pz-10-logo

The 9. Panzer-Division was formed in January 1940 from 4. Leichte-Division. It took part in the campaign in the west fighting in the Netherlands, Belgium and finally France before being transferred to Poland in September 1940. It took part in the campaign in the Balkans before fighting on the southern sector during the invasion of the USSR. It was transferred to the central sector in October 1941 and took part in the summer offensive of 1942 and later in the fighting at Kursk. It was transferred to the southern sector in the fall of 1943 and took part in the fighting at the Dnieper suffering heavy losses.

It was sent to France in March 1944 to rebuild where it absorbed 155. Reserve-Panzer-Division. It was transferred to northern France in August to fight the Allied landings and fought at Normandy and Falaise before withdrawing to Germany.

On 16 September 1944 General der Panzertruppe Erich Brandenberger, commander of the 7. Armee, visited the division and charged that the divisional commander Generalmajor Gerhard Müller was unaware of the situation on his front and relieved him and his operations officer (Ia) Oberstleutnant Johannes Troitzsch on the spot.

It fought at Aachen and in the Ardennes before being trapped in the Ruhr pocket where it surrendered to the US Army on 26 Apr 1945.

Known war crimes

On 12 June 1944 Kampfgruppe Unger (made up of personnel from the division), Division Brandenburg and Luftwaffe ground troops took part in the shooting of 53 people including 26 civilians in Valréas. (6)

Commanders

Generalleutnant Alfred Ritter von Hubicki (03 Jan 1940 - 15 Apr 1942)
Generalmajor Johannes Baeßler (15 Apr 1942 - 27 Jul 1942)
Oberst Heinrich-Hermann von Hülsen (27 Jul 1942 - 28 Jul 1942) m.d.st.F.b.
Generalleutnant Walter Scheller (28 Jul 1942 - 20 Jul 1943)
Oberst Erwin Jollasse (21 Jul 1943 - 30 Sep 1943) m.d.F.b.
Generalmajor Erwin Jollasse (01 Oct 1943 - 20 Oct 1943) (1)
Generalmajor Dr. Johannes Schulz (21 Oct 1943 - 27 Nov 1943) m.d.F.b. (2)
Oberst Walter Bömers (01 Dec 1943 - 07 Jan 1944) m.d.st.F.b.
Generalmajor Erwin Jollasse (08 Jan 1944 - 19 Mar 1944) (3)
Oberst Clemens Betzel (20 Mar 1944 - 01 May 1944
Generalmajor Erwin Jollasse (17 May 1944 - 15 Aug 1944) (4)
Oberst Max Sperling (15 Aug 1944 - 01 Sep 1944) m.d.st.F.b.
Generalmajor Gerhard Müller (01 Sep 1944 - 16 Sep 1944) m.d.st.F.b.
Generalmajor Harald Freiherr von Elverfeldt (21 Sep 1944 - 31 Dec 1944) m.d.F.b.
Generalleutnant Harald Freiherr von Elverfeldt (01 Jan 1945 - 06 Mar 1945) (5)
Oberst Helmut Zollenkopf (6 Mar 1945 - 08 May 1945) m.d.F.b.

Area of operations

Poland (Jan 1940 - May 1940)
Holland, Belgium & France (May 1940 - Sep 1940)
Poland (Sep 1940 - Apr 1941)
Balkans (Apr 1941 - July 1941)
Eastern front, southern sector (July 1941 - Oct 1941)
Eastern front, central sector (Oct 1941 - Sep 1943)
Eastern front, southern sector (Sep 1943 - Mar 1944)
France (Mar 1944 - Sep 1944)
Western Germany (Sep 1944 - Dec 1944)
Ardennes (Dec 1944 - Feb 1945)
Western Germany & Ruhr pocket (Feb 1945 - Apr 1945)

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Close Combat Clasp in Gold (1)
- Nöllgen, Heinz, 03.01.1945, Gefreiter, I./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 11
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (19)
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (3)
- Göppel, Xaver, 28.11.1942 (280), Unteroffizier, 2./Pz.Rgt. 33
- Koch, Paul, 01.11.1943 (420), Obergefreiter, 7./Pz.Art.Rgt. 102
- Zimmermann, Erich, 24.09.1942 (242), Obergefreiter, 7./Pz.Art.Rgt. 102
Holders of the German Cross in Gold (130)
Holders of the German Cross in Silver (2)
- Kühny, Alfred, 14.01.1945, Heeres-Werkmeister (K), Werkstattzug II./Pz.Rgt. 33
- Völkl, Karl, 24.12.1943, Heeres-Oberwerkmeister, Pz.Werkst.Kp./Pz.Rgt. 33
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (53)
Holders of the Knight's Cross (61, including one unofficial/unconfirmed)

Order of battle (Fall 1940)

