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Herman Goring Panzer Division

Originally a small police battalion organized by the then Interior, Herman Goring, it grew in size to a regiment.  The primary function of the regiment at the beginning of the war was a flak unit and later grew to armoured troops.  Its designation became Fallschirmjager PanzerKorps Herman Goring, which translates to a puzzling name of "Parachutist Armour Corps".  Here is a short history.

In February 1933, Hermann Goring as Minister of Interior created the Police Battalion Wecke.  By 1935 it had become the "General Goring State Police Group" and began to adapt military training.  This resulted in it being assigned to the Luftwaffe as the "General  Goring Regiment".  By 1938 the role of the regiment consisted primarily of flak batteries and searchlight battalions but still retained a motorcycle company and a guard battalion.  These special guards were used at Goring's forest estate at Karinhall and on special occasions such as Air Force day and Richtohofen's Memorial parades.


In 1936, General Goring selected 36 soldiers to perform a parachute demonstration jump.  From this, 600 recruits were selected to go through training and were the first German paratroopers.  On 1 July 1938, General Kurt Student organized the "Fallshirmtruppe" into the  "7th Aviation Division" in order to conceal their true purpose. The Herman Goring Regiment was reorganized on 1 October 1939 to include a Parachute Rifle Battalion ("Fallschirmschutze"), which was later absorbed into the Luftwaffe's 1st Parachute Regiment and called "Fallschirmjager". That was the only time the Herman Goring troops were used as paratroopers, EVEN THOUGH they retained the term "Fallschirm" in their title.


One battalion formed from the flak units became the Fuhrer Flak Battalion. This battalion was first used as a special train escort on the Fuhrer's trip to Poland and as flak protection at his "Wolf's Lair" in E. Prussia. Later, it was organized into a regiment and eventually became the Fuhrer Escort Division.


At the outbreak of war the HG Regiment fought in Poland.  Reorganized into the HG Division, they were sent to Italy for about one year.  On 6 January, 1944, the division was renamed "Fallschirm Panzer Division Hermann Goring" that consisted of panzer, armoured artillery and infantry battalions.  They were sent back to Poland and fought in the battle of Warsaw in August 1944.  They served in Russia with the XXXIX Panzer Corps and at Fortress Graudenz  in February 1945.   During the fighting in Russia, the Henrich Goring, the nephew of the Reichsmarshall, was killed in action.

The statistics indicate that 60,000 soldiers served with the HG Division during its life-span.   After the surrender in 1945, only 15,000 survivors remained.  An estimated 90% of the soldiers who fought on the Eastern Front were casualties.


1933 : February raised in Berlin as a motorised police detachment (Wecke) from Prussian police volunteers, July made responsible to Hermann Goering.
1935 : included into Goering's Luftwaffe and renamed and expanded into Regiment General Goering.
1936 to 1938 : reorganised at Reinickendorf into three flak battalions and a guard battalion for Luftwaffe and Fuhrer HQ protection, March 1938 Austria.
1939 : Bohemia, September Berlin protection.
1940 : May to June Belgium, France.
1941 : Added Jaeger battalion, Balkans, June Eastern Front: Dubno, Zhitomir, July Uman, August Nikopol, November Orel.
1942 : May Brittany, reorganised as Brigade Hermann Goering, July Bordeaux, and reforms as Hermann Goering Motorised Infantry Division, November Tunisia in N Africa.
1943 : Practically destroyed in Tunisia, July Sicily as Panzer Division Hermann Goering with replacement personnel. reformed in S. France and Naples, September Salerno, October to November rearguard action Volturno, Garigliano, November refitted Frosinone to exceptional establishment including a panzer regiment with two battalions, assault gun battalion, two panzergrenadier regiments with four battalions, reconnaissance and support units, guard regiment in Berlin, replacement regiment in Holland, battle group in action: Monte Maggiore, Monte Troccio.
1944 : January renamed Fallschirm Panzer Division Hermann Goering, Anzio, March refitted Lucca, Pisa, May Valmonte (US Anzio breakout), June to July Chiusi, Arno, redeployed to Warsaw, August Volomin, Magnuschev, September Bugmunde, October Modlin, reorganised as Hermann Goering 1 (two panzer battalions, five panzergrenadier battalions) and Hermann Goering 2 panzergrenadier division and corps troops, (panzerjaeger battalion, sturmgeschutze battalion, engineer battalion, flak regiment) called Fallschirm Panzer Corps Hermann Goering.

1945 : January E. Prussian defending Konigsburg at Nemmersdorf, Hermann Goering 1 redeployed, Lodz-Petrikau with elements of Panzer Corps Grossdeutschland to relive encircled Panzer Corps Nehring, rearguard action Oder, Neisse, Muskau, March upper Silesia, Neisse, Gorlitz, April Bautzen, N. Dresden. In action with Fallschirm Panzer Corps survivors (Hermann Goering 2), evacuated Heiligenbeil by Baltic after abortive defence of E. Prussia, May most of remnant surrendered to the Russians, others to the US

 

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