pz-11-logo

The 11. Panzer-Division was formed in August 1940 and fought in the Balkans campaign. It fought on the southern sector of the Eastern front June - October 1941 when it was transferred to the central sector where it remained until June 1942 when it returned south. It fought at Belgorod, Kursk, Krivoj Rog and suffered heavy losses when it was encircled at Kresun, south of Kiev.

It was transferred to France for refitting in June 1944 where it absorbed 273. Reserve-Panzer-Division. It fought the Allied landings in southern France before withdrawing through France and into Germany. It fought in the Ardennes and later near Trier and Remagen before surrendering to the US Army at the end of the war.

Known war crimes

During the recapture of the village of Mouleydier in France in June 1944 from partisans and the following burning of the village a total of 75 French were killed according to post-war French investigations and the village was granted the status of "Village Martyr". However a post-war trial against the commanding German officer found no evidence of a massacre of civilians. (1)

Commanders

Generalleutnant Ludwig Crüwell (01 Aug 1940 - 15 Aug 1941)
Oberst Günther Angern (15 Aug 1941 - 24 Aug 1941) m.d.F.b.
Generalmajor Hans-Karl Freiherr von Esebeck (24 Aug 1941 - 20 Oct 1941)
Generalmajor Walter Scheller (20 Oct 1941 - 16 May 1942)
Oberst Hermann Balck (16 May 1942 - 31 Jul 1942) m.d.F.b.
Generalleutnant Hermann Balck (01 Aug 1942 - 04 Mar 1943)
Generalleutnant Dietrich von Choltitz (05 Mar 1943 - 15 May 1943)
Generalmajor Johann Mickl (15 May 1943 - 11 Aug 1943) m.d.F.b.
Oberst Wend von Wietersheim (12 Aug 1943 - 31 Oct 1948) m.d.F.b.
Generalmajor Wend von Wietersheim (01 Nov 1943 - 24 Feb 1944)
Oberst Friedrich von Hake (25 Feb 1944 - 30 Apr 1944) m.d.st.F.b.
Generalleutnant Wend von Wietersheim (01 May 1944 -14 Apr 1945)
Generalmajor Horst Freiherr Treusch von Buttlar-Brandenfels (15 Apr 1945 - 03 May 1945)
Generalleutnant Wend von Wietersheim (03 May 1945 -08 May 1945)

Area of operations

Germany (Aug 1940 - Apr 1941)
Balkans (Apr 1941 - June 1941)
Eastern front, southern sector (June 1941 - Oct 1941)
Eastern front, central sector (Oct 1941 - June 1942)
Eastern front, southern sector (June 1942 - June 1944)
France (June 1944 - Sep 1944)
Alsace (Sep 1944 - Dec 1944)
Ardennes (Dec 1944 - Jan 1945)
Germany (Jan 1945 - May 1945)

Nicknames

Gespenster-Division (Ghost-Division)

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Close Combat Clasp in Gold (28)
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (8)
- Florin, Gerhard, 14.08.1942 (1144), Major, Kdr. II./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 111
- Gerstner, Rudolf, 17.09.1943 (1994), Oberfeldwebel, Zugführer i. d. Pz.Aufkl.Abt. 11
- Herrle, Friedrich, 17.05.1944 (3255), Hauptmann, Btl.Fhr. II./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 111
- Reschke, Gerhard, 17.09.1943 (2115), Feldwebel, Kp.Trupp-Fhr. 1./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 111
- Riebel, Gustav-Adolf, 03.07.1941 (015), Oberstleutnant, Kdr. Pz.Rgt. 15
- Roth, [first name not listed], 20.08.1941 (231), Oberleutnant, 9./Art.Rgt. 119 (mot)
- Schmahl, [first name not listed], 03.07.1941 (016), Oberstleutnant, Kdr. II./Pz.Rgt. 15
- Semmen von, [first name not listed], 30.07.1941 (138), Oberleutnant, Chef 1./Schtz.Rgt. 111
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (3)
- Broll, Heinz, 01.05.1944] (482), Unteroffizier, I./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 110
- Kaden, Siegfried, 28.08.1944 [Date of Action] (547), Obergefreiter, 3./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 111
- Reiter, Max, 28.08.1944 [Date of Action] (546), Obergefreiter, 3./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 111
Holders of the German Cross in Gold (140)
Holders of the German Cross in Silver (6)
- Bickel, Andreas, 31.01.1945, Heereswerkmeister d.R., Pz.Aufkl.Abt. 11
- Henke, Hans-Georg, 29.04.1945, Leutnant, Vers.Kp. I./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 111
- Jeck, Peter 29.04.1945 Heeres-Hauptwerkmeister Pz.Werkstatt.Kp 11
- Klaus, Heinrich, 29.04.1945, Oberfeldwebel d.R., 2./Pz.Aufkl.Abt. 11
- Paulsen, Kurt, Reg.Baurat (K), Rgts.Ing. Stab/Pz.Gren.Rgt. 110
- Urban, Dr. Robert, 20.04.1945, Stabsarzt d.R., Chirurg.San.Kp. 2/61
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (20)
Holders of the Knight's Cross (52, including one unofficial/unconfirmed)
Holders of the Knight's Cross to the War Merit Cross (1)
- Reuschel, Kurt 08.12.1944 Oberfeldwebel 7./Pz.Rgt 15

