LIST of GERMAN DIVISIONS in WORLD WAR II – (G.25th.P.D)
25th Panzer Division (Germany)
- 1942-1943 Training and garrison activities in Norway
- 1943 Further training in France, battle of Zhitomir
- 1944 Western Ukraine (destroyed), Denmark and France (refitted), Poland
- 1945 Silesia, Austria
Establishment of the Division…
The 25th Panzer Division was formed in Norway on 25 February 1942 from elements of the Oslo garrison. In November 1942 the division was reinforced and in July 1943 it was finally outlined as a Panzer Division. It was transferred to France by order of the Inspector-General of Armoured Troops, Heinz Guderian, as a reinforcement unit for the expected Allied invasion of France. Paradoxically, it never served on the Western Front.
The quality of the equipment was mixed since the division was issued with outdated French tanks, such as the Renault R35, Hotchkiss H39 and B1 bis and modern German Tiger tanks (one company) and Panzer IVs (the ‘H’ variant), (one company). The artillery regiment had modern artillery pieces, but was the size of a battalion. The reconnaissance battalion had noarmoured cars, it was made up entirely of motorcycles.
The division was transferred to the Eastern Front, despite Guderian’s opposition. It was attached to the 4th Panzer Army (Army Group North Ukraine) and saw heavy fighting at Zhitomir in December 1943. The 25th Panzer Division was crushed near Kamianets-Podilskyi on the River Dniestr in the following retreat (spring 1944).
Refitting and further fighting on the Eastern Front…
In the summer of 1944 the remnants were joined by garrison units from Denmark and the division was refitted in Denmark and France. By now, the hard-pressed Wehrmacht was only able to raise a skeleton panzer division. The understrength formation was sent again to battle the Red Army at the Vistula crossings. Parts of the division were also involved in the suppression of the Warsaw Uprising. It suffered heavy casualties during the retreat to the Oder River in January 1945.
Last months of the war…
During the winter of 1945 the division’s size dwindled to that of a regiment. In late April and May 1945, it was engaged in the defense of the Ostmark (the third Reich’s name for Austria), where it was virtually destroyed.
- Generalleutnant Johann Haarde, 25 February 1942
- Generalleutnant Adolf von Schell, 1 January 1943
- General der Panzertruppen Georg Jauer, 15 November 1943
- Generalleutnant Hans Tröger, 20 November 1943 – 10 May 1944
- Generalmajor Oswin Grolig, 1 June 1944
- Generalmajor Oskar Audörsch, 18 August 1944 – May 1945
Order of battle, December 1943, Ukraine…
- Panzer-Regiment 9
- Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 146
- Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 147
- Kradschützen-Battalion 87
- Feldersatz-Battalion 87
- Panzer-Artillerie-Regiment 91 ( undersized )
- Heeres-Flak-Artillerie-Abteilung 279
- Panzerjäger-Abteilung 87
- Panzer-Pionier-Battalion 87
- Panzer-Nachrichten-Abteilung 87