History of 712 Infanteriedivision (June 1942 - May 1944)
1. HISTORY OF THE FÜHRUNGSABTEILUNG (Ia)
The 712 Infanteriedivision was established on 5 May 1941 as a division from 15 Welle from Wehrkreis XII (Rheinland-Pfalz). Between September 1941 and June 1942 it was stationed in France, at the border with Vichy-France. On 12 June 1942 it was moved to KVA A2, where it became bodenständig at the end of 1943. It remained in KVA A2 until 1 September 1944, when it joined the battle in Northern France and Belgium. Between 9 and 20 September 1944 it fought in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, until it was sent to the front at 's-Hertogenbosch at the end of that month. Between October and December 1944 it was operational on the river Waal. At the end of the year its status was changed from bodenständig to a regular field division. On 15 January 1945 it was sent to Poland, where it fought the Russians at the Weichsel front until april 1945.
An early overview of May 1942 shows that the division possessed the following divisional weapons (Divisionswaffen) and surplus and static weapons (überplanmässige und bodenständige Waffen)::
On 11 June 1942, following an order from the LXXXIII AK (Armeegruppe Felber) the 712 Infanteriedivision was transferred to the AOK15 "for other uses". Also from this day, the division's Tätigkeitsberichte were replaced by a true Kriegstagebuch. Also on this day, the division had a combat strength of only 4581 men, while the Verpflegungsstärke was 5428.
On 12 June 1942 an advance part of the division was sent to Brugge
On 14 June 1942 the division issued its Vderlegungsbefehl. Leaving the Armeegruppe Felber, it was subordinated to the LXXXII Armeekorps and was to replace the right sector of the 306 Infanteriedivision (Unterabschnitt Infanterieregiment 579). In addition, it was also to replace the Grenzwachregiment Clüver in the sector Breskens-Terneuzen. The remaining units of the latter in the sector Terneuzen - Dutch border northwest of Antwerp were tactically subordinated to the division.Only 9/IR 732 remained in Paris as Wachkompanie of OBWest. The headquarters of the division were in Brugge. Its commander was Generalleutnant Neumann.
On 15 June 1942 the 712 Infanteriedivision had the following officers:
On 17 June 1942 the 712 Infanteriedivision issued its order for the deployment of the division at the coast. The relief operation was to take place on 20 June. Also on this Generalleutnant Neumann arrived in Brugge.
On 18 June 1942 all transports of the division had arrived in their operational area.
On 20 June 1942 the units of the division, consisting of just two infantry regiments, artillery and some support units, arrived in their new sector, relieving the Infanterieregiment 579. Specifically on this day, the 306 Infanteriedivision handed over the right sector (Unterabschnitt Zeebrügge und Unterabschnitt Holland) to the relieving units of the 712 Infanteriedivision, together with the Gerätebatterie 306. The Reservebataillon Brügge was also relieved.
On 21 June 1942 the division had a combat strength of only 4684 men, while the Verpflegungsstärke was 5140.
On 22 June 1942 the 712 Infanteriedivision officially took command of its new sector. The Infanterieregiment 745 took up position on the right with 2 batallions at the coast (main defences at Breskens), while the Infanterieregiment 732 assumed its position on the left (also with 2 batallions at the coast)(main defences at Heist-Zeebrugge).
An AOK 15 order of 26 June 1942 ordered the creation of three new units: 1 Zug Nachschubkompanie, 1 kleine Kraftwagenkolonne, 1 Kraftfahrzeuginstandsetzungsstaffel. The newly-established kleine Kraftwagenkolonne received the name 2. kleine Kraftwagenkolonne, while the unit already in existence became the 1. kleine Kraftwagenkolonne. Also on 26 June 1942 the division was deployed as follows:
On 29 June 1942 the 712 Infanteriedivision issued an order for the relocation of certain units of the division. The results of these transfer can be found in the entry of 1-2 July below.
On 1 July 1942 the division had a combat strength of only 4817 men, while the Verpflegungsstärke was 5189. On this date, the division also had the following operational weapons: 303 MG (2 short), 24 lGrW, 36 sGrW, 40 Panzerbüchsen 39 (17 short), 8x 7.5cm FK 16 nA, 4x 10.5cm lFH 325 (f), 6 Pak 4.7cm SFL Renault and 2 small flamethrowers. Another docuiment of the same period also adds 208 Maschinenpistole 38/40 (227 short). Actually, the division was very weak with only 6 batallions, 3 aetillery batteries, 1 engineer company and Verwaltungs- and Ordnungsdienste without (motorized) transport. Nevertheless, the division had the following überplanmässige und bodenständige Waffen: 4x MG08, 2x MG08/15, 6 lGrW 36 (5cm), 2x 5cm Pak38 as surplus weapons and 3x MG26(t), 5x MG08, 8x Panzerbüchsen 782(e), 4x 2.5cm Pak 112 (f), 2x 4.7cm Pak 185 (b), 2x 6cm GrW 225 (f), 3x 8.14cm GrW 278 (f), 3x 7.5cm FK 02/26 (p), 4x lFH 14/19 (t), 5 mittlere Flammenwerfer as static weapons.
On 1-2 July 1942 many units of the division were already relocated:
On 3 July 1942 the units of the division were deployed as follows:
On 6 July 1942 the boundaries of the KVA were changed. As a result, the I/Grenzwachregiment Clüver (east of Terneuzen) was no longer subordinated to the division but rather to the Abschnitt Antwerpen.
On 7 July 1942 parts of the divsiional sector were inspected by Generalfeldmarschall von Rundstedt. Also on this day, the division reported the surrender of the sector east of the line Terneuzen-Overslag, which had previously belonged to the division, to the Feldkommandantur 520.
On 11 July 1942 the division had a combat strength of only 4864 men, while the Verpflegungsstärke was 5625.
On 12 July 1942 OBWest ordered the authority of the Militärbefehlshaber in the KVA to be transferred to the sector commanders. OBWest further decreed that, contrary to previous orders, the population was to remain in their dwellings in case of combat action. Also on this dat, the 9/Infanterieregiment 745 became divisional reserve until further notice. Finally on this day, the division wrote to the Generalkommando LXXXII Armeekorps. The division reported that the divional headquarters and the artillery headquarters were now located in the same location. However, the other artillery headquarters subordinated to the division for land combat (Untergruppe Breskens - Marineflakabteilung 810 and Untergruppe Zeebrügge - sAA 676) were not co-located with infantry headquarters. It was argued that these headquarters were to remain at the coast and so could not be co-located. However, cooperation between artillery and infantry would be guaranteed in the event of Alarmstufe I.
