Abteilung 22
    Feldersatz-Bataillon 22

    1942
    Grenadier-Regiment 16
    Grenadier-Regiment 47
    Grenadier-Regiment 65
    Artillerie-Regiment 22
    I./Artillerie-Regiment 58
    Pz.Aufklärungs-Abteilung 122
    Panzerjäger-Abteilung 22
    Flak-Bataillon (mot.) 22
    Pionier-Bataillon 22
    Nachrichten-Abteiliung 22
    Sanitäts-Abteilung 22
    Feldersatz-Bataillon 22

    Commanders


    Knights Cross Holders



    War Service

    Dates
    Korps
    Armee
    Armeegrupp
    Area
    9.39 Reserve 5. Armee C Saarpfalz
    10.39 IX 1. Armee C Saarpfalz
    12.39-6.40 Refitting OKH Sennelager
    7.40 IV 9. Armee A Niederlande
    8.40 IV 16. Armee A Niederlande
    9.40-10.40 Reserve A Niederlande
    11.40-12.40 V 16. Armee A Nirderlande
    1.41-5.41 Reserve Ob. d. Lw.
    6.41 XXX 11. Armee Süd Rumänien
    7.41-8.41 XI 11. Armee Süd Südukraine
    9.41 XXX 11. Armee Süd Bereslaw
    10.41 Reserve 11. Armee Süd Perekop
    11.41 XXX 11. Armee Süd Krim
    12.41-7.42 LIV 11. Armee Süd Sewastopol
    8.42-10.42 Reserve 12. Armee Griechenland
    11.42-2.43 Kreta 12. Armee Kreta, tw. Afrika
    3.43-8.43 Kreta E Kreta
    12.43-9.44 Kreta E F Kreta
    10.44 Mazedonien E F Griechenland
    11.44 XXII E F Serbien, Montenegro
    12.44 LXXXXI E F Serbien, Montenegro
    1.45 LXXXXI E F Kroatien
    2.45 XXI E F Kroatien
    3.45 XXXIV E F Kroatien

    Bibliography



  • Die deutschen Infanterie-Divisonen, Band 1-3, by Werner Haupt
  • Die deutsche Feldpostübersicht 1939-1945, Band 1-3, by Nobert Kannapin
  • Die Pflege der Tradition der alten Armee in Reichsheer und im der Wehrmacht, by Schirmer/Wiener
  • Die Truppenkennzeichen... der deutchen Wehrmacht u. Waffen-SS, Band 1-4, by Schmitz/Thies
  • Der Zweite Weltkrieg im Kartenbild, Band 1-3, by Klaus-Jurgen Thies
  • Deutsche Verbände und Truppen 1918-1939, by George Tessin
  • Verbände und Truppen der deutchen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS..., Band 1-14, by Georg Tessin
  • Formationsgeschichte und Stellenbesetzung 1815-1939, Teil 1, der deutschen Heer, Band 1-3, by Günter Wegner
  • Die Deutsche Wehrmacht u. Waffen-SS, Ihre Kommando. u. Großverbände... im Zweiten Weltkrieg, author unknown
  • Das Reichsheer und Seine Tradition, author unknown
  • Deutsche Rote Kreuz Suchdienst, Divisionsschicksale, author unknown

  • Reforging the Iron Cross, The Search for Tradition..., by Donald Abenheim
  • The German Infantry Handbook 1939-1945, by Alex Buchner
  • German Army Order of Battle: The Replacement Army 1939-1945, by Victor Madej
  • German Army Order of Battle: Field Army and Officer Corps 1939-1945, by Victor Madej
  • Hitler's Legions, by Samuel Mitcham
  • German Order of Battle World War II, Vol I, by George Nafziger
  • German Order of Battle 1944, author unknown

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    Created, maintained and Copyright © 1996-2009, Jason Pipes