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What was the BEST german infantry division?


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#1 David Barton (DB) Mathis

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 12:45 AM

In everyones opinion of course. . .

#2 jpatterson

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 02:24 AM

Grossdeutchland

later

#3 BratwurstDimSum

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 08:08 AM

I would say GD as well, but having said that I don't know enough about what the other divisions did either.

Incidentally was GD a place where "good" performing infantry could be transferred to?
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#4 Friedrich

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 04:17 PM

"Großdeutschland" while it was a motorised INFANTRY regiment, that's in summer 1940, where it performed the best.

But there are many really good infantry divisions; one example is 352nd infantry division which resisted the first blows and performed very well on June 6th 1944 at Omaha and Gold beaches.

Another one would be 90th light division in North Africa which was mostly made of infantry and the best infantry unit Rommel had.

Of course, there are mountain and airborne divisions.

100th Jäger division, 'Sanne', destroyed at Stalingrad, but which performed incredibly well in the street fighting as did the 94th there as well and the 40th, mainly Austrian.

I don't know, there were 150 infantry divisions which did MOST of the fighting in WWII and which were the backbone of the Wehrmacht. A regular Army infantry division in 1941 was a most efficient and powerful fighting machine.
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#5 De Vlaamse Leeuw

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 05:51 PM

I don't know mucht about the different German divisions, but I think that there were a lot of good German SS-divisions.
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#6 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 11:01 PM

I would suggest a unit like the 78th Sturm Division in the East. It was a rock in a storm through much of the latter half of the war in the East for Army Group Center. There were a few others that could be put in the same category. Großdeutchland was a motorized (and later virtually armored) division and not in the same category as "leg" infantry units.
I would definitely be hard pressed to term any of the SS Grenidier divisions as "elite" as opposed to the handful of Panzer and PanzerGrenidier divisions of that serivce.

#7 Friedrich

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 11:17 PM

We all know that the SS Panzer divisions almost had mo match within the Wehrmacht, but certainly, its INFANTRY divisions were quite awful.
"War is less costly than servitude, the choice is always between Verdun and Dachau." - Jean Dutourd, French veteran of both world wars

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#8 Alpha_Cluster

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 03:36 PM

Well the German forces were mostly powerful doto there realy good tank divisons!
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#9 sapper

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 07:11 PM

May I stick my five eggs in here? Leibstandarten Adolf Hitler No 1 SS Panzer? NO! No 2 Das Reich SS Panzer? NO!

The toughest of all, and I hate the bastards! was the 12 SS Hitler Jugend Panzer division.

Though they did murder our man and the Canadians.
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#10 Alpha_Cluster

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 07:17 PM

I never said that certin one was best i just ment as a whole compaerd to our tank divisions.
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#11 Friedrich

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 07:21 PM

They were the thoughest and most fanatical, as Sapper says.

But they were not the best nor they were even an infantry division... :rolleyes:
"War is less costly than servitude, the choice is always between Verdun and Dachau." - Jean Dutourd, French veteran of both world wars

"A mon fils: depuis que tes yeux sont fermes les miens n’ont cessé de pleurir." - Mère française, Verdun

#12 Alpha_Cluster

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 07:31 PM

True but im tring to say that there power wasn't in there infantry so much as in there tanks!
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#13 Jet

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 07:32 PM

6th SS-Gebirgs Division Nord. They fought for 1,214 consecutive days against the Russians, fought in Operation Silver Fox, Northern Karelia, Operation Birch, Operation Nordwind and in the Saar-Moselle Triangle. After refitting in Finland in 1942 it was equipped with the elite SS-Freiwilligen-Schikompanie Norwegen, masters in Winter warfare.

[ 09. December 2003, 01:34 PM: Message edited by: Jet II ]
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#14 Erich

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 08:30 PM

The question was the best INFANTRIE division not Panzer Division....... !
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#15 Friedrich

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 10:18 PM

I completely disagree about 6th SS division 'Nord'. As Kampfgruppe 'Nord' its troops showed a very bad nerve and character. While attacking the Salla fortress, they performed AWFULLY. They launched three attacks against the fortress and were all rejected with heavy losses. When the Soviet troops counterattacked, the 'Nord' troops just panicked and fled the battlefield. It was regular Army and Finnish infantry units the ones who held ground. It had as result, 73 KIAs, 150 MIAs and 230 wounded.

