17. Panzer-Division

pz-17-logo


The 17. Panzer-Division was formed in November 1940 from the 27. Infanterie-Division. It fought on the central sector of the Eastern front from June 1941 until November 1942 when it was sent to the southern sector where it took part in the failed attempt to relieve the surrounded troops at Stalingrad. It withdraw through the Ukraine and Poland before ending the war in eastern Germany.

Commanders

Generalleutnant Hans-Jürgen von Arnim (05 Oct 1940 - 28 Jun 1941) (1)
Generalmajor Karl Ritter von Weber (28 Jun 1941 - 17 July 1941) (2)
Generalmajor Wilhelm Ritter von Thoma (17 July 1941 - 14 Sep 1941)
Generalleutnant Hans-Jürgen von Arnim (15 Sep 1941 - 11 Nov 1941)
Oberst Rudolf-Eduard Licht (17 Nov 1941 - 31 Jan 1942) m.d.F.b.
Generalmajor Rudolf-Eduard Licht (01 Feb 1942 - 09 Oct 1942)
Generalleutnant Fridolin von Senger und Etterlin (10 Oct 1942 - 15 June 1943)
Generalleutnant Walter Schilling (16 June 1943 - 21 July 1943) (3)
Generalmajor Karl-Friedrich von der Meden (22 July 1943 - 30 Nov 1943)
Generalmajor Rudolf Henrici (01 Dec 1943 - ?? Jan 1944) m.d.F.b.
Generalmajor Karl-Friedrich von der Meden (?? Jan 1944 - 09 Feb 1944)
Generalmajor Hans Tröger (10 Feb 1944 - ?? May 1944) m.d.F.b.
Generalleutnant Karl-Friedrich von der Meden (?? May 1944 - 20 Sep 1944)
Oberst Rudolf Demme (20 Sep 1944 - 02 Dec 1944) m.d.F.b.
Oberst Albert Brux (02 Dec 1944 - 19 Jan 1945) m.d.F.b. (4)
Oberst Theodor Kretschmer (01 Feb 1945 - 30 Mar 1945) m.d.F.b.
Generalmajor Theodor Kretschmer (01 Apr 1945 - 08 May 1945)

Area of operations

Germany (Nov 1940 - June 1941)
Eastern front, central sector (June 1941 - Nov 1942)
Eastern front, southern sector (Nov 1942 - Mar 1944)
Eastern front, central sector (Mar 1944 - Aug 1944)
Poland (Aug 1944 - Mar 1945)
Eastern Germany (Mar 1945 - May 1945)

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Close Combat Clasp in Gold (21)
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (11)
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (1)
- Reinsdorf, Otto, 31.07.1944 [Date of Action] (543), Pionier, 1./Pz.Pi.Btl. 27
Holders of the German Cross in Gold (164)
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (38)
Holders of the Knight's Cross (27)
Unit-Level Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (1)
- 3./Schützen-Regiment 40
-- Date/Place of Downing: 24.05.1942 bei Schipilowka
-- Award Date: 19.07.1942 (189)

Order of battle

HQ
- Divisional Staff
- Mapping Detachment (mot)
- Military Police Detachment (mot)
- Escort Company
39. Panzer Regiment
- Regimental Staff
- 2 x Battalion
- Panzer Maintenance Company
40. Panzergrenadier Regiment
- Regimental Staff
- 3 x Battalion
- Pioneer Company (mot)
- Infantry Support Gun Company (self-propelled)
27. Panzerjäger Battalion
- Battalion Staff
- Panzerjäger Battalion Staff Company
- 2 x Sturmgeschütz Company
- Panzerjäger Company (mot)
- Panzerjäger Supply Column (mot)
27. Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion
- Battalion Staff
- Battalion Staff Company
- Luchs Reconnaissance Company
- 2 x Reconnaissance Company (half-track)
- Heavy Reconnaissance Company (half-track)
- Reconnaissance Supply Company (mot)
27. Panzer Artillery Regiment
- Regimental Staff & Staff Battery
- Battalion (self-propelled)
- 2 x Battalion (mot)
297. Army Flak Battalion
- Battalion Staff & Staff Battery
- 2 x Heavy Flak Battery (mot)
- Llight Flak Battery (mot)
27. Panzer Signals Battalion
- Signals Battalion Staff
- Panzer Telephone Company
- Panzer Radio Company
- Signals Supply Company (mot)
27. Panzer Pioneer Battalion
- Battalion Staff (half-track)
- 2 x Pionner Company (mot)
- Pioneer Company (half-track)
Support & Supply Units

Notable members

Prince Friedrich-Ferdinand of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (Major i.G. Kdr Pz.Gren.Rgt 40)

Trucks from Kranken Kraftwagen Zug 27
pzdiv-17-krakenzug
(Courtesy of Johann Abel)

Soldiers from Kranken Kraftwagen Zug 27
pzdiv-17-krakenzug2
(Courtesy of Johann Abel)

Footnotes

1. GL Hans-Jürgen von Arnim wounded and evacuated to Germany.
2. GM Karl Ritter von Weber wounded, and died 3 days later.
3. GL Walter Schilling killed in action near Izyum.
4. Oberst Albert Brux is captured by the Soviet forces.

Sources used

Microfilm Publication A-3356, German Officer Personnel files, NARA
RKT & DKiGT karteikarten, BA/MA
Dermot Bradley, Karl-Friedrich Hildebrand, Markus Rövekamp - Die Generale des Heeres 1921-1945
François de Lannoy & Josef Charita - Panzertruppen: German armored troops 1935-1945
Wolf Keilig - Die Generale des Heeres
Andris Kursietis - Die Wehrmacht at War 1939-1945
Kurt Mehner - Die Deutsche Wehrmacht 1939-1945: Führung und Truppe
Samuel W. Mitcham Jr - The Panzer Legions: A guide to the German Army Tank Divisions of WWII and Their Commanders
Peter Schmitz, Klaus-Jürgen Thies, Günter Wegmann & Christian Zweng - Die deutschen Divisionen 1939-1945 (4 Vol)
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945
Günther Wegmann - Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht, Teil VIII a: Panzertruppe, Band 1
Günter Wegmann & Christian Zweng - Formationsgeschichte u. Stellenbesetzung der deutschen Streitkräfte, 1815-1990, Teile IV, Abt. 1:  Die Dienststellen, Kommandobehörden u. Truppenteile des Heeres, Oct.35-May.45

Reference material on this unit

Kenneth Andrew & David Garden - The War Diaries of a Panzer Soldier Erich Hager with the 17th Panzer Division on the Russian Front 1941-1945
Joseph Dinglreiter - Die Vierziger: Chronik des Regiment

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