16th Infantry Division (Germany)

16th Infantry Division (Germany)

The 16th Infantry Division of the German Army was created in 1935 and participated in the invasion of Poland (1939) and France (1940) during World War II.. The division later split in 1940, resulting in two independent lineages: The 16th Panzer Division and the 16th Motorized Infantry 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 Chappus, 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 Crisollo, 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 division was encircled and ultimately destroyed at Stalingrad during the winter of 1942-1943.

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 Severely mauled near Kiev, they were withdrawn to Poland for rehabilitation in 1944.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 in Operation 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 to France 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 Division in 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.

See also

* 16th Luftwaffe Field Division (an unrelated unit)
* Panzergrenadier
* Panzer Division
* Division (military)
* Military unit
* Wehrmacht
* List of German divisions in WWII


Note: The Web references may require you to follow links to cover the unit's entire history.
* Pipes, Jason. " [http://www.feldgrau.com/PzDiv.php?ID=16 16.Panzer-Division] ". Retrieved April 2, 2005
* Pipes, Jason. " [http://www.feldgrau.com/PzDiv.php?ID=28 116.Panzer-Division] ". Retrieved April 2, 2005
* Wendel, Marcus (2004). " [http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=1420 16. Infanterie-Division] ". Retrieved April 2, 2005.

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