On 14 July 1942 the AOK 15 ordered preparations for a full artillery regiment to be operational on 20 July. Also on this day, Generalleutnant Neumann addressed his subordinate commanders as to their duties in the KVA (at this time the KVA of the 712 ID) was referred to as KVA A1). Firstly, Neumann pointed out that all commanders had the same duties in their own sectors. The by far most important duty was to keep the coastline or, in case an enemy haden broken through, to regain it by all means. In addition, 18 other duties were mentioned. A special case was the local defence of the city of Bruges, for which Major Hegenberg, the commander of the Festungspionierbataillon 12, was responsible (albeit under the Abschnittskommandeur Links). Secondly, in contrast to previous orders the KVA was organized as follows:
On 15 July 1942 the 712 Infanteriedivision had the following officers:
On 20 July 1942 the Pionierkompanie 712 was relocated from Biervliet to Sluis. Also, the 7/Heeresküstenartillerie 747 was newly established and tactically subordinated to the division. After the arrival of the guns the battery would take up positions in Nieuwvliet. The unit would be administratively subordinated to the Artilleriekommandeur 141. Also on this day, the division reported that the Militärbefehlshaber had communicated that in the period 18-20 July the 39 Infanteriedvision would arrive at Goes, where it would take over the left wing of the 719 Infanteriedivision.
On 21 July 1942 the ships and craft of the Admiral der Seebefehsstellen Gruppe I Antwerpen (12 mot Prähme; ready in 6 hours), Sonderkommando Siebel Antwerpen, Hochseelehrkommando Terneuzen (1 Siebelfähre, 5 L-Boote, 2 gr Sturmboote; ready in 3 hours) and the Armeeübungsverband Vlissingen (2 L-Boote, 17 kl Sturmboote; ready in 3 hours) were tactically subordinated to the division, in order to protect the Schelde estuary and to guarantee a quick relocation of local reserve units across the Schelde. With the available ships 3 batallions and 2 artillery batteries could be shipped. Also on this day, the division had a combat strength of only 4859 men, while the Verpflegungsstärke was 5710. On this date, the division also had the following operational weapons: 309 MG, 24 lGrW, 36 sGrW, 40 Panzerbüchsen, 8x 7.5cm Fk nA, 4x 10.5cm lFH 325 (f), 6 Pak 4.7cm, 2 Pak 5cm.
On 22 July 1942 the division commander issued a document reminding his division of the most important instructions with respect to coastal defence, i.e. immediately opening up fire with all available weapons to break up the attack even before landing.
On 23 July 1942 the division reported the transfer on 22 July of the Pionierkompanie 712 from Biervliet to Sluis.
On 26 July 1942 the LXXXII AK ordered the name of the KVA to be changed into KVA A2.
On 27 July 1942 the LXXXII AK ordered the preparation of a secondary headquarters for the division. The division planned Waterlandkerkje for this role.
On 27 July 1942 the division ordered the I. Bataillone of the Infanterieregimenter 732 and 745 to be replaced by the reserve batallions (III.) of the regiments in the period 3-7 August. Also, the 9/IR 745 was to be relieved as Wachkompanie by 3/IR 745. Also on this day, the division reported to the LXXXII Armeekorps with respect to its 3 plans for an artilleristische Schwerpunktbildung. In the document the concept of Verstärkungsartillerie was also introduced.
On 28 July 1942 the 3/745 undertook a ship loading exercise with the support of the Armeeübungsverband Vlissingen, commanded by Oberstleutnant Zülzdorf. The Verladeoffizier of the division was Leutnant Thadewaldt. Also on this day, the sector of the division was officially referred to as Küstenverteidigungsabschnit A2 by the division itself. Further on this day, the order was given for a relieving operation at the coast. Thus, both I.Bataillon of the two infantry regiments were to be relieved by the III. Bataillon, in the period 3-6 August. Finally, on 28 July 1942 ObWest prohibited any leave from or entry into the combat aera on the coast, for soldiers as well as for civilians. Also on this day, Waterlandkerkje was designated as Ausweichunterkunft for the Führungsstaffel.
On 29 July 1942 a list with the names and numbers of strongpoints and resistance nests in the sector of the division was released. (1. Südbatterie, 2. Eisbär, 3. Scheldebatterie, 4. Elch, 5. Waterloo, 6. Zwarte Polder, 6a. Badhuis, 7. Cadzand-Hafen, 8. Flugplatz, 8a. Tobruk, 9. Het Zoute, 10.a. Knokke-Mitte, 10. Knokke -West, 11. Heyst, 12. Leopoldkanal, 12a. Batterie Reusche, 13. Barbara, 13.a. Zeebrügge-West, 14. Blankenberge-Ost, 15. Blankenberge-Mole, 17. Oostburg, 18. Westkapelle-Haus, 19. Lissewege, 21. Nieuwvliet, 22. Batterie Schütte, 23. Hamilton, 24. Schleuse, 25. Vierwege, 28. Fliegerhorst Knokke, 29. Bahnhof, 30. Duinbergen, 31. Zwankendamme, 32. B-Stelle Blankenberge, 33. Bahnhof Blankenberge, 34. Schoondijke, 47. Sluis49a. Westkapelle-Dorf, 54. Brücke, 55. Klosterhof, 59. Terneuzen, 60. Scheldearm-ost, 61. Hoofdplaat, 62. Nummer-Een, 63. Fischmel, 64. Blücher, 65. Ijzendijke, 66. Groede, 67. Zuidzande, 68. Aardenburg, 69. Flakuntergruppe Zeebrügge, 70. Zeebrügge-Molenfuss, 71. Wendebecken).
On 30 July 1942 the 712 Infanteriedivision issued an order on Kampfweisungen or instructions for combat. It was ordered that for every strongpoint and resistance nest a Kampfanweisung was to be drafted. Likewise, Anweisungen für die Reserve were to be drafted for every reserve unit. A further order on this day is interesting in that its list of Verteiler offeres an overview of all units located in the KVA: Festungspionierstab 12, Festungspionierabschnittsgruppe I/12, Festungsnachrichtenstab 5, Artillerie-Untergruppe Zeebrügge, Artillerie-Untergruppe Marine Breskens, Seekommandant Pas-de-Calais, Seekommandant Südholland, Marinenachrichtenoffizier Ostende, Hafenkommandant Zeebrügge, Hafenkommandant Brügge, Hafenkommandant Breskens, Flakuntergruppe Zeebrügge, Kommandant Flughafenbereich 22/XI Brüssel, OFK 570 Gent, Wehrmachtkommandantur Bergen-op-Zoom, Kreiskommandantur 510, Armeeübungsverband Vlissingen, Hochseelehrkommando Terneuzen, Admiral der Seebefehlsstellen Antwerpen, Generalluftzeugmeister (Sonderkommandi Siebel) Antwerpen, Flakuntergruppe Vlissingen, OT-Oberbauleitung Knocke.
On 31 July 1942 the AOK 15 informed the division that for the sake of a unified command of the Schelde estuary a Generalkommando Y would be created, to which the division would be subordinated.
