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The 12. Infanterie-Division was formed in Schwerin on 15 October 1935 from the cover name Infanterieführer II. The infantry regiments were formed from 5. (Preußisches) Infanterie-Regiment and 6. Infanterie-Regiment of 2. Division of the Reichwehr. It was mobilized in August 1939 as part of the 1. Welle (wave).
The division was destroyed in July 1944 at Grodno during the Soviet summer offensive. The remnants were used to form the 12. Volksgrenadier-Division.

Commanders

Generalleutnant Wilhelm Ulex (15 Oct 1935 - 6 Oct 1936)
Generalleutnant Albrecht Schubert (6 Oct 1936 - 1 Apr 1938)
Generalleutnant Ludwig von der Leyen (1 Apr 1938 - 10 Mar 1940)
General der Artillerie Walter von Seydlitz-Kurzbach (10 Mar 1940 - 1 Jan 1942)
Generalleutnant Karl Hernekamp (1 Jan 1942 - 1 Mar 1942)
Generalmajor Gerhard Müller (1 Mar 1942 - 9 Mar 1942)
Generalleutnant Kurt-Jürgen Freiherr von Lützow (9 Mar 1942 - 11 July 1942)
Generalmajor Wilhelm Lorenz (11 July 1942 - 20 July 1942)
Generalleutnant Kurt-Jürgen Freiherr von Lützow (20 July 1942 - 25 May 1944)
General der Artillerie Curt Jahn (25 May 1944 - 4 June 1944)
Generalleutnant Rudolf Bamler (4 June 1944 - 27 June 1944)

Operations Officers (Ia)

Oberstleutnant Erich Löhr (1939 - Feb 1940)
Major Hermann Teske (5 Feb 1940 - 1 Nov 1940)
Oberst Ingo von Collani (1 Nov 1940 - 24 Dec 1942)
Oberstleutnant Horst von Trotha (24 Dec 1942 - 1 Feb 1944)
Major Claus Bauer (Mar 1944 - July 1944)

Area of operations

Poland (Sep 1939 - May 1940)
France (May 1940 - June 1941)
Eastern front, northern sector (June 1941 - Feb 1943)
Eastern front, central sector (Feb 1943 - June 1944)

Nicknames and Honor titles

Infanterie-Regiment 27 was given the title Infanterie-Regiment Rostock 1 October 1934 but was redesignated 15 October 1935.
Infanterie-Regiment 48 was given the title Infanterie-Regiment Döberitz 1 October 1934 but was redesignated 15 October 1935.

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (6)
- Cepke, Karl, 15.07.1942 (1093), Leutnant, 4./Art.Rgt. 12
- Krieger, Otto, 25.07.1941 (166), Leutnant, 1.(Reiter)/Radf.Abt. 12
- Meden von der, Carl-Friedrich, 25.07.1941 (164), Oberstleutnant, Kdr. Radf.Abt. 12
- Müller, Friedrich-Wilhelm, 25.07.1941 (165), Oberleutnant, Chef 1.(Radf.)/Inf.Rgt. 27
- Reppin, Joachim, 14.08.1942 (1126), Leutnant, Kp.Fhr. 1./Pi.Btl. 12
- Weber, Hans-Joachim, 14.08.1942 (1125), Oberleutnant, Btl.Adj. III./Inf.Rgt. 27
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (1)
- Brüdigam, Karl, 19.07.1942 (182), Feldwebel, 3./Inf.Rgt. 48
Holders of the German Cross in Gold (86)
Holders of the German Cross in Silver (3)
- Brink, Dr. Joachim, 07.09.1943, Oberstabsarzt, Feldlazarett 12
- Engel, Gerhard, 16.10.1943, Oberstleutnant, Füs.Rgt. 27
- Kaehler, Herbert, 03.02.1944, Oberschirrmeister, Inf.Rgt. 48
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (23)
Holders of the Knight's Cross (27) (22 RK + 5 EL)
Unit-Level Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (1)
- Füsilier-Regiment 12
-- Date/Place of Downing: 23.11.1943 bei Eldygina
-- Award Date: 01.02.1944 (451)

Order of battle (1939)

Infanterie-Regiment 27
Infanterie-Regiment 48
Infanterie-Regiment 89
Aufklärungs-Abteilung 12
Artillerie-Regiment12
Beobachtungs-Abteilung 12 (1)
Pionier-Bataillon 12
Panzerabwehr-Abteilung 12
Nachrichten-Abteilung 12
Feldersatz-Bataillon 12
Versorgungseinheiten 12

Order of battle (1942)

Füsilier-Regiment 27
Grenadier-Regiment 48
Grenadier-Regiment 89
Radfahr-Abteilung 12
Artillerie-Regiment 12
Pionier-Bataillon 12
Panzerjäger-Abteilung 12
Nachrichten-Abteilung 12
Feldersatz-Bataillon 12
Versorgungseinheiten 12

Order of battle (1943-1944)

Füsilier-Regiment 27
Grenadier-Regiment 48
Grenadier-Regiment 89
Füsilier-Bataillon 12
Artillerie-Regiment 12
Pionier-Bataillon 12
Panzerjäger-Abteilung 12
Nachrichten-Abteilung 12
Feldersatz-Bataillon 12
Versorgungseinheiten 12

Notable members

Rudolf Bamler (Divisional commander and German Cross in Gold holder, post-war a general in the Nationale Volksarmee of the German Democratic Republic)
Hans-Jürgen Graf von Blumenthal (Active in the resistance against Hitler since before the war and executed after the failure of the July 20 Plot)

Honorary regimental Chiefs

Chef des Artillerie-Regiment 12: Generaloberst Werner Freiherr von Fritsch (15.06.1938)

12. Infanterie-Division on the Eastern Front 1941
infdiv12-series26
(Courtesy of Michèl Robër)

12. Infanterie-Division on the Eastern Front 1941
infdiv12-series06
(Courtesy of Michèl Robër)

12. Infanterie-Division on the Eastern Front 1941
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(Courtesy of Michèl Robër)

More photos of the 12. Infanterie-Division on the Eastern Front 1941

Footnotes

1. Released from the division in December 1939 and designated Heerestruppe.

Sources used

Klaus Froh & Rüdiger Wenzke - Die Generale und Admirale der NVA: Ein biographisches handbuch
Georg Tessin - Deutsche Verbände und Truppen 1918-1939

Reference material on this unit

Gerhard Donat - Lützows wilde verwegene Schar! Das mecklenburgische Grenadier-Regiment 89 in beiden Weltkriegen
Hermann Teske - Bewegungskrieg: Führungsprobleme einer Infanterie-Division im Westfeldzug 1940
Günter von der Weiden - Zerschossene Heimat: Die Kämpfe des Grenadier-Regiments 48 (12.I.D.) östlich von Stolberg im Bereich Gressenich - Schevenhütte - Hamich und Jüngersdorf im Herbst 1944

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