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The 4. Gebirgs-Division was formed 1940 in Wehrkreis IV and was strengthened by elements of 25. Infanterie-Division and 27. Infanterie-Division. After finishing the training it fought in the invasion of Yugoslavia before taking part in the invasion of the Soviet Union. It fought on the Eastern Front for the rest of the war, being forced to retreat into Hungary late in 1944, fighting in Czecholsovakia before ending the war in Austria where it surrendered on 9 May 1945.

Commanders

General der Gebirgstruppen Karl Eglseer (25 Oct 1940 - 21 Oct 1942)
Generalleutnant Hermann Kreß (21 Oct 1942 - 11 Aug 1943) (KIA) (1)
Generalleutnant Julius Braun (13 Aug 1943 - 7 June 1944)
Generalleutnant Karl Jank (7 June 1944 - 1 July 1944)
Generalleutnant Friedrich Breith (1 July 1944 - 23 Feb 1945)
Generalmajor Robert Bader (23 Feb 1945 - 6 Apr 1945)
Generalleutnant Friedrich Breith (6 Apr 1945 - 8 May 1945)

Operations Officers (Ia)

Oberstleutnant Otto Schaefer (25 Oct 1940 - 1 Mar 1942)
Major Helmut Schuon (1 Mar 1942 - 10 May 1942)
Oberstleutnant Otto Schaefer (10 May 1942 - 20 Apr 1943)
Major Dr. Eduard Kreuzer (21 Apr 1943 - 30 May 1944)
Oberstleutnant Hans Hessel (30 May 1944 - 25 Aug 1944)
Major Johann Brandner (25 Aug 1944 - 1 Feb 1945)
Major Albrecht Gombart (1 Feb 1945 - May 1945)

Nicknames

Enzian-Division (Gentian Division)

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Close Combat Clasp in Gold (4)
- Hackl, Martin, 08.10.1944 [presented 12.12.1944], Oberleutnant d.R., Chef 2./Aufkl.Abt. 94
- König, Karl, 21.03.1945, Leutnant d.R., Kp.Fhr. 3./Geb.Jäg.Rgt. 91
- Schlegel, Helmut, 26.12.1944, Leutnant d.R., Schwd.Fhr. 2./Aufkl.Abt. 94
- Schwarzkopf, Josef, 29.01.1945, Unteroffizier d.R., Aufkl.Abt. 94
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (7)
- Berberich, Gerhart, 15.03.1944 (2661), Hauptmann, Btl.Fhr. Geb.Pi.Btl. 94
- Frank, Dr. Hermann, 17.07.1943 (1890), Oberarzt, Rgt.Arzt Geb.Jäg.Rgt. 91
- Lutz Freiherr von, Ernst, 17.06.1944 (3465), Oberleutnant, Btl.Fhr. I./Geb.Jäg.Rgt. 91
- Ruland, Theodor, 05.10.1942 (1241), Oberleutnant, Chef 12./Geb.Jäg.Rgt. 91
- Schneider, Artur, 07.02.1944 (2836), Oberfeldwebel, Kp.Trupp-Fhr. 8./Geb.Jäg.Rgt. 13
- Simeon, Anton, 14.08.1942 (1166), Major, Kdr. III./Geb.Jäg.Rgt. 13
- Stammler, Dr. Friedrich, 27.06.1944 (3500), Oberarzt, Btl.Arzt II./Geb.Jäg.Rgt. 91
Holders of the German Cross in Gold (106)
Holders of the German Cross in Silver (1)
- Krömer, Josef, 20.04.1945, Rittmeister d.R., Nachsch.Tr. 94
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (29)
Holders of the Knight's Cross (38)
Holders of the Romanian Order of Michael the Brave, 3rd Class (Orden “Michael der Tapfere” III. Klasse) (1)
- Kress, Hermann, Königlichen Dekrets Nr. 2181 / 07.08.1943, Generalleutnant, Kdr. 4. Geb.Div.
Unit-Level Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (5)
- 11./Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 13
-- Date/Place of Downing: 20.05.1942 bei Dimitrijewka
-- Award Date: 10.08.1942 (196)
- 7./Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 91
-- Date/Place of Downing: 27.06.1942 bei Kijaginewka
-- Award Date: 24.09.1942 (218)
- III. Zug/1./Panzerjäger-Abteilung 94
-- Date/Place of Downing: 04.08.1942 bei Kuschtschewskaja
-- Award Date: 28.11.1942 (297)
- III./Gebirgs-Artillerie-Regiment 94
-- Date/Place of Downing: 11.01.1943 bei H.P. Pschisch
-- Award Date: 16.08.1943 (361)
- 12./Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 91
-- Date/Place of Downing: 23.04.1944 bei Criuleni
-- Award Date: 01.08.1944 (506)

Order of battle

13. Gebirgsjäger-Regiment
- I. Bataillon
- II. Bataillon
- III. Bataillon
91. Gebirgsjäger-Regiment
- II. Bataillon
- III. Bataillon
94. Aufklärungs-Bataillon (mot)
94. Gebirgs-Artillerie-Regiment
94. Feldersatz-Bataillon
94. Pionier-Bataillon
94. Nachrichten-Bataillon
Nachschubtruppen

Insignia

In addition to the regulation Edelweiss cap and sleeve insignia, personnel of the 4. Gebirgs-Division wore a semi-official badge on the left side of the Bergmütze beside the Edelweiss: an Enzian (Gentian) flower in blue on a shield-shaped backing.

Propaganda & Culture

Lyrics to the "Lied der Enzian-Division".

Generalleutnant Friedrich Breith 
breith-friedrich
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3 0 Germany)

Footnotes

1. Generalleutnant Hermann Kreß was killed on 11 August 1943 by a Soviet sniper near Novorossijsk.

Sources used

Jill Halcomb & Wilhelm P. B. R. Saris - Headgear of Hitler's Germany, Vol 1
James Lucas - Hitler's Mountain Troops: Fighting at the extremes
French Maclean - Quiet Flows the Rhine: German General Officer Casualties in World War II
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945
Gordon Williamson - German Mountain & Ski Troops 1939-45
Gordon Williamson - World War II German Battle Insignia

Reference material on this unit

Julius Braun - Enzian und Edelweib: Die 4.Gebirgs-Division 1940-1945
R. Kaltenegger - Edelweiss und Enzian: Die Kriegschronik der 4. Gebirgs-Division 1940-1945

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