pz-16-logo


The 16. Panzer-Division was formed in November 1940 from the 16. Infanterie-Division. It was transferred to Romania in December where it was used as a training unit under the name Lehrstab R II and was a reserve unit during the Balkans campaign. It fought on the southern sector of the Eastern front starting June 1941 until January 1943 when it was destroyed at Stalingrad.

It was reformed in France and remained there until June when it was sent to Italy. It fought the western Allies at Salerno and Naples before being transferred to the central sector of the Eastern front. It suffered heavy losses during the fighting at Kiev and was transferred to Poland for refitting in the summer of 1944 and was sent back to the front in January 1945. It ended the war in Czechoslovakia where some parts of the division surrendered to the Red Army and other parts to the US Army.

Commanders

Generalleutnant Hans-Valentin Hube (01 Nov 1940 - 15 Sep 1942)
Generalmajor Günther Angern (15 Sep 1942 - 30 Sep 1942) m.d.F.b.
Generalmajor Günther Angern (01 Oct 1942 - 02 Feb 1943)
Oberstleutnant Burkhart Müller-Hillebrand (02 Feb 1943 - 04 May 1943) m.d.F.b.
Oberst Rudolf Sieckenius (05 May 1943 - 31 May 1943) m.d.F.b.
Generalmajor Rudolf Sieckenius (01 Jun 1943 - 01 Nov 1943)
Oberst Hans-Ulrich Back (01 Nov 1943 - 30 Jan 1944) m.d.F.b.
Generalmajor Hans-Ulrich Back (31 Jan 1944 - 11 Aug 1944)
Generalmajor Dietrich von Müller (12 Aug 1944 - 31 Nov 1944)
Oberst Theodor Kretschmer (01 Dec 1944 - 31 Jan 1945) m.d.F.b.
Generalleutnant Dietrich von Müller (02 Feb 1945 - 31 Mar 1945)
Oberst Dr. Albrecht Aschoff (01 Apr 1945 - 18 Apr 1945) m.d.st.F.b.
Oberst Kurt Treuhaupt (19 Apr 1945 - 08 May 1945) m.d.F.b.

Area of operations

Germany (Nov 1940 - Dec 1940)
Romania (Dec 1940 - June 1941)
Eastern front, southern sector (June 1941 - Nov 1942)
Stalingrad (Nov 1942 - Feb 1943)
France (Mar 1943 - June 1943)
Italy (June 1943 - Nov 1943)
Eastern front, central sector (Nov 1943 - Mar 1945)
Czechoslovakia (Mar 1945 - May 1945)

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Close Combat Clasp in Gold (1)
- Saller, Franz, 15.10.1944, Fahnenjunker-Feldwebel, Zugführer i. d. 1./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 79
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army  (1)
- Spanner, Max, 15.06.1944 (3393), Oberfeldwebel, Kp.Fhr. 5./Pz.Gren.Rgt.79
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft(3)
- Kremer, [first name not listed], 29.11.1941 (35), Oberfeldwebel, Stab/Pz.Aufkl.Abt. 16
- Schambony, Peter, 16.05.1942 (130), Obergefreiter, 2./Pz.Aufkl.Abt. 16
- Theyssen, [first name not listed], 29.11.1941 (36), Obergefreiter, San.Kp. 2/16
Holders of the German Cross in Gold (158)
Holders of the German Cross in Silver (4)
- Paal, Dr. Erwin, 21.04.1944, Stabsarzt d.R., San.Kp. 1/16
- Persy, Walter, 18.04.1944, Major, Pz.Nachr.Abt. 16
- Rhein, Aloys, 27.10.1944, Hauptwerkmeister, II./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 64
- Weber, Dr. Erich, 13.02.1943, Stabsarzt d.R., San.Kp. 2/16
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (25)
Holders of the Knight's Cross (35, including one unofficial/unconfirmed)
Unit-Level Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (3)
- 3./Schützen-Regiment 64
-- Date/Place of Downing: 06.10.1941 bei Andrejewka
-- Award Date: 29.11.1941 (34)
- 2./Kradschützen-Bataillon 16
-- Date/Place of Downing: 18.05.1942 bei Isjum
-- Award Date: 28.11.1942 (258)
- 3./Panzer-Artillerie-Regiment 16
-- Date/Place of Downing: 15.07.1944 bei Podbericie
-- Award Date: 00.00.0000 (o.Nr.)

