pz-26-logo


The 26. Panzer-Division was formed in September 1942 in Belgium from parts of 23. Infanterie-Division. It was transferred to Amiens, France in October 1942 for training and coastal defense and remained there until July 1943 when it was sent to Italy where it fought the Allied landings. It surrendered to the Allies in northern Italy at the end of the war.

Known war crimes

In Padule di Fucecchio in Italy 162 civilians were killed by soldiers from Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 26 in retaliation for a partisan attack 23 August 1944. Divisional commander Eduard Crasemann and the battalion commander Josef Strauch was convicted of this crime post-war. (1)

Commanders

Oberst Smilo Freiherr von Lüttwitz (14 Sep 1942 - 30 Sep 1942) m.d.F.b.
Generalmajor Smilo Freiherr von Lüttwitz (01 Oct 1942 - 21 Jan 1944)
Oberst Hans Hecker (22 Jan 1944 - 11 Apr 1944) m.d.st.F.b.
Oberst Dr. Hans Boelsen (11 Apr 1944 - 07 May 1944) m.d.st.F.b.
Generalleutnant Smilo Freiherr von Lüttwitz (08 May 1944 -06 July 1944)
Oberst Eduard Crasemann (06 July 1944 - 18 Jul 1944) m.d.F.b.
Generalmajor Dr. Hans Boelsen (19 Jul 1944 - 26 Aug 1944) m.d.st.F.b.
Oberst Eduard Crasemann (27 Aug 1944 - 30 Sep 1944) m.d.F.b.
Generalmajor Eduard Crasemann (01 Oct 1944 - 14 Jan 1945)
Oberst Karl Stollbrock (15 Jan 1945 - 28 Jan 1945) m.d.st.F.b.
Oberst Alfred Kuhnert (29 Jan 1945 - 28 Feb 1945) m.d.F.b.
Generalleutnant Viktor Linnarz (01 Mar 1945 - 08 May 1945)

Area of operations

Belgium (Sep 1942 - Oct 1942)
France (Oct 1942 - July 1943)
Italy (July 1943 - May 1945)

Nicknames

Grenadierkopf (Grenadier Head)

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (4)
- Flatow von, Peter, 07.08.1944 (3656), Oberleutnant, Chef 1./Pz.Pi.Btl. 93
- Michalski, Erich, 07.07.1944 (3650), Major, Btl.Kdr. Kampfgruppe Pz.Gren.Rgt. 67
- Pförtner, Robert, 15.12.1944 (4873), Feldwebel, Zugführer i. d. 4./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 9
- Staiger, Georg, 07.07.1944 (3561), Major, Kdr. II./Pz.Rgt. 26
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (1)
Schmidt, Paul, 01.02.1944 (448), Oberfeldwebel, 1./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 9
Holders of the German Cross in Gold (41)
Holders of the German Cross in Silver (7)
- Göbel, Herbert, 10.01.1945, Stabsfeldwebel, Verw.Kp. II./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 9
- Guderley, Herbert, 05.04.1945, Stabsarzt d.R., 2./San.Kp. (mot) 93
- Herzberg, Dr. Joachim-Johannes, 29.04.1945, Oberstabsarzt, 1./San.Kp. (mot) 93
- Scholz, Dr. Walter, 26.04.1945, Oberstabsarzt, Div.Arzt Stab/26. Pz.Div.
- Schultz, Christian, 31.01.1945, Stabsarzt, 1./San.Kp. (mot) 93
- Taupitz, Karl, 14.10.1944, Hauptmann d.R., Nachsch.Tr. 93
- Weber, Reinhold, 09.09.1944, Oberstabsintendant, Divisions-Intendant 26. Pz.Div.
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (19)
Holders of the Knight's Cross (17, including two unofficial/unconfirmed)
Unit-Level Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (2)
- 1./Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 9
-- Date/Place of Downing: 10.09.1943 bei Amato-Brücke
-- Award Date: 01.02.1944 (460)
- 9./Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 9
-- Date/Place of Downing: 13.05.1944 bei Priverno
-- Award Date: 01.08.1944 (520)

Order of battle (1943)

