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The 50. Infanterie-Division was formed on 26 August 1939 from the Grenzkommandantur Küstrin. Although initially formed as part of the 2. Welle (wave), it was reorganized on 15 November 1939 as a division of the 1. Welle.
After seeing combat in the invasions of Poland, France and Greece, the division took part in the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, fighting on the southern sector under the 11. Armee. Following the Crimean campaign, during which it helped capture Sevastopol in June 1942, the division fought in the Caucasus and the Kuban. After returning to the Crimea in late 1943, the division was destroyed in May 1944 at Sevastopol.

Reformed from the remnants that had been evacuated from the Crimea, the division fought in East Prussia where it was largely destroyed in the Heiligenbeil pocket. The remnants went into Russian captivity at Pillau.

Major Dr. Fromm, commander of Panzerjägerabteilung 150, was highly critical of Nazism and was reported for this by a member of his staff together with allegations of minor currency offence. In the fall of 1941 the divisional commander was ordered to open a trail against Dr. Fromm who then chose to take his own life.

Commanders

Generalleutnant Konrad Sorsche (1 Sep 1939 - 25 Oct 1940)
Generaloberst Karl Adolf Hollidt (25 Oct 1940 - 23 Jan 1942)
Generalleutnant August Schmidt (31 Jan 1942 - 1 Mar 1942)
Generalleutnant Friedrich Schmidt (1 Mar 1942 - 26 June 1943) (KIA) (1)
Generalleutnant Friedrich Sixt (26 June 1943 - 30 Apr 1944)
Generalleutnant Paul Betz (30 Apr 1944 - 9 May 1944)
Generalmajor Georg Haus (5 June 1944 - 18 Apr 1945)
Generalmajor Kurt Domansky (18 Apr 1945 - 28 Apr 1945) (KIA)
Oberst Ribbert (28 Apr 1945 - May 1945)

Operations Officers (Ia)

Oberstleutnant Karl Jank (26 Aug 1939 - 5 Nov 1939)
Major Stange (5 Nov 1939 - 1 Nov 1940)
Major Karl Marten (1 Nov 1940 - Jan 1942)
Oberstleutnant Helmuth Strempel (6 Jan 1942 - 4 Mar 1942)
Oberstleutnant Konrad Stephanus (4 Mar 1942 - 5 Jun 1944)
Oberstleutnant Günther Braun (5 Jun 1944 - 5 Oct 1944)
Major Horst Rätsch (5 Oct 1944 - May 1945)

Area of operations

Poland (Sep 1939 - May 1940)
France (May 1940 - June 1941)
Eastern front, southern sector (June 1941 - May 1944)
Eastern front, central sector (June 1944 - May 1945)

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Close Combat Clasp in Gold (2)
- Wietasch, Kurt, 12.01.1945, Stabsgefreiter, Melder im Stab III./Gren.Rgt. 122
- Zander, Herbert, 16.11.1944, Feldwebel, Zugführer i. d. 8./Gren.Rgt. 121
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (10)
- Dreier, Walter, 07.02.1944 (2834), Unteroffizier, Gruppen- u. Zugführer i. d. 3./Gren.Rgt. 121
- Geyso von, Eckhard, 04.10.1941 (374), Oberst, Kdr. Inf.Rgt. 121
- Gnädig, Herbert, 21.06.1942 (1054), Oberleutnant, Kp.Chef im Inf.Rgt. 122
- Granitzki, Kurt, 27.01.1944 (2820), Oberleutnant, Schw.Chef 2./Aufkl.Abt. 150
- Graumann, [first name not listed], 15.07.1942 (1087), Hauptmann, Kdr. Pi.Btl. 71
- Leutloff, Günter, 17.08.1944 (3857), Hauptmann, Btl.Fhr. I./Gren.Rgt. 121
- Lorenzen, Bernhard, 21.06.1942 (1068), Hauptmann, Btl.Fhr. I./Inf.Rgt. 121
- Marienfeld, Willy, 25.05.1942 (1010), Hauptmann, Kdr. II./Inf.Rgt. 123
- Reimann, Joachim, 25.05.1942 (1011), Oberleutnant, Kp.Fhr. 9./Inf.Rgt. 123
- Reuter, Erich, 10.08.1941 (204), Major, Kdr. I./Inf.Rgt. 121
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (2)
- Bröhl, Werner, 14.10.1943 (393), Gefreiter, 5./Gren.Rgt. 121
- Jesche, Karl, 14.10.1943 (379), Stabsfeldwebel, s.Granatw.Kp. 150
Holders of the German Cross in Gold (110)
Holders of the German Cross in Silver (1)
- Wilutzky, Dr. Horst, 22.04.1945, Stabsarzt d.R., Zugführer i. d. San.Kp. (mot) 2/150
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (20)
Holders of the Knight's Cross (27) (24 RK + 2 EL + 1 SW)
Holders of the Romanian Order of Michael the Brave, 3rd Class (Orden “Michael der Tapfere” III. Klasse) (3)
- Hollidt, Karl-Adolf, Königlichen Dekrets Nr. 2628 / 19.09.1941, Generalleutnant, Kdr. 50. Inf.Div.
- Stephanus, Konrad, Königlichen Dekrets Nr. 1362 / 08.05.1942, Major, Ia 50. Inf.Div.
- Sixt, Friedrich, Königlichen Dekrets Nr. 97 / 17.01.1944, Generalleutnant, Kdr. 50. Inf.Div.
Unit-Level Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (2)
- I./Infanterie-Regiment 123
-- Date/Place of Action: 14.07.1941 in Bessarabien
-- Award Date: 30.07.1941 / Vorschlagsbuch (152)
- I./Infanterie-Regiment 121
-- Date/Place of Action: 08.06.1942 bei Kamyschly
-- Award Date: 21.06.1942 / Vorschlagsbuch (1067)
Unit-Level Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (1)
- III./Artillerie-Regiment 150
-- Date/Place of Downing: 08.04.1944 bei Iljietschewka
-- Award Date: 01.08.1944 (511)

