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The 69. Infanterie-Division was formed on 26 August 1939 as part of the 2. Welle (wave) from elements of 16. Infanterie-Division and 26. Infanterie-Division. During the invasion of Norway elements of it took part in the Airborne assault on Sola Airfield in 1940. It formed two kampfgruppen during the advance from eastern Norway towards Bergen in western Norway, Gruppe Adlhoch (under Xaver Adlhoch) and Gruppe Daubert (under Major Daubert). It saw heavy fighting against the Norwegian Valdresgruppen (consisting of 4. Brigade and parts of Infantry Regiment 6) under Colonel Gudbrand Østby between 14 April and 2 May.
The division was destroyed on the River Inster in East Prussia; the remnants surrendered to the Red Army upon the fall of Königsberg on 10 April 1945.

Commanders

General der Artillerie Hermann Tittel (26 Aug 1939 - 28 Sep 1941)
Generalleutnant Bruno Ortner (29 Sep 1941 - 1 Feb 1944)
Generalleutnant Siegfried Rein (1 Feb 1944 - 20 Jan 1945) (KIA) (1)
Oberst Rudolf Grimme (20 Jan 1945 - 9 Feb 1945)
Generalmajor Kaspar Völker (9 Feb 1945 - 9 Apr 1945)

Operations Officers (Ia)

Major Werner Müller (26 Aug 1939 - 16 June 1940)
Major Helmut Siemoneit (16 June 1940 - 20 Aug 1941)
Major Erich Vorwerck (20 Aug 1941 - 1 Sep 1943)
Oberstleutnant Eberhard Henrici (1 Sep 1943 - 10 Nov 1944)
Major Horst Grüninger (10 Nov 1944 - ? 1945) (MIA)
Major Job von Witzleben (26 Feb 1945 - Apr 1945)

Area of operations

Germany (Sep 1939 - Apr 1940)
Norway (Apr 1940 - Apr 1943)
Eastern front, northern sector (Apr 1943 - Sep 1944)
Eastern front, central sector (Sep 1944 - Jan 1945)
East Prussia (Jan 1945 - Apr 1945)

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army  (2)
- Janke, Johannes, 07.12.1943 (2591), Oberstleutnant, Kdr. Gren.Rgt. 159
- Kirstein, Otto, 27.09.1944 (4063), Oberleutnant, Kp.Fhr. 8./Gren.Rgt. 159
Holders of the German Cross in Gold (30)
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (9)
- Bode, Hans-Karl, 17.04.1944, Leutnant, 14./Gren.Rgt. 159
- Ewald, Udo, 17.03.1944, Leutnant, Stabs.Kp./Gren.Rgt. 159
- Harzen, Helgo, 25.08.1944, Oberleutnant, Stabs.Kp./Gren.Rgt. 236
- Hereus, Lutz, 27.11.1944, Hauptmann d.R., Gren.Rgt. 157
- Heuer, Heinrich, 25.03.1945, Major, Gren.Rgt. 159
- Heuser, Gerhard, 27.02.1944, Oberleutnant, 5./Gren.Rgt. 157
- Tibussek, Walter, 17.03.1944, Feldwebel, 6./Gren.Rgt. 236
- Veith, Hans-Joachim, 25.08.1944, Leutnant, 9./Gren.Rgt. 159
- Woyte, Hubert, 07.10.1944, Hauptmann, Felders.Btl. 169
Holders of the Knight's Cross (11)
Unit-Level Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (1)
- II./Grenadier-Regiment 159
-- Date/Place of Downing: 11.02.1943 bei Maluksa (2 aircraft)
-- Award Date: 14.10.1943 (385)

Nicknames

Wiking-Schiff (Viking Ship)

Order of battle (1939)

Infanterie-Regiment 159
Infanterie-Regiment 193
Infanterie-Regiment 236
Aufklärungs-Abteilung 169
Artillerie-Regiment 169
- I. Abteilung
- II. Abteilung
- III. Abteilung
- IV. Abteilung
Pionier-Bataillon 169
Panzerabwehr-Abteilung 169
Nachrichten-Abteilung 169
Versorgungseinheiten 169

Order of battle (April 1940)

Infanterie-Regiment 159 (Oberst von Stolberg)
Infanterie-Regiment 193 (Oberst von Beeren)
Infanterie-Regiment 236 (Oberst Adlhoch)
Aufklärungs-Abteilung 169
Artillerie-Regiment 169 (Oberst Heinrich)
- I. Abteilung
- II. Abteilung
- III. Abteilung
- IV. Abteilung
Pionier-Bataillon 169 (Kramer)
Panzerabwehr-Abteilung 169 (Major Stenkhoff)
Nachrichten-Abteilung 169
Versorgungseinheiten 169

Order of battle (1942)

Grenadier-Regiment 159
Grenadier-Regiment 193 (2)
Grenadier-Regiment 236
Radfahr-Abteilung 169
Artillerie-Regiment 169
- I. Abteilung
- II. Abteilung
- III. Abteilung
- IV./Artillerie-Regiment 269 (3)
Pionier-Bataillon 169
Panzerjäger-Abteilung 169
Nachrichten-Abteilung 169
Versorgungseinheiten 169

Order of battle (1943-1945)

Grenadier-Regiment 157 (4)
Grenadier-Regiment 159
Grenadier-Regiment 236
Füsilier-Bataillon 69
Artillerie-Regiment 169
- I. Abteilung
- II. Abteilung
- III. Abteilung
- IV./Artillerie-Regiment 269 (5)
Pionier-Bataillon 169
Panzerjäger-Abteilung 169
Nachrichten-Abteilung 169
Feldersatz-Bataillon 169
Versorgungseinheiten 169

Hauptmann Herbert Stemmer of Infanterie-Regiment 236 in front of a Panzer I south of Bagn during the fighting in Norway
inf-div-69-stemmer-herbert
(Courtesy of Bagn Bygdesamling/Wikimedia)

Soldiers near Sør-Aurdal on 18 April 1940
inf-div-69-march
(Courtesy of Bagn Bygdesamling/Wikimedia)

Soldiers of Infanterie-Regiment 236 advancing in Norway
inf-div-69-advance
(Courtesy of Bagn Bygdesamling/Wikimedia)

Burial of the commander of III./IR 193 Major Walter Klein in Bergen Norway 28 March 1941
inf-div-69-burial-klein-1
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Burial of the commander of III./IR 193 Major Walter Klein in Bergen Norway 28 March 1941
inf-div-69-burial-klein-2
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Footnotes

1. Generalleutnant Rein was killed 18 January 1945 near Schloßberg, East Prussia.
2. Released from the division on 3 November 1942 and designated Heerestruppe.
3. Transferred from the 269. Infanterie-Division on 10 December 1942.
4. Formed on 22 September 1943 as a replacement for Grenadier-Regiment 193.
5. Redesignated IV./Artillerie-Regiment 169 on 25 August 1944.

Sources used

Henrik O. Lunde - Hitler's Pre-Emptive War: The Battle for Norway, 1940
French L. MacLean - Quiet Flows the Rhine: German General Officer Casualties in World War II
Kurt Mehner - Die Deutsche Wehrmacht 1939-1945
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945

Reference material on this unit

Joh. Eifert - Geschichte der 69. Infanterie-Division (3 vol, private publication, Duisburg 1999)

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