On 1 August 1942 the division was far from complete. It consisted of two infantry regiments (Infanterieregimenter 732 and 745), one 1 artillery batallion (Artillerieabtelung 652) and only 1 signals and engineer company only. In a status report, the division was sais to be short of 4 officers, 1 official, 194 NCOs and 385 other ranks. In addition, it had very few vehicles. On this date, the division possessed the following divisional weapons (Divisionswaffen) and surplus and static weapons (überplanmässige und bodenständige Waffen)::
Also on this date the division had the following Heerestruppen fully subordinated: Artillerieabteilung 643 with the Stellungsbatterie (Küste 343) (4x 15,5cm (f)) and the Artilleriebatterie 7/747 (4x 10,5cm (p)). Also on this date, the division had a combat strength of only 5194 men, while the Verpflegungsstärke was 6322. Finally, a document concerning a light signalling exercise on this date is interesting in that it mentions a number of Küstenzielpunktei in the KVA, i.e. target circles for harrassing fire just in front of the coast; the numbers mentioned are 393 (Stp Blankenberge-Ost), 462 (Breskens-Hafen), 397 (Zeebrügge-West), 406 (Batterie Hamilton), 405 (Stp Leopoldkanal/Stp Heist), 468 (Stp Nummer Een).
On 2 August 1942 Hauptmann Lehmann was appointed Divisionsnachschubführer with the following subordinate units: 1. und 2. kleine Kraftwagenkolonne 712, Zug Nachschubkompanie 712, Kraftfahrzeuginstandsetzungsstaffel 712, Munitionslager Eeklo, Munitionslager Damme. On the same day the division was also ordered by AOK 15 to set up a Divisionskartenstelle.
On 4 August 1942 the relief of I/IR 745 by III/IR 745 was completed. With the IR 732 doing the same the II. and III. Bataillonen were now in line, with each I. Bataillon in reserve.
On 6 August 1942 the units of the division were deployed as follows:
Also on this day the division issued a Divisionsbefehl, ordering that every local accommodation, every HQ, every support unit, every guard unit, every strongpoint and every resistance nest had to be able to defend itself all-round, both passively and actively.
On 7 August 1942 the division ordered that further ship loading exercises were to be held in the period 10-18 August by 1, 2, 7 11/IR 745. Also on this day, the I/IR731 was relieved by the III/IR732.
On 9 August 1942 the Generalkommado Y, meanwhile renamed into Generalkommando Schelde, assumed official command. Consequently, the 712 Infanteriedivision left the area of command of the LXXXII Armeekorps and became subordinated to the newly-created Generalkommando Schelde.
On 10, 11, 17 and 18 August reserve units of the IR 745 took part in (un)loading exercises on landing craft.
On 11 August 1942 the division had a combat strength of only 5379 men, while the Verpflegungsstärke was 6463. Also on this day the division informed the Pionierkompanie that the AOK15 would soon allocate 100 single-burst flamethrowers (captured from the Russians). To be able to operate these training wouild be provided in Paris. The engineer company was ordered 1 NCO and 2 soldiers ready for such training. Further on this day, the division released an order concerning the whereabouts of foreign workers in case of an enemy attack. In case of such an attack the workers would be kept in the area: native workers in their own houses and non-native workers in two Sammellagern: Westkapelle and Schoondijke. These were to be constructed and guarded by the OT (Oberbauleitung Knocke).
On 15 August 1942 the division had the following Offizierstellenbesetzung:
On 21 August 1942 the division had a combat strength of only 5356 men, while the Verpflegungsstärke was 6545.
On 22 August 1942 a document concerning nightly naval exercises on the Westerschelde is interesting in that it mentions all naval units under the command of the Seekommandant Südholland in the area of or just north of the 712 Infanteriedivision: MAA202, MFlA810, 32. Minensuchflottille, Rheinflottille, Hafenschutzflottille Gruppe Vlissingen, Hafenkommandant Vlissingen, Hafenüberwachungsstelle Vlissingen, MNO Vlissingen, VGAD(K) Koudekerke, Hafenkommandant Zeebrügge.
On 24 August 1942 5/IR745 was organised as follows: commander Oberleutnant Schelper, Stp Blücher (1 reinforced platoon, 6x light MG, 4x heavy MG, 2x heavy mortar, light mortar, heavy Pak), Widerstandsnest Nummer Een (reinforced 1/2 platoon, 3x light MG, 2x heavy MG, 1x Pak) and Widerstandsnest Hoofdplaat (reinforced 1/2 platoon, 3x light MG, 2x heavy MG, 2x heavy mortar, 1x Panzerbüchse 7,9mm. Also on this day, the division ordered the setting-up of Wechselstellungen for the artillery, which were also actually to be used. More specifically, for each artillery position 2 replacement positions and for each observation position one replacement position were to be established. These positions would also have to be used as Scheinstellungen. The document contained advice as to the best positions for the Wechselstellungen.
On 28 August 1942 the AOK 15 ordered the setting-up of construction staff (Ausbaustab), responsible for the unified fortification within the KVA. It was to be commanded by Oberstleutnant Rädler, commander of IR 732.
On 29 August 1942 (report: 31 August) the corps commander visited the commander of the 712 Infanteriedivision in Oostburg. The report makes clear that Vlissingen, Breskens and Zeebrugge were to be especially defended. In terms of material, especially Middelburg, Breskens and Zeebrugge were important. Also, the division was informed that 1000-1100 permanent bunkers were to be constructed in KVA A2.
On 30 August 1942 the division added its own comments to the grundlegender Befehl der Oberbefehlshaber West Nr 14 on the fortification of the Channel and Atlantic coasts with 15,000 permanent bunkers. While important submarine bases and large ports were not present in the sector of the division, smaller ports to be protected were those of Breskens and Zeebrügge. In the sector of the division 400 permanent bunkers were to be constructed. One Divisionserkundungsstab and 2 Regimentserkundungsstäbe were to be established immediately. The divisional staff was to be commanded by Oberstleutnant Rädler, commander of IR 732. Further officers were a Ordonnanzoffizier, Artillerieoffizier, Specialist für MG, Specialist für Pak, Hauptmann Cornelius of the Festungspionierabschnittsgruppe I/12, 1 Angehöriger der OT (von Oberbauleiting Brügge) and support staff. Tactically, the focus was to be placed on Breskens and Zeebrügge, which were also Materialschwerpunkte.
After the efficacy of anti-tank walls had been proved at Dieppe, AOK 15 ordered their increased use on 31 August 1942. Thus, in the IR 732 sector the immediate construction was ordered, while the locations for such walls were to be prapared in the IR 745 sector. Also, on the orders of Hitler the coastline wos to be fortified with permanent constructions. In the division's KVA 400 bunkers would be construction, with main efforts at Breskens and Zeebrugge.
