44th Infantry Division (Germany)


44th Infantry Division (Germany)

The 44th Infantry Division was formed on April 1, 1938 in Vienna, and was destroyed with the 6th Army at Stalingrad in January 1943. Like all the divisions lost in the Stalingrad disaster, it was reformed using other formations and usually a cadre of specialists who had been evacuated by air before the 6th Army's surrender.

In January 1940 the Feldersatz Battalion was detached and became the 3rd battalion, 443rd infantry regiment, 164th infantry division. In September 1940, one third of the division was detached to form the 137th Infantry Division. (At that time, the German Army formed new divisions by detaching one-third of two existing divisions, then raising the remaining parts from new recruits. In this manner only one-third of the two old and one newly created divisions were new recruits).

On 17 February 1943, the division was reformed with the 887th and 888th Grenadier Regiments in Belgium. On 1 June 1943, the 134th Grenadier Regiment was added, and the division renamed "Reichsgrenadier Division Hoch und Deutschchmeister", along with the 80th Panzerjager, 46th Pioneer, 64th Signals, and 44th Divisional support units. The Meier Panzer Group was added to the division in 1943-1944. The division served in Italy, suffering heavy losses during the fighting for the "Hitler" Line and the Melfa River. Its Feldersatz Battalion was very nearly wiped out opposite 1st Canadian Infantry Division. 44th Division surrendered to American troops near Linz.

References

*Nafziger, George F., 2000. The German Order of Battle, Infantry in World War II.


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