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16. Infanterie-Division
German 16th Infantry Division
German 16th Panzer Division
German 116th Panzer Division

116th Panzer Division, 1944 – 1945

Active October 1934 – 8 May 1945
Country Nazi Germany
Branch Heer
Type Division
Role Infantry
Armor (1944 – 1945)
Engagements World War II

  • Battle of France
  • Operation Barbarossa
  • Battle of Stalingrad
  • Allied invasion of Sicily
  • Allied invasion of Italy
  • Battle of Normandy
  • Falaise Gap
  • Battle of Aachen
  • Battle of Hurtgen Forest
  • Battle of the Bulge
  • Ruhr Pocket
Gotthard Heinrici
Gerhard von Schwerin

The 16th Infantry Division of the German Army was created in 1934 as Kommandant von Münster. In October 1935 the division was renamed 16. Infanterie-Division. On 26 August 1939 the division was mobilized for the invasion of Poland (1939). Later it participated in the Battle of France (1940). The division was split in 1940, resulting in two independent lineages: The 16th PanzerDivision and the 16th Motorized Infantry Division. The latter, from 1944 onward, combined with other non 16th elements were known as the 116th Panzer Division.

Commanding officers…

  • Generaloberst Gotthard Heinrici
  • Generalleutnant Heinrich Krampf, 1 February 1940
  • Generaloberst Hans-Valentin Hube, 1 June 1940
  • General der Infanterie Friedrich-Wilhelm von Chappuis, 1 November 1940
  • General der Panzertruppen Sigfrid Henrici
  • Generalleutnant Johannes Streich
  • General der Panzertruppen Sigfrid Henrici, November 1941
  • General der Panzertruppen Gerhard von Schwerin, 13 November 1942
  • Generalmajor Wilhelm Crisolli, 20 May 1943

Panzer Division…

The 16th Panzer Division served as a reserve in Romania during the Balkans campaign in 1941. It later participated in Operation Barbarossa with Army Group South also in 1941. The 16th Panzer Division was encircled and ultimately destroyed at Stalingradduring the winter of 1942–43.

It was rebuilt for a campaign in the west, and fought in Sicily and southern Italy during the Italian Campaign of 1943, and finally returning to the Russian Front later in the year. Severely mauled near Kiev, they were withdrawn to Poland for rehabilitation in 1944. The 16th Panzer Division returned to the east in 1945, and surrendered to Soviets and Americans in Czechoslovakia.

Commanding officers

  • Generaloberst Hans-Valentin Hube, 1 November 1940
  • Generalleutnant Günther Angern, 15 September 1942
  • Generalmajor Burkhart Müller-Hillebrand, March 1943
  • Generalmajor Rudolf Sieckenius, 5 May 1943
  • Generalmajor Hans-Ulrich Back, 1 November 1943
  • Generalleutnant Dietrich von Müller, 14 August 1944
  • Oberst Theodor Kretschmer, March 1945
  • Oberst Kurt Treuhaupt, 19 April 1945

Motorized Division…

The 16th Motorized Infantry Division, nicknamed Windhund („Greyhound”), participated in the Balkans campaign in 1941 along with the 16th Panzer Division (see above). It took part inOperation Barbarossa with Army Group South later in the year. It advanced on the Caucasus, with elements coming to within 20 miles of Astrakhan — in 1942; the most easterly point reached by any German unit during the war, and participated in the Battle of Stalingrad. The 16th Motorized Infantry Division participated in defensive operations after the Soviets broke up the front of the southern sector. In 1943, it was upgraded to the 16th Panzergrenadier Division. This upgraded unit suffered heavily in the continuous retreats, and was transferred toFrance for rest and refitting.

It was reorganized as the 116th Panzer Division (with the number changed since the 16th Panzer Division was already taken by its sibling), absorbing the 179th Reserve Panzer Divisionin the process in 1944. This new unit fought in the Battle of Normandy, and was almost destroyed in the Falaise Gap. It later defended the Siegfried Line at Aachen in that underpowered condition.

The 116th Panzer Division was withdrawn for refitting and then recommitted, but failed to save the city of Aachen. It later participated in the Battle of Hurtgen Forest and then in the Battle of the Bulge, again sustaining heavy casualties. It was caught in the Wesel Pocket, but managed to escape across the Rhine, ultimately surrendering within the Ruhr Pocket in April, 1945.


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  1. Pingback: LIST of GERMAN DIVISIONS in WORLD WAR II – (G.16th.P.D) - Ziarul

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