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The 3. Gebirgs-Division was formed on 1 April 1938 from the 5. Division and 7. Division of the Austrian Bundesheer.
It fought in Poland as a part of Heeresgruppe Süd but was transfered to the Western front before the campaign was over to guard the western border.

The division took part in the invasion of Norway and fought in the northern parts of the country. The Gebirgsjäger Regiment 139 fought at Narvik and seized it. The regiment was then besieged by a British Expeditionary Force which succeded in retaking the city. The regiment was saved from destruction by the surrender of the Norwegian government.

It took part in the invasion of the Soviet Union and advanced on the Arctic port of Murmansk but was repulsed by the Soviet counter-attacks. It later fought on the southern sector of the Eastern front and took part in the failed attempt to relieve the German forces at Stalingrad. It retreated through Hungary, Slovakia and ended the war in southern Silesia.

Commanders

Generaloberst Eduard Dietl (1 Sep 1939 - 14 June 1940)
General der Gebirgstruppen Julius Ringel (14 June 1940 - 23 Oct 1940)
General der Gebirgstruppen Hans Kreysin (23 Oct 1940 - 10 Aug 1943)
Generalleutnant Egbert Picker (10 Aug 1943 - 26 Aug 1943)
General der Infanterie Siegfried Rasp (26 Aug 1943 - 10 Sep 1943)
Generalleutnant Egbert Picker (10 Sep 1943 - 29 Sep 1943)
Generalleutnant August Wittmann (29 Sep 1943 - 3 July 1944)
Generalleutnant Paul Klatt ,(3 July 1944 - 8 May 1945)

Operations Officers (Ia)

Oberstleutnant Robert Bader (1 Mar 1939-25 Sep 1940)
Oberstleutnant Gerhard Michael (1940-1943)
Oberstleutnant Ludwig von Eimannsberger (15 Jun 1943-20 Dec 1944)
Oberstleutnant Alfred Hartmann (25 Dec 1944-May 1945)

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Close Combat Clasp in Gold (3)
- Hollerer, Franz, 01.11.1944, Obergefreiter, Gruppenführer i. d. 4./Geb.Jäg.Rgt. 138
- Pickl, Alois, 22.02.1945, Feldwebel d.R., Zugführer i. d. 3./Geb.Jäg.Rgt. 144
- Reinau, Ernst, 05.01.1945, Oberjäger d.R., Gruppenführer i. d. 2./Geb.Jäg.Rgt. 138
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (3)
- Knöpfler, Raimund, 25.02.1945 (5489), Hauptmann, Geb.Jäg.Felders.Btl. 112
- Müller, Konrad, 27.12.1944 (5072), Feldwebel, Zugführer i. d. 9./Geb.Jäg.Rgt. 144
- Rath, Hermann, 25.09.1944 (3982), Oberst, Kdr. Geb.Jäg.Rgt. 138
Holders of the German Cross in Gold (89)
Holders of the German Cross in Silver (1)
- Haas, Franz, 26.04.1945, Hauptwerkmeister, IV./Geb.Art.Rgt. 112
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (24)
Holders of the Knight's Cross (34)
Unit-Level Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (1)
- 1. Gebirgs-Division und 3. Gebirgs-Division
- Date/Place of Action: 21.08.1942 Besteigung des Elbrus-Gipfels
- Award Date: 14.12.1942 / Vorschlagsbuch (1423)
Holders of the Finnish Order of the Cross of Liberty, 1st Class with Swords (1)
- Kreysing, Hans, 26.10.1941, Generalmajor, Kdr. 3. Geb.Div.

Order of battle (1939)

Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 138
Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 139
Gebirgs-Artillerie-Regiment 112
Aufklärungs-Abteilung 112
Panzerabwehr-Abteilung 48
Gebirgs-Pionier-Bataillon 83
Divisionseinheiten 68

Order of battle (1942)

Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 138
Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 144
Gebirgs-Artillerie-Regiment 112
Radfahr-Abteilung 95
Panzerjäger-Abteilung 95
Gebirgs-Pionier-Bataillon 83
Divisionseinheiten 68

Order of battle (1944)

Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 138
Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 144
Gebirgs-Artillerie-Regiment 112
Aufklärungs-Abteilung 83
Panzerjäger-Abteilung 95
Gebirgs-Pionier-Bataillon 83
Divisionseinheiten 68

Notable members

Josef "Sepp" Allerberger (sniper credited with 257 kills, Franz Karner is a pseudonym for him)
Matthäus Hetzenauer (sniper credited with 345 kills)
Helmut Wirnsberger (sniper credited with 64 kills)

Matthäus Hetzenauer
hetzenauer-matthaus
(Courtesy of Michael)

Gebirgs soldiers at Narvik
gebirg-div-3-narvik-snow
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Sources used

James Lucas - Hitler's Mountain Troops: Fighting at the extremes
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945
Gordon Williamson - German Army Elite Units, 1939-45
Gordon Williamson - German Mountain & Ski Troops 1939-45

Reference material on this unit

Paul Klatt - Die 3. Gebirgsdivision 1939-1945
Karl Ruef - Odyssee einer Gebirgsdivision: Die 3. Gebirgsdivision im Einsatz
Albrecht Wacker - Sniper on the Eastern Front: The Memoirs of Sepp Allerberger, Knight's Cross

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