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The 24. Infanterie-Division was formed in Chemnitz on 15 October 1935. It was mobilized in August 1939 as part of the 1. Welle (wave). The division surrendered in Courland in May 1945.

Known war crimes

On 9 September 1939 a large number of civilians were killed in Lowicz by soldiers of Infanterie-Regiment 31. (2)

Commanders

Generalleutnant Werner Kienitz (15 Oct 1935 - 1 Apr 1938)
Generalleutnant Sigismund von Förster (1 Apr 1938 - 10 Nov 1938)
Generalleutnant Friedrich Olbricht (10 Nov 1938 - 15 Feb 1940)
Generalleutnant Justin von Obernitz (15 Feb 1940 - 14 June 1940)
General der Infanterie Hans von Tettau (14 June 1940 - 23 Feb 1943)
General der Gebirgstruppen Kurt Versock (23 Feb 1943 - 24 Feb 1944)
Generalleutnant Hans Freiherr von Falkenstein (24 Feb 1944 - 3 June 1944)
General der Gebirgstruppen Kurt Versock (3 June 1944 - 2 Sep 1944)
Generalmajor Harald Schultz (3 Sep 1944 - 8 May 1945)

Operations Officers (Ia)

Major Hans Krebs (15 Oct 1935 - 12 Oct 1937)
Oberstleutnant Gerhard Feyerabend (12 Oct 1937 - 1 Oct 1939)
Major Fritz Merker (1 Oct 1939 - 10 July 1940)
Oberstleutnant Günther Aßmann (10 July 1940 - 11 Dec 1941)
Oberstleutnant Reinhard Petri (11 Dec 1941 - 6 Jan 1942)
Oberstleutnant Ernst-Friedrich Biehler (6 Jan 1942 - 10 Dec 1943)
Oberstleutnant Gottfried Herzog (10 Dec 1943 - 1945)

Area of operations

Poland (Sep 1939 - May 1940)
France (May 1940 - June 1941)
Eastern front, southern sector (June 1941 - Dec 1942)
Eastern front, northern sector (Dec 1942 - May 1945)

Combat rating

On 30 March 1942, it was rated "Zur Abwehr bedingt geeignet" (Conditionally suited for defensive missions). It had a Kampfstärke of 40% of establishment level, while artillery is described as "sufficient".

Nicknames and Honor titles

Eisbär (Polar Bear)

Infanterie-Regiment 31 was given the title Infanterie-Regiment Plauen 1 Oct 1934 but was redesignated 15 Oct 1935.

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Close Combat Clasp in Gold (2)
- Tittel, Rolf (also seen as Rudolf), 08.12.1944, Leutnant, Zugführer i. d. 6./Gren.Rgt. 31
- Wächtler, Heinz, 27.12.1944, Feldwebel, Zugführer i. d. 7./Gren.Rgt. 32
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (13)
Holders of the German Cross in Gold (91)
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (31)
Holders of the Knight's Cross (41)

Order of battle (1939)

Infanterie-Regiment 31
Infanterie-Regiment 32
Infanterie-Regiment 102
Aufklärungs-Abteilung 24
Artillerie-Regiment 24
Beobachtungs-Abteilung 24 (1)
Pionier-Bataillon 24
Panzerabwehr-Abteilung 24
Nachrichten-Abteilung 24
Feldersatz-Bataillon 24
Versorgungseinheiten 24

Order of battle (1942)

Grenadier-Regiment 31
Grenadier-Regiment 32
Grenadier-Regiment 102
Radfahr-Abteilung 24
Artillerie-Regiment 24
Pionier-Bataillon 24
Panzerjäger-Abteilung 24
Nachrichten-Abteilung 24
Versorgungseinheiten 24

Order of battle (1943-1945)

Grenadier-Regiment 31
Grenadier-Regiment 32
Grenadier-Regiment 102
Füsilier-Bataillon 24
Artillerie-Regiment 24
Pionier-Bataillon 24
Panzerjäger-Abteilung 24
Nachrichten-Abteilung 24
Feldersatz-Bataillon 24
Versorgungseinheiten 24

Notable members

Friedrich Olbricht (Active in the resistance against Hitler and executed after the failure of the July 20 Plot, the Bundeswehr barracks General-Olbricht-Kaserne in Leipzig was named in his honour 1992)
Hermann von Oppeln-Bronikowski (Gold medal winner in the team dressage event in the 1936 Olympics)

Footnotes

1. Released from the division in Dec 1939 and designated Heerestruppe.
2. "Hitler strikes Poland: Blitzkrieg, Ideology and atrocity" by Alexander B. Rossino, page 170-171.

Sources used

BA-MA RH2/429
Alexander B. Rossino - Hitler strikes Poland: Blitzkrieg, Ideology and atrocity
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945

Reference material on this unit

Hans von Tettau & Kurt Versock - Geschichte der 24. Infanterie Division 1935-1945

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