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The 218. Infanterie-Division took part in the invasions of Poland and France before being sent to Denmark on occupation duty in 1941.

After the successful campaign in the west it took part in a victory parade where Joseph Goebbels made a speech that in part read:
Soldiers! The war isn't over yet. Its last battle has yet to be fought. Then the bells of peace will ring out over Germany, then we will build a greater Reich and a better Europe. That is what you soldiers have fought for. We cannot promise you heaven on earth, as those who spoke to you here in December 1918 did. We can promise on that in the future we also, whether in war or peace, will fight and work for the greatness, the happiness, the freedom, and the fame of our Fatherland.

It was sent to the Eastern front in December 1941, fighting in the northern sector as a part of Heeresgruppe Nord. It retreated through the Baltic states following the Soviet offensives, ending the war in the Kurland pocket.

Commanders

Generalleutnant Woldemar Freiherr Grote (1 Sep 1939 - 1 Jan 1942)
Generalleutnant Horst Freiherr von Uckermann (1 Jan 1942 - 20 Mar 1942)
Generalleutnant Viktor Lang (20 Mar 1942 - 25 Dec 1944)
Generalmajor Ingo von Collani (25 Dec 1944 - 1 May 1945)
Generalleutnant Werner Ranck (1 May 1945 - 8 May 1945)

Operations Officers (Ia)

Oberstleutnant Kremling (1939-1939)
Major Otto Zeltmann (12 Nov 1939-20 Apr 1940)
Major von Bodenhausen (?-?)
Major Leo Hepp (21 Jan 1942-16 Mar 1942) (WIA)
Oberst Hans-Günther Leutheußer (22 Mar 1942-25 Aug 1943)
Oberstleutnant Helmut Picot (25 Aug 1943-25 Aug 1944)
Major Siegfried Ahollinger (25 Aug 1944-1945)

Area of operations

Poland (Sep 1939 - May 1940)
Germany (May 1940 - May 1941)
Denmark (May 1941 - Dec 1941)
Eastern front, northern sector (Dec 1941 - Oct 1944)
Kurland pocket (Oct 1944 - May 1945)

Order of battle (1939)

Infanterie-Regiment 323
Infanterie-Regiment 386
Infanterie-Regiment 397
Artillerie-Regiment 218
Divisionseinheiten 218

Order of battle (1943)

Grenadier-Regiment 323
Grenadier-Regiment 386
Grenadier-Regiment 397
Artillerie-Regiment 218
Divisionseinheiten 218

Soldiers from the division on parade past Joseph Goebbels and Generaloberst Friedrich Fromm after the end of the campaign in the west
inf-div-218-parade-goebbels
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Sources used

Volks-Zeitung, 19 July 1940
Lars Ericson Wolke - Joseph Goebbels: En biografi
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945

Reference material on this unit

- None known at this time -

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