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The 34. Infanterie-Division was formed in April 1936 in Koblenz and mobilized in August 1939 as part of the 1. Welle (wave). It manned defensive positions in the Saarpfalz in 1939 and later participated in the invasion of France. It took part in the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 and saw continuous combat there for almost three years. After suffering heavy losses in the relief of the Cherkassy pocket and in the fighting at Uman, it was refitted in May 1944 as part of the 26. Welle from Schatten-Division Neuhammer. Transferred to Italy in July 1944, the division surrendered there in April 1945.

Commanders

Generalleutnant Erich Lüdke (1 Apr 1936 - 1 Oct 1937)
Generalmajor Max von Viebahn (1 Oct 1937 - 1 Mar 1938)
Generalleutnant Friedrich Bremer (1 Mar 1938 - 1 Apr 1939)
General der Artillerie Hans Behlendorff (19 July 1939 - 10 May 1940) (WIA)
Generalleutnant Werner Sanne (11 May 1940 - 1 Nov 1940)
General der Artillerie Hans Behlendorff (1 Nov 1940 - 18 Oct 1941)
Generalleutnant Friedrich Fürst (18 Oct 1941 - 5 Sep 1942)
Generalleutnant Theodor Scherer (5 Sep 1942 - 2 Nov 1942)
General der Infanterie Friedrich Hochbaum (2 Nov 1942 - 31 May 1944)
Generalleutnant Theobald Lieb (31 May 1944 - ? 1945)
Oberst Ferdinand Hippel (? 1945 - ? 1945)

Area of operations

West wall (Sep 1939 - May 1940)
France (May 1940 - June 1941)
Eastern front, central sector (June 1941 - July 1944)
Italy (July 1944 - May 1945)

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Close Combat Clasp in Gold (4)
- Detambel, Josef, 07.08.1944, Unteroffizier, Gruppenführer i. d. 8.(MG)/Gren.Rgt. 107
- Geisen, Josef, 28.10.1944, Obergefreiter, 6./Gren.Rgt. 80
- Paul, Hermann, 28.10.1944, Unteroffizier, Gruppenführer i. d. 6./Gren.Rgt. 80
- Schaedler, Karl, 01.12.1944, Feldwebel d.R., Zugführer i. d. 7./Gren.Rgt. 80
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (14)
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (2)
- Both, [first name not listed], 01.02.1944 (436), Feldwebel, 3./Gren.Rgt. 80
- Robach, [first name not listed], 10.12.1941 (41), Obergefreiter, 12./Inf.Rgt. 107
Holders of the German Cross in Gold (77)
Holders of the German Cross in Silver (1)
- Gundhert, Dr. Dietrich, 28.06.1944, Stabsarzt d.R., Gren.Rgt. 107
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (29)
Holders of the Knight's Cross (17)
Unit-Level Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (7)
- 12./Infanterie-Regiment 107
-- Date/Place of Downing: 03.10.1941 bei Kirow
-- Award Date: 10.12.1941 (45)
- 8./Infanterie-Regiment 107
-- Date/Place of Downing: 03.10.1941 bei Studenez
-- Award Date: 10.12.1941 (46)
- II./Infanterie-Regiment 253
-- Date/Place of Downing: 21.10.1941 bei Nafaotowka
-- Award Date: 10.12.1941 (47)
- 5./Grenadier-Regiment 253
-- Date/Place of Downing: 20.02.1943 bei Gorodischtsche (2 aircraft)
-- Award Date: 16.08.1943 (348/349)
- Panzerjäger-Abteilung 34
-- Date/Place of Downing: 06.05.1943 bei Scheino
-- Award Date: 14.10.1943 (380)
- 5./Grenadier-Regiment 80
-- Date/Place of Downing: 04.06.1943 bei Mzensk
-- Award Date: 14.10.1943 (397)
- Grenadier-Regiment 80
-- Date/Place of Downing: 01.06.1943 bei Mzensk
-- Award Date: 01.11.1943 (418)

Order of battle (1939)

Infanterie-Regiment 80
Infanterie-Regiment 107
Infanterie-Regiment 253
Aufklärungs-Abteilung 34
Artillerie-Regiment 34
- I. Abteilung
- II. Abteilung
- III. Abteilung
- I./Artillerie-Regiment 70
Beobachtungs-Abteilung 34 (1)
Pionier-Bataillon 34
Panzerabwehr-Abteilung 34
Nachrichten-Abteilung 34
Feldersatz-Bataillon 34
Versorgungseinheiten 34

Order of battle (1942)

Grenadier-Regiment 80
Grenadier-Regiment 107
Grenadier-Regiment 253
Radfahr-Abteilung 34
Artillerie-Regiment 34
- I. Abteilung
- II. Abteilung
- III. Abteilung
- I./Artillerie-Regiment 70
Pionier-Bataillon 34
Panzerjäger-Abteilung 34
Nachrichten-Abteilung 34
Feldersatz-Bataillon 34
Versorgungseinheiten 34

Order of battle (1943-1945)

Grenadier-Regiment 80
Grenadier-Regiment 107
Grenadier-Regiment 253
Füsilier-Bataillon 34
Artillerie-Regiment 34
- I. Abteilung
- II. Abteilung
- III. Abteilung
- I./Artillerie-Regiment 70
Pionier-Bataillon 34
Panzerjäger-Abteilung 34
Nachrichten-Abteilung 34
Feldersatz-Bataillon 34
Versorgungseinheiten 34

Insignia

A special badge was introduced during the summer of 1944. It represents the "Mosel triangle" where the division was formed. It was at least distributed to the AA 34 and IR107.
armytradbadges-34id
Photo © Jacques

The I Battalion of Infanterie-Regiment 80 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.

Sources used

John R. Angolia & Adolf Schlicht - Uniforms & traditions of the German Army 1933-1945, Vol 3
Jill Halcomb & Wilhelm P. B. R. Saris - Headgear of Hitler's Germany, Vol 1
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945

Reference material on this unit

Kurt Abel - Erinnerungen: Ein kleines Stück aus meinem Leben
Heinz Schulz - 34. Infanterie Division: Einsatz und Gefechtsübersicht 1939-1945
Walter Stoll - Nomaden in Uniform: Meinen Erinnerungen an die Kriegsjahre

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