44.Reichs-Grenadier-Division “Hoch und Deutschmeister”
|After the original 44.Infanterie-Division had been lost in the pocket atStalingrad, 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’smain infanterie-regiments were renamed as grenadier-regiments, and bypersonal order of Hitler the new division was given the unique honorarytitle, “Reichs-Grenadier-Division “Hoch und Deutschmeister”. After a brieftraining period,the division was sent to Italy as part of the reserveelement for Heeresgruppe B in August,1943. In December, the division wassent south of Rome to stem the Allied advance. It would remain in Italythroughout the year, fighting in the bittlerly contested battles of theGothic line, and notably at Monte Battaglia in September of 1944.|
The division was sent to the Hungarian sector of the EasternFront in February 1945, where it’s remnants fought and fell back intoAustria until the May 1945 surrender.
Note: Members of the new 1943 44.Reichs-Grenadier-Division “Hoch undDeutschmeister” were entitled to wear an insignia known as the “Hoch undDeutschmeister Kreuz”, a small blue-enameled Maltese cross edged ingold, with a Reichsadler and banner in the center reading “STALINGRAD”.These emblems were authorized to be worn on the epaulettes and in somecases, on the field-caps of Officer’s, NCO’s, and Grenadiers of thedivision, including replacement troops.
|Generalleutnant Dr. Franz Bayer (1943-44)|
Generalleutnant von Rost (1945)