Research on the German Armed Forces 1918-1945
The 717.Infanterie-Division was formed on the 11th of April, 1941 from units of the Replacement Army in Wehrkreis XVII. This unit, like its sister Division, the 718.Infanterie-Division was destined to serve in the Balkan region, mainly against the partisans and also as a training and occupation unit. This unit, like the others of the 700-designations, was populated with at least half its ranks consisting of over-aged men with little experience. Many of the officers only had experience from WWI! The unit also consisted of two regiments instead of three as with most Infanterie-Divisionen of the period, and it was lacking its share of motorized vehicles and heavy weapons.
After formation the 717.Infanterie-Division was transfered to Yugoslavia where it first saw service in various security and anti-partisan operations. It fought in the Kozara Plains, and also took part in Unternehmen Weiß 1 and Unternehmen Weiß 2. It fought in the region south of Una in Bosnia, and later took part in defensive operations to protect the Bauxite region around Mostar, Livno and Prozor. The 717.Infanterie-Division also took part in security operations in the line Gorica-Uzdol-Herl and in the region of Triscani-Solakovakula.
In March of 1943 the 717.Infanterie-Division was transformed into the 117.Jäger-Division.
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