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German 8th Panzer Division…

German 8th Panzer Division…
8th Panzer Division logo 2.svg
8th Panzer Division insignia
Country Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Allegiance Balkenkreuz.svg Wermacht
Branch Heer
Type Panzer division
Role Armored warfare
Size Division
Garrison/HQ Wehrkreis III: Cottbus
Engagements World War II
Insignia (1940) 8th Panzer Division logo.svg

The 8th Panzer Division was a panzer division of the Wermacht Heer. The division was only active during World War II, and came into existence after 3rd Light Division was reorganized in January 1940. During its existence, the division was headquartered in Cottbus, in the German military district Wehrkreis III.


For most of its history, the division was organized into three regiments. The tanks were organised into the 10th Panzer Regiment, and the panzergrenadiers, or mechanized infantry, were grouped into the 28th Panzer Grenadier Regiment and the 8th Panzer Grenadier Regiment. The 80th Panzer Artillery Regiment, the 8th Motorcycle Battalion, the 59th Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion, the 43rd Tank Destroyer Battalion, the 59th Panzer Engineer Battalion, the 59th Signal Battalion, and the 59th Panzer Divisional Supply Troops were also assigned to the division.


In 1938, the 3rd Light Division was formed, consisting of the 67th Panzer Battalion, and the 8th and 9th Mechanized Cavalry Regiments as well as the 8th Reconnaissance Regiment.

The division was sent to participate in the 1939 Invasion of Poland. In the winter of 1939 it was converted to the 8th Panzer Division, losing its two reconnaisance battalions to the 10th Panzer Division, but gained the 10th Panzer Regiment from East Prussian forces. It also gained as well as the 8th Rifle Brigade, controlling the 8th Rifle Regiment and the 8th Motorcycle Battalion. The battalion was equipped primarily with Czech tanks.

It was made a part of XLI Motorized Corps for the Battle of France. In the Battles of the Meuse Crossings, the as French forces were intitially able to repel German attacks. Eventually, however, the French were forced to retreat in the face of overwhelming attack by German Panzer tanks. The division was involved in the destruction of the French 1st Army and the French 7th Army in May 1940, and remained on the line in France until the country’s conquest in June of 1940.

Commanding officers…

  • General der Panzertruppe Adolf-Friedrich Kuntzen, 16 October 1939 – 20 February 1941
  • General der Panzertruppe Erich Brandenberger, 20 February – 21 February 1941
  • Generalleutnant Walter Neumann-Silkow, 21 February 1941 – 26 May 1941
  • General der Panzertruppe Erich Brandenberger, 26 May – 8 December 1941
  • Generalleutnant Werner Hühner, 8 December 1941 – 20 March 1942
  • General der Panzertruppe Erich Brandenberger, 20 March 1942 – 6 August 1942
  • Generalleutnant Josef Schrötter, 6 August 1942 – 10 November 1942
  • General der Panzertruppe Erich Brandenberger, 10 November 1942 – 17 January 1943
  • Generalleutnant Sebastian Fichtner, 17 January 1943 – 20 September 1943
  • Generalmajor Gottfried Frölich, 20 September 1943 – 1 April 1944
  • Generalmajor Werner Friebe, 1 April 1944 – 21. Juli 1944
  • Generalmajor Gottfried Frölich, 21 July 1944 – 5 January 1945
  • Generalmajor Heinrich-Georg Hax, 5 January – 8 May 1945

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