3rd Infantry Division (Germany)

3rd Infantry Division (Germany)

The German 3rd Infantry Division was established under the cover name "Wehrgauleitung Frankfurt" in 1934 by expanding the 3rd Division of the Reichswehr. It was redesignated "Kommandant von Frankfurt" shortly afterward, and took on its bona fide name when the formation of the Wehrmacht was announced in October 1935.

It took part in the invasion of Poland in 1939 and the invasion of France in 1940. In October 1940 it returned to Germany and was upgraded to a fully motorized division. (Most German divisions during the World War II era had no transport for the infantry and used horses to tow their artillery; German industry could not turn out sufficient motor transport while also trying to meet other military requirements.)

As the 3rd Motorized Infantry Division it took part in Operation Barbarossa in 1941, advancing on Leningrad under Army Group North. In October it was transferred to Army Group Center for Operation Typhoon and the Battle of Moscow and the defensive battles of the winter. In mid-1942 it was transferred to Army Group South to take part the summer offensive "Fall Blau" ("Operation Blue"), and was ultimately caught up in the Battle of Stalingrad, where it was destroyed in the encirclement with the Sixth Army in early 1943.

It was reconstituted as the 3rd Panzergrenadier Division in March 1943, absorbing the 386th Motorized Division in the process. It then fought in Italy until the summer of 1944, when it was transferred to the Western Front to help re-establish the front line after the Allied breakout from Normandy. Later in the year, it participated in the Battle of the Bulge and then in the defensive actions at Remagen, ultimately surrendering in the Ruhr Pocket in April 1945.


Note: The Web references may require you to follow links to cover the unit's entire history.

* Pipes, Jason. " [http://www.feldgrau.com/InfDiv.php?ID=3 3.Infanterie-Division] ". Retrieved May 10, 2005.
* Wendel, Marcus (2004). " [http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=1006 3. Infanterie-Division (mot)] ". Retrieved May 10, 2005.
* Wendel, Marcus (2004). " [http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=1328 3. Panzergrenadier-Division] ". Retrieved May 10, 2005.
* " [http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gliederungen/Infanteriedivisionen/3ID.htm 3. Infanterie-Division] ". German language article at www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de. Retrieved May 10, 2005.

See also

* Panzergrenadier, Infantry
* Division (military), Military unit
* Heer, Wehrmacht, List of German divisions in WWII

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