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Photo gallery of the Flak-Battalion (mot) 22 a unit attached to the 22nd Infantry Division

German 22nd Infantry Division - 22. Infanterie-Division

Troop registration from 1943 (based on the 'Bacon flag' of the Bremen garrison location)

Active 15 October 1935 - 8 May 1945
Motto 'Proud - Strong - Loyal'
Country    Nazi Germany
Branch Army
Type Infantry
Role Fallschirmjäger
Size Division
Garrison/HQ Bremen
Notable commanders Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller and Heinrich Kreipe
German 22nd Infantry Division - 22. Infanterie-Division (1 Oct 1934 - 8 May 1945)
Parent unit Wehrkreis X
Infantry Regiment 16
Infantry Regiment 47
Infantry Regiment 65
Divisional units 22


22nd Air Landing Division (Wehrmacht)

The 22nd Infantry Division was a specialized German infantry division in World War II. Its primary method of transportation was gliders. The division played a significant role in the development of modern day air assault operations.


Created as 22. Infanterie-Division in 1935, one regiment participated in the 1939 Invasion of Poland; the rest of the division stayed in garrison on the Siegfried Line in case of a French attack in defense of Poland. The division retrained as 22. Luftlande-Division (Air Landing Division) for rapid tactical deployment to capture enemy airbases and performed in that role during the invasion of the Netherlands suffering heavy losses during the failed Battle for The Hague (operation 'Fall Festung'), and afterward advanced into France operating as ordinary ground infantry. Though planned for use in its air-landing role for the Battle of Crete, it was replaced by another division at the last minute. It joined Army Group South in Operation Barbarossa (1941), attacking from Romania and, operating exclusively as ordinary ground infantry, helped storm Sevastopol in the Crimea (1942).

The unit was thereafter transferred to Crete in Aug 1942 for garrison duty in 'Fortress Crete' and mop-up operations in the Aegean, playing a major role in the Battle of Leros under the command of Generalmajor Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller. During September 1943, forces of the unit committed numerous atrocities in Viannos. On 26 April 1944 the divisional commander, Generalmajor Heinrich Kreipe, was abducted by a British Special Operations Executive team led by Major Patrick Leigh Fermor and Capt Bill Stanley Moss. Kreipe's car was ambushed at night on the way from the divisional headquarters at Ano Archanes to the Villa Ariadne at Knossos and he was taken cross-country over the mountains to the south coast where he and his captors were picked up by a British vessel near Rodakino on 14 May. This operation was later portrayed in the book Ill Met by Moonlight (1950) written by Moss based on his wartime diaries, later adapted as a film of the same name. In late summer 1944, forces of the division were involved in more atrocities in Anogeia and Amari.

Withdrawn to the mainland in autumn 1944, the 22. Infanterie-Division spent the rest of the war in anti-partisan operations in Macedonia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in southeastern Europe, was renamed 22. Volksgrenadier-Division in March 1945, as it withdrew to Slavonia and finally surrendered to Yugoslav forces at the end of the war in May in Slovenia.

1935–1939 - Positioning and mobilization

The division was set up on October 15, 1935 in the Stader Strasse barracks in Bremen , mobilized in August 1939 as part of the first wave of deployment and used in the attack on Poland from September.

1939–1940 - Participation in the western campaign

In October 1939 the soldiers of the division were trained for airborne operations together with paratroopers from the 7th Flieger Division . It was used from September 1939 to May 1940 in Poland and on the Siegfried Line, and from May 1940 to June 1941 in the Netherlands . In May 1940, parts of the division took part in air landings in Rotterdam [A 1] and The Hague (Operation 'Fall fortress'), in particular with motorcycle units and infantry.

1941–1942 - Operations on the Eastern Front

As part of Operation Barbarossa , the German attack on the Soviet Union, the 22nd Infantry Division was part of the 11th Army and operated in the southern section of the Eastern Front from June 1941 to July 1942.

In August 1941, the pioneers of the division at Beryslav enabled the 11th Army to cross the Dnieper . On August 26, 1941, reconnaissance units took the western part of the village after heavy house-to-house fighting. Then the Pioneer Regiment 690 managed under heavy Soviet shelling and air strikes, the transition with assault boats across the 700 meter wide at this point Dnieper. After the forcible capture of a bridgehead on the eastern side, the pioneers built a pontoon bridge at Beryslaw for the passage of the entire 11th Army by September 1, 1941 . The 22nd Infantry Division subsequently got a front section in the Nogai steppe assigned where they had to fend off a Soviet counterattack.

