Grenadier Division.

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Freikorps, Reichswehr, Austrian Bundesheer, Heer, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Fallschirmjäger and the other Luftwaffe ground forces. Hosted by Christoph Awender.
RFVD11
Member
Posts: 134
Joined: 16 Feb 2012 13:41

Grenadier Division.

Post by RFVD11 » 16 Jul 2023 11:36

I think a series of divisions were formed in the Summer of 1944. What was the basis of this term? Most were converted shortly afterwards into regular infantry or volksgrenadier divisions. I think several remained Grenadier til end of war.
Thanks,
AHK

User avatar
Christian Ankerstjerne
Forum Staff
Posts: 14005
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 14:07
Location: Denmark

Re: Grenadier Division.

Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 16 Jul 2023 13:15

The German army didn't just have one type of organisation for infantry divisions. Instead, they varied the organisation of new units throughout the war, including:
  • 34 different waves (Wellen). This was the first system, starting before the war. 29. Welle was also referred to as Grenadier-DIvision and 33. Welle was the Volksgrenadier-Division. The Grenadier-Division is a bit weird in that it did away with most of the heavy weapons attached to each regiment and its anti-tank battalion, and replaced a third of its artillery with anti-tank guns, and instead had an assault gun company (called a battalion, but only had 10 guns).
  • Infanterie-Division (bodenständig). This was for divisions that only needed limited mobility, but instead had a large infantry component (three regiments with three battalions each).
  • Infanterie-Division 44, which replaced most of the Welle division organisations, with a few exceptions. It had three regiments with two battalions each, and four possible anti-tank battalions with varying degrees of mechanization.
  • Infanterie-Division 45, which replaced the Infanterie-Division 44.

wwilson
Member
Posts: 405
Joined: 29 Sep 2012 08:33
Location: Europe

Re: Grenadier Division.

Post by wwilson » 17 Jul 2023 10:28

Hi Christian,

I see in Tessin, Volume 1, page 88, that these Grenadier-Divisionen were directed, on 16 September 1944, to assume the organization of a Volksgrenadier-Division, and then were ordered to be retitled as Volksgrenadier-Divisionen on 9 October 1944.

Do you know if in fact all of the Grenadier-Divisionen underwent these changes ?

Cheers
Last edited by wwilson on 17 Jul 2023 12:49, edited 1 time in total.

RFVD11
Member
Posts: 134
Joined: 16 Feb 2012 13:41

Re: Grenadier Division.

Post by RFVD11 » 17 Jul 2023 11:27

Are you certain. I thought two or three ended war as Grenadier Division. Can anyone confirm?
Thanks, AHK

User avatar
Christian Ankerstjerne
Forum Staff
Posts: 14005
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 14:07
Location: Denmark

Re: Grenadier Division.

Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 17 Jul 2023 12:25

There is a list of the authorised structure of all divisions dated 1 January 1945. This shows that most infantry divisions were authorised as Infanterie-Division 45, with a few divisions having different structures. None of them seems to have the Grenadier-Division organisation. That is not to say that all of these divisions were actually re-organised according to that list, since any attempt at such a massive re-organisation could only have been the act of an optimist.

wwilson
Member
Posts: 405
Joined: 29 Sep 2012 08:33
Location: Europe

Re: Grenadier Division.

Post by wwilson » 17 Jul 2023 12:51

Christian,

Thank you for the reply and comments.

Cheers

wwilson
Member
Posts: 405
Joined: 29 Sep 2012 08:33
Location: Europe

Re: Grenadier Division.

Post by wwilson » 17 Jul 2023 13:22

Per Tessin, these divisions were formed in the 29. Welle.

Four (543., 546., 550., and 552.) were redesignated to use the numbers of old divisions that had been destroyed in combat.

The dates after the division number are the date the division was designated as a VGD.

The 78. Division was apparently referred to as both a VGD and a Volks-Sturm-Division in different sources.

Tessin mention various divisional reorganizations after the formation as Grenadier-Divisionen but that probably is not a complete list.

541 (9.10.1944)
542 (9.10.1944)
543 (18.7.1944 redesignated as 78. Gren-Div)
78 rebuilt (9.10.1944, "Volks-Sturm-Division")
544 (9.10.1944)
545 (9.10.1944)
546 (19.7.1944 redesignated as 45. Gren-Div)
45 rebuilt (21.10.1944)
547 (9.10.1944)
548 (9.10.1944)
549 (9.10.1944)
550 (22.7.1944 redesignated as 31. Gren-Div)
31 rebuilt (VGD in name since 9.10.1944)
551 (9.10.1944)
552 (25.7.1944 redesignated as 6. Gren-Div)
6 rebuilt (VGD in name since 9.10.1944)
553 (9.10.1944)
558 (9.10.1944)
559 (9.10.1944)
561 (9.10.1944)
562 (9.10.1944)

Cheers

Kelvin
Member
Posts: 3113
Joined: 06 Apr 2007 14:49

Re: Grenadier Division.

Post by Kelvin » 20 Oct 2023 13:44

Christian Ankerstjerne wrote:
16 Jul 2023 13:15
The German army didn't just have one type of organisation for infantry divisions. Instead, they varied the organisation of new units throughout the war, including:
  • 34 different waves (Wellen). This was the first system, starting before the war. 29. Welle was also referred to as Grenadier-DIvision and 33. Welle was the Volksgrenadier-Division. The Grenadier-Division is a bit weird in that it did away with most of the heavy weapons attached to each regiment and its anti-tank battalion, and replaced a third of its artillery with anti-tank guns, and instead had an assault gun company (called a battalion, but only had 10 guns).
  • Infanterie-Division (bodenständig). This was for divisions that only needed limited mobility, but instead had a large infantry component (three regiments with three battalions each).
  • Infanterie-Division 44, which replaced most of the Welle division organisations, with a few exceptions. It had three regiments with two battalions each, and four possible anti-tank battalions with varying degrees of mechanization.
  • Infanterie-Division 45, which replaced the Infanterie-Division 44.

HI, Christian

I would like to ask the predecessor of 563.VolksGrenadier Division was The Lehr Grenadier Division, but it uses Lehr, something like Pz.Lehr Division ? from Schule ? thank

User avatar
Christian Ankerstjerne
Forum Staff
Posts: 14005
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 14:07
Location: Denmark

Re: Grenadier Division.

Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 20 Oct 2023 17:29

The only information I have is that 563. Grenadier-Division was raised from Grenadier-Lehr-Division as a 30. Welle division in Döberitz (Wehrkreis III) on 19 August 1944. It was reported ready for for field duty on 21 August 1944. On 9 October 1944 is was renamed as 563. Volksgrenadier-Division.

Kelvin
Member
Posts: 3113
Joined: 06 Apr 2007 14:49

Re: Grenadier Division.

Post by Kelvin » 21 Oct 2023 04:46

Christian Ankerstjerne wrote:
20 Oct 2023 17:29
The only information I have is that 563. Grenadier-Division was raised from Grenadier-Lehr-Division as a 30. Welle division in Döberitz (Wehrkreis III) on 19 August 1944. It was reported ready for for field duty on 21 August 1944. On 9 October 1944 is was renamed as 563. Volksgrenadier-Division.
HI, Christian, thank for your data. I guess because it was formed at Truppenubungsplatz Doberitz so get Lehr title.

Return to “Heer, Waffen-SS & Fallschirmjäger”