- Published: 15 May 2011 15 May 2011
- Last Updated: 19 May 2013 19 May 2013
The XXII Gebirgs-Armeekorps was formed in August 1943.
Known war crimes
Elements from this corps (see below) were responsible for the murder of thousands of soldiers from the Italian 33. Infantry Division Acqui in September 1943 on the Greek island of Cefalonia following the Italian surrender.
After the surrender on 8 September 1943 General Antonio Gandin, commander of the Acqui division and holder of among other things the German Cross, requested clarifications from the commander of the Italian 11th Army in Greece, General Carlo Vecchiarelli, on how to act following the surrender and was told to surrender all arms to the German forces on the island in return for safe passage to Italy. While he and his staff were considering their options two ships with German reinforcements were arriving to the island, Gadin decided to attack them with artillery 13 September, sinking one of them. The Germans responded with attacks from both ground and air (the Italians had limited antiaircraft capabilities and no air cover), the fighting raged on until 21 September and the Italians lost 1.300 men before they were forced to surrender.
German soldiers starting to execute the Italians the next day, a total of 4.500 are believed to have been shot. The survivors from the original 525 officers and 11.500 enlisted men were sent away by ship destined for German labour camps, one of the ship hit a mine and went down with all hands, some 3.000 men.
The ships of the Italian fleet that had surrendered to the Anglo-American forces at Malta wanted to help their countrymen after on the sinking ship but was not allowed to assist.
Elements on Cefalonia:
Prior to 8 Sep 1943:
- Festungsgrenadier Regiment 966
- 2./Sturmartillerie-Abteilung 201
Arrived after 8 Sep 1943:
- III./Gebirgsjäger Regiment 98 (1. Gebirgs-Divison)
- I./Jäger Regiment 724 (104. Jäger-Division)
- Gebirgsjäger Bataillon 54 (1. Gebirgs-Divison)
- III./Gebirgsartillerie Regiment 79
General der Gebirgstruppe Hubert Lanz (25 Aug 1943 - 8 May 1945)
Chiefs of Staff
Oberst Albert Dietl (15 Aug 1943 - 25 Jan 1944)
Oberst Ulrich Bürker (25 Jan 1944 - 10 Aug 1944)
Oberstleutnant Herbert Geitner (10 Aug 1944 - May 1945)
Operations Officers (Ia)
Major Wolf-Christian von Loeben (15 Aug 1943 - 25 June 1944)
Major Walter Klingsporn (25 June 1944 - 10 Feb 1945)
Major Klaus Görnandt (10 Feb 1945 - May 1945)
Area of operations
Greece, Yugoslavia, Hungary (Aug 1943 - May 1945)
Rudy D'Angelo - Cefalonia 1943: Massacre of the Royal Italian Acqui Division (in The Military Advisor, Vol 8 No 2)
Jonathan Steinberg - All or nothing: The Axis and the Holocaust 1941-1943
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945
Gordon Williamson - German Mountain & Ski Troops 1939-45
Reference material on this unit
Hermann Frank Meyer - Blutiges Edelweiß: Die 1. Gebirgsdivision im Zweiten Weltkrieg