logo-inf-26

The 26. Infanterie-Division was formed in Köln on 1 April 1936. The division was mobilized in August 1939 as part of the 1. Welle (wave).
The division took part in the invasion of France, but saw only limited action. It fought on the Eastern Front, taking part in the offensive against Moscow, the winter offensive of 1941-42, and the Battle of Kursk before being destroyed at Kovel during the Soviet summer offensive of 1944. In July it absorbed the 174. Reserve-Division.
The remnants were withdrawn to Poland where they served as a cadre for the 26. Volksgrenadier-Division which was formed on 17 September 1944.

Commanders

Generalleutnant Fritz Kühne (1 Apr 1936 - 31 Oct 1938)
Generalleutnant Sigismund von Förster (10 Nov 1938 - 15 Jan 1941)
Generaloberst Walter Weiß (15 Jan 1941 - 15 Apr 1942)
General der Infanterie Friedrich Wiese (15 Apr 1942 - 5 Aug 1943)
Generalleutnant Johann de Boer (5 Aug 1943 - 10 Aug 1944)
Generalmajor Heinz Kokott (10 Aug 1944 - 17 Sep 1944)

Operations Officers (Ia)

Major Paul Reinhold Herrmann (1 Apr 1936 – 1 Apr 1938)
Major Franz-Eccard von Bentivegni (1 Apr 1938 – 1 Mar 1939)
Oberstleutnant Alfred Tschirdewahn (1 Mar 1939 – Oct 1939)
Major Horst Krähe (5 Nov 1939 - 12 May 1940)
Hauptmann Bogislav von Bonin (6 June 1940 - 20 Dec 1940)
Major Ernst-August Lassen (20 Dec 1940 - 15 June 1943)
Oberst Otto Egelhaaf (15 June 1943 - 1 Nov 1943)
Oberstleutnant Gerhard Scholz (Nov 1943 - Apr 1944)
Oberstleutnant August Hermani (25 Apr 1944 - 10 Sep 1944)
Major Hans Freiherr von Tiesenhausen (10 Sep 1944 - 17 Sep 1944)

Area of operations

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

Nicknames

Dom Division (Cathedral Division, due to its insignia, based on the Cologne Cathedral)

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (5)
- Borchers, Karl-Heinz, 17.03.1943 (1609), Hauptmann, Btl.Fhr. I./Gren.Rgt. 77
- Hanses, [first name not listed], 18.03.1942 (838), Oberleutnant, Chef 1./Inf.Rgt. 39
- Kutsch, Walter, 17.10.1943 (2279), Rittmeister, Fhr. Aufkl.Abt. 26
- Mangel, Heinrich, 07.05.1943 (1786), Oberleutnant, Kp.Fhr. 1./Pi.Btl. 26
- Wittkamp, Kaspar, 07.05.1943 (1788), Unteroffizier, Gruppenführer i. d. 4.(MG)/Gren.Rgt. 77
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (1)
- Dörsing, Hans, 01.02.1944 (440), Obergefreiter, 13./Gren.Rgt. 77
Holders of the German Cross in Gold (100)
Holders of the German Cross in Silver (1)
- Thiel, Dr. Karl, 09.05.1944, Oberstabsarzt, San.Kp. (mot) 2/26
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (19)
Holders of the Knight's Cross (16) (15 RK + 1 EL)
Unit-Level Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (4)
- 4./Infanterie-Regiment 39
-- Date/Place of Downing: 05.11.1941 bei Popowo
-- Award Date: 18.11.1941 (24)
- 2./Feld-Ersatz-Bataillon 26
-- Date/Place of Downing: 24.01.1942 bei Gorbowo
-- Award Date: 16.05.1942 (98)
- 14./Infanterie-Regiment 78
-- Date/Place of Downing: 26.12.1941 bei Kodosowo
-- Award Date: 16.05.1942 (99)
- Aufklärungs-Abteilung 26
-- Date/Place of Downing: 11.01.1942 bei Kosmaricha
-- Award Date: 16.05.1942 (108)

Order of battle (1939)

Infanterie-Regiment 39
Infanterie-Regiment 77
Infanterie-Regiment 78
Aufklärungs-Abteilung 26
Artillerie-Regiment 26
- I. Abteilung
- II. Abteilung
- III. Abteilung
- I./Artillerie-Regiment 62
Beobachtungs-Abteilung 26 (1)
Pionier-Bataillon 26
Panzerabwehr-Abteilung 26
Nachrichten-Abteilung 26
Feldersatz-Bataillon 26
Versorgungseinheiten 26

Order of battle (1942)

Füsilier-Regiment 39
Grenadier-Regiment 77
Grenadier-Regiment 78
Radfahr-Abteilung 26
Artillerie-Regiment 26
- I. Abteilung
- II. Abteilung
- III. Abteilung
- I./Artillerie-Regiment 62
Pionier-Bataillon 26
Panzerjäger-Abteilung 26
Nachrichten-Abteilung 26
Feldersatz-Bataillon 26
Versorgungseinheiten 26

Order of battle (1943-1944)

Füsilier-Regiment 39
Grenadier-Regiment 77
Grenadier-Regiment 78
Füsilier-Bataillon 26
Artillerie-Regiment 26
- I. Abteilung
- II. Abteilung
- III. Abteilung
- I./Artillerie-Regiment 62 (2)
Pionier-Bataillon 26
Panzerjäger-Abteilung 26
Nachrichten-Abteilung 26
Feldersatz-Bataillon 26
Versorgungseinheiten 26

Notable members

Wilhelm Ehm (Admiral and Chief of the Volksmarine (1 Aug 1959-31 Jul 1961 and 25 Feb 1963-30 Nov 1987) of the German Democratic Republic; served as a Soldat in Nachrichten-Abteilung 26 from 1939-1941)
Caesar von Hofacker (Active in the resistance against Hitler and executed after the failure of the July 20 Plot)

Insignia

The I Battalion of Infanterie-Regiment 77 was one of the battalions transferred as whole units from the Prussian Landespolizei into the Army in 1936 and was allowed to continue carrying their old Polizei flags.
The flag-bearer of this battalion wore the Landespolizei gorget instead of the normal Heer gorget.

de_pr-po
(Illustration courtesy of Flags Of The World)

Footnotes

1. Released from the division in December 1939 and designated Heerestruppe.
2. Redesignated IV./Artillerie-Regiment 26 in October 1943.

Sources used

John R. Angolia & Adolf Schlicht - Uniforms & traditions of the German Army 1933-1945, Vol 3
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945

Reference material on this unit

Kameradschaft ehemalige 39-er - Infanterie Füsilierregiment 39 1936-1945
Heinrich Kemmler - Regimentsgeschichte des Infanterie-Regiment 78 (published in "Festschrift zum 1. Regimentstreffen in Aachen")
Wolfgang Knecht - Die Geschichte des Infanterie-Regiments 77 (Selbstverlag, 1964)

Do you have any corrections or additions to the material presented on the site?
Please help us improve the site by sending them to us.