Fallschirmtruppe - overview
In early 1943 the various independent units under the 7th Flieger-Division was united as:
1. Fallschirm-Jäger-Division in Southern France with FJR. 1, 3 and 4
2. Fallschirm-Jäger-Division in Northern France with FJR. 2, 6 and 7
FJR.6 and 7 was formed using Luftwaffen-Feld-Bataillon 100, IV./Luftlande-Sturm-Regiment 1 and Lehr-Bataillon des XI. Fliegerkorps. FJR.5 was not used and instead became Jäger-Regiment Hermann Göring. The divisions received a Panzer-Jäger-Bataillon (6 companies), an Artillerie-Regiment (only one Abteilung), a Pionier-Bataillon, a Luftnachrichten-Abteilung and various Supply units with the numbers 1 and 2, respectively.
Both divisions served in Italy, and the 2. Fallschirm-Jäger-Division was transferred to Southern Russia in 12.43, and suffered heavy losses, FJR.6 was destroyed and reformed in the West, and the division was rebuilt at Truppenübungsplatz Wahn.
On 5.11.43 an order was issued, to expand the parachute arm considerable, and included the following units:
1. Fallschirm-Armeeoberkommando (to 1.4.44) with
(all would later receive the number 21)
I. Fallschirm-Armeekorps (to 1.3.44) with
(all with the number 11)
II. Fallschirm-Armeekorps (1.2.44) with
(all with the number 12)
3. Fallschirm-Jäger-Division at Reims, later Brest (to 1.2.44) with
FJR.5 (new), FJR.8 and FJR.9
Div. Einheiten 3
4. Fallschirm-Jäger-Division at Venedig (to 1.2.44) with
FJR.10, FJR.11 and FJR.12
Div. Einheiten 4
5. Fallschirm-Jäger-Division at Reims (to 1.3.44) with
FJR.13, FJR.14 and FJR.15
Div. Einheiten 5
and added later:
6. Fallschirm-Jäger-Division at Amiens (in 6.44) with
FJR.16, FJR.17 and FJR.18
Div. Einheiten 6
The 3. - 5. divisions was formed from cadres of 1. Fallschirm-Jäger-Division (4. Div.) and 2. Fallschirm-Jäger-Division (3. and 5. Divs.). Other units were also ordered formed on 5.11.43: the Fallschirm-Schule 4, an Fallschirmjäger-Führerschule (for 200 Officers and 400 Oberjäger), the 2. Fallschirmjäger-Ausbildungs-Regiment with 3 battalions, and Fallschirmjäger-Ersatz-Bataillone 1 - 3. All units were to be formed by 1.5.44 (not included the 6. Div.).
On 6.5.44 a further expansion was ordered: the Artillerie-Regiment in each Division was expanded to 3 battalions (2 light and 1 heavy), each Division received a heavy Granatwerfer-Bataillon (3 companies) and a 15th company (Pioneer) was to be formed in each FJR.
Division 2, 3, 5 and 6 saw heavy losses in France, during June/July 1944, and had to be rebuilt. This was ordered on 24.9.44:
2. Fallschirm-Jäger-Division to be completed 1.11.44 (incl. a new FJR.23 to replace FJR.6)
3. Fallschirm-Jäger-Division to be completed 5.10.44
5. Fallschirm-Jäger-Division to be completed 1.11.44
6. Fallschirm-Jäger-Division to be completed 5.10.44
At the same time 4 new divisions was ordered formed (7. - 10. Divs.), but only the 7. Fallschirm-Jäger-Division was formed (from the ad-hoc unit Division Erdmann). Division 8. - 10. was finally cancelled on 12.12.44, and those parts that had been formed, was disbanded.
On 25.11.44 FJR. z.b.V. (later became FJR.25) was formed for special purposes (III. battalions from KG200 personnel).
Most Artillerie-Regiments never received their full complement/strength, and some divisions did not have any at all, so on 8.2.45 an order was issued to rebuild and re-organise the Artillerie-Regiments, so that each division would have its full complement.
On 29.1.45 four Fallschirm-Panzerjagd-Bataillone (each 6 companies, 226 men) was formed under Heeresgruppe Weichsel.
