|Feldgrau.com - research on the German armed forces 1918-1945|
|12.Panzer-Division by Jason Pipes|
The 12.Panzer-Division was formed from the 2.Infanterie-Division (mot) in October, 1940, being fully formed in January, 1941.
In July, 1941, the 12.Panzer was moved to the Eastern Front and took part in operations to encircle Minsk, cross the Dnieper and to take Smolensk. Moved to the Northern Front, 12.Panzer fought in the Battle of Mga, and then suffered heavy losses during the Soviet Winter counter-offenisive against the Germans in the North near Leningrad.
The 12.Panzer was then withdrwan to Estonia to rest and refit, and then quickly transfered back to fight again in the numerous battles south of Leningrad. The 12.Panzer was transfered to Army Group Center in November, 1942, near Roslavl.
During the period March-August, 1943, the 12.Panzer took part in operations in and around Orel, Bryansk, Gomel, and Zhlobin. In the Summer of 1943, the 12.Panzer took part in the German offensive against the Kursk salient, and in the fall of 1943, in defensive operations along the Dnieper in the central front.
In February, 1944, the 12.Panzer-Division was once again transfered north to take part in the desperate battles around Leningrad, but was not able to help stem the massive Soviet offensives against Army Group North. Throughout the next few months, the 12.Panzer withdrew west through the Baltic region along with the rest of the retreating German forces, until it was pushed into the Kurland Pocket in September, 1944. Holding out until May, 1945, the 12.Panzer-Division surrendered to the Soviets in May, 1945 when Festung Kurland was forced to lay down its arms.
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