Order of battle (April 1941)

HQ
- Divisional Staff
- Mapping Detachment (mot)
2. Panzer Regiment
- Panzer Signals Platoon
- Light Panzer Platoon
- Regimental Band
- 2 x Battalion
16. Schützen Brigade
- 2 x Regiment
16. Motorcycle Battalion
- 3 x Motorcycle Company
- Heavy Machine Gun Company (mot)
- Reconnaissance Company (mot)
16. Panzerjäger Battalion
- Signals Platoon (mot)
- 3 x Panzerjäger Company (mot)
- Company / 66. Heavy Machine Gun Battalion (mot)
16. Reconnaissance Battalion
- Signals Platoon (mot)
- Armored Car Company
- Motorcycle Company
- Heavy Reconnaissance Company (mot)
16. Artillery Regiment
- Support Detachment (mot)
- 3 x Battalion (mot)
16. SIgnals Battalion
- Panzer Telephone Company
- Panzer Radio Company
- Light Signals Supply Column (mot)
16. Pioneer Battalion (mot)
- 3 x Pioneer Company (mot)
- Brüko T (mot)
- Light Pioneer Supply Column (mot)
Support & Supply Troops

Order of battle (April 1944)

HQ
- Divisional Staff
- Mapping Detachment (mot)
- Military Police Detachment (mot)
- Escort Company
2. Panzer Regiment
- Regimental Staff
- Regimental Staff Company
- 2 x Battalion
- Panzer Maintenance Company
64. Panzergrenadier Regiment
- Regimental Staff
- 2 x Battalion
- Pioneer Company (mot)
- Infantry Support Gun Company (self-propelled)
16. Panzerjäger Battalion
- Battalion Staff
- Battalion Staff Company
- 2 x Sturmgeschütz Company
- Panzerjäger Company (mot)
16. Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion
- Battalion Staff
- Battalion Staff Company
- Luchs Reconnaissance Company
- 3 x Reconnaissance Company (half-track)
- Reconnaissance Supply Company (mot)
16. Panzer Artillery Regiment
- Staff & Staff Battery
- 2 x Battalion (mot)
- Battalion (self-propelled)
16. Panzer Signals Battalion
- Battalion Staff
- Panzer Telephone Company
- Panzer Radio Company
- Signals Supply Company (mot)
16. Panzer Pioneer Battalion
- Battalion Staff
- 2 x Pioneer Company (mot)
- Pioneer Company (half-track)
Support & Supply Units

Notable members

Curt von Burgsdorff (SA-Gruppenführer, governor of Kraków/Cracow)
Hans-Valentin Hube (Holder of the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds)
Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz von Gross-Zauche und Camminetz ("Der Panzergraf" ("The Armour Count"), Holder of the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds)

Insignia

Personnel of this unit wore a semi-official badge on the left side of the field and service cap which took the form of a black metal shield with raised silver border upon which was centered the divisional emblem, a silver “crossed Y” rune with a horizontal bar across the vertical.

Panzer IV in Italy
pzdiv-16-panzer4-italy
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Crews of Panzer IV resting while on march in Italy 1943
pzdiv-16-panzer4-italy-resting
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

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
William Fowler - The Secret war in Italy: Special forces, partisans and covert operations 1943-45
Wolf Keilig - Die Generale des Heeres
Andris Kursietis - Die Wehrmacht at War 1939-1945
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
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
Gordon Williamson - World War II German Battle Insignia

Reference material on this unit

Udo von Alvensleben - Lauter Abschiede. Tagebuch im Kriege (16. Pz.Div.), Frankfurt 1971
Günter Schmitz - Die 16. Panzer-Division 1938-1945
Wolfgang Werthen - Geschichte der 16.Pz.Division

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