Order of battle (April 1941)

HQ
- Divisional Staff
- Motorcycle Platoon
- Mapping Detachment (mot)
33. Panzer Regiment
- Panzer Signals Platoon
- Light PanzerPlatoon
- 2 x Battalion
- Panzer Maintenace Company
11. Schützen Brigade
- 2 x Schützen Regiment
61. Motorcycle Battalion
- 3 x Motorcycle Company
- Heavy Machine Gun Company (mot)
- Reconnaissance Company
61. Panzerjäger Battalion
- Signals Platoon (mot)
- 3 x Panzerjäger Company (mot)
- Battery / 608. Heavy Machine Gun Battalion (self-propelled)
231. Reconnaissance Battalion
- Signals Platoon (mot)
- Armored Car Company
- Motorcycle Company
- Heavy Reconnaissance Company (mot)
- Reconnaissance Supply Column (mot)
119. Artillery Regiment
- Support Detachment (mot)
- 3 x Battalion (mot)
85. Signals Battalion
- Panzer Telephone Company
- Panzer Radio Company
- Light Signals Supply Column (mot)
86. Pioneer Battalion
- 3 x Pioneer Company (mot)
- Brüko B (mot)
- Brüko K (mot)
- Light Pioneer Supply Column (mot)
71. Flak Battalion (attached)
2 / 21. Pz. Luftwaffe Observation Staffel (attached)
Supply & Support Units

Order of battle (Summer 1943)

HQ
- Divisional Staff
- Mapping Detachment (mot)
15. Panzer Regiment
- Regimental Staff & Band
- Signals Platoon
- 2 x Battalion
110. Panzergrenadier Regiment
- Regimental Staff
- Regimental Band
- Regimental Staff Company (mot)
- Battalion (half-track)
- Battalion (mot)
- Infantry Gun Company (self-propelled)
- Flak Company (self-propelled)
4. Panzergrenadier Regiment
- Regimental Staff
- Regimental Band
- Regimental Staff Company (mot)
- 2 x Battalion (mot)
- Infantry Gun Company (self-propelled)
- Flak Company (self-propelled)
61. Panzerjäger Battalion
- Panzerjäger Company (mot)
- Panzerjäger Company (self-propelled)
11. Reconnaissance Battalion
- Armored Car Company
- Armored Car Company (half-track)
- Motorcycle COmpany
- Heavy Reconnaissance Company (half-track)
- Light Reconnaissance Supply Column (mot)
76. Panzer Artillery Regiment
- Regimental Staff
- Staff Battery
- 2 x Battalion
- Battalion (mot)
- Battalion (half-track)
- Observation Battery (mot)
277. Army Flak Battalion
- Staff & Staff Battery (mot)
- 2 x Heavy Flak Battery (mot)
- Light Flak Battery (mot)
- Flak Battery (self-propelled)
- Light Flak Supply Column (mot)
209. Panzer Pioneer Battalion
- Staff
- Pioneer Company (half-track)
- 2 x Pioneer Company (mot)
- Brüko K Bridging Column
- Light Pioneer Supply Column (mot)
89. Panzer Signals Battalion
- Panzer Telephone Company
- Panzer Radio Company
- Light Signals Supply Column (mot)
61. Feldersatz Battalion
- 6 x Company
Supply & Support Units

Notable members

Hermann Balck (Holder of the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds)
Hans-Karl Freiherr von Esebeck (Active in the resistance against Hitler)
Heinrich-Georg Hax (Silver medal winner in the rapid fire pistol event in the 1932 and 1936 Olympics)

In fiction

The 2011 board game "Death Ride Kursk - 11th Panzer" by Christopher Fasulo covers the actions of the division at Kursk.

Troops of 11. Panzer-Division in the winter on the Eastern Front
panzer-pzdiv11
(Courtesy of Chris)

Panzer IV in Yugoslavia 1941
pzdiv-11-panzer4-yu
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Soldiers of 11. Panzer-Division passing a Soviet BA-10
pzdiv-11-ba10
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

A cameraman filming from a Panzer I of 11. Panzer-Division in 1942
pzdiv-11-camera
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

An abandoned SdKfz 251 Ausf. D halftrack near Pierrefontaine 1944
pzdiv-11-251-pierrefontaine
(Courtesy of Arnold.p)

Footnotes

1. "Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg?: Kriegführung und Partisanenbekämpfung in Frankreich 1943/44" by Peter Lieb and "Martyred Village: Commemorating the 1944 Massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane" by Sarah Farmer.

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
Sarah Farmer - Martyred Village: Commemorating the 1944 Massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane
Wolf Keilig - Die Generale des Heeres
Andris Kursietis - Die Wehrmacht at War 1939-1945
Peter Lieb - Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg?: Kriegführung und Partisanenbekämpfung in Frankreich 1943/44
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)
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

Anton J. Donnhauser & Werner Drews - Der Weg der 11. Panzer-Division
Gustav W. Schrodek - Die 11. Panzerdivision 'Gespensterdivision': Bilddokumente 1940-1945
Gustav W. Schrodek - Ihr Glaube galt dem Vaterland, Die Geschichte des Panzer Regiments 15

Do you have any corrections or additions to the material presented on the site?
Please help us improve the site by sending them to us.