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The 297. Infanterie-Division was formed in Febrary 1940 as part of the 8th welle (wave). It was destroyed at Stalingrad in January 1943.

It was reformed in April 1943 in France and was transferred to Serbia in June. It surrendered in Untersteiermark to the Yugoslav forces at the end of the war.

This unit took part in anti-partisan operations in Croatia.

Commanders

General der Artillerie Max Pfeffer (5 Apr 1940 - 16 Jan 1943)
Generalmajor Moritz von Drebber (16 Jan 1943 - 25 Jan 1943)
[Reformed]
Generalleutnant Friedrich-Wilhelm Deutsch (1 Apr 1943 - 17 Feb 1944)
Generalleutnant Otto Gullmann (17 Feb 1944 - 26 Oct 1944)
Generalleutnant Albrecht Baier (26 Oct 1944 - 8 May 1945)

Operations Officers (Ia)

Major Heinz Brandt (8 Feb 1940-Oct 1940)
Oberstleutnant Karl-Theodor Koerner (20 Oct 1940-15 Aug 1941)
Oberstleutnant Walter Nagel (17 Oct 1941-18 Sep 1942)
Oberstleutnant Arthur Weber (?-25 Jan 1943) (POW)
[Reformed]
Oberstleutnant Hans-Georg Eismann (Apr 1943-10 Sep 1943)
Oberstleutnant Heinz Toop (10 Sep 1943-20 Jan 1945)
Oberstleutnant Wilfried von Sobbe (20 Jan 1945-1945)

Area of operations

Germany (Apr 1940 - July 1941)
Eastern front, southern sector (July 1941 - Oct 1942)
Stalingrad (Oct 1942 - Jan 1943)
[Reformed]
France (Apr 1943 - June 1943)
Serbria (June 1943 - Sep 1943)
Albania (Sep 1943 - Sep 1944)
Montenegro & Balkans (Sep 1944 - May 1945)

