Research on the German Armed Forces 1918-1945
After the original 44.Infanterie-Division had been lost in the pocket at
Stalingrad, in mid-1943, a 19th-wave division recruited in Austria,
including a small cadre of Officers and NCO's earlier flown out as wounded,
was formed-up to replace the original 44.Infanterie-division. It's
main infanterie-regiments were renamed as grenadier-regiments, and by
personal order of Hitler the new division was given the unique honorary
title, "Reichs-Grenadier-Division "Hoch und Deutschmeister". After a brief
training period,the division was sent to Italy as part of the reserve
element for Heeresgruppe B in August,1943. In December, the division was
sent south of Rome to stem the Allied advance. It would remain in Italy
throughout the year, fighting in the bittlerly contested battles of the
Gothic line, and notably at Monte Battaglia in September of 1944.
The division was sent to the Hungarian sector of the Eastern Front in February 1945, where it's remnants fought and fell back into Austria until the May 1945 surrender.
Note: Members of the new 1943 44.Reichs-Grenadier-Division "Hoch und Deutschmeister" were entitled to wear an insignia known as the "Hoch und Deutschmeister Kreuz", a small blue-enameled Maltese cross edged in gold, with a Reichsadler and banner in the center reading "STALINGRAD". These emblems were authorized to be worn on the epaulettes and in some cases, on the field-caps of Officer's, NCO's, and Grenadiers of the division, including replacement troops.
Generalleutnant Dr. Franz Bayer (1943-44)
Generalleutnant von Rost (1945)
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