On 1 September 1942 the division had a combat strength of only 5006 men, while the Verpflegungsstärke was 6546
On 2 September 1942 the Generalkommando sent a request to the AOK15 for 9/Infanterieregiment 732 (of the 712 Infanteriedivision) to be called back from its guard duties in Paris, since the future tasks of the division required its presence.
On 3 September 1942 a very important meeting too place in Brugge to discuss the new boundary between the LXXXII and the LXXXIX Armeekorps, which was now situated between Blankenberge and Wenduine, and artillery issues originating from it. Present were the two corps commanders, the commanders of the 306 and 712 Infanteriedivisionen, the artillery comanders of both divisions and the commanders of the regiment right and left of the seam, IR 580 and IR 732, respectively. On this day, it was also decided that the guard duty in Bruges was no longer to be carried out by a Wachkompanie from the division. Rather, the guard parties were to be taken from other units located in Bruges.
On 4 September 1942 the corps commander met with the commander of Festungspionierstab 12, Oberstleutnant Radecke, in Bruges. In this importnat discussion basic principles for the permanent fortification of the coast within KVA A2 were agreed. Thus the rear boundary of the Festungsbereich ran along the line Strooienhaan-Dudzele-Sluis-Oostburg-Ijzendijke-Biervliet. First priority was the fortification of the left wing, with special attention for a defence in depth. Further, the proportion combat bunker vs. personnel bunker was to be 1 : 3. Gun bunkers would be built under concrete in the main direction of fire of the batteries and this for the entire divisional artillery. For each position, a secondary firing position (Wechselstellung) was to be prepared. Dummy positions (Scheinstellungenà were also to be established. Flamethrowers were planned for all personnel bunkers. Also on this day, the division issued an orders, acting on higher orders, that all German man of the Wehrmachtgefolge, civilian personnel and members of OT, party, NSKK and RAD were Kombattanten. These were ro wear a yellow armband with the text Deutsche Wehrmacht. For uniformed members of the OT, party, NSKK and RAD the Hakenkreuzbinde was sufficient, while non-uniformed members were to wear the yellow armband.
On 8 September 1942 all names for the Erkündungsstäbe were released. The names can be found below:
Also on this day, the I/IR732 carried out a ship loading exercise.
On 11 September 1942 the division had a combat strength of only 4996 men, while the Verpflegungsstärke was 6611.
On 12 September 1942 the division issued its Wochenmeldung. In this document it was reported that fortification delays had occurred due to the shortage of materials. Of the permanent bunkers to be constructed 44 had been started. From the document we also learn that a Propagandanebenstelle was located in the Sint-Amandsstraat in Bruges.
On 15 September 1942 2 Gruppen of the Pionierkompanie 712 were transferred from Sluis to the strongpoint Zeebrügge-Molenfuss. Also on this day, an important reorganisation of the artillery command occurred. Major Majer, the commander of the Heeresküstenartillerieregimentsstabes 643 assumed the duties of artillery commander of the division. Subordinated to him were:
Also, the Stab of AA 652 was transferred from Oostburg to Schoondijke, while the Stabsbatterie was relocated from Draaibrug to Ijzendijke.
Also on 15 September the 712 Infanteriedivision was made up of the following officers and officials:
On 17 September 1942 the 712 Infanteriedivision issued a 32-page (!) order for the training of the division, so that the division would become capable of fulfilling not only its current mission but also any other possible future mission. This status was to be reached by 31 May 1943.
On 18 September 1942 a re-organisation of KVA A2 was suggested. This was possible due to the return of 9/IR 732 from Paris (the company was now stationed in Lissewege). The following reorganisation was made:
On 19 September 1942 the defence of Bruges was entrusted to the most senior officer present there: Major Hegenberg, commanding the Festungsbaubataillon 12 in Bruges. Further on this day the division issued its Wochenmeldung. Here it was reported that construction work was still being hindered by shortage of labourers in the Dutch part. Of the permanent bunkers to be constructed 60 had been started. A reference is also made to the Sicherheitspolizei Terneuzen.
On 20 September 1942 the I/IR 732 had relieved III/IR 732 at the coast and III/IR 732 again became the reserve unit of the regiment. The units of the latter were located as follows: Stab, 11 und 12 Kompanie in Bruges, 9. Kompanie in Lissewege and the 10. Kompanie in Dudzele.
On 21 September 1942 the division had a combat strength of only 4954 men, while the Verpflegungsstärke was 6592.
On 22 September 1942 the above planned reorganisation was refused by the AOK15 and the current organisation was to be maintained. Specifically, 9/IR731 was to be involved in reinforcing defenses.
On 24 September 1942 the division issued an order for a relieving operation in the sector of the IR 745. In the period 27-28 September the I/IR 745 was to relieve the III/IR 745. The 9/IR 745 was to return to Oostburg as Wachkompanie.
On 25 September 1942 a new allocation of the batallions of the division to strongpoint groups and strongpoints was made:
On 26 September 1942 the division issued its Wochenmeldung. The document also contained information on fortification work. Firstly, the field-like construction of available bunkers was being continued. Secondly, of the permanent bunkers to be constructed 60 had been started. Thirdly, 6 emplacements for KwK 5cm and 2 Strassensperren had been completed. Finally, 25 emplacements for KwK 5cm and 4 Strassensperren had been started. Finally, on this date the Germans produced a map called Schwerpunkt der Küstenverteidigung - Hafen Zeebrügge, showing the range of all the Artillerie-Untergruppe Zeebrügge batteries. The map can be found below:
On 27 September 1942 the Germans produced a map called Schwerpunkt der Küstenverteidigung - Scheldemündung, showing the range of all the Artillerie-Untergruppe Breskens batteries. The map can be found below:
On 28 September 1942 the I/IR 745 had relieved III/IR 745 at the coast and III/IR 745 again became the reserve unit of the regiment. Also 9/IR 745 was designated Wachkompanie in Oostburg.
The following table summarizes all the relief operations carried out thus far down to batallion level:
On 29 September 1942 the division issued an order to increase defensive capabilities in the KVA by a series of reorganisations. Thus, the Stützpunktgruppen Breskens and Zeebrügge were built; the troops in the Unterabschnitte Cadzand and Breskens were reinforced. Finally, part of the reserve batallions would be moved further forward. It was also decided to relieve each II. Bataillon in early October (these batallions had not yet been relieved). For the above purposes a reorganization of unit deployments was planned. The details can be found in the document below:
In terms of relief operations planned it was ordered that the Stellungsbataillon in the UA Terneuzen (Rechts), i.e. the II/745 was to be relieved by the reserve unit, i.e. III/745. The division was to decide by 5/10 when the relief could take place. For the IR 732 it was decided that the II/732 was to be relieved by the III/732 on 3 October.
