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German Armed Forces Research 1918-1945


Unit Emblems

  126.Infanterie-Division Emblem    126.Infanterie-Division Emblem    126.Infanterie-Division Emblem  


The 126.Infanterie-Division was formed on October 18th, 1940 from portions of the 11.Infanterie-Division, 16.Infanterie-Division, and the 253.Infanterie-Division. It was formed at Truppenübungsplatz Sennelager.

The 126.Infanterie-Division first took part in the attack on the Soviet Union on June 21st, 1941, under Armeegruppe Nord, 16.Armee, X.Armeekorps. It initially broke through the Russian border and raced towards Leningrad, crossing over the Duna River, after which it took up defensive positions along the Volkhov River just north of Novgorod and the Ilmen Sea where it would remain for sometime.

For the next two years the division took part in fierce fighting in the region of Armeegruppe Nord during repeated attempts by the Soviets to relieve besieged Lenningrad. The fighting was especially brutal, and the climate and geography of the region added to the bitterness of the combat. In the fall of 1941, poritions of the lines held by the 126.Infanterie-Division along the Volkhov River were given up to the newly arrived 250.Infanterie-Division, consisting of nearly 18,000 Spanish volunteers. Together the two divisions often fought side-by-side in equally devestating defensive and offensive battles.

Later, the division was transfered south of the Ilmen Sea where it took part in numerous defensive battles in the region of Demjansk as a unit of the Demjansk Pockek. It took up defensive positions along the southern bend of the enourmous Demjansk encirclement.

After fighting in the region of Armeegruppe Nord for the entire time the division was on the Eastern Front, it took part in the general fighting withdrawl towards the west, fighting notibly in the Pantherstellung, at Pleskau,in the region of Riga, and thereafter near Libau. The division was finally taken by the Soviets in May of 1945 while located in the region of Preekuln-Vartava south of Libau along the coast of the Baltic Sea.


General OoB
Infanterie-Regiment 422
Infanterie-Regiment 424
Infanterie-Regiment 426
Artillerie-Regiment 126
Aufklärungs-Abteilung 126
Panzerjäger-Abteilung 126
Pionier-Bataillon 126
Nachrichten-Abteiliung 126
Sanitäts-Abteilung 126
Feldersatz-Bataillon 126

Knights Cross Holders

War Service

Dates Korps Armee Armeegrupp Area
11.40-4.41 LII 11. Armee C Sennelager
5.41 X 16. Armee C Ostpreußen
6.41-8.41 X 16. Armee Nord Düna, Ilmensee
9.41-10.41 I 16. Armee Nord Wolchow
11.41 XXXIX 16. Armee Nord Wolchow
12.41-2.42 XXXVIII 16. Armee Nord Wolchow
3.42-7.42 XXXVIII 18. Armee Nord Wolchow
8.42-2.43 II 16. Armee Nord Demjansk
3.43-7.43 X 16. Armee Nord Staraja Russa
8.43 XXVI 18. Armee Nord Gatschina
9.43-1.44 L 18. Armee Nord Leningrad
2.44-7.44 XXVIII 18. Armee Nord Pleskau
8.44 VI. SS 18. Armee Nord Latvia
9.44 L 18. Armee Nord Riga
10.44-12.44 I 18. Armee Nord Kurland
1.45 II 18. Armee Nord Kurland
2.45 I 18. Armee Kurland Kurland
3.45 (Kgr.) X 18. Armee Kurland Kurland
4.45 II 18. Armee Kurland Kurland

German Bibliography

  • Geschichte der 126. rheinisch-westfälischen Infanterie-Division, by Gerhard Lohse
  • Bildchronik der rheinisch-westfälischen 126. Infanterie-Division 1940-1945, by Günther Braake
  • 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)