The 130.Panzer-Lehr-Division was formed 1.10.44 in the Nancy-Verdun area from
various units of the German Army training and demonstration units, otherwise
known as Lehr units, hence the name, Panzer-Lehr. Upon formation, the
130.Panzer-Lehr-Division was already considered an elite unit because
of the fact that so many of the demonstration units that it was formed from
already had elite status due to their use as demonstration units. the 130.Panzer-Lehr-Division
would live up to its crack unit status during its one year of combat service.
Upon formation, the 130.Panzer-Lehr-Divisoin was located in France until it was transfered to the Eastern Front to Hungary and then back to France in May, 1944, for use in the planned counter-offensive against the Allies when their anticipated invasion of Europe in France finally came.
When the full fury of the massive Allied landings against Normandy, France finally hit in June, 1944, 130.Panzer-Lehr was one of the strongest units in the West. Panzer-Lehr fought the Allies in fierce battles for Caen and St. Lo, until it was so depleted that it had only a mere fraction of the armor it had stated with. Shattered, Panzer-Lehr then withdrew across France along with the rest of the retreating German forces in the West, until it was pulled out of the lines and reformed in the Saar and then in Paderborn.
The Division was sent back to the Saar to fight against the advancing allies, after which it was used during the massive German offensive against in December, 1944, Wacht am Rhein, where it took part in the siege of Bastogne.
When the Ardennes offensive failed, Panzer-Lehr saw action in Battles for the Maas Line in the Netherlands, and then in Battles to smash the American bridgehead at Remagen, which it failed to do.
Depleted, shaken and smashed, the 130.Panzer-Lehr-Division entered into the Ruhr Pocket in April, 1945, a mere shadow of the unit that had so fiercly meet the Allies in front of Caen in June and July, 1944. Panzer Lehr surrendered to the Americans when the Ruhr pocket finally fell.
Gen.Lt. Fritz Bayerlein 1.10.44 - 6.07.44
Gen.Maj. Hyanzinth Graf Strachwitz von Groß-Zauche u. Camminetz 6.08.44 - 8.23.44
Oberst Rudolph Gerhardt 8.23.44 - 9.08.44
Oberst Paul FrHr. von Hauser 9.44
Gen.Lt. Fritz Bayerlein 9.44 - 1.15.45
Gen.Maj. Horst Niemack 1.15.45 - 4.03.45
Oberst Paul FrHr. von Hauser 4.03.45 - 4.15.45
* another part served under LXXX. Corps/1. Armee/Hgr. B in the Paris-Soissons area