3rd Panzergrenadier Division

Discussions on the foreigners (volunteers as well as conscripts) fighting in the German Wehrmacht, those collaborating with the Axis and other period Far Right organizations. Hosted by George Lepre.
User avatar
Steve
Member
Posts: 831
Joined: 03 Aug 2002 01:58
Location: United Kingdom

3rd Panzergrenadier Division

Post by Steve » 17 Nov 2020 23:50

General Frido Von Senger Und Etterlin in his book Neither Fear Nor Hope has this to say about the 3 Pz Gre. Div in Italy.

“During the fighting withdrawal at Salerno this division had reported troops “missing” in numbers that bore no relation to the intensity of the fighting. It contained a considerable quantity of Volksdeutschen who came from the occupied zone of Poland and were serving in the Wehrmacht on probation. Although these men could earn decorations for bravery, they could receive no advancement until their period of probation had expired. This discriminatory treatment according to “racial principles” was not calculated to enhance the moral of the troops. Moreover, these soldiers were receiving complaints from their relatives at home that they were being badly treated by the local party officials. The division had been exposed to the severest trials, and I got the impression that even the German elements among the troops had been shaken”.

Etterlin implies that he had doubts about the division’s reliability as compared to its neighbouring division in the line the 15 Pz. Gre. Div.

It is not difficult to find sites that give information about 3 Pz.Gre. Div. but nowhere could I find any mention of a seemingly large Polish Volksdeutschen element among its personnel. Does anyone perchance have any information on the Volksdeutschen in the division? For example how many of them served in the division, were they recruited from a particular area and what became of them. The division was withdrawn from Italy in the summer of 1944 and I was wondering whether this had anything to do with the Polish 2nd Corps being in Italy.

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4232
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: 3rd Panzergrenadier Division

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 Nov 2020 00:10

From a very old document I prepared long ago regarding the supposed "eliteness" of German divisions in Italy.

"3 Panzergrenadier-Division was at least near full strength in personnel on 1 September, but it’s combat performance in September and October was dismal and it was withdrawn for reorganization and additional training on 17 November. In December the army commander singled it out for criticism regarding its high ratio of missing to killed and wounded (from 9 September to 17 November MIA 1,174 of a total of 3,186, nearly 37 percent)."
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

User avatar
Steve
Member
Posts: 831
Joined: 03 Aug 2002 01:58
Location: United Kingdom

Re: 3rd Panzergrenadier Division

Post by Steve » 19 Nov 2020 03:36

Thanks for replying, I am quite surprised about the performance of the 3rd Pz. Gre. Div. Presumably other German army divisions with a large Volksdeutsche element had similar problems but I have never come across anything much on the subject.

Return to “Foreign Volunteers & Collaboration”