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The 216. Infanterie-Division was formed in August 1939 as part of the 3. Welle (wave). After taking part in the invasion of France, the division, while based on the French mainland, served as the main occupation force on the British Channel Islands from 1 July 1940 to 30 April 1941 under the Befehlshaber Kanalinseln. Effective the latter date, the 319. Infanterie-Division assumed responsibility for occupying the islands.
It was disbanded November 1943 after suffering heavy losses on the Eastern Front. The division staff formed the staff of the 272. Infanterie-Division and the remnants formed Divisions-Gruppe 216 which was assigned to the 102. Infanterie-Divison.

Commanders

Generalleutnant Hermann Böttcher (? Aug 1939 - 8 Sep 1940)
Generalleutnant Kurt Himer (8 Sep 1940 - 1 Apr 1941)
General der Infanterie Werner Freiherr von und zu Gilsa (1 Apr 1941 - 4 Apr 1943)
General der Infanterie Friedrich-August Schack (7 May 1943 - 3 Oct 1943)
Generalleutnant Egon von Neindorff (3 Oct 1943 - 20 Oct 1943)
Generalmajor Gustav Gihr (20 Oct 1943 - 30 Nov 1943)

Operations Officers (Ia)

Oberstleutnant Rudolf Grass (1939-May 1940)
Hauptmann Artur Weber (Jun 1940-Nov 1940)
Major Martin Coßmann (21 Nov 1940-12 Sep 1942)
Oberstleutnant Horst Nitschmann (12 Sep 1942-10 Mar 1943)
Oberstleutnant Hubert Werner (10 Mar 1943-17 Nov 1943)

Area of operations

West Wall (Sep 1939 - May 1940)
Netherlands, Belgium & France (May 1940 - Jan 1942)
Eastern front, central sector (Jan 1942 - Nov 1943)  

Order of battle

Infanterie-Regiment 348 (from Ausbildungsleiter Celle)
Infanterie-Regiment 396 (from Ausbildungsleiter Braunschweig)
Infanterie-Regiment 398 (from Ausbildungsleiter Mageburg)
Artillerie-Regiment 216
Divisionseinheiten 216

Sources used

Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945

Reference material on this unit

Martin Jenner - Die 216./272. niedersächsische Infanterie Division

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