The 708. Infanterie-Division was formed in May 1941 as part of the 15. Welle (wave). It was transferred to France in June 1941 where it served on occupation, security, coastal defense and air raid protection duties in the areas of Bordeaux and Royan. Withdrawn from the French Atlantic coast in July 1944, the division moved inland and entered combat in Normandy. It was destroyed in August 1944 in the area of Le Mans-Leval during the retreat from western France.

Elements of it were used to form 573. Volks-Grenadier-Division on 4 September 1944.

Commanders

Generalmajor Walter Drobnig (3 May 1941 - 1 Mar 1942)
Generalleutnant z.V. Hermann Wilck (1 Mar 1942 - 30 July 1943)
Generalmajor Edgar Arndt (30 July 1943 - 24 Aug 1944) (KIA) (1)

Operations Officers (Ia)

Major Wilhelm Breidenstein (Sep 1943 - Feb 1944)
Oberstleutnant Heinz-Joachim Mueller-Lamkow (Feb 1944 - Aug 1944)

Area of operations

Germany (May 1941 - June 1941)
France (June 1941 - Aug 1944)

Order of battle (1941)

Infanterie-Regiment 728
Infanterie-Regiment 748
Artillerie-Abteilung 658
Pionier-Kompanie 708
Nachrichten-Kompanie 708
Versorgungstruppen 708

Order of battle (1944)

Grenadier-Regiment 728
Grenadier-Regiment 748
(Kosaken) Festungs-Grenadier-Regiment 360 (2)
Divisions-Füsilier-Bataillon 708
Artillerie-Regiment 658 (3)
Fla-Kompanie 708
Feldersatz-Bataillon 708
Panzerjäger-Kompanie 708
Pionier-Bataillon 708
Nachrichten-Abteilung 708
Versorgungstruppen 708

Insignia

A facsimile of a German Panzerkampwagen III in white metal with a large golden letter “F” upon it was given by Oberstleutnant Ewert von Renteln to men of his Kosaken-Regiment 6 in recognition of their bravery in action against Red Army tanks. The unofficial badge was worn on the upper left sleeve above the regimental arm badge, a red shield with white outline. Photographic evidence suggests the badge continued to be worn throughout the evolution of the unit, from Kosaken-Regiment 6 to Kosaken-Bataillone 622 and 623 and ultimately by members of (Kosaken) Festungs-Grenadier-Regiment 360.

Soldiers of (Kosaken) Festungs-Grenadier-Regiment 360 in France 1944, note the unique sleeve insignia
inf-div-708-kosak-insignia1inf-div-708-kosak-insignia2
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Footnotes

1. Generalmajor Arndt was killed 24 August 1944 near Troyes, France.
2. Formed in the autumn of 1942, Kosaken-Regiment 6 was restructured in December 1942 as two separate battalions: Kosaken-Bataillone 622 and 623. On 19 April 1944, (Kosaken) Festungs-Grenadier-Regiment 360 was formed from Ost-Regiments-Stab z.b.V. 750 and Kosaken-Bataillone 622 (I.) and 623 (II.) and assigned to the 708. Infanterie-Division. It was released from the division in October 1944 and allocated as Heeerestruppe to the LXIV. Armeekorps / 19. Armee.
3. Formed on 21 June 1943 through the restructuring of Artillerie-Abteilung 658, Artillerie-Regiment 658 was redesignated two times in seven months: Artillerie-Regiment 708 on 8 December 1943 and Artillerie-Regiment 1708 on 19 January 1944.

Sources used

Research by Shawn Bohannon
David Littlejohn - Foreign Legions of the Third Reich, Volume 4: Poland, the Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Free India, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Russia
French Maclean - Quiet Flows the Rhine: German General Officer Casualties in World War II
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945

Reference material on this unit

- None known at this time -

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