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 10divisions initially raised in October of 1940 as a part of the 11th wavein Wehrkreis V, Stuttgart.Approximately one third of the divisions initial strength came fromWürtemburgers 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 traininggrounds during the fall and winter season of 1940/1941.

In the early spring of 1941, the 125.Infanterie-Division was transferred tosoutheastern Poland where it was attached to the XXIV.Armee-Kommando as areserve 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 nearVinnitsa. In two months of fighting on the eastern front, the 125thcounted 300 KIA and over 1,800 wounded men. During thefall of 1941, the 125th participated in the taking ofthe city of Uman and they successfully forded the Dniepr River nearVorovskovo. From there, the division advanced past Stalino and haltednear Mius. To the east of Mius, the division held its winter linesreasonably well in late 1941 and early 1942.

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

On Christmas eve, 1942, Generalmajor Friebe became the new divisionalcommander. The 125th Infantry Division was one of the German divisionswhich got caught fighting in the Kuban bridgehead and as a result ofstrong Soviet pressures, was forced to retreat. Exhausted and in direneed of refit, the 125th Infantry Division was removed from the Kubanfront lines area after the Germans evaucated the region.

In October of 1943, the 125.Infanterie-Division was assigned to theright wing of Heeresgruppe A. While under it’s control the Division fought near Tsherson,Nikolayev and Nikopol. During this time the 125th wasused to plug holes in the German lines on a nearly daily basis untiltime took its toll upon the effective capabilities of the division.To increase the combat effectiveness of the artillery components of theDivision, Artillerie-Regiment 125 received a IVth ArtillerieBatterie on March 1st, 1944, created by combiningelements 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 casulatiesin the past many months. The surviving soldiers of the Divisionwere 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

DatesKorpsArmeeArmeegruppArea
12.43in formation, BdERadom
1.44 – 2.44in formation, BdERadom
4.44 – 5.44XXXXVIII4.Pz.ArmeeNordukr.Kowel
6.44XXXXIII1.Pz.ArmeeNordukr.Duklapass
7.44XXXXVIII1.Pz.ArmeeNordukr.Duklapass
8.44in reserveNordukr.Slovakia
9.44XXIV1.Pz.ArmeeNordukr.Carpathian
10.44XXIV1.Pz.ArmeeACarpathian
11.44XI1.Pz.ArmeeACarpathian
12.44LVII6.ArmeeSüdnorth of Budapest
1.45LVII6.ArmeeSüdnorth of Budapest
2.45 – 4.45Feldherrnh.8.ArmeeSüdGran
5.45Feldherrnh.8.ArmeeOstmarkDt. 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