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The 19. Infanterie-Division was formed in Hannover on 15 October 1935 from the cover name Artillerieführer VI. The infantry regiments were formed from 17. Infanterie-Regiment of 6. Division of the Reichwehr. It was mobilized in August 1939 as part of the 1. Welle (wave) and took part in the invasion of Poland.
On 1 November 1940, it was reorganized and redesignated 19. Panzer-Division.

Known war crimes

On 10 September 1939 soldiers from the division killed a large number of civilians, primarily Jews, in Rawa Mazowiecka following a friendly fire incident blamed of Poles. (3)

On 11 September 1939 soldiers from Infanterie-Regiment 59 killed several civilians in Mszczonów in retaliation for an attack on the troops during the previous night. (2)

Commanders

General der Kavallerie Konrad von Goßler (15 Oct 1935 - 1 Mar 1938)
Generalleutnant Günther Schwantes (1 Mar 1938 - 1 Feb 1940)
General der Panzertruppen Otto von Knobelsdorff (1 Feb 1940 - 1 Nov 1940)

Operations Officers (Ia)

Oberstleutnant Alexander von Pfuhlstein (3 Nov 1938 - 10 Jan 1940)
Oberstleutnant Sigismund-Hellmuth Ritter und Edler von Dawans (10 Jan 1940 - 1 Nov 1940)

Area of operations

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

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Knight's Cross (4)
- Hippler, Gustav 04.09.1940 Oberleutnant d.R. Führer 5./Ing.Rgt 74
- Jürgens, Karl 04.09.1940 Feldwebel Zugführer i. d. 2./Inf.Rgt 73
- Pongratz, Johann 04.09.1940 Oberfeldwebel Zugführer i. d. 2./Inf.Rgt 74
- Schmidt, Gustav 04.09.1940 Oberst Kdr Inf.Rgt 74

Order of battle (1939)

Infanterie-Regiment 59
Infanterie-Regiment 73
Infanterie-Regiment 74
Aufklärungs-Abteilung 19
Artillerie-Regiment 19
Beobachtungs-Abteilung 19 (1)
Pionier-Bataillon 19
Panzerabwehr-Abteilung 19
Nachrichten-Abteilung 19
Feldersatz-Bataillon 19
Versorgungseinheiten 19

Honorary regimental Chiefs

Chef des Infanterie-Regiment 73: Generalfeldmarschall Werner von Blomberg (13 March 1937)

Footnotes

1. Released from the division in December 1939 and designated Heerestruppe.
2. "Hitler strikes Poland: Blitzkrieg, Ideology and atrocity" by Alexander B. Rossino, page 132.
3. "Hitler strikes Poland: Blitzkrieg, Ideology and atrocity" by Alexander B. Rossino, page 172.

Sources used

Alexander B. Rossino - Hitler strikes Poland: Blitzkrieg, Ideology and atrocity
Georg Tessin - Deutsche Verbände und Truppen 1918-1939

Reference material on this unit

Rolf Hinze - 19. Infanterie- und Panzer-Division
Rolf Hinze - Hannoversche Artillerie
Kameradschaft - Die Geschichte des Regiments 59 später Panzergrenadierregiment 59
Albert Krull - Das Hannoversche Regiment 73, Geschichte des Panzer-Grenadier-Regiments 73 (vorm. Inf. Reg. 73)
Adalbert Wasner - Infanterie und Panzergrenadierregiment 74

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