The 7.Panzer-Division was an armored division of the Wehrmacht who fought during the Second World War.
Created from the 2.Leichte-Division (2nd Light Division), the 7. Panzer-Division played a key role in the campaign of France and fought skillfully to the Eastern Front until the end of the war.
Among its members are remembered Karl Hanke, who served in the division during the years 1940 – 1941 later becoming governor of Lower Saxony as well as Reichsführer-SS in 1945, Hasso von Manteuffel, Karl Mauss and Adelbert Schulz, holders of the Knight’s Cross of the Cross Iron with fronds Oak, Swords and Diamonds, Hans-Bobo von Rohr, destroyer of about 58 enemy tanks, Erwin Rommel, and Karl Walther, who became general of the Nationale Volksarmee once the war.
OPERATING THEATRES OF 7. PANZER-DIVISION
Place and the period
Poland Sep 1939 – May 1940
France May 1940 – February 1941
Germany February 1941 – July 1941
Eastern Front, center industry July 1941 – May 1942
France May 1942 – February 1943
Eastern Front, southern sector February 1943 – August 1944
Baltic States and East Prussia August 1944 – January 1945
Poland and Germany January 1945 – May 1945
The origins with the 2 Leichte-Division
The 2.Leichte Division (2nd Light Division) was officially created in Gera November 10, 1938 and took part in the campaign of Poland, on September 1, 1939, framed in the 10th Army, Army Group South. His armored battalion, 66 .Panzer-Abteilung had at their disposal 83 wagons between Panzer I and Panzer II, and two Panzerbefehlswagen (wagons command unarmed), and by this means the division advanced to Radom, Kielce and finally Warsaw.
Terminate hostilities with the Polish state for the 2 Leichte-Division was repatriated to give birth, October 18, 1939, at 7 Panzer-Division.
The French campaign
The new division took part in the campaign of France in May 1940 under the command of Erwin Rommel, of the staff of the 4th Army of Army Group A (Field Marshal von Rundstedt) with 34 Panzer I, 68 Panzer II, 91 Panzer 38 (t), 24 Panzer IV tanks and eight control.
The first division crossed the Meuse at Dinant for you can move towards Arras, in France, where a counter-offensive of the Anglo-French forces put into serious difficulties, the tanks of the 7th Panzer, powerless against the Matilda II. Only the intervention of the guns 8.8cm FlaK saved the day.
In early June, with the Rot operation, Rommel and his division went to Army Group B (Field Marshal von Bock) initiating a broad attack to the north-west of France: once the Seine the 7. Panzer Division reached June 19, 1940 with an advanced Cherbourg which allowed her to destroy more than 500 enemy ships and capturing more than 100,000 soldiers.
Up to 19 February 1941, the division was stationed in Bordeaux as a troop occupation, so it was moved to Germany in Bonn, for a period of reorganization in view of Operation Barbarossa.
The use on the eastern front
On June 22, 1941 7. Panzer-Division (commanded by Generalmajor Hans von Funck) went into Soviet territory with the XXXIX Panzer Corps of General Rudolf Schmidt, belonging to Panzergruppe 3, led by the experienced General Hermann Hoth (one of two Panzergruppen assigned to Army Group Center). The armored division of surprise crossed the river Niemen (Lithuania) equipped with 53 Panzer II, 167 Panzer 38 (t), 30 Panzer IV and 15 battle command, and then completely devoid of the most modern Panzer III.
The 7. Panzer Division advanced rapidly, after rejecting a first counter Soviet tank to Alytus, and played an important role in closing the large bag of Minsk-Bialystok, after this successful maneuver, the armored division went boldly forward in the direction Vitebsk and Smolensk. A Lepel (on 6 and 7 July) the Panzer-Division repulsed with heavy losses and a new confused counterattack Soviet armored reserves (5th Mechanized Corps), which were decimated by the skilful deployment organized by anti-tank division.
The subsequent battles for the closure of a new bag around the city of Smolensk were very hard and cost heavy losses to the German forces also, after fierce defensive fighting in August and September to Jarcevo, the 7. Panzer Division took part in the march to Moscow in October, fighting to Vjaz’ma and reaching the pinnacle of the advance to 50 km from the capital enemy, capturing a bridge in Jachroma that had to be abandoned due to lack of support from infantry troops, necessary to counter the Soviet counter-offensive. In the operations of folding the division suffered significant losses and stabilized the situation after the Battle of Ržev, was sent in Niort (accessed on 8 June 1942), in the Poitou-Charentes, to rest and regroup.
The parenthesis in France
Passed the 1st Army of Generaloberst Baskowitz the 7 Panzer-Division proceeded in November 1942 occupation of Vichy France (Operation Anton) entering Toulon and Toulouse.
In December, the incessant demand by German generals used on the Eastern Front of reinforcements meant that the armored division takes up residence again in the Soviet Union.
The second cycle on the eastern front
The unit went online in January 1943 along the rivers Don, Donets and Mius, under Army Group Don, to replenish the front line, disgregatasi under the attacks of Soviets. To fulfill its task now available to the division of 21 Panzer II, Panzer III 105 (of which 91 with 50 mm cannon and 14 with long-barreled 75 mm short), 20 Panzer IV (including two 75 mm gun with short and 18 with the same gun but long) and nine Panzerbefehlswagen.
