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The 20. Panzer-Division was formed in October 1940 in Erfurt from parts of 19. Infanterie-Division and 33. Infanterie-Division as well as from several replacement and reserve units. It took part in the invasion of the USSR fighting on the central sector of the front and advanced near Moscow. It was transferred south in May 1944 and suffered heavy losses during the Soviet summer offensive. It was transferred to Romania for refitting in August and was sent to East Prussia on October 1944. It was sent to Hungary in January 1945 and ended the war in eastern Germany.

Commanders

Generalleutnant Horst Stumpff (13 Nov 1940 - 10 Sep 1941)
Oberst Georg von Bismarck (10 Sep 1941 - 13 Oct 1941) m.d.F.b.
Generalmajor Wilhelm Ritter von Thoma (14 Oct 1941 - 30 Jun 1942)
Generalmajor Walther Düvert (01 July 1942 - 10 Oct 1942) (1)
Oberst Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz (10 Oct 1942 - 30 Nov 1942) m.d.F.b.
Generalmajor Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz (01 Dec 1942 - 11 May 1943)
Generalleutnant Mortimer von Kessel (12 May 1943 - 01 Jan 1944)
Oberst Werner Marcks (01 Jan 1944 - 01 Feb 1944) m.d.F.b.
Generalleutnant Mortimer von Kessel (02 Feb 1944 - 05 Nov 1944)
Oberst Hermann von Oppeln-Bronikowski (06 Nov 1944 - 31 Dec 1944) m.d.F.b.
Generalmajor Hermann von Oppeln-Bronikowski (01 Jan 1945 - 08 May 1945)

Operations Officers (Ia)

Major Curt-Ulrich von Gersdorff (15 Oct 1940-11 Aug 1941)
Oberstleutnant Helmut Staedke (11 Aug 1941-1 Oct 1942)
Oberstleutnant Rolf Bruns (1 Oct 1942-25 Oct 1943)
Oberstleutnant Hans Schöneich (25 Oct 1943-25 Aug 1944)
Major Norbert Bittl (25 Aug 1944-1945)

Area of operations

Germany (Nov 1940 - June 1941)
Eastern front, central sector (June 1941 - May 1944)
Eastern front, southern sector (May 1944 - Aug 1944)
Romania (Aug 1944 - Oct 1944)
East Prussia (Oct 1944 - Jan 1945)
Hungary (Jan 1945 - Feb 1945)
Poland & eastern Germany (Feb 1945 - May 1945)

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Close Combat Clasp in Gold (2)
- Buck, Paul, 00.00.0000, Feldwebel d.R., Krad-Melde-Staffel-Fhr. Stab I./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 59
- Schütze, Günther, 00.00.0000, Oberleutnant d.R., Chef 2./Pz.Pi.Btl. 92
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (6)
- Kahl, Bruno, 28.03.1942 (886), Hauptmann, Kp.Chef 12./Pz.Rgt. 21
- Nebe, Werner, 30.08.1941 (277), Major, Btl.Kdr. I./Schtz.Rgt. 59
- Schmutte, Hans-Georg, 18.08.1943 (1941), Oberleutnant, Zugführer i. d. 1./Pz.Jäg.Abt. 92
- Spiess, Wilhelm, 18.08.1943 (1969), Unteroffizier, Panzerkommandant i. d. 4./Pz.Abt. 21
- Weber, Jakob, 07.08.1943 (1926), Feldwebel, Halbzugführer i. d. 2./Pz.Abt. 21
- Wiedemann, Dr. [first name not listed], 25.07.1941 (159), Hauptmann, Kp.Chef i. Schtz.Rgt. 112
Holders of the German Cross in Gold (108)
Holders of the German Cross in Silver (6)
- Fischer, Willi, 19.12.1944, Stabsfeldwebel, 3./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 59
- Jenne, Ernst, 21.06.1944, Heeres-Werkmeister, Stabsbattr. I./Pz.Art.Rgt. 92
- Knaus, Robert, 29.01.1945, Heeres-Werkmeister d.R. (K), Pz.Jäg.Abt. 92
- Lehner, Josef, 31.01.1945, Major, Pz.Div.Nachr.Abt. 92
- Mathes, Jakob, 19.12.1944, Stabsfeldwebel, Stab/Pz.Aufkl.Abt. 20
- Schirmer, Kurt, 30.03.1944, Hauptmann d.R., Werkst.Kp./Pz.Abt. 21
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (19)
Holders of the Knight's Cross (35)

Order of battle

HQ
- Staff
- 92. Mapping Detachment
1 / 21. Panzer Regiment
- Staff
- Signals Platoon
- Regimental Band
- Battalion
-- Staff
-- Staff Company
-- 4 x Panzer Company
-- Maintenance Company
59. Panzergrenadier Regiment
- Staff
- Regimental Band
- Staff Company (mot)
-- Signals Platoon
-- Panzerjäger Platoon
-- Motorcycle Platoon
- 2 x Battalion
-- 3 x Company
-- Heavy Company
-- Pioneer Platoon
-- 2 x Panzerjäger Platoon
-- Infantry Gun Platoon
- Infantry Gun Company (mot)
112. Panzergrenadier Regiment
- Staff
- Regimental Band
- Staff Company (mot)
-- Signals Platoon
-- Panzerjäger Platoon
-- Motorcycle Platoon
- 2 x Battalion
-- 3 x Company
-- Heavy Company
--- Pioneer Platoon
--- 2 x Panzerjäger Platoon
--- Infantry Gun Platoon
- Infantry Gun Company (mot)
92. Panzerjäger Battalion
- Company (mot)
- 2 x Company (self propelled)
- Flak Company
92. Reconnaissance Battalion
- Armored Car Company
- 3 x Motorcycle Company
- Heavy Company
-- Pioneer Platoon
-- Infantry Gun Section
-- 2 x Panzerjäger Platoon
- Light Supply Column
92. Panzer Artillery Regiment
- Staff
- Staff Battery
- 3 x Battalion (mot)
-- Staff
-- Staff Battery
-- 3 x Battery
- 10 / 92. Flak Battery (mot)
- 92. Observation Battery (mot)
92. Panzer Pioneer Battalion
- Staff
- Pioneer Company (half-track)
- Pioneer Company (mot)
- Brüko K Bridging Column
- Light Pioneer Supply Column
92. Panzer Signals Battalion
- Telephone Company
- Radio Company
- Light Supply Column (mot)
92. Feldersatz Battalion
- 4 x Company
Supply Troops

Notable members

Hermann von Oppeln-Bronikowski (Gold medal winner in the team dressage event in the 1936 Olympics)

Panzer 38(t) on the northern sector of the Eastern Front
pzdiv-20-panzer38-north
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Footnotes

1. GM Walther Düvert goes on sick leave.

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
Peter Schmitz, Klaus-Jürgen Thies, Günter Wegmann & Christian Zweng - Die deutschen Divisionen 1939-1945 (4 Vol)
Günther Wegmann - Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht, Teil VIII a: Panzertruppe, Band 1
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945
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

Rolf Hinze - Hitze, Frost und Pulverdampf: Der Schicksalweg der 20.Panzer-Division
Kameradschaft - Die Geschichte des Regiments 59 später Panzergrenadierregiment 59

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