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The 97. Jäger-Division was formed on 6 July 1942 by the redesignation of the 97. Leichte Infanterie-Division. It fought in the Kursk offensive and suffered heavy losses. It was transferred to the lower Dnieper and fought well during the retreat through the Ukraine.
The division was transferred to Slovakia in October 1944 and surrendered to the Red Army near Deutsch Brod in May 1945.

Commanders

Generalleutnant Ernst Rupp (? July 1942 - 30 May 1943)
Generalmajor Friedrich-Wilhelm Otte (30 May 1943 - 3 June 1943)
General der Infanterie Ludwig Müller (3 June 1943 - 12 Dec 1943)
Generalleutnant Friedrich Rabe von Pappenheim (13 Dec 1943 - 17 Apr 1945)
Generalmajor Robert Bader (17 Apr 1945 - 8 May 1945)

Area of operations

Germany (Dec 1940 - June 1941)
Eastern front, southern sector (June 1941 - Oct 1944)
Slovakia (Oct 1944 - May 1945)

Nicknames

Spielhahn-Division (Black Grouse Division)
Spielhahnfeder (Black Grouse Feather)

Holders of high awards

(97. Leichte Infanterie-Division / 97. Jäger-Division)
Holders of the Close Combat Clasp in Gold (3)
- Einhellinger, Georg, 15.01.1945, Oberleutnant, Adjutant I./Jäg.Rgt. 207
- Hübner, Fritz, 31.10.1944, Feldwebel, 9./Jäg.Rgt. 207
- Scherer, Philipp, 20.02.1945, Oberfeldwebel d.R., Zugführer i. d. 7./Jäg.Rgt. 204
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (5)
- Altenpohl, Moritz, 19.11.1942 (1348), Leutnant, Kp.Fhr. 3./Jäg.Rgt. 207
- Friedrich, Waldemar, 27.05.1943 (1838), Oberleutnant, Btl.Adj. I./Jäg.Rgt. 207
- Huber, Matthias, 28.03.1943 (1643), Feldwebel, Zugführer i. d. 14./Jäg.Rgt. 204
- Jordan, Günter, 16.10.1942 (1311), Major, Kdr. Radf.Abt. 97
- Kraft, Konrad, 05.06.1944 (3401), Oberleutnant, Rgt.Adj. Stab/Jäg.Rgt. 204
Holders of the German Cross in Gold (106)
Holders of the German Cross in Silver (1)
- Ströbl, Josef, 13.12.1944, Oberfeldwebel, I./Art.Rgt. 81
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (23)
Holders of the Knight's Cross (38) (33 RK + 5 EL)
Holders of the Romanian Order of Michael the Brave, 3rd Class (Orden “Michael der Tapfere” III. Klasse) (1)
- Rupp, Ernst, Königlichen Dekrets Nr. 1616 / 15.06.1943, Generalmajor, Kdr. 97. Inf.Div.

Order of battle (1942)

Jäger-Regiment 204
Jäger-Regiment 207
Radfahr-Abteilung 97
Artillerie-Regiment 81
Pionier-Bataillon 97
Panzerjäger-Abteilung 97
Nachrichten-Abteilung 97
Feldersatz-Bataillon 97
Versorgungseinheiten 97

Order of battle (1943-1945)

Jäger-Regiment 204
Jäger-Regiment 207
Aufklärungs-Abteilung 97
Artillerie-Regiment 81
Pionier-Bataillon 97
Panzerjäger-Abteilung 97
Nachrichten-Abteilung 97
Feldersatz-Bataillon 81
Versorgungseinheiten 97

Heer Jäger Sleeve Badge
sleeve-heer-jager
(Courtesy of The Ruptured Duck)

Sources used

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

Reference material on this unit

Ernst Ludwig Ott - Die Spielhahnjäger 1940-1945: Bilddokumentation der 97. Jäger Division
Ernst Ludwig Ott - Jäger am Feind: Geschichte und Opfergang der 97.Jäger Division 1940-1945
Ernst Ludwig Ott - Spielhahnjäger tapfer und Pflichtbewußt bis zum Ende: Fortsetzung bzw. Ergänzung der Div.Geschichte der 97. Jäger Division

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