On October 17, 1941, the division fought for access to the Crimea in the Isthmus of Perekop . After attacks by Soviet Ilyushin-The division initially holed up in the uncovered salt steppe. On October 18, 1941, the battalions of the IR 65 penetrated the enemy position system, while the attack of the IR 47 collapsed in barbed wire obstacles and heavy defensive fire. Only a relief attack by the IR 16 made it possible to storm the hill, which then became known as the "megalithic tomb of Assis". On June 9, 1942, the division under Major General Wolff's first attempt to capture Fort Stalin off Sevastopol failed. The experiment was repeated on June 13, 1942 by the IR 16. The Soviet bunker positions on the second line of defense were single until June 17, 1942, with the help of engineers and flamethrowers, taken in hard hand-to-hand combat. A little later, the IR 65 conquered the fort "Siberia" and the IR 16 the forts "Ural" and "Volga" as the last obstacles, so that the division was the first German unit to reach the Severnaya Bay.

Temporary airborne status / deployment in North Africa

After participating in the Crimean campaign and the conquest of Sevastopol , the division, which was used as a pure infantry unit in the Soviet Union , regained airborne status and also received the "mot.trop." (Motorized unit for use suitable in the tropics), as it was intended to be relocated to North Africa. On March 30, 1942, it was classified as "fully suitable for defense" with nine battalions with 50% of the combat strength and full divisional artillery. She had to be refreshed for offensive tasks. In August 1942 the division was relocated to Greece and got to Cretethe job of coastal protection and the occupation of the island. On October 1, 1942, the 22nd ID lost its airborne status.

The Grenadier Regiment 47 and the II./AR 22 were combined to form "Kampfgruppe Buhse", then transferred to North Africa in October 1942 and placed under the 5th Panzer Army . On February 26, 1943, the unit was renamed Panzergrenadier Regiment 47 and placed under the 21st Panzer Division . In May 1943 the regiment near Tunis was destroyed.

1942–1944 - Crete and Dodecanese

The division was used from July 1942 to September 1944 in Crete and the Dodecanese . The parts of the division that remained on Crete conquered the Aegean islands of Kalymnos , Leros , Kos (all in the Dodecanese) and Samos in October 1943 under the command of Lieutenant General Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller in the so-called Dodecanese campaign , fighting against Italian and British troops.

On April 26, 1944, Major General Heinrich Kreipe , Müller's successor as division commander, was kidnapped by a special command of the British SOE and brought to Great Britain . Müller was ordered back and appointed in command of the so-called "Fortress of Crete" and committed bloody retribution in several Cretan villages, including Anogia.

The division remained in Crete until September 1944, when it was evacuated from Greece during the German withdrawal.

1944–1945 - Participation in retreat fights in the Balkans and Austria

She then took part in the German withdrawal fights from September 1944 to March 1945 in the Balkans and Austria . In March 1945 it was renamed the 22nd Volksgrenadier Division . At this point the division was in retreat to the Drava. The bulk of the division came into Yugoslav captivity only after the armistice on May 11, 1945 . The rear parts of the division surrendered to the British at Klagenfurt.

22nd Air Landing Division (Wehrmacht)

Known division members

  • Hans Graf von Sponeck (1888–1944), division commander from 1938 to 1941, was accused of contributing to the assassination attempt of Adolf Hitler July 20, 1944, and was executed in 1944
  • Johann Freihsler (1917–1981) was Federal Minister for National Defense of Austria from 1970 to 1971.
  • Friedrich Hohn (1908-1944), was a German local politician and full-time district administrator in the Bersenbrück district
  • Ludwig Stubbendorff (1906–1941), was an Olympic champion in equestrian sport
  • Hermann Wulf (1915–1990), was from 1965 to 1971, as Brigadier General of the Army of the Bundeswehr , commander of the Army Officer School II
  • Adolf Strauß (15 Oct 1935 - 10 Nov 1938)
  • Generalleutnant Hans Graf von Sponeck (10 Nov 1938 - 10 Oct 1941)
  • General der Infanterie Ludwig Wolff (10 Oct 1941 - 1 Aug 1942)
  • General der Infanterie Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller (1 Aug 1942 - 15 Feb 1944)
  • Generalmajor Heinrich Kreipe (15 Feb 1944 - 26 Apr 1944)
  • Generalleutnant Helmut Friebe (1 May 1944 - 15 April 1945)
  • Generalmajor Gerhard Kühne (16 April 1945 - 15 May 1945)

Orders of Battle

May 1940 - Fall Gelb

  • Divisionstab
  • Infanterie-Regiment 16
  • Infanterie-Regiment 47
  • Infanterie-Regiment 65
  • Artillerie-Regiment 22
  • Panzerabwehr-Abteilung 22
  • Aufklärungs-Abteilung 22
  • Feldersatz-Bataillon 22
  • Nachrichten-Bataillon 22
  • Pionier-Bataillon 22