On 30 September 1942 the 712 Infanteriedivision was deployed as follows. The first PDF contains the processed details from the map of this date. As the map is partially illegible, it has been added:
On 1 October 1942 the division possessed the following divisional weapons (Divisionswaffen) and surplus and static weapons (überplanmässige und bodenständige Waffen)::
Also on this day, the division was informed by the Generalkommando Schelde that the possibility existed of calling upon recce flights by the Aufklärungsgruppe 123 for large exercises. The division ordered exercises with the deployment of recce aircraft.
On 3 October 1942 the division issued a Wochenmeldung for the Generalkommando Schelde. In this document the division reported that on 28 September the I/745 had relieved the III/745 in the Regimentsabschnitt Rechts (745 IR)(also see above). More specifically, the 1. Kompanie had relieved the 9. Kompanie; the 2. Kompanie the 10. Kompanie; the 3. Kompanie the 11. Kompanie and the 4; Kompanie the 12. Kompanie. The III/745 was now located in Sluis and the 9; Kompanie was again Wachkompanie in Oostburg. In terms of fortification work, the feldmässige fortification was continued. In addition, 31 Betonbauten were finished and 17 started.
On 4 October 1942 the division carried out internal relief operations (following an order of 29/9). The III/IR 732 relieved the II/IR 732 with the following companies relieving: the 11 Kompanie the 5. Kompanie; the 10. Kompanie the 6. Kompanie; the 9. Kompanie the 7. Kompanie; the 12. Kompanie the 8. Kompanie. Located in Brugge were now the Stab II/IR 732 and the 6. and 8; Kompanien. The 7. Kompanie was in Dudzele and the 5. Kompanie in Lissewege. Finally on this day, the new Chef des Generalstabes OBWest briefly visited the KVA A and inspected some strongpoints in the Abschnitt Rechts.
On 5 October 1942 the 7/IR 745 relieved the 9/IR 745 as Wachkompanie in Oostburg, with the latter being transferred to Nieuwvliet.
On 6 October 1942 the IR 745 changed its battalions. Located now were:
Finally on this day, the Stützpunktgruppe Breskens was formed (consisting of the Wn Fischmehl, Stp. Blücher, Stp. Südbatterie, Stp Eisbär, Stp. Scheldebatterie, Stp Elch, Stp. Waterloo). The overall commander was Oberleutnant Krückemeyer of the 3/IR 745.
On 8 October 1942 the Stützpunktgruppe Zeebrügge was formed (consisting of the Stp. Leopoldkanal, Fischereihafen, Schleuse, Molenfuss, Zeebrugge-West and Wendebecken and the Zeebrugge jetty with the Batterie Schütte and the Flak position. The overall commander was Hauptmann Wagner of the 9/IR 732. On the same day the Flakgruppe Rotterdam made available a Kampftrupp with 2x 2cm Flak from the Flak deployed in the area Terneuzen-Sluiskil.
On 9 October 1942 the division issued a Unterkunftsübersicht. This has been processed in the document below:
On 10 October 1942 the division issued its weekly Wochenmeldung. Interestingly, this document contains a detailed location overview of sub-units of the division. Since it is more detailed than the overview below, we have also included it here:
In terms of fortification feldmässige bunkers were further constructed, while 21 Betonbauten were completed and 19 started.
On 11 October 1942 and following the British commando raid on Sark, the OBWest ordered that everything should be drawn into strongpoints. Thus, the division ordered with immediate effect that the last Beobachtungsstellen and Messstellen not yet located within strongpoints were to be move into the latter.
On 12 October 1942 the Stabsbatterie of the AA 652 was moved from Aardenburg to Ijzendijke. Further on this day, and following an OBWest order; it was reported that the Einteilung of the occupied territory for combat had been fixed. From then on, a disstinction was to be made between the security of the occupied territory (normal) situation and the above Einteilung. In the latter case command authority over all units and headquarters would be handed to the land commander.
On 15 October 1942 we find a Stellenbesetzung, an overview of the officers not only of the division, but also of all the sub-units, down to company level. This has been processed below:
On 16 October 1942 the corps commander inspected some artillery units. The report gives the following information on these units, all located within the area of the 712 Infanteriedivision.:
Also on this day, the division issued an order concerning the Reit- und Fahrausbilding. The OKH had provided a Lehrkommando under the command of Major Danko. The training was to take place in Brugge. Interestingly we also find out the location of the Geschäftszimmer of the reserve bataillion (at the time the II/732) in Brugge, namely Elisabethlaan 181.
On 17 October 1942 the division ordered the setting up of Alarmeinheiten in Brugge, Oostburg, Ijzendijke and Damme. The details were as follows:
Further on this day, the division issued another Wochenmeldung. The only change in the organisation of the division was the move of the Stabsbatterie AA652 from Aardenburg to Ijzendijke. It was further reported that field fortifications were continuing. Also on this day, the division issued an order concerning the increase in combat strengths.
On 19 October 1942 the corps communicated that a second company from the 39 Infanteriedivision would be put at the disposal of the division for reinforcing coaxtal defences, especially mining activities. Further, the OKH ordered that, in order to increase combat strength. non-fighting parts of units and headquarters were to be combed to see if no soldiers could be transferred to the fighting troops. In response, the division answered that thiw ould not be possible for the divisional headquarters, since the latter was too heavily engaged in building coaxtal defences. Still on this day, the OKH ordered the differentiation between rail Kampftransporte and Verlegungstransporten, with the former as most important and urgent. Finally, the division issued an order for the winter training.
On 20 October 1942 the division issued an order concerning the cooperation between artillery and infantry. This would be done intensified by exchanging 1 officer or NCO per regiment.
On 22 October 1942 the division issued its additions to the Grundlegender Befehl OKH Nr 2 with regards to the Kampf-und Verlegungstransporte.
On 24 October 1942 the II/IR 745 was relieved by the III/IR 745, notably the 8. Kompanie by the 12. Kompanie. Further, the division issued another Wochenmeldung; In terms of organisation it was reporfted that the Gerätebettarie A712 had been provided with 4x 155mm sFH 414 (f). The latter's 4x 105mm lFH 14/19 (t) were transferred to the 2/AA 652. The latter unit was ordered to transfer its 4x 7.5cm FK16 nA to both infantry regiments. In terms of fortification it was reported that field fortifications were continued. Also, 17 Betonbauten had been completed and 18 started.
On 25 October 1942 the Generalkommando Schelde was renamed Generalkommando LXXXIX Armeekorps.
On 26 October 1942 the Stab and the Schützenkompanien of the II. bataillon were relieved by the III. Bataillon. Also on this day, the division reported to the Generalkommando Schelde on the composition of the Alarmeinheiten. Interestingly, the Alarmeinheit Ijzendijke was now replaced by an Alarmeinheit Sluis, consisting of members of the Musikzug. The numbers were as follows: Oostburg (103 Mann), Brügge (82 Mann), Dame (33 Mann), Sluis (27 Mann). The units were only equipped with light weapons.