Not élite to my eyes... :rolleyes:
"War is less costly than servitude, the choice is always between Verdun and Dachau." - Jean Dutourd, French veteran of both world wars

"A mon fils: depuis que tes yeux sont fermes les miens n’ont cessé de pleurir." - Mère française, Verdun

#16 C.Evans

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 10:23 PM

I would'nt say that this one was the best but, they are my favorite Inf Div. The 44th Inf Div.
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#17 Jet

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 08:19 AM

The 'Route at Salla' was a disaster, however it did eventually rally though and in 1942 they refitted in Finland when they recieved 700 well trained Wermacht troops and eventually the elite ski formation was formed.
The division (in my view anyway) preformed well in January 1945 when elements broke through US lines but were eventually encircled due to the stiff resistance of an entire US Army Corps which denied XIII SS-Armeekorps to break through. Out of 750 men 500 men were killed but the remainder broke through the encirclement.
Perhaps it is a bit too much to say it was the best division though. The 7th Mountain and the GD division were very good and I'm actually half way through reading Guy Sajers book the Forgotten Soldier

[ 10. December 2003, 09:21 AM: Message edited by: Jet II ]
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#18 Kai-Petri

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 09:43 AM

A fact on 6th Waffen-SS division:

The whole division was for a time subordinated to the 3rd Finnish Army Corps, led by Gen. Siilasvuori, and it is the only time that an SS Division was commanded by a foreign Officer.

http://www.nuav.net/6gebdiv.html
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#19 BratwurstDimSum

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 03:34 PM

OK I'm judging the best by the ones with the biggest cahunas. BY FAR AND AWAY, 352nd. They paid the ultimate price for Hitler's indecision about reenforcing the Normandy beaches, most were draftees from Czech, Bulgaria, Mongolia, there were even chinese troops in feldgrau.

A lot of them were blind, deaf, had permanent injuries or suffered from shell shock caused by the fighting on the eastern front. The fact that they did not run given they being a cobbled together bunch in the face of that naval/aerial bombardment + tens of thousands of troops in those 5(?) separate landings amazes me.

[ 10. December 2003, 09:36 AM: Message edited by: BratwurstDimSum ]
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#20 Friedrich

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 03:45 PM

Brat, I don't think that 352nd infantry division had that kind of men. Of the German units in Normandy it was the only one with fighting experience. The only regular division there, if not élite. The other ones were 3rd and 4th rate units full of men who were not even Germans. But 352nd? :confused:
"War is less costly than servitude, the choice is always between Verdun and Dachau." - Jean Dutourd, French veteran of both world wars

"A mon fils: depuis que tes yeux sont fermes les miens n’ont cessé de pleurir." - Mère française, Verdun

#21 Jet

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 03:50 PM

Hopefully this will answer some of your questions fellas. It's a good site on the 352nd Infantry Division.
http://site27663.del...t history2.html
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#22 BratwurstDimSum

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 08:08 PM

goddamn I hate it when I lose a source!

I'll have to give it to ya Herr General, as I have traweled the web and my bookmarks and found nothing ... sorry redface.gif
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#23 Friedrich

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 10:33 PM

There's only a slight confussion here. :confused: Happens all the time... redface.gif

Thre were three divisions stationed in the Normandy part of the 'Atlantic Wall' part of Rommel's Army Group B and general Marck's Army Corps, 709th, 352nd and 716th infantry divisions. Both, the 709th and 716th divisions were denominated 'stationary divisions' which were to resist to the last man holding ground and were formed mostly by Soviet POWs from the Asian republics of the USSR; Mongolians, Siberians, Chinese, Kazakhstanians, etc.

352nd infantry division, in the other hand was a regular Army unit; formed from the remains of the veteran 268th and 321st infantry divisions destroyed in the eastern front, along with new Volkdeutsche recruits from Poland, Ukraine and Czechoslovakia and white Russian volunteers. It was commanded by lieutenant general Dietrich Kraiß and was comprised of: 914th, 915th and 916th infantry regiments and 352nd artillery regiment.

Though it had severe supply and training probelms, it was the strongest German division on June 6th 1944. It was the unit which gave the invading Allies heavy resistance, mainly because its ammount of veteran officers.
"War is less costly than servitude, the choice is always between Verdun and Dachau." - Jean Dutourd, French veteran of both world wars

"A mon fils: depuis que tes yeux sont fermes les miens n’ont cessé de pleurir." - Mère française, Verdun

#24 Fenrir

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Posted 14 December 2003 - 02:21 AM

well my .02$ would be the 11th SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier Division Nordland
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#25 Panzerknacker

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Posted 15 December 2003 - 08:51 AM

I would have to say the seasoned soldat of the 352nd Division, which after extensive action in the East, performed very well and very determined against Allied forces in Normandy.
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