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The 290. Infanterie-Division was formed in 1940 in Musterlager. It ended the war in Courland where it surrendered to the Soviet Red Army.

Commanders

Generalleutnant Max Dennerlein (? Feb 1940 - 8 June 1940)
Generalleutnant Theodor Freiherr von Wrede (8 June 1940 - 19 Sep 1940)
General der Infanterie Helge Auleb (19 Sep 1940 - 14 Oct 1940)
Generalleutnant Theodor Freiherr von Wrede (14 Oct 1940 - 1 May 1942)
Generalleutnant Conrad-Oskar Heinrichs (1 May 1942 - 1 Feb 1944)
Generalmajor Gerhard Henke (1 Feb 1944 - ? June 1944)
Generalmajor Rudolf Goltzsch (? June 1944 - 18 Aug 1944)
Generalmajor Hans-Joachim Baurmeister (18 Aug 1944 - 25 Apr 1945)
Generalmajor Carl Henke (25 Apr 1945 - 27 Apr 1945)
Generalleutnant Alfred Hemmann (27 Apr 1945 - 8 May 1945)

Operations Officers (Ia)

Major Alfred Siebert (Feb 1940-?)
Hauptmann Ritter von Merz von Quirnheim (1940-1940)
Major Wilhelm Huhns (Aug 1940-Oct 1941)
Oberst Eugen Theilacker (27 Oct 1941-23 Jul 1942)
Oberstleutnant Werner Ranck (Jul 1942-?)
Oberstleutnant Paul Jordan (?-?)
Major Hans-Joachim Flamme (?-Apr 1945)

Area of operations

Germany (Feb 1940 - May 1940)
France (May 1940 - June 1941)
Eastern front, northern sector (June 1941 - Aug 1943)
Eastern front, central sector (Aug 1943 - Oct 1943)
Eastern front, northern sector (Oct 1943 - Oct 1944)
Kurland pocket (Oct 1944 - May 1945)

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (6)
- Assenmacher, Engelbert, 25.09.1944 (3996), Leutnant, Kp.Fhr. 4./Gren.Rgt. 503
- Deike, Reinhold, 27.09.1944 (4042), Major, Kdr. III./Art.Rgt. 290
- Hammerich, Hans-Jürgen, 27.09.1944 (4043), Hauptmann, Abt.Fhr. I./Art.Rgt. 290
- Maier, Karl, 27.09.1944 (4067), Feldwebel, Gruppenführer i. d. 6./Gren.Rgt. 501
- Oehsen von, Rudolf, 27.09.1944 (4041), Oberleutnant, Battr.Fhr. 1./Art.Rgt. 290
- Walther, Kurt, 27.09.1944 (4064), Oberleutnant, Battr.Chef 8./Art.Rgt. 290
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (2)
- Rohwedder, [first name not listed], 19.06.1942 (165), Obergefreiter, Div.Kartenstelle 290
- Schwitters, [first name not listed], 16.08.1943 (339), Unteroffizier, 8./Gren.Rgt. 503
Holders of the German Cross in Gold (97)
Holders of the German Cross in Silver (2)
- Hollensteiner, Dr., Gottfried, 27.10.1944, Stabsarzt d.R., San.Kp. 2/290
- Kußmaul, Dr. Wilhelm, 22.07.1944, Stabsarzt d.R., San.Kp. 2/290
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (32)
Holders of the Knight's Cross (35, including one unofficial/unconfirmed)
Unit-Level Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (3)
- Infanterie-Regiment 502
-- Date/Place of Downing: 16.01.1942 bei Bol. Wolosskaja
-- Award Date: 16.05.1942 (81)
- III./Infanterie-Regiment 501
-- Date/Place of Downing: 02.02.1942 bei Dreglo
-- Award Date: 16.05.1942 (95)
- II./Infanterie-Regiment 501
-- Date/Place of Downing: 05.04.1942 bei Bol. Naljutschi
-- Award Date: 19.06.1942 (166)

Nicknames

Schwert-Division (Sword Division)

Order of battle (1940)

Infanterie-Regiment 501
Infanterie-Regiment 502
Infanterie-regiment 503
Artillerie-Regiment 290
Divisions-Einheiten 290

Order of battle (1944)

Grenadier-Regiment 501
Grenadier-Regiment 502
Divisions-Füsilier-Bataillon 290
Artillerie-Regiment 290
Divisionseinheiten 290

Notable members

Diedrich Lilienthal (The Bundeswehr barracks Feldwebel-Lilienthal-Kaserne in Delmenhorst was named in his honour 1970)

Insignia

The traditional badge was created in 1944 and its a reproduction of the tactical sign of the division, a sword, and it was worn on the cap left side or on the left pocket.
armytradbadges-290infdiv
Photo © Jacques

Sources used

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

Josef Bauer - 290. Infanterie Division 1940-1945
Heinrich Behrens - 290. Infanterie Division: Chronik in Bildern
Berndt von Bock & Hans Greve Polach - Weg und Schicksal der bespannten 290. Infanterie Division
Traditionsverband - Die 290. Infanterie Division

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