On 27 October 1942 the division forwarded an order to its sub-units of the OKH (9 October), which had ordered the reorganisation of the division to a bodenständige division by 1 December. On 22 October the AOK15 had already issued its additions to this order. Important changes included the allocation of Bespannungsstaffel to each regimental headquarters, enabling the mobility of 1 batallion per regiment with horses and transport. To be newly created were the bodenständige Pionierbataillon and the bodenständige Nachrichtenabteilung; The Divisions nachschubführer 712 was to be etatisiert and the kleine Kraftwagenkolonnen 1 und 2/712 were to be subordinated kriegsgliederungsmässig; Other logistical units were also to be newly established.
On 28 October 1942 the following unit changes too place in the Unterabschnitt Ijzendijke. The III/IR 745 relieved the II/IR 745. Deployed at the coast were the 11-12 Kompanien. The Stab III/IR 745 and the 10. Kompanie were in Ijzendijke and the 9. Kompanie was Wachkommandoin Oostburg. The II/IR 745 became reserve with units in Sluis (Stab, 5. Kompanie, 7. Kompanie (ohne 1 Zug), 9. Kompanie), Nieuwvliet (5. Kompanie) and Retranchement (1 Zug 7. Kompanie).
The table below shows the organization and deployment of the division in the KVA A2 on 28 October 1942:
Also on 28 October 1942 the commander of the AOK15, Generaloberst Haase, inspected the division. Finally on this day, the division reported that, following an OKH order of 7 October, the division was to be reorganized into a static division and to be trained as such, to be complted on 1 December. Each infantry regiment we get a Bespannungsstaffel, which would enable one battalion of each regimient to be equipped with horses and vehicles. The following units were also to be newly established: 1 static Pionierbataillon from the Pionierkompanie 712, one static Nachrichtenabteilung from the nachrichtenkompanie 712, 1 Panzerjägerkompanie, 1 Nachschubzug, 1 Waffenmeisterzug, 1 Feldgendarmietrupp. The already existing 2. kleine Kraftwagenkolonne 712 and the Kommandeur der Nachschubtruppen 712 would be officialized.
On 29 October 1942, on the orders of the OKH (order of 15 October), the Infanterieregimenter of the division were renamed Grenadierregimenter with immediate effect
On 30 October 1942 the division ordered that, from 11 November onwards, the artillery and the infantry would exchange 1 officer or NCO each in an effort to learn more about each other's procedures. Also on this day, the division issued its additions to the OKH order above ordering the reorganisation of the division into a bodenständige or static division.
On 31 October 1942 the division issued an order on the communication of the Führerbefehl of 18 October. Also on this day, the division issued its last Wochenmeldung of this month. First, chnages in the defensive organization were reported on.
In terms of fortification work it was reported that 2689 mines had been laid, that 349 betonierte Kampfanlangen had been completed and that 135 such constructions were under construction.
On 2 November 1942 the division issued an order on the training programme for the Tage der Gasabwehr in the period November-February.
On 3 November 1942 the division reported that an officer of the 10? Panzerdivision would be at the disposal of the division to assess which terrain in the divisional sector could be used by tanks. On the basis of this assessment the construction of obstacles, minefields, AT-walls and ditches would be decided.
On 4 November 1942 the rear boundary of the Gefechtsgebiet (at the same time the divisional boundary) was newly fixed. The new boundary was also that of the Fallschirmjäger- und Agentenbezirke. For the latter, a map was produced, including the Bezirke and the locations and strengths of the Fallschirmjagdkommandos (ranging from a section to a company or more). These units either operated on foot, by bike or with motorized vehicles.
On 6 November 1942 the Pionierkompanie 712 occupied the following accommodations with the Aufstellungsstämmen: Stamm Stab in Sluis, 2. Komapnie in Sluis, 1. Kompanie (ohne 1 Zug) in Ramskapelle, 1 Zug 1. Kompanie in Zeebrügge-Mole. Also on this day, the division added its comments to an AOK15 order dated 1 November on the matter of fishing in the area of the Marinebefehlshaber Kanalküste. Further, the division released an order on the subject of Stabs- und Nachrichtenübungen.
On 7 November 1942 a reference was made to the Flugwache of the Wn Brücke. On the same day, Aardenburg was mentioned as the planned accommodation for the Panzerjägerkompanie 712. Also, a Schnzübung was held in the area of the division. Further on this day, the division added its comments to a corps order of 5 November on the importance of passing on important messages immediately. Also on this day, the first Wochenmeldung of the month was issued. There had been no changes in the defensive organization and the Stellungsausbau was reported as proceeding as planned.
On 8 November 1942 the division reported that the situation in Africa had prompted the OBWest to order an immediate check of all defensive measures, special attention to enemy air attacks and the calling of Alarmstufe I during darkness. Further on this dya, the division issued its additions to the Grundlegender Befehl der OBWest Nr 16 of 2 November on the Alarmeinheiten. The division again reported the existence of 4 units (Oostburg, Brugge, Damme, Sluis)(see above), but at the same time also mentioned the future creation of 2 more units, namely at Schoondijke (from the Stabskompanie GR745 and the Stabsbatterie AA652) and Westkapelle (from the Stabskompanie GR 732).
On 11 November 1942 the corps ordered that Alarmstufe I was also to be maintained during that day.
On 12 November 1942 the corps again called Alarmstufe I during the day due to an unclear situation.
On 13 November 1942 the division ordered the reorganisation and renaming of the Nachrichtenkompanie into the Nachrichtenabteilung 712, under the command of major Ekert.
On 14 November 1942 the division reported that all non-divisional artillery headquarters and batteries were land-tactically subordinated to the Artillerieführer 712. Further on this day, a new Wochenmeldung was released. There has been no organizational changes and 12 Betonbauten had been completed while a further 6 had been started. Further on this day, the division commander issued his take on recent military events, notably the withdrawal of Rommel, the Anglo-American landing in Africa and the german occupation of the whole of France and the Mediterreanean coast. The need for new units required sacrifices in men an equipment also from the division. Interestingly, Neumann also points out that some bunker were temporarily out of use to to high ground water levels. It i this context it was important that all remaining measures were taken to increase the defensive readiness of the division.
On 15 November 1942 the division reported that the reorganisation of the infantry regiments in 4 companies per battalion had been completed (with the exception of the III/GR 745). The GR 732 had also established the Bespannungsstaffel and Pionierzug. The Nachrichtenabteilung 712 had also been fully established and Aufstellungsstämme were available for all the new units mentioned above. The Feldhalblazarett could not yet be established. For many other units Stämme had been established.
