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718.Infanterie-Division

Unit Emblems


  718.Infanterie-Division Emblem    718.Infanterie-Division Emblem  

Lineage


  • 718.Infanterie-Division

Traditions


  • None

Campaigns


  • Balkans 1941-1943

History


The 718.Infanterie-Division was formed on the 30th of April, 1941 from various units of the Replacement Army. It was destined for service in the Balkan region and was designed as an occupation and security unit to meet those needs. Interestingly, 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 Division was transported to the Balkan region where it helped to relieve the 132.Infanterie-Division and the 183.Infanterie-Division on the 29th of May, 1941. The 718.Infanterie-Division then took part in security operations, anti-partisan drives, reconnaissance missons, mopping up actions, training, and general occupation duties.

Almost as soon as it arrived, the 718.Infanterie-Division began to fight against the partisan forces in the region. It fought at Mokro, Mitrovica and Zvornik, and later took part in defensive actions in the region of Rogatica-Dubica-Prijedor. It saw fighting in the assault on Sokalc and Vladinica, and took part in Unternehmen Weiß 1 and Unternehmen Weiß 2. It fought in the region of Mostar and at Prozor in security operations designed to protect the important Bauxite mining region which was very important to the German war effort. It later fought at Podhum and Ostrozac in the Neretva region and also in the region of the Konjic Plains and at Celebic.

From its arrival in the region until March of 1943, the 718.Infanterie-Division took part in no less than 15 specific operations against partisan forces. Unternehmen Kroatien Süd-Ost was one of the first and it took place from January 13th-26th, 1942. It was essentially a seek and destroy operation designed to located and eliminate partisan forces in and around Sarajevo, Zvornik, Tuzla and others locations near these regions. It was launched during the cold of winter so as to hit the partisan forces when they would be weak from lack of proper winter clothing and protection. Partisan forces were estimated at about 4,000 men strong, against which the Germans sent the 718.Infanterie-Division as well as the 342.Infanterie-Division and units of the Croatian Army. The main partisan concentration was around Sarajevo and Visegrad. The Germans suffered light losses against 521 partisans killed and 1,331 captured, as well as large stocks of weapons and ammunition taken. The operation was deemed a tactical succcess, although Italian forces that had been requested to take part in the operation did not arrive in time to help prevent the escape of the remaining partisan forces.

Unternehmen Ozren took place on January 29th, 1942 and was a mopping up action against the partisans in and around the Ozren Mountains. Unternehmen Prijedor took place on February 15th, 1942 in Prijedor. This operation was an attmept to liberate Landeschützen-Bataillon 923 which was trapped by partisan forces.

Thereafter, the 718.Infanterie-Division took part in variously in Unternehmen Trio I, Trio II, Foca, Zenica-Zavidovici, S, Jajce I, Jajce II, Jajce III, Tuzla II, Travnik, Teslic, Konjic, and finally Unternehmen Mostar in March of 1943, shortly before being reformed as the 118.Jäger-Division.

Organization


1941
Infanterie-Regiment 738
Infanterie-Regiment 750
Artillerie-Abteilung 668
Radfarh-Kompanie 718
Pionier-Kompanie 718
Nachrichten-Kompanie 718

Knights Cross Holders


No KC holders for this unit

War Service


Dates Korps Armee Armeegrupp Area
5.41 Forming in WK XVIII BdE
6.41 LI 2. Armee Yugoslavia
7.41-3.42 LXV 12. Armee Serbien
4.42-1.43 Befh. Serbien 12. Armee Serbien
2.43 Befh. Kroatien 12. Armee Kroatien
3.43 Befh. Kroatien E 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