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (6)
- Behrens, Helmuth, 05.09.1942 (1197), Oberleutnant, Schwd.Chef 1./Aufkl.Abt. 297
- Hagemeyer, Friedrich, 18.04.1942 (899), Hauptmann, Btl.Fhr. I./Inf.Rgt. 524
- Müller, Helmut, 05.09.1942 (1175), Hauptmann, Btl.Fhr. I./Inf.Rgt. 523
- Oechsle, Gustav, 05.09.1942 (1177), Major, Kdr. Aufkl.Abt. 297
- Pickel, Wilhelm, 03.07.1941 (011), Major, Kdr. Inf.Rgt. 524
- Reiser, Fritz, 12.07.1941 (013), Gefreiter, 1./Art.Rgt. 297 (1)
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (5)
- Hirschvogel, Siegfried, 16.05.1942 (115), Unteroffizier, 1./Inf.Rgt. 522
- Mayr, Rudolf, 24.09.1942 (252), Gefreiter, 10./Inf.Rgt. 523
- Schrödlein, Erwin, 01.05.1944 (483), Unteroffizier, Stabskp./Gren.Rgt. 523
- Steininger, Fritz, 01.08.1944 (512), Gefreiter, 4./Gren.Rgt. 522
- Tautz, Rudolf, 01.05.1944 (492), Obergefreiter, 6./Gren.Rgt. 522
Holders of the German Cross in Gold (45)
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (7)
- Eckert, Franz, 25.05.1942, Oberleutnant, 8./Inf.Rgt. 524
- Kaltenbrunner, Alois, 25.03.1945, Oberleutnant d.R., 1./Gren.Rgt. 524
- Nagy, Koloman, 00.00.1945, Major d.R., Stab I./Gren.Rgt. 524
- Philipp, Christian, 10.10.1941, Oberst, Inf.Rgt. 524
- Pickel, Wilhelm, 08.02.1943, Oberstleutnant, Gren.Rgt. 524
- Siegert, Rudolf, 18.04.1942, Oberleutnant, 4./Art.Rgt. 297
- Zickbauer, Josef, 05.09.1942, Leutnant, 1./Aufkl.Abt. 297
Holders of the Knight's Cross (10, including one unofficial/unconfirmed)
- Oakleaves
-- Riedel, Willy [186. EL] 25.01.1943 Hauptmann Kdr III./Inf.Rgt 524
- Knight’s Cross
-- Burgemeister, Alfred 02.05.1945 Oberst Kdr Gren.Rgt 524
--- [in 1956 in the personal files of Burgemeister an maschine typed KC award document was found, issued by General der Gebirgstruppe Konrad (K.G. LXVIII. AK) on behalf of OB HGr Süd on 02.05.1945 ; another proof for the award is not to find in the files, this award "im Auftrag" has to regarded as unofficial]
-- Drebber von, Moritz 30.06.1942 Oberst Kdr Inf.Rgt 523
-- Engfer, Alfred 13.09.1942 Hauptmann Kdr III./Inf.Rgt 523
-- Hieber, Karl 20.02.1942 Hauptmann Führer I./Inf.Rgt 522
-- Mäder, Hellmuth 03.04.1942 Major Kdr III./Inf.Rgt 522
-- Pfeffer, Max 04.12.1941 Generalleutnant Kdr 297. Inf.Div
-- Reiser, Sebastian 11.10.1941 Gefreiter Richtkanonier i. d. 1./Art.Rgt 297
-- Riedel, Willy 08.10.1942 Hauptmann Kdr III./Inf.Rgt 524
-- Tilmann, Wido 22.12.1941 Leutnant d.R. Zugführer i. d. 2./Pi.Btl 297
Unit-Level Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (7)
- Infanterie-Regiment 524
-- Date/Place of Downing: 23.11.1941 bei Bulazelewka
-- Award Date: 16.05.1942 (113)
- Aufklärungs-Abteilung 297
-- Date/Place of Downing: 27.11.1941 bei Petschenegi
-- Award Date: 16.05.1942 (114)
- 3./Infanterie-Regiment 524
-- Date/Place of Downing: 23.02.1942 bei Pjatnitzkoje
-- Award Date: 16.05.1942 (137)
- 12./Infanterie-Regiment 522
-- Date/Place of Downing: 11.05.1942 bei Bolschaja-Babka
-- Award Date: 24.09.1942 (234)
- Infanterie-Regiment 522
-- Date/Place of Downing: 29.05.1942 bei Nowo-Gniliza
-- Award Date: 24.09.1942 (251)
- Infanterie-Regiment 523
-- Date/Place of Downing: 02.07.1942 bei Kolodesnoje
-- Award Date: 24.09.1942 (254)
- Stabskompanie/Infanterie-Regiment 522
-- Date/Place of Downing: 31.05.1942 bei Nowo-Gniliza
-- Award Date: 24.09.1942 (255)

Order of battle (1940)

Infanterie-Regiment 522
Infanterie-Regiment 523
Infanterie-Regiment 524
Artillerie-Regiment 297
Divisionseinheiten 297

Order of battle (1944)

Grenadier-Regiment 522
Grenadier-Regiment 523
Grenadier-Regiment 524
Artillerie-Regiment 297
Divisionseinheiten 297

Notable members

Willy Riedel (Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and German Cross in Gold holder, post-war an Oberst in the Nationale Volksarmee of the German Democratic Republic)

Footnotes

1. One of 40 soldiers cited in the Wehrmachtbericht or Armed Forces Communiqué but not named in the newly established Honor Roll of the German Army due to a change in award policy made effective 8 Aug 1941 (and beginning with award # 74). The soldiers in question, did, however, receive the Commendation Certificate.

Sources used

Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945

Reference material on this unit

Dr. Alois Beck - bis Stalingrad... (1941-1943), Albanien und Jugoslawien (1943-1945): Die 297. Infanterie Division

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