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The 56. Infanterie-Division was formed in August 1939 as part of the 2. Welle (wave). It was disbanded in September 1943 after suffering heavy losses on the Eastern Front.
The division staff formed the staff of Korps-Abteilung D, which also included Divisions-Gruppe 56 formed from the division’s surviving elements.

The division was reformed on 10 September 1944 from Korps-Abteilung D and was destroyed in March 1945 in the Heiligenbeil pocket, East Prussia. The division staff formed the staff of Infanterie-Division Ulrich von Hutten.

Commanders

General der Infanterie Karl Kriebel (1 Sep 1939 - 1 Aug 1940)
Generalleutnant Paul von Hase (1 Aug 1940 - 14 Nov 1940)
General der Infanterie Karl von Oven (15 Nov 1940 - 28 Jan 1943)
Generalleutnant Otto Lüdecke (28 Jan 1943 - 1 Sep 1943)
Generalleutnant Vincent Müller (1 Sep 1943 - ?? Okt 1943)
[reformed]
Generalleutnant Edmund Blaurock (10 Sep 1944 - 24 Mar 1945)

Area of operations

Poland (Sep 1939 - May 1940)
Belgium (May 1940 - June 1941)
Eastern front, central sector (June 1941 - Sep 1943)
East Prussia (June 1944 - Mar 1945)

Nicknames

Gekreuzte Säbel (Crossed Sabers)

Holders of high awards

Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (5)
- Angermann, Rudolf, 05.10.1943 (2194), Hauptmann, Rgt. Adj./Fhr. Divisionskampfschule 56. Inf.Div.
- Bake, Joachim, 19.11.1942 (1362), Hauptmann, Kdr. III./Inf.Rgt. 234
- Glöckner, Kurt, 05.10.1943 (2195), Oberfeldwebel, Zugführer i. d. 14./Gren.Rgt. 192
- Kolbe, Hans, 27.08.1943 (2003), Oberfeldwebel, Zugführer MG-Zug 4./Gren.Rgt. 192
- Schulz, Walter, 25.05.1942 (1015), Oberleutnant, Chef 11./Inf.Rgt. 192
Holders of the German Cross in Gold (48)
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (22)
Holders of the Knight's Cross (23) (21 RK + 2 EL)
Unit-Level Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (4)
- Infanterie-Regiment 171
-- Date/Place of Downing: 05.06.1942 bei Rshewka
-- Award Date: 24.09.1942 (214)
- Grenadier-Regiment 171
-- Date/Place of Downing: 06.05.1943 bei Samochin Lug
-- Award Date: 01.11.1943 (405)
- I./Grenadier-Regiment 192
-- Date/Place of Downing: 06.05.1943 bei Wjashi Sawerschje
-- Award Date: 01.11.1943 (406)
- 2./Grenadier-Regiment 171
-- Date/Place of Downing: 07.05.1943 bei Melyn
-- Award Date: 01.11.1943 (407)

Order of battle (1939)

Infanterie-Regiment 171
Infanterie-Regiment 192
Infanterie-Regiment 234
Aufklärungs-Abteilung 156
Artillerie-Regiment 156
- I. Abteilung
- II. Abteilung
- III. Abteilung
- IV. Abteilung
Pionier-Bataillon 156
Panzerabwehr-Abteilung 156
Nachrichten-Abteilung 156
Versorgungseinheiten 156

Order of battle (1942)

Grenadier-Regiment 171
Grenadier-Regiment 192
Grenadier-Regiment 234
Schnelle Abteilung 156
Artillerie-Regiment 156
- I. Abteilung
- II. Abteilung
- III. Abteilung
- IV. Abteilung
Pionier-Bataillon 156
Nachrichten-Abteilung 156
Feldersatz-Bataillon 156
Versorgungseinheiten 156

Order of battle (1943)

Grenadier-Regiment 171
Grenadier-Regiment 192
Grenadier-Regiment 234
Füsilier-Bataillon 156
Artillerie-Regiment 156
- I. Abteilung
- II. Abteilung
- III. Abteilung
- IV. Abteilung
Pionier-Bataillon 156
Panzerjäger-Abteilung 156
Nachrichten-Abteilung 156
Feldersatz-Bataillon 156
Versorgungseinheiten 156

Order of battle (1945)

Grenadier-Regiment 171
Grenadier-Regiment 192
Grenadier-Regiment 234
Füsilier-Bataillon 56
Artillerie-Regiment 156
- I. Abteilung
- II. Abteilung
- III. Abteilung
- IV. Abteilung
Pionier-Bataillon 156
Panzer-Zerstörer-Abteilung 156
Nachrichten-Abteilung 156
Versorgungseinheiten 156

Notable members

Paul von Hase (Active in the resistance against Hitler and executed after the failure of the July 20 Plot)
Job-Wilhelm von Witzleben (Knight's Cross holder, post-war an Oberst in the Nationale Volksarmee of the German Democratic Republic)

Sources used

Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945

Reference material on this unit

Arbeitskreis der Division - Geschichte der 56. Infanterie Division 1938-1945

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