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The 170. Infanterie-Division was formed on 1 December 1939 as part of the 7. Welle (wave). After occupation duty in Denmark and France, the division transferred to Romania where it helped train Romanian army units. The division served continuously on the Eastern Front seeing combat in Bessarabia and southern Russia, including the Crimea. After taking part in the capture of Sevastopol, it transferred to northern Russia where it served before Leningrad and at Narva. The division received a much needed manpower boost in February 1944 when it absorbed the remnants of the disbanded 10. Feld-Division (L). Following heavy combat in Lithuania, Poland and East Prussia, the bulk of the division went into Soviet captivity at Hela while those elements evacuated by sea were captured by the British in Kiel.

Commanders

Generalleutnant Walter Wittke (1 Dec 1939 - 8 Jan 1942)
Generalleutnant Erwin Sander (8 Jan 1942 - 15 Feb 1943)
Generalleutnant Walther Krause (15 Feb 1943 - 15 Feb 1944)
Generalmajor Franz Griesbach (15 Feb 1944 - 16 Feb 1944)
Generalleutnant Siegfried Haß (16 Feb 1944 - 8 May 1945)

Operations Officers (Ia)

Oberstleutnant Kurt Lottner (5 Jan 1940-10 Apr 1941)
Major Fritz Poleck (1 Apr 1941-15 Apr 1943)
Oberstleutnant Wolf-Dietrich von Zawadzky (15 Apr 1943-1 Dec 1943)
Oberstleutnant Horst Albinus (1943-Mar 1944)
Oberstleutnant Erich Sachße (15 Mar 1944-10 Aug 1944)
Major Ernst Weger (1 Oct 1944-22 Apr 1945)
Major Ernst Albrecht (25 Apr 1945-11 May 1945)

Area of operations

Germany (Dec 1939 - Apr 1940)
Denmark (Apr 1940 - July 1940)
France (July 1940 - Feb 1941)
Germany (Feb 1941 - May 1941)
Romania (May 1941 - June 1941)
Eastern Front, southern sector (June 1941 - July 1942)
Eastern Front, northern sector (July 1942 - July 1944)
Eastern Front, central sector (July 1944 - Sep 1944)
Eastern Front, northern sector (Sep 1944 - Mar 1945)
East Prussia (Mar 1945 - May 1945)

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Close Combat Clasp in Gold (1)
- Ketterer, Hans, 25.04.1945, Unteroffizier, Gruppenführer i. d. Div.Feldzeug-Kp. 240
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (6)
- Bartels, Hans, 25.10.1944 (4229), Hauptmann, Kdr. I./Gren.Rgt. 399
- Büntemeyer, Claus, 07.09.1944 (3850), Hauptmann, Rgt.Adj. Gren.Rgt. 399
- Henning, Hans-Bernhard, 15.08.1944 (3679), Oberleutnant, 5./Art.Rgt. 240
- Hertz, Gustav, 05.12.1944 (4725), Oberst, Kdr. Art.Rgt. 240
- Ruckser, [first name not listed], 08.03.1942 (798), Oberst, Kdr. Inf.Rgt. 399
- Söhlke, Heinrich, 05.04.1944 (3082), Unteroffizier, Richtschütze i. d. 14./Gren.Rgt. 399
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft(5)
- Engwicht, [first name not listed], 16.08.1943 (351), Obergefreiter, 10./Art.Rgt. 240
- Krieger, Walter, 16.08.1943 (350), Gefreiter, 12./Art.Rgt. 240
- Otto, Fritz, 19.07.1942 (187), Unteroffizier, 7./Inf.Rgt. 391
- Sydow, Karl, 16.05.1942 (140), Gefreiter, 11. Le.Fahrkol./Inf.Div.Kol. 240
- Uken, Gerhard, 19.06.1942 (161), Gefreiter, 5./Inf.Rgt. 399
Holders of the German Cross in Gold (83)
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (25)
Holders of the Knight's Cross (36, including one unofficial/unconfirmed)
Holders of the Romanian Order of Michael the Brave, 3rd Class (Orden “Michael der Tapfere” III. Klasse) (2)
- Wittke, Walter, Königlichen Dekrets Nr. 2628 / 19.09.1941, Generalmajor, Kdr. 170. Inf.Div.
- Sander, Erwin, Königlichen Dekrets Nr. 3034 / 06.10.1942, Generalmajor, Kdr. 170. Inf.Div.
Unit-Level Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (1)
- 6./Infanterie-Regiment 401
-- Date/Place of Downing: 08.09.1941 bei Ljubimowka
-- Award Date: 16.05.1942 (139)

Holders of other notable badges & decorations

Holders of the Anti-Partisan Badge in Bronze (1)
- Mehnert, Karl, 07.12.1944, Oberleutnant, I./Gren.Rgt. 391

Order of battle (1940)

Grenadier-Regiment 391
Grenadier-Regiment 399
Grenadier-Regiment 401
Artillerie-Regiment 240
- I. Abteilung
- II. Abteilung
- III. Abteilung
- IV. Abteilung
Pionier-Bataillon 240
Panzerabwehr-Abteilung 240
Nachrichten-Abteilung 240
Versorgungseinheiten 240

Order of battle (1943-1945)

Grenadier-Regiment 391
Grenadier-Regiment 399
Grenadier-Regiment 401
Radfahr-Abteilung 240 (1)
Artillerie-Regiment 240
- I. Abteilung
- II. Abteilung
- III. Abteilung
- IV. Abteilung
Pionier-Bataillon 240
Panzerjäger-Abteilung 240
Nachrichten-Abteilung 240
Feldersatz-Bataillon 240
Versorgungseinheiten 240

Footnotes

1. Formed in winter of 1942-1943; redesignated Aufklärungs-Abteilung 240 on 1 April 1943, Füsilier-Bataillon 240 in August 1943, and Füsilier-Bataillon 170 on 1 September 1943.

Sources used

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

Reference material on this unit

Martin Blanken - Geschichte des Artillerie-Regiments 240 in der 170. Infanterie-Division 1939 – 1945 (Selbstverlag der Kameradschaft, Gustav A. Schmidt GmbH, Hamburg 1987)
Hennecke Kardel - Die Geschichte der 170. Infanterie Division

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