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125.Infanterie-Division

Unit Emblems


125.Infanterie-Division Emblem  

Campaigns


  • Balkan Campaign 1941
  • Eastern Front 1941-1945

History


The 125th Infantry Division was one of the 10 divisions initially raised in October of 1940 as a part of the 11th wave in Wehrkreis V, Stuttgart. Approximately one third of the divisions initial strength came from Würtemburgers who were stationed in and around Stuttgart at the time. New recruits were taken from the graduating class of 1920 or earlier. The initial training period was completed at the Münsingen training grounds during the fall and winter season of 1940/1941.

In the early spring of 1941, the 125.Infanterie-Division was transferred to southeastern Poland where it was attached to the XXIV.Armee-Kommando as a reserve unit. Two weeks after the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the 125.Infanterie-Division was rapidly transferred to the IV.Armee-Korps, 17.Armee. It was immediately placed on the front lines near Vinnitsa. In two months of fighting on the eastern front, the 125th counted 300 KIA and over 1,800 wounded men. During the fall of 1941, the 125th participated in the taking of the city of Uman and they successfully forded the Dniepr River near Vorovskovo. From there, the division advanced past Stalino and halted near Mius. To the east of Mius, the division held its winter lines reasonably well in late 1941 and early 1942.

For the German 1942 offensive, the 125.Infanterie-Division was transferred to the V.Armee-Korps, 17.Armee. On the 22nd of August, 1942, the 125th advanced deep into the Ukraine where managed to captured Rostov. In a daring stroke, Infanterie-Regiment 420 stormed across the Don River bridge and was able to capture the city of Bataissk. After re-uniting with the rest of the Division, the 125th captured Krasnador, the capitol city of the Kuban. While in this region the division prepared itself for defensive actions during the winter of 1924/1943.

On Christmas eve, 1942, Generalmajor Friebe became the new divisional commander. The 125th Infantry Division was one of the German divisions which got caught fighting in the Kuban bridgehead and as a result of strong Soviet pressures, was forced to retreat. Exhausted and in dire need of refit, the 125th Infantry Division was removed from the Kuban front lines area after the Germans evaucated the region.

In October of 1943, the 125.Infanterie-Division was assigned to the right wing of Heeresgruppe A. While under it's control the Division fought near Tsherson, Nikolayev and Nikopol. During this time the 125th was used to plug holes in the German lines on a nearly daily basis until time took its toll upon the effective capabilities of the division. To increase the combat effectiveness of the artillery components of the Division, Artillerie-Regiment 125 received a IVth Artillerie Batterie on March 1st, 1944, created by combining elements of the surviving I./AR 41 and III./AR 261.

In April of 1944, OKW officially dissolved the 125.Infanterie-Division. It was no longer an effective combat unit having taken enormous casulaties in the past many months. The surviving soldiers of the Division were transferred to the 258.Infanterie-Division and the 302.Infanterie-Division.

Organization


1941
Infanterie-Regiment 419
Infanterie-Regiment 420
Infanterie-Regiment 421
Artillerie-Regiment 125
Pionier-Bataillon 125
Panzerjäger-Abteilung 125
Aufklarungs-Abteilung 125
Nachrichten-Abteilung 125

1944
Grenadier-Regiment 419
Grenadier-Regiment 420
Grenadier-Regiment 421
Artillerie-Regiment 125
Pionier-Bataillon 357
Panzerjäger-Abteilung 357
Füsilier-Batallion 357
Nachrichten-Abteilung 357

Knights Cross Holders



War Service


Dates Korps Armee Armeegrupp Area
12.43 in formation, BdE Radom
1.44 - 2.44 in formation, BdE Radom
4.44 - 5.44 XXXXVIII 4.Pz.Armee Nordukr. Kowel
6.44 XXXXIII 1.Pz.Armee Nordukr. Duklapass
7.44 XXXXVIII 1.Pz.Armee Nordukr. Duklapass
8.44 in reserve Nordukr. Slovakia
9.44 XXIV 1.Pz.Armee Nordukr. Carpathian
10.44 XXIV 1.Pz.Armee A Carpathian
11.44 XI 1.Pz.Armee A Carpathian
12.44 LVII 6.Armee Süd north of Budapest
1.45 LVII 6.Armee Süd north of Budapest
2.45 - 4.45 Feldherrnh. 8.Armee Süd Gran
5.45 Feldherrnh. 8.Armee Ostmark Dt. Brod

German Bibliography


  • Das Wiesel, Geschichte der 125. Infanterie-Division 1940 bis 1944, by Helmut Breymayer
  • 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

English Bibliography (Available on Amazon)