23rd Infantry Division (Wehrmacht)

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German 23rd Infantry Division
23. Infanteriedivision
— 23. InfDiv —
Fredericus Rex.svg
Unit insignia
Active1 October 1934 – 14 September 1942
23 October 1942 – 8 May 1945
Country Germany

23rd Infantry Division[edit]

The German 23rd Infantry Division (23. Infanterie-Division), later the 26th Panzer Division, was a military unit operational during World War II. It was organized along standard lines for a German infantry division. It was non-motorised and relied on horse-drawn wagons for its mobility. The unit carried the nickname Grenadierkopf.

The 23rd Infantry participated in the invasion of Poland in 1939 as part of the reserve component of the 4th Army. The division was commanded by Walter Graf von Brockdorff-Ahlefeldt and consisted of the 9th, 67th, and 68th infantry regiments.

Commanding officers[edit]

26th Panzer Division[edit]

In July 1942, the division was reorganized as the 26th Panzer Division (26. Panzer-Division). It then served occupation duties in the west until mid-1943, whereupon it transferred to Italy to resist the Allied invasion, fought at Salerno, and remained in Italy for the rest of the war, surrendering to the British near Bologna at the end.

Soldiers of the division, then commanded by Eduard Crasemann, were involved in the Padule di Fucecchio massacre on 23 August 1944. Crasemann was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for war crimes after the war and died in jail in West Germany in 1950.[1]

Commanding officers[edit]

New 23rd Infantry Division[edit]

In November 1942 a new 23rd Infantry Division was formed, with the new 9th and 67th regiments called Grenadier to distinguish them from the original 9th and 67th regiments now called Panzergrenadier in the 26th Panzer Division. This new division served on the Eastern Front for the remainder of the war, ultimately surrendering in East Prussia.

Commanding officers[edit]

  • Generalmajor Friedrich von Schellwitz, re-creation - August 1943
  • General der Artillerie Horst von Mellenthin, August 1943 - 1 September 1943
  • Generalleutnant Paul Gurran, 1 September 1943 - 22 February 1944
  • Generalleutnant Walter Chales de Beaulieu, 22 February 1944 - 1 August 1944
  • Generalleutnant Hans Schirmer, 1 August 1944 - disbanded

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The responsible". L'Eccidio del Padule di Fucecchio. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  • Burkhard Müller-Hillebrand (1969). Das Heer 1933-1945. Entwicklung des organisatorischen Aufbaues (in German). Vol. III: Der Zweifrontenkrieg. Das Heer vom Beginn des Feldzuges gegen die Sowjetunion bis zum Kriegsende. Frankfurt am Main: Mittler. p. 286.
  • Georg Tessin (1970). Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg, 1939 - 1945 (in German). Vol. IV: Die Landstreitkräfte 15 -30. Frankfurt am Main: Mittler.