On 17.3.45 two more divisions was formed:
8. Fallschirm-Jäger-Division with FJR.22, 24 and 32, from various ad-hoc units
9. Fallschirm-Jäger-Division with FJR.25 - 27, from FJR. z.b.V. and the 4 Panzerjagd-Bataillone (see 29.1.45). II./FJR.25 and III./FJR.26 was flown into Breslau (as Fallschirm-Jäger-Bataillone 67 and 68), and was replaced.
The planned formations of further divisions, made it necessary (to avoid confusion), to rename the organic units attached to the 1. Fallschirm-Armee and the two Fallschirm-Armeekorps on 28.3.45. The units with the number 21 became 210, 11 became 111 and 12 became 121.
Two further divisions began formation on 1.3.45:
10. Fallschirm-Jäger-Division in the Graz area with FJR.28 - 30.
11. Fallschirm-Jäger-Division in Linz.
Both divisions were to be formed with personnel from various schools, from parts of the 1. and 4. Fallschirm-Jäger-Divisions, and about 4000 men from the 14. (ukrain.) Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (these never arrived). All heavy weapons were to come from the 714. Infanterie-Division. The formation of the 11. Fallschirm-Jäger-Division was cancelled on 8.4.45 (by Führerbefehl).
On 4.4.45 two Feldausbildungs-Divisionen was formed in Northern Holland from the Fallschirm-Jäger-Ausbildungs- und Ersatz-Division.
20. Fallschirm-Jäger-Division with FJR.58 - 60 and Einheiten 20
21. Fallschirm-Jäger-Division with FJR.61 - 63 and Einheiten 21
A Fallschirm-Jäger-Division of 1944 had the following strength:
15976 officers and men
930 light MGs
80 heavy MGs
125 81mm mortars
63 120mm mortars
39 20mm AA guns
35 75mm AT guns
12 88mm AA guns
20 75mm recoilless guns
24 105mm how./guns
12 150mm howitzer
2141 motor vehicles
A Fallschirm-Jäger-Regiment with:
Each regiment (3206 men) consisted of 3 battalions (I, II and III) of each 4 companies (1-4, 5-8, 9-12), a 13th company (Anti-tank), a 14th company (Mortar). On 6.5.44 a 15th company (Pioneer) was ordered formed in all regiments.
Each battalion (853 men) consisted of 3 rifle companies (1-3, 5-7, 9-11) and 1 machine-gun company (4, 8 and 12). The rifle company had 170 men and light MGs, while the MG-company had 205 men, 8 heavy MGs, 4 81mm mortars and 2 75mm recoilless guns. [TOTAL: 843 men, 66 light MGs, 8 heavy MGs, 13 81mm mortars and 2 75mm recoilless guns]
The 13th company: 186 men, 3 75mm AT guns (towed) and many infantry AT weapons.
The 14th company: 163 men, 9 or 12 120mm mortars.
The 15th company: about 100 men
A Fallschirm-Artillerie-Regiment with:
Each regiment (1571 men) consisted of 3 battalions (I, II, III) with each 3 batteries (1-3, 4-6, 7-9). I. and II. each had 12 105mm guns/howitzers, while III. had 12 150mm howitzers. [TOTAL: 24 105mm and 12 150mm, 1571 men].
A Fallschirm-Flak-Abteilung with:
Each battalion (824 men) consisted of 5 batteries with a total of 18 88mm AA guns and 18 20mm AA guns
A Fallschirm-Nachrichten-Abteilung with:
Each battalion (379 men) consisted of 2 companies (1. radio and 2. telephone) and a light kolonne.
A Fallschirm Pionier-Bataillon with:
Each battalion (620 men) consisted of 3 Pioneer companies and a 4th heavy MG company.
A Fallschirm-Panzerjäger-Abteilung with:
Each battalion (484 men) consisted of 3 companies, 1st company with 16 75mm towed AT guns (later only 12 guns), 2nd company with 4 StuG III (later increased to 14 StuG III) and the 3rd company with 12 20mm AA guns (self-propelled).
© 1997-2003 Michael Holm