Special Unit Studies
Panzer-Division 6.

The 6. Panzer-Division was formed on 18 October 1939, under command of Generalmajor Erich Höpner. Its origins were drawn from the 1. leichten Division that was located in the Wuppertal.  Its order of battle consisted of the following:

6. Schützen Brigade Schützen Regiment 4. (I., II., and III. Batallions)
Kradschutz Abteilung 6. Panzerregiment 11. (I. and II. Batallions)
Panzer Abteilung 65. Artillerieregiment 76. (I. and II. Batallions)
Division Einheiten 57.(Panzer Abwehr Abteilung 41. and Nachtrichtungs Abteilung 82.)

The 1. leichte Division was mobilized for the Polish campaign in September 1939, and after being re-designated to the 6. Panzer-Division in 1939-40, under the command of Generalmajor Werner Kempf, it was called into action for the campaign in the West. In July and Agust of 1940 it returned to Germany and garissoned in East Prussia as part of the 18. Armee. As Operation Barbarossa was launched in June 1941, the 6. Pz.Div., now under the command of Generalmajor Franz Landgraf, was part of the 4. Panzer Gruppe on the Northern Front. The 6.Pz.Div. saw action around Leningrad until October of 1941 when it was transferred to the 3. Panzer Gruppe in the central sector. It lost almost every vehicle in its command on the central front, where after it was transferred to France in May 1942 for complete refitting and rest under he command of Generalmajor Erhard Raus. Its Order of Battle consisted of:

Panzergrenadierregiment 4. (I. and II. Batallions)
Panzergrenadierregiment 114. (I. and II. Batallions)
Panzeraufklaerungsabteilung 6. (from Kradschutz 6.)
Panzerregiment 11 (I. and II. Batallions)
Artillerieregiment 76. (I., II., and III. Batallions)
Heeres Flakartillerieabteilung 298
Division Einheiten 57.(Panzerjägerabteilung 41. and Nachtrichtungsabteilung 82.)

Eight months later, the 6. Pz.Div. was sent back to the Russian Front, but this time to the southern sector. There it played a role in the unsuccessful relieve of the 6. Army at Stalingrad. Until July 1943, it fought defensively around the Kharkov area until it fought along the southern salient during the Belograd offensive (Kursk) under the command of Oberst Walther von Huenerdorff, who was wounded twice on 14 July 1943 and died in a military hospital 3 days later. During the winter of 1943-44, under the biref command of Oberst Werner Marcks, and later Oberst Rudolf Freiherr von Waldenfels, the 6.Pz.Div. was engaged during the Soviet counteroffensive. During its withdrawal across northern Ukraine in March 1944, the 6.Pz.Div., once again, suffered tremendous losses that included all of the guns from Abteilung 11., Artillerieregiment 76.. After being reformed the 6.Pz.Div. was sent to the central sector and fought defensively during the Soviet summer offensive. In December 1944, the 6.Pz.Div. was transferred to Hungary were it fought in the defense of Budapest. In March 1945, the division was moved to Austria were fought in the defense of Vienna, until it surrendered to Soviet forces in May, near Bruenn. To be continued...


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