HQ
- Divisional Staff
- Motorcycle Platoon
- Mapping Detachment (mot)
33. Panzer Regiment
- Panzer Signals Platoon
- Light Panzer Platoon
- 2 x Battalion
9. Schützen Brigade
- 2 x Regiment
- Motorcycle Battalion
50. Panzerjäger Battalion
- Signals Platoon (mot)
- 3 x Panzerjäger Company (mot)
- Battery of 47. Heavy Machine Gun Battalion (self-propelled)
9. Reconnaissance Battalion
- Signals Platoon (mot)
- Armroed Car Company
- Motorcycle Company
- Heavy Reconnaissance Company (mot)
102. Artillery Regiment
- Support Detachment (mot)
- 3 x Battalion (mot)
- Observation Company (mot)
85. Signals Battalion
- Panzer Telephone Company
- Panzer Radio Company
- Light Signals Supply Column (mot)
86. Pioneer Battalion (mot)
- Panzer Pioneer Company
- 2 x Pioneer Company (mot)
- Brüko B (mot)
- Brüko K (mot)
- Light Pioneer Supply Column (mot)
Supply & Support Units

Order of battle (1943)

HQ
- Divisional Staff
- Mapping Detachment (mot)
33. Panzer Regiment
- Regimental Staff
- Signals Platoon
- Regimental Band
- Battalion
10. Panzergrenadier Regiment
- Regimental Staff
- Regimental Band
- Regimental Staff Company
- Battalion (half-track)
- Battalion (mot)
- Infantry Gun Company (mot)
- Flak Company (self-propelled)
11. Panzergrenadier Regiment
- Regimental Staff
- Regimental Band
- Regimental Staff Company
- 2 x Battalion (mot)
- Infantry Gun Company (mot)
- Flak Company (self-propelled)
50. Panzerjäger Battalion
- Panzerjäger Company (mot)
- Panzerjäger Company (self-propelled)
- Flak Company (self-propelled)
9. Reconnaissance Battalion
- Armored Car Platoon
- 2 x Reconnaissance Company (half-track)
- Armored Car Company
- Luchs Company
- Heavy Reconnaissance Company (mot)
- Light Reconnaissance Supply Column (mot)
76. Panzer Artillery Regiment
- Regimental Staff
- 2 x Battalion
- Battalion (self-propelled)
- Battalion (mot)
- Observation Battery (mot)
287. 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)
86. Panzer Pioneer Battalion
- Battalion Staff
- Pioneer Company (half-track)
- 2 x Pioneer Company (mot)
- Brüko K Bridging Column
- Light Signals Supply Column (mot)
85. Panzer Signals Battalion
- Panzer Telephone Company
- Panzer Radio Company
- Light Signals Supply Column (mot)
Supply & Support Units

Notable members

Karl Hanke (Gauleiter of Niederschlesien, Reichsführer-SS in 1945, served in the division 1939-1940)
Alfred Ritter von Hubicki (Generalmajor in the Austrian Bundesheer before the Anschluss)
Otto Ernst Remer (as commander of Wachbattalion Großdeutschland he played an important part in preventing the men behind the July 20 1944 attempt on Hitlers life from taking control of key buildings in Berlin, post-war he founded the neo-nazi Sozialistische Reichspartei (SRP) which was banned in 1952)

Tanks entering Rotterdam in May 1940
pzdiv-9-rotterdam
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Panther in France 1944
pzdiv-9-panther
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Camouflaged Panther being transported by train in 1944
pzdiv-9-panther-rail
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Panther from 33. Panzer-Regiment in front of the Cologne Cathedral in April 1945
pzdiv-9-reg33-cathedral
(Courtesy of U.S. Army Center Of Military History)

Footnotes

1. GM Erwin Jollasse to the hospital on 21 October.
2. GM Dr. Johannes Schulz was killed in action.
3. GM Erwin Jollasse to the hospital on 12 March.
4. GM Erwin Jollasse to the hospital on 12 August.
5. GL Harald Freiherr von Elverfeldt was killed in action.
6. "Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg?: Kriegführung und Partisanenbekämpfung in Frankreich 1943/44" by Peter Lieb.

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
Peter Lieb - Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg?: Kriegführung und Partisanenbekämpfung in Frankreich 1943/44
Charles B. MacDonald - The Siegfried Line Campaign
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)
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

Fabrice Avoie - Sarthe, août 1944: Histoire d'une Libération
Fabrice Avoie - La Libération de Marolles-les-Braults: la 5ème Division blindée américaine contre la 9.Panzer-Division
C.H. Hermann - Die 9. Panzer Division 1939-45
Marek Kruk - 9. Panzer-Division 1940-1943
Didier Lodieu - D'Argentan à la Seine
J. Nowak - 68 Kriegsmonate: Die 9. Panzer Division

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