July 1944 - Crete

  • Divisionstab
  • Grenadier-Regiment 16
  • Grenadier-Regiment 47
  • Grenadier-Regiment 65
  • Artillerie-Regiment 22
  • Panzerjäger-Abteilung 22
  • Aufklärungs-Abteilung 22
  • Flak-Bataillon 22
  • Nachrichten-Bataillon 22
  • Pionier-Bataillon 22
  • Feldersatz-Bataillon 22


period of service Rank Surname
October 15, 1935 to November 10, 1938 Lieutenant General Adolf Strauss
November 10, 1938 to October 10, 1941 Major General / Lieutenant General Hans Graf von Sponeck
October 10, 1941 to August 1, 1942 Major general Ludwig Wolff
August 1, 1942 to September 28, 1942 Major general Friedrich-Wilhelm Muller
September 28, 1942 to October 5, 1942 Colonel Hans Baethmann (
October 5, 1942 to October 20, 1943 Lieutenant General Friedrich-Wilhelm Muller
October 20, 1943 to February 1, 1944 Colonel Hans Baethmann (
February 1, 1944 to February 15, 1944 Lieutenant General Friedrich-Wilhelm Muller
February 15 to April 26, 1944 Major general Heinrich Kreipe
May 1, 1944 to April 15, 1945 Lieutenant General Helmut Friebe
April 16, 1945 to May 15, 1945 Major general Gerhard Kuehne

General staff officers

period of service Rank Surname
October 15, 1935 to July 5, 1937 Lieutenant colonel Kurt Waeger
July 5, 1937 to March 1, 1939 major Theodor Busse
March 1 to August 26, 1939 Lieutenant colonel Werner Ehrig
August 26, 1939 to June 1, 1943 Lieutenant colonel Heinz Langmann
June 1, 1943 to February 15, 1944 Lieutenant colonel Hans-Joachim Liesong
March 5, 1944 to March 1945 Lieutenant colonel Rolf Ewald


Changes in the structure of the 22nd Infantry Division from 1939 to 1945

1939-1941 1941-1942 1943-1945
Infantry Regiment 16 16th Grenadier Regiment 16th Grenadier Regiment
47th Infantry Regiment Grenadier Regiment 47 Grenadier Regiment 47
65th Infantry Regiment Grenadier Regiment 65 Grenadier Regiment 65
Artillery Regiment 22nd Artillery Regiment 22nd Artillery Regiment 22nd
Engineer Battalion 22nd Engineer Battalion 22nd Engineer Battalion 22nd
Anti-tank department 22 Panzerjäger detachment 22 Panzerjäger detachment 22
News Department 22 News Department 22 News Department 22
Reconnaissance Department 22 Reconnaissance Department 22 Panzer Reconnaissance Division 122
Observation Department 22 - -
- Fla-Battalion (mot) 22 Fla-Battalion (mot) 22
Field Replacement Battalion 22nd Field Replacement Battalion 22nd Field Replacement Battalion 22nd
Infantry Division Supply Leader 22nd Infantry Division Supply Leader 22nd Infantry Division Supply Leader 22nd

*The artillery regiment 22 consisted of the I. to III. Department and I./AR 58.


Photo gallery of the Fla-Battalion (mot) 22



    Reference materals on the German 22nd Infantry Division - 22. Infanterie-Division: +

  • 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.
  • Friedrich-August von Metzsch: The history of the 22nd Infantry Division 1939–1945 (= The German Divisions, 1939–1945. Volume 22 , part 4). HH Podzun, Kiel 1952, DNB 453349935 , LCCN 90-016426.
  • Bruns: Grenadier Regiment 16. 1939–1945 (path of the field regiment in World War II) records based on the diary of his last kdr. Colonel d. R. Bruns. Self-published, Potenburg 1959.
  • Rudolf Buhse: From the history of the Grenadier Regiment 47. Summary of 42 articles from 1951–1965 in: Mitteilungsblatt fd Kameraden des former Gren.Rgts. 47 , 1982.
  • Bruce Quarrie: German Airborne Divisions: Blitzkrieg 1940–1941. Osprey Publishing, 2004, ISBN 978-1-84176-571-6.
  • Georg Tessin : Associations and troops of the German Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS in the Second World War 1939–1945. Volume 4. The Land Forces 15–30. 2nd Edition. Biblio-Verlag, Osnabrück 1976, ISBN 3-7648-1083-1.

    Web References on the Battle of France: +

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This webpage was updated 7th October 2020