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The 18. Infanterie-Division was formed in Liegnitz on 15 October 1935 from the cover name Infanterieführer III. The infantry regiments were formed from 8. (Preußisches) Infanterie-Regiment of 3. Division and 12. Infanterie-Regiment from 4. Division of the Reichwehr. It was reorganized and redesignated 18. Infanterie-Division (mot) on 1 November 1940.

Of the 27 Knight's Crosses awarded in 1939, 23 went to generals. Oberleutnant Dietrich Steinhardt and Leutnant Josef Stolz, both of Infanterie-Regiment 51, were the only junior officers decorated with the prestigious order (besides Kapitänleutnant Günther Prien, commander of the submarine U-47 awarded for sinking the British battleship Royal Oak at the Royal Navy base Scapa Flow). Steinhardt was KIA on 15 April 1942 at Mihalkino, River Lovat in the Soviet Union in position of Kdr. III./IR 51 (mot) ; Stolz was KIA in the early days of "Barbarossa" on 27 June 1941 at Baranje, west of Zmorgon in position of Chef 2./Kradschtz.Btl. 38.

Commanders

Generalleutnant Hermann Hoth (15 Oct 1935 - 1 Apr 1938)
Generalleutnant Erich von Lewenski genannt von Manstein (1 Apr 1938 - 26 Aug 1939)
Generalleutnant Friedrich-Karl Cranz (26 Aug 1939 - 1 Nov 1940)

Area of operations

Poland (Sep 1939 - May 1940)
France (May 1940 - Nov 1940)

Nicknames and Honor titles

Infanterie-Regiment 30 was given the title Infanterie-Regiment Görlitz 1 October 1934 but was redesignated 15 October 1935.
Infanterie-Regiment 54 was given the title Infanterie-Regiment Glogau 1 October 1934 but was redesignated 15 October 1935.

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Knight's Cross (6)
- Chrobek, Bruno 04.07.1940 Major Kdr I./Inf.Rgt 54 [France]
- Cranz, Friedrich-Karl 19.06.1940 Generalleutnant Kdr 18. Inf.Div [France]
- Recknagel, Hermann 05.08.1940 Oberst Kdr Inf.Rgt 54 [France]
- Steinhardt, Dietrich 27.10.1939 Oberleutnant Chef 2./Inf.Rgt 51 [Poland]
- Stolz, Josef 27.10.1939 Leutnant Zugführer i. d. 10./Inf.Rgt 51 (Poland]
- Voigt, Gerhard 25.06.1940 Oberleutnant Chef 2./Pi.Btl 18 [France]

Order of battle (1939-1940)

Infanterie-Regiment 30
Infanterie-Regiment 51
Infanterie-Regiment 54 (1)
Aufklärungs-Abteilung 18
Artillerie-Regiment 18
- I. Abteilung
- II. Abteilung
- III. Abteilung
- I./Artillerie-Regiment 54 (2)
Beobachtungs-Abteilung 18 (3)
Pionier-Bataillon 18
Panzerabwehr-Abteilung 18
Nachrichten-Abteilung 18
Feldersatz-Bataillon 18
Versorgungseinheiten 18

Notable members

Prince Oskar of Prussia (von Ruppin) (KIA as Leutnant of Inf.Reg. 51 in Szczercow, Poland 5 Sep 1939)

Footnotes

1. Transferred to the 100. leichte Infanterie-Division in December 1940.
2. Redesignated III./Artillerie-Regiment 18 on 3 November 1940.
3. Released from the division in December 1939 and designated Heerestruppe.

Sources used

Georg Tessin - Deutsche Verbände und Truppen 1918-1939

Reference material on this unit

Joachim Engelmann - Die 18. Infanterie und Panzergrenadier Division 1934-1945 (Bildband)
Reinhard Frank - Unsere Division in Sieg und Untergang: Erlebnisberichte von Angehörigen der 18. ID (mot.) und Pz.Gren.Div.
G. W. Jeffke - Geschichte der Aufklärungs-Abteilung (tmot) 18 - 18. Infanterie-Division (tmot), vom 24.8.1939 bis 1.10.1942
Viktor Scheffel - Die 18. Infanterie Division. Aufbau und Werden einer schlesischen Infanterie Division in 5 Friedensjahren (1934-1939)

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