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The 356. Infanterie-Division was formed at Toulon, France, in May 1943 from reserve units as a “Gisela”-Division (1). In November 1943 III./Grenadier-Regiment 869 was transferred to the 11. Panzer-Division, III./Grenadier-Regiment 870 was transferred to the Strumbrigade Reichsführer-SS while II./Grenadier-Regiment 869 and III./Grenadier-Regiment 871 were transferred to the 352. Infanterie-Division.
It went into American captivity at Wiener-Neustadt in May 1945.

Commanders

Generalleutnant Egon Von Neindorff (1 May 1943 - 15 May 1943)
Generalleutnant Karl Faulenbach (15 May 1943 - ? Oct 1944)
Oberst Kleinhenz (? Oct 1944 - ? Feb 1945)
Oberst von Saldern (? Feb 1945 - 8 May 1945)

Area of operations

France (May 1943 - Oct 1943)
Italy (Oct 1943 - Jan 1945)
Hungary & Austria (Jan 1945 - May 1945)

Nicknames

Eichenlaub-Division (Oak leaf division)

Manpower strength (7 April 1945)

56 Officers
264 NCO
894 Soldiers
3 Operational Jagdpanzer 38

Order of battle

Grenadier-Regiment 869
Grenadier-Regiment 870
Grenadier-Regiment 871
Artillerie-Regiment 356
Divisionseinheiten 356

Footnotes

1. Two divisions were formed under the code word “Gisela” as a direct reaction to the Allied victory in North Africa in May 1943. The two divisions – 355. Infanterie-Division and 356. Infanterie-Division – bolstered the security of Southern France to face any Allied move towards the Mediterranean coast as well as to keep order in this occupation zone.

Sources used

Dr. K-G Klietmann - Die Waffen-SS: eine Dokumentation
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945

Reference material on this unit

- None known at this time -

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