Committed to achieving his goal up in the summer (the time of greatest battle took place in March 1943 as the Third Battle of Kharkov), in July, 7. Panzer-Division fought the Battle of Kursk, after which, defeat, convergette of Belgorod, Kiev and Zhytomyr in a retreat that lasted until December 1943, but he saw her winning against Soviet units who were trying to defend their positions. Despite the arrival of some Panzer V, the new year did not bring anything good to the soldiers of the 7th Panzer proven, yet forced to fall back on Shepetivka (where it fell Generalmajor Adelbert Schulz, famous tank commander and a few days division commander) and then get caught, in April 1944, in the bag Kamenets-Podolsky, where clashes groped to get rid of almost azzerarono wagons remained.
Always within the 4th Army battleship, which was part of March 3, the unit suffered the consequences of ‘Operation Bagration. In June he was in Lithuania, in August in Courland: here, along with the schwere Panzerabteilung 501 (501 º heavy tank battalion), counterattacked the ‘Red Army near Raseiniai with great success. Towards the end of the year, however, the 7. Panzer-Division, now under the 3rd Armored Army, suffered heavy losses and had to proceed to the total reconstruction of the departments employing elements of 2102.Panzer-Abteilung and 102.Panzer-Brigade. New clashes committed division (now placed in the 2nd Army) in the territory of Memel from where, in early 1945, he moved to East Prussia rallying to Arys. As a result of ‘Soviet offensive the 7th Panzer was isolated in the area of Gdansk and the Hel Peninsula, managing to arrive by sea in Świnoujście only in April, then withdrew into German territory.
New reinforcements arrived in Potsdam, Schwerin but the armored division was again decimated. The last survivors surrendered in this city May 3, 1945 the British forces had just arrived.
Order of battle
•Stab (Quartier general)
•25 Panzer-Regiment (25th Armoured Regiment)
•66 Panzer-Abteilung (66º armored battalion) – up to March, 1942◦Panzer-Abteilung I (1 armored battalion)
•7. Schützen-Brigade (7th Mechanized Infantry Brigade)
◦7. Kradschützen-Bataillon (7th battalion motorcyclists)
•705. Schwere Infanterie-Geschütz-Kompanie (705th company of heavy infantry guns)
•37. Panzer-Aufklärungs-Bataillon (7th armored reconnaissance battalion)
•78 Artillerie-Regiment (engine) (78º motorized artillery regiment)
•42 Panzerjäger-Abteilung (42 Tank Destroyer Battalion)
•83. Nachrichten-Abteilung (mot) (83º motorized battalion broadcasts)
•58 Pioneer-Bataillon (58th battalion of the military genius)
•58 Versorgungstruppen (support units)
1943 Eastern front
•6 Panzergrenadier-Regiment (6th regiment panzergrenadier)
•7 Panzergrenadier Regiment
•296. Heeres-Flak-Artillerie-Abteilung (296º FlaK detachment of the army)
•58 Versorgungstruppen Panzer (armored support units)
Two soldiers belonging to 7. Panzer-Division were decorated with a brooch for Hand to Hand Combat in gold, 116 received the German Cross in gold and eight silver one, while the other was given 35 Brooch of Honor Army. Finally, 47 members of the division were awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross, six of which with fronds Oak, with three fronds and Spade Oak and two with fronds Oak, Swords and Diamonds, for their courageous actions.
Name Bars Beginning End Notes
Georg Stumme Generalleutnant October 18 1939 February 14, 1940
Erwin Rommel Generalleutnant February 15, 1940 February 13, 1941
Hans von Funck Generalmajor February 14, 1941 June 6, 1941
Hans von Funck Generalleutnant June 6, 1941 November 18, 1942
Nikolaus von Vormann Oberst November 19, 1942 December 8, 1942
Hans von Funck Generalleutnant December 9, 1942 August 16, 1943
Wolfgang Gläsemer Oberst August 17, 1943 August 22nd, 1943
Hasso von Manteuffel Generalmajor August 23, 1943 January 1, 1944
Adelbert Schulz Generalmajor January 1, 1944 January 28, 1944 wounded at Shepetivka from a mortar
Soviet died during transport to hospital
Wolfgang Gläsemer Oberst January 28, 1944 January 30, 1944
Karl Mauss Oberst January 31, 1944 March 31, 1944
Karl Mauss Generalmajor April 1, 1944 May 2, 1944
Gerhard Schmidhuber Oberst May 2, 1944 June 1944
Karl Mauss Generalmajor June 1944 September 30, 1944
Hellmuth Mäder Oberst October 31, 1944 November 30, 1944
Karl Mauss Generalleutnant November 30, 1944 January 3, 1945
Max Lemke Oberst January 4, 1945 January 23, 1945
Karl Mauss Generalleutnant January 23, 1945 March 25, 1945 seriously injured in a bombing
artillery and evacuated
Hans Christern Oberst March 25, 1945 May 8 1945
•Panzer, German tanks of World War II, vol. 7, DeAgostini, 2009 Novara, ISSN 2035-388X
•Wehrmacht units of okh.it
Divisions battleships of the Wehrmacht