Further on 15 November we also find a Stellenbesetzung, an overview of the officers not only of the division, but also of all the sub-units, down to company level. This has been processed below:
On 16 November 1942 the daylight Alarmstufe I was cancelled. During hours of darkness it was replaced by Drohende Gefahr.
On 17 November 1942 the 712 Infanteriedivision reported to the AOK15 on the re-organisation of the division into a static (bodenständig) division. Thus, the reorganisation of the batallions into units of 4 (instead of 3) companies was completed and support units were being established and/or brought to full strength. On this day we also find a document containing names of commanding officers of some headquarters sections and some units:
Also on this day the 712 Infanteriedivision had the following divisional weapons (Divisionswaffen):
On 18 November 1942 it was reported that in the neighbouring sector on the left the 39 ID had relieved the 306 ID. Further on this day, the division ordered that, on higher orders, flags showing the presence of an infantry division with 2 regiments and an artillery battalion were to be shown to fool the enemy.
On 19 November 1942 the division reported that, in addition to the four Alarmeinheiten already established on 17 October, 2 further units were established in Westkapelle (181 men) (from the Stabskompanie GR 732) and in Schoondijke (84 men) (from the Stabskompanie GR 745 and the Stabsbatterie AA 652). Further, the division also reported which troops would NOT join the Alarmeinheiten, because they were needed otherwise. In this document reference was made to the Munitionslager Eeklo. Also on this day, the division reported to the corps on the measures taken for a deception operation in which the presence of a second division in the area was faked.
On 20 November 1942 the division order the official creation of the Panzerjägerkompanie 712 under the command of Oberleutnant Pohl. It was to be accommodated in Aardenburg.
On 21 November 1942 the division reported that two of its officers would ast as liaison officers: Leutnant Wenzel as liasion officer to the LXXXIX AK and Oberleutnant Reinarz as corps liasion officer to the AOK15. Also on this day, a Stabs- und Nachrichtenübung was held. Further, the division passed on an AOK15 order of 15 November in which the issue was raised of own ships coming under friendly fire. In one of the recent such incidents the commander of the 2. Sicherungsdivision had been seriously injured. The orders for dealing with ships at sea were again repeated and complemented.
Further on this date we find a very detailed deployment overview of the division in the Wochenmeldung. This document has been processed below.
The Wochenmeldung further states that 21 Betonbauten had been completed and 15 were under construction. The remaining fortification work was said to be progressing as planned.
On 22 November 1942 Leutnant Thier and Leutnant Walther of the GR 745 were designated as bodenständige Verladeoffiziere for offensive operations setting off from the Verladehafen Vlissingen (Terneuzen) and Antwerpen.
Also on this day, the division reported on a corps order of 19 November detailing the artillery command structure within the sector of the division:
In case the EAA 676 were to be moved out of the corps area, its place would be taken by the Stab HKAA823. Finally, the division additionally ordered that the 2/823 would be subordinated to the EAA 676 for engaging land targets. Further on this day, the division reported on the Stabs- und Nachrichtenübung, which had been held the previous day.
On 23 November 1942 the Aufstellungsstamm for the Panzerjägerkompanie 712 was officially renamed Panzerjägerkompanie 712, remaining in Aardenburg.
On 24 November 1942 the division again asserted its authority in commanding coastal defences stating that all orders given by the land commander with regard to the preparation and execution of the defence of the coast were to be executed immediately by all Wehrmacht services. Further, the division ordered that more soldiers were to be given training in anti-tank combat. The order mentioned a number of less obvious units and headquarters where this training was to take place. Also on this day, the division issued an order concerning the Truppenentgiftungsdienst. Firstly, 3 Truppenentgiftungstrupps were to be established and trained. Also Truppenentgiftungsplätze were to be established at Terneuzen, Ijzendijke, Nieuwvliet, Sluis, Knokke, Lisewege, Brugge, Oostburg and Schoondijke. Thirdly, for the decontamination of weapons and equiment fixed installations established by the Luftwaffe in Brugge could be used. One of these was located in the Leffingestraat 4. Finally, a Divisionsentgiftungspark was to be established at the Stabsquartier and headed by Feldwebel Freidank.
On 25 November 1942 the division ordered, on the basis of an AOK15 order, that Truppenentgiftungstrupps (1 NCO and 6 other ranks) were to be established in each company/battery and that Truppenentgiftungsplätze were to be set up. Three additional Trupps would be held at the disposal of the division
On 26 November 1942 the division ordered the training of the Alarmeinheiten. These units were to be used and trained as local reserves. Further on this day, the division ordered the relieving of the III. Battalione of the 2 infantry regiments by the II. Bataillone in the period 4-8 December.
On 28 November 1942 the division issued the last Wochenmeldung of the month. Interestingly, a new strongpoint was mentioned, the Wn Schiessplatz (initially to be protected by field fortifications); This new strongpoint was located between the Stp Het Zoute and the Wn Tobruk; It was occupied by 4 Gruppen of the 12/GR732 (3 of which came from Knocke-Mitte and 1 from Het-Zoute). Also 10 Betonbauten had been completed and 2 started.
On 29 November 1942 the division designated Leutnant Götz as liasion officer of the GR 745 to the division. Also on this day, the division issued an order with the compoistion of the Erkundungs- und Einweisungsstäbe for the bunker construction programme for the division and the 2 regiments. In addition to the divisional officers, the following were mentioned as Pionieroffiziere: Hauptmann Cornelius and Oberleutnant Grigo from the Festungspionierabschnittsgruppe I/12; Dr Wiendieck of the OT-Oberbauleitung ¨Belgien and Bauleiter Trost of the OT-Bauleitung Knocke.
On 2 December 1942 the division issued an order on the command of the battalions in reserve in case of an enemy attack on the KVA. Also on this day, the division issued an order renaming the Pionierkompanie 712 into the Pionierbataillon 712, commanded by Major Astor.
On 4 December 1942 the LXXXIX Armeekorps ordered that in order to receive training in mine-laying operations 1 officer and 19 NCOs and other ranks from the Festungsbaubataillon 12 would be commandeered to the engineer battalion for the period 7-21 December. Also on this day, the corps commander Dr Hubicki ordered during a meeting on coastal fortification that the division was to continually deploy 1 batallion on the left and 1 batallion on the right, so that the third batallion could act as reserve. The relieving of the batallions was not to be carried out. The division commander, however, ordered that the ongoing relief operation of the III. Bataillonen by the II. Bataillonen was still to be carried out.
