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Text by MARTIN WINDROW, Color plates by MICHAEL ROFFE. YEAR 1972
THE PANZER DIVISIONS

9. PANZER DIVISION (formed January 1940: from 4. Light Division)

Fought in Holland, and in France at Dunkirk and later Lyons, 1940. September-December 1940, stationed in Poland. January 1941, fought in Balkan campaign. July 1941, Russian front, southern sector. October 1941, central sector; engaged throughout 1942. Mid-1943, heavily committed to Kursk offensive and subsequent defensive operations in Dnepr Bend. Early 1944, heavy losses in southern sector. March 1944, survivors pulled back to Nîmes area of France; with 155th Panzer Reserve Brigade, division re-formed and brought back to strength. August 1944, engaged in Normandy. September 1944, engaged in Aachen/Geilenkirchen area. December 1944, heavy fighting in Ardennes offensive. January 1945, Eifel area. Captured by U.S. forces in Ruhr, April 1945.

Main combat units: 1940: Panzer Regt. 33 (raised from Austrian Army Tank Battalion, and later took honour title 'Prinz Eugen'), Rifle Regt. 10, Rifle Regt. 11, Artillery Regt. 102, Motorcycle Bn. 59, variously numbered divisional units. Final strength: Panzer Regt. 33, Panzergrenadier Regt. 10, Panzergrenadier Regt. 11, Artillery Regt. 102, Panzer Aufkl. Abt. 9, variously numbered divisional units. (Panzer Regt. 33 mustered only one battalion; in January 1944 the armoured strength was increased by inclusion of Panzer Abt. 51.)

10. PANZER DIVISION (formed April 1939: Prague)

Fought in Poland, September 1939, and in France, May 1940. July 1941 - April 1942, engaged on central sector of Russian front. Transferred to France for rest and refitting, April 1942. August 1942, fought British and Canadian landings at Dieppe. December 1942, shipped to Tunisia. May 1943, division wiped out in Tunisia, and never re-formed.

Main combat units: 1939: Panzer Regt. 7, Panzer Regt. 8, Rifle Regt. 69, Rifle Regt. 86, Artillery Regt. 90, most divisional units numbered 90. 1943: Panzer Regt. 7, Panzergrenadier Regt. 69, Panzergrenadier Regt. 86, Artillery Regt. 90, Panzer Aufkl. Abt. 10, most divisional units numbered 90.

11. PANZER DIVISION (formed August 1940: from 11. Rifle Brigade)

January-April 1941, fought in Balkans, captured Belgrade. July 1941, southern sector of Russian front, subsequently central sector. Fought in central zone until June 1942, returned to southern sector. July 1943, engaged in Orel/Belgorod offensive; later, heavy fighting in Krivoi Rog area. January-May 1944, Korsun Pocket; heavy losses. June 1944, survivors pulled back to France for rest and refit. Engaged against Allied landings in south of France, withdrawing to Alsace; September 1944, fought in the Belfort gap, withdrew into the Saar area. March 1945, engaged at Remagen; finally surrendered to U.S. forces in Bavaria. Frequently cited for distinguished conduct, it was known as the 'Ghost Division' on account of the unit emblem - a skeleton riding the tracks of a tank, brandishing a sword.

Soviet troops examine a PzKpfw. III and a half-track abandoned by the 3rd Panzer Division. (Imperial War Museum)

Main combat units: 1940: Panzer Regt. 15, Rifle Regt. no, Rifle Regt. in, Artillery Regt. 119, Motorcycle Bn. 61, variously numbered divisional units. Final strength: Panzer Regt. 15, Panzergrenadier Regt. 110, Panzergrenadier Regt. 111, Artillery Regt. 119, Panzer Aufkl. Abt. 11, variously numbered divisional units.

12. PANZER DIVISION (formed October 1940: from 2. Infanterie Division (Mot.))

From December 1940 to June 1941, stationed in Germany. July 1941, engaged on central sector of Russian front, between Minsk and Smolensk. September 1941, northern sector; participated in siege of Leningrad until November 1942, then returned to Army Group Centre. March-August 1943, engaged before Orel, and later in defence of middle Dnepr. February 1944, returned to northern sector; cited for distinguished conduct in withdrawal from Leningrad. August 1944, Kurland; captured by Red Army in that sector, early 1945.

Main combat units: 1940: Panzer Regt. 29, Rifle Regt. 5, Rifle Regt. 25, Artillery Regt. 2, Motorcycle Bn. 22, most divisional units numbered 2. Final strength: Panzer Regt. 29, Panzergrenadier Regt. 5, Panzergrenadier Regt. 25, Artillery Regt. 2, Panzer Aufkl. Abt. 12, most divisional units numbered 2.

13. PANZER DIVISION (formed October 1940: from 13. Infanterie Division (Mot.))

1940, served as training formation, Rumania. June 1941, transferred to Russia; heavily engaged, southern sector. Took part in capture of Kiev. August 1942 - January 1943, engaged in Caucasus.

February-August 1943, engaged in the Kuban. October 1943-January 1944, fought in Krivoi Rog area. September 1944, withdrew to Germany for refit. October 1944, transferred to Hungary. December 1944-January 1945, defence of Budapest; division wiped out. Re-formed as Panzer Division 'Feldherrnhalle 2' q.v.

Main combat units: 1940: Panzer Regt. 4, Rifle Regt. 66, Rifle Regt. 93, Artillery Regt. 13, Motorcycle Bn. 43, most divisional units numbered 13. Final strength: Panzer Regt. 4, Panzergrenadier Regt. 66, Panzergrenadier Regt. 93, Artillery Regt. 13, Panzer Aufkl. Abt. 13, most divisional units numbered 13.

14. PANZER DIVISION (formed August 1940: from 4. Infanterie Division)

November 1940 - February 1941, stationed in Germany. March 1941, transferred to Hungary. April 1941, engaged in Yugoslavia. May-June 1941, returned to Germany for refit. July 1941 - December 1942, heavily engaged on Russian front, southern sector. December 1942, encircled in Stalingrad and wiped out. April-October 1943, division re-formed in Brittany; November 1943, returned to Russia and heavily engaged in Dnepr Bend. Refitted in Ukraine, June 1944. Moved to Kurland, August 1944; captured there by Red Army, April 1945.

Main combat units: 1940: Panzer Regt. 36, Rifle Regt. 103, Rifle Regt. 108, Artillery Regt. 4, Motorcycle Bn. 64, most divisional units numbered 4. Final strength: Panzer Regt. 36, Panzergrenadier Regt. 103, Panzergrenadier Regt. 108, Artillery Regt. 4, Panzer Aufkl. Abt. 14, most divisional units numbered 4.

15. PANZER DIVISION (formed August 1940: from 33. Infanterie Division)

Shipped to North Africa as part of the original Deutsches Afrika Korps in February 1941, the division was continuously engaged in that theatre from that time until 12 May 1943, when it surrendered in Tunisia together with the other units of the German forces in Africa. July 1943, reformed in Sicily as 15. Panzergrenadier Division.

Main combat units: Panzer Regt. 8, Panzer grenadier (formerly Rifle) Regt. 104, Panzer grenadier (formerly Rifle) Regt. 115, Artillerie Regt. 33, Panzer Aufkl. Abt. 15, most divisional units numbered 33.

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