Nicknames

Pfiel und Bogen (Arrow and Bow)

Combat Rating

The division was rated suited for limited offensive missions ("Zu begrenzten Angriffsaufgaben geeignet") on 30 March 1942. IR 122 was at this time not with the division. It had 6 weak batallions, was missing 1/3 of its heavy artillery and had limited mobility.

Order of battle (Nov 1939)

Infanterie-Regiment 121
Infanterie-Regiment 122
Infanterie-Regiment 123
Artillerie-Regiment 150 (2)
- leichte Artillerie-Abteilung 742
- leichte Artillerie-Abteilung 743
- leichte Artillerie-Abteilung 748
Pionier-Bataillon 71
Panzerabwehr-Abteilung 150
Nachrichten-Abteilung 71
Versorgungseinheiten 354 (3)

Order of battle (1942)

Grenadier-Regiment 121
Grenadier-Regiment 122
Grenadier-Regiment 123
Aufklärungs-Abteilung 150 (4)
Artillerie-Regiment 150
- I. Abteilung
- II. Abteilung
- III. Abteilung
- IV. Abteilung
Pionier-Bataillon 71
Panzerjäger-Abteilung 150
Nachrichten-Abteilung 71
Feldersatz-Bataillon 150
Versorgungseinheiten 150

Order of battle (1943-1945)

Grenadier-Regiment 121
Grenadier-Regiment 122
Grenadier-Regiment 123
Füsilier-Bataillon 150 (5)
Artillerie-Regiment 150
- I. Abteilung
- II. Abteilung
- III. Abteilung
- IV. Abteilung
Pionier-Bataillon 71 (6)
Panzerjäger-Abteilung 150
Nachrichten-Abteilung 71 (7)
Feldersatz-Bataillon 150
Versorgungseinheiten 150

The Marineartillerieabteilung 614 was attached to the division in October 1943.

Notable members

Peter Bamm (real name Curt Emmrich, author and journalist, the Bundeswehr barracks Peter-Bamm-Kaserne in Munster was named in his honour 1986)

Footnotes

1. Friedrich Schmidt was killed 26 June 1943 when he drove into a minefield.
2. Leichte Artillerie-Abteilungen 742, 743 and 748 reformed as Abteilung I.-III on 1 April 1940; IV. Abteilung added on 5 September 1940.
3. Redesignated Versorgungseinheiten 150 on 1 April 1940.
4. Formed on 1 January 1941; redesignated Radfahr-Abteilung 150 on 7 July 1942; reverted to designation Aufklärungs-Abteilung 150 on 24 March 1943; redesignated Füsilier-Bataillon 150 in October 1943.
5. Reformed in summer 1944 as Füsilier-Bataillon 50.
6. Reformed as Pionier-Bataillon 150 on 3 June 1944.
7. Reformed as Nachrichten-Abteilung 150 on 3 June 1944.

Sources used

Research by Gareth Collins
BA-MA RH2/427
Peter Bamm - Die unsichbare Flagge
French Maclean - Quiet Flows the Rhine: German General Officer Casualties in World War II
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945

Reference material on this unit

Peter Bamm - Die unsichbare Flagge
Meinhold - Die 50. Infanterie Division 1939-1945
Trad.Gem. 50.Inf.Div. - Erlebtes: Kameraden der 50. Infanterie Division berichten

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