Further on this day: the division issued 2 maps: one called Schwerpunkt der Küstenverteidigung Hafen Zeebrügge; the other Schwerpunkt der Küstenverteidigung Scheldemündung. The two maps show the range of the artillery units in the respective areas. They can be found here:
Also on this day the division issued a detailed map with all forces (army, navy, air force) in the KVA A2 down to battalion level. For the Kriegsmarine both the forces of the Seekommandant Pas-de-Calais and Süd-Holland were shown, the latter for the Schelde estuary and Walcheren, with locations of the Hafenschutzflottillen, Rheinflottille, the number of boats on each location and the exact operating stations of the Hafenschutzboote. This map can be found below:
On 5 December 1942 the Wochenmeldung reported that the II Bataillon/GR 732 had relieved the III Bataillon/GR 732 in the Unterabschnitt Knokke and the III Bataillon became the reserve unit. Similarly the II Bataillon/GR745 relieved the III Bataillon/GR745 in the Unterabschnitt Ijzendijke and the III Bataillon became the reserve unit or Eingreifreserve. The II/GR 732 was now deployed as follows: 8. Kompanie (Stp Flugplatz und Wn Tobruk), 6. Kompanie (Wn Schiessplatz und Stp Het Zoute), 5. Kompanie (Wn Knocke-West und Stp Heyst), 7. Kompanie und Stab II/ in Stp Knocke-Mitte. The III/GR 732 was located in Brugge with the Stab, 11-12. Kompanie, Dudzele with the 10. Kompanie and Lissewege with the 9. Kompanie. With regard to fortifaction the Wochenmeldung reported that a further 10 Betonbauten had been completed and 9 had been started. The other fortification work progressed as planned.
These changes of 5 December are reflected in the overview (Unterkunftsüberzicht) of 9 December 1942:
On 7 December 1942 the division said that the fortification of strongpoints near Zeebrugge and Breskens had been called extremely important. These Panzerstützpunkte were to hold out as long as possible, even when surrounded. Consequently, supplies within the strongpoints were to be increased, for ammo and food/water from 10 to 21 days. The increase in supplies for other strongpoints would be carried out gradually. Also on this day, the Ia of the AOK15 inspected the area of the division. From this document we learn that Hauptmann Wagner was the commander of the StpGr Zeebrügge.
On 8 December 1942 the LXXXIX Armeekorps ordered that in each of the regimental sectors, 2 batallions were to remain at the coast and the III. Bataillon was to train as Eingreifreserve. Further on this day, it was stated that the 1/schwere Flakabteilung 594, which had been in the sector since 1 October, was subordinated tactically to the Marineflakabteilung 810, economically and administratively to the schwere Flakabteilung 594 bear Breda and for supplies to the leichte Reserveflakabteilung 847. For land combat the battery was subordinated to the Artillerieführer 712, who was to instruct it in its duties.
On 9 December 1942 the following changes in the sector of the GR 745 had taken place. The II/GR 745 had relieved the III/GR 745 in the Unterabschnitt Ijzendijke. Deployed forward were now: 6/745 in Terneuzen, Wn Scheldearm-Ost, Wn Hoofdplaat, 5/745 in Wn Nummer-Een, Breskens and Kruisdijk; 7/745 in Oostburg (Wachkompanie); 8/745 und Stab in Ijzendijke. The III/GR745 was now located in Sluis (Stab, 9. Kompanie (ohne 1 Zug), 11-12. Kompanien; Nieuwvliet (10. Kompanie) and Rentranchement (1 Zug 9. Kompanie). The batallion was Eingreifreserve.
On 10 December 1942 the division issued an order concerning the presence of artillery observers in strongpoints and resistance nests. It was ordered dat an NCO or Gefreiter was to be designated in every Stp. or Wn. to act as artillery observer.
On 11 December 1942 the division ordered the use of Entfernungsmarken (or distance indications) to enable correct measuring of distances from a strongpoint or resistance nest.
On 12 December the division issued another Wochenmeldung. First chenges in the defensive organization were reported. Thus, the II/GR 745 had relieved the III/GR 745 in the Unterabschnitt Ijzendijke. Its disposition was now as follows: the 6. Kompanie in the Stp Terneuzen, Wn Scheldearm-Ost and Wn Hoofdplaat; the 5. Kompanie in the Wn Nummer-Eén, Breskens and Kruisdijke; the 7. Kompanie in Oostburg as Wachkompanie); and the 8. Kompanie and Stab in Ijzendijke. The III/GR 745 was now Eingreifreserve with the 9. (ohne 1 Zug), 11 und 12 Kompanie und Stab in Sluis, 10. Kompanie in Nieuwvliet and 1 Zug 9. Kompanie in Retranchement. As for fortification, delays were reported due to the shortage of certain building materials, as well as lack of transport.
On 14 December 1942 a meeting took place with the Kommandant der Seeverteidigung Pas-de-Calais Admiral Frisius on command authority in naval artillery deployment matters. The two sides fully agreed.
On 15 December 1942 we find a Stellenbesetzung, an overview of the officers not only of the division, but also of all the sub-units, down to company level. This has been processed below:
Further on 15 December the division ordered that the symbol of the division was to be changed temporarily in order to fake the presence of another division.
On 17 December 1942 the General der Panzertruppen von Vietinghoff, who temporarily replaced the sick AOK15 commander Generaloberst Haase inspected the sector of the division and, more specifically, the Zeebrugge mole and the strongpoints Heyst and Cadzand-Hafen. Further on this day, the division issued an order concerning the defence against all possible Anglo-American attacks on the coast of the sector. In this 6-page document Generalleutnant Neumann gave his ideas on the possibility and evolution of such an assault all in attempt to prepare the disvision for a major attack.
Also on 17 December the division issued an Einsatzkarte with the situation on 11 December.
On 19 December 1942 the division issued its Wochenmeldung; There had been no changes in the defensive organization. Since 5 December 6 Betonbauten had been completed and 8 had been started. The supply of building materials showed some improvement.
On 21 December 1942 the division addes its comments to a corps order of 19/12 for the reserve units. Firstly, Splittergräben were to be dug where no permanent constructions for cover against air attack were available. Secondly, the defence of localities only makes senses if troops are present in sufficient numbers. Alternatively, several units were to be co-located. Thirdly, reserves should not be used to replace personnel gaps in the front-line units. Finally, it was ordered that reserves were to be made mobile using all available bikes.
On 26 December 1942 the division issued another Wochenmeldung; No changes had occurred in the deensive organization. In the previous period 17 Betonbauten had been completed and a further four had been started. Further on this day, a German document listed the strongpoints making up the StpGr Breskens and Zeebrügge.
On 30 December 1942 the division issued an order arranging the deployment of all artillery in the sector as well as the cooperation with the infantry.
On 31 December 1942 the division ordered that, in view of the increasing number of sabotaging actions by enemy sabotage units, Fallschirmjagdkommandos were to deploy patrols
In the period 1 October - 21 December 1942 the division had the following Gefechts- und Verpflegunngsstärken and verwendungsbereite Waffen:
On 1 