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The 44. Infanterie-Division was formed on 1 April 1938 in Wien, Austria following the Anschluss from the 2. Division and 3. Division of the Austrian Army, the Österreichischen Bundesheer. It was mobilized in August 1939 as part of the 1. Welle (wave). The division took part in the campaign in Poland, advancing into the area allocated to the USSR. It later fought in the west suffering heavy losses against stiff French resistance. After the French surrender the division spent ten months on occupation duty and in March 1941 it was transferred to Poland for training.
It took part in the invasion of the Soviet Union on the southern sector of the front fighting at the Pripet Marshes and at Kiev. It took part in the fighting in the Caucasus area before advancing to Stalingrad where it was destroyed in January 1943.
The division was reformed on 17 February 1943 and on 1 June 1943 redesignated (44.) Reichs-Grenadier-Division Hoch und Deutschmeister.

Commanders

General der Infanterie Albrecht Schubert (1 Sep 1939 - 1 Oct 1939)
General der Infanterie Friedrich Siebert (1 Oct 1939 - 2 May 1942)
Generalleutnant Heinrich Deboi (2 May 1942 - 31 Jan 1943) (POW) (1)
[Reformed]
Generalleutnant Dr. jur. Franz Beyer (1 Mar 1943 - 1 June 1943)

Operations Officers (Ia)

Oberstleutnant Paul Reinhold Hermann (1 Apr 1938 - 8 Dec 1939)
Oberstleutnant Hans Doerr (Dec 1939 - 20 Sep 1940)
Major Sigmund Freiherr von Imhoff (Sep 1940 - 10 Aug 1941) (KIA)
Oberstleutnant Kurt Radtke (Aug 1941 - 22 Jan 1943) (MIA)
[Reformed]
Oberstleutnant Friedrich Reinhardt (1 Mar 1943 - 1 June 1943)

Area of operations

Poland (Sep 1939 - May 1940)
France (May 1940 - June 1941)
Eastern front, southern sector (June 1941 - Oct 1942)
Stalingrad (Oct 1942 - Jan 1943)
[Reformed]
Belgium (Feb 1943 - June 1943)

Holders of high awards

See Reichs-Grenadier-Division Hoch und Deutschmeister

Order of battle (1939)

Infanterie-Regiment 131
Infanterie-Regiment 132
Infanterie-Regiment 134
Aufklärungs-Abteilung 44
Artillerie-Regiment 96
- I. Abteilung
- II. Abteilung
- III. Abteilung
- I./Artillerie-Regiment 97
Beobachtungs-Abteilung 44 (2)
Pionier-Bataillon 80
Panzerabwehr-Abteilung 46
Nachrichten-Abteilung 64
Feldersatz-Bataillon 44
Versorgungseinheiten 44

Order of battle (1942)

Grenadier-Regiment 131
Grenadier-Regiment 132
Grenadier-Regiment 134
Radfahr-Abteilung 44
Artillerie-Regiment 96
- I. Abteilung
- II. Abteilung
- III. Abteilung
- I./Artillerie-Regiment 97 (3)
Pionier-Bataillon 80
Panzerjäger-Abteilung 46
Nachrichten-Abteilung 64
Versorgungseinheiten 44

Insignia

Infanterie-Regiment 134 used the traditional "Hoch und Deutschmeister" banner used by Hoch- und Deutschmeister Regiment Nr 4 of the Imperial Austrian Army since 1868.

flag-de-hoch-und-deutschmeister
(Courtesy of Wikimedia)

Footnotes

1. There is conflicting information in regard to the exact date Generalleutnant Heinrich Deboi was captured at Stalingrad.
2. Released from the division in December 1939 and designated Heerestruppe.
3. Reformed as IV./Artillerie-Regiment 96 in April 1943.

Sources used

Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945
Gordon Williamson - German Army Elite Units, 1939-45
Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Vol. 110 (Verlag C.A. Starke; Limburg/Lahn; 1996)

Reference material on this unit

Friedrich Dettmer - Die 44. Infanterie Division / Reichsgrenadier Division Hoch und Deutschmeister
Friedrich Dettmer - Ergänzungen zur Divisionsgeschichte
Anton Schimak, Karl Lamprecht & Friedrich Dettmer - Die 44. Infanterie Division: Tagebuch der Hoch  und Deutschmeister

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