Staff
- Staff
- 93. Mapping Detachment (mot)
26. Panzer Regiment
- Staff
- Signals Platoon
- Regimental Band
- 2 x Battalion
-- Staff
-- Staff Company
-- 2 x Light Panzer Company
-- Panzer Company
- Panzer Maintenance Company
9. Panzergrenadier Regiment
- Staff
- Regimental Band
- Staff Company
-- Signals Platoon
-- Panzerjäger Platoon
-- Motorcycle Platoon
-- Pioneer Platoon
- Battalion (half-track)
-- 3 x Company
-- Heavy Company
--- Pioneer Platoon
--- Flamethrower Platoon (self-propelled)
--- Gun Platoon
--- 2 x Panzerjäger Platoon
--- Infantry Gun Platoon
- Battalion (mot)
-- 3 x Company
-- Heavy Company
--- Pioneer Platoon
--- Panzerjäger Platoon
--- Infantry Gun Platoon
--- Panzerjäger Platoon
- Infantry Gun Company (self-propelled)
67. Panzergrenadier Regiment
- Staff
- Regimental Band
- Staff Company
-- Signals Platoon
-- Panzerjäger Platoon
-- Motorcycle Platoon
- 2 x Battalion (mot)
-- 3 x Company
-- Heavy Company
--- Pioneer Platoon
--- Panzerjäger Platoon
--- Infantry Gun Platoon
--- Panzerjäger Platoon
- Infantry Gun Company (self-propelled)
93. Panzerjäger Battalion
- 2 x Panzerjäger Company (mot)
- Panzerjäger Company (self-propelled)
26. Reconnaissance Battalion
- Armored Car Company
- 2 x Reconnaissance Company (half-track)
- Heavy Reconnaissance Company (half-track)
-- Pioneer Platoon
-- Gun Section
-- Infantry Gun Section
-- 2 x Panzerjäger Platoon
- Light Reconnaissance Supply Column
93. Panzer Artillery Regiment
- Staff
- Staff Battery
- Battalion
-- Staff
-- Staff Battery
-- 3 x Battery (self-propelled)
- 2 x Battalion
-- Staff
-- Staff Battery
-- 3 x Battery (mot)
- 93. Observation Battery (mot)
93. Panzer Pioneer Battalion
- Staff
- Company (half-track)
- Company (mot)
- Brüko K Bridging Column
- Light Pioneer Supply Column (mot)
82. Panzer Signals Battalion
- Panzer Telephone Company
- Panzer Radio Company
- Light Signals Supply Column
93. Feldersatz Company
Support & Supply Units

Sturmgeschütz III and Panzer V Panther of 26. Panzer-Division (Panther from I./Pz-Reg 4) near Nettuno, Italy, in March 1944
pzdiv-26-stug-panther-nettuno
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Footnotes

1. "Deutsche Kriegsverbrechen in Italien: Täter, Opfer, Strafverfolgung" by Gerhard Schreiber.

Sources used

Microfilm Publication A-3356, German Officer Personnel files, NARA
RKT & DKiGT karteikarten, BA/MA
Dermot Bradley, Karl-Friedrich Hildebrand, Markus Rövekamp - Die Generale des Heeres 1921-1945
François de Lannoy & Josef Charita - Panzertruppen: German armored troops 1935-1945
Wolf Keilig - Die Generale des Heeres
Andris Kursietis - Die Wehrmacht at War 1939-1945
Kurt Mehner - Die Deutsche Wehrmacht 1939-1945: Führung und Truppe
Samuel W. Mitcham Jr - The Panzer Legions: A guide to the German Army Tank Divisions of WWII and Their Commanders
Samuel W. Mitcham - Rommel's Lieutenants: The Men Who Served the Desert Fox, France, 1940
Peter Schmitz, Klaus-Jürgen Thies, Günter Wegmann & Christian Zweng - Die deutschen Divisionen 1939-1945 (4 Vol)
Gerhard Schreiber - Deutsche Kriegsverbrechen in Italien: Täter, Opfer, Strafverfolgung
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945
Günther Wegmann - Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht, Teil VIII a: Panzertruppe, Band 1
Günter Wegmann & Christian Zweng - Formationsgeschichte u. Stellenbesetzung der deutschen Streitkräfte, 1815-1990, Teile IV, Abt. 1:  Die Dienststellen, Kommandobehörden u. Truppenteile des Heeres, Oct.35-May.45

Reference material on this unit

Kurt Baden - Feldpostnummer 00599E: Die Geschichte einer Panzergrenadierkompanie an der Südfront
Daniele Guglielmi - 26. Panzer-Division: Campagna d'Italia 1943 - 1945

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