The 718.Infanterie-Division was formed on the 30th of April, 1941 from various units of theReplacement Army. It was destined for service in the Balkan region and was designed as an occupationand security unit to meet those needs. Interestingly, this unit, like the others of the 700-designations,was populated with at least half its ranks consisting of over-aged men with little experience. Manyof the officers only had experience from WWI! The unit also consisted of two regiments insteadof three as with most Infanterie-Divisionen of the period, and it was lacking its share ofmotorized vehicles and heavy weapons.
After formation, the Division was transported to the Balkan region where it helped to relieve the 132.Infanterie-Division and the 183.Infanterie-Division on the 29th of May, 1941. The 718.Infanterie-Division then took part in security operations,anti-partisan drives, reconnaissance missons, mopping up actions, training, and general occupationduties.
Almost as soon as it arrived, the 718.Infanterie-Division began to fight against the partisan forcesin the region. It fought at Mokro, Mitrovica and Zvornik, and later took part in defensive actionsin the region of Rogatica-Dubica-Prijedor. It saw fighting in the assault on Sokalc and Vladinica, andtook part in Unternehmen Weiß 1 and Unternehmen Weiß 2. It fought in the region of Mostarand at Prozor in security operations designed to protect the important Bauxite mining region whichwas very important to the German war effort. It later fought at Podhum and Ostrozac in the Neretvaregion and also in the region of the Konjic Plains and at Celebic.
From its arrival in the region until March of 1943, the 718.Infanterie-Division took part in no lessthan 15 specific operations against partisan forces. Unternehmen Kroatien Süd-Ost was oneof the first and it took place from January 13th-26th, 1942. It was essentially a seek and destroyoperation designed to located and eliminate partisan forces in and around Sarajevo, Zvornik,Tuzla and others locations near these regions. It was launched during the cold of winter so as tohit the partisan forces when they would be weak from lack of proper winter clothing andprotection. Partisan forces were estimated at about 4,000 men strong, against which the Germanssent the 718.Infanterie-Division as well as the 342.Infanterie-Division andunits of the Croatian Army. The main partisan concentration was around Sarajevo and Visegrad. TheGermans suffered light losses against 521 partisans killed and 1,331 captured, as well as largestocks of weapons and ammunition taken. The operation was deemed a tactical succcess, althoughItalian forces that had been requested to take part in the operation did not arrive in time to helpprevent the escape of the remaining partisan forces.
Unternehmen Ozren took place on January 29th, 1942 and was a mopping up action against the partisansin and around the Ozren Mountains. Unternehmen Prijedor took place on February 15th, 1942 inPrijedor. This operation was an attmept to liberate Landeschützen-Bataillon 923 which wastrapped by partisan forces.
Thereafter, the 718.Infanterie-Division took part in variously in Unternehmen Trio I, Trio II,Foca, Zenica-Zavidovici, S, Jajce I, Jajce II, Jajce III, Tuzla II, Travnik, Teslic, Konjic, andfinally Unternehmen Mostar in March of 1943, shortly before being reformed as the 118.Jäger-Division.
Knights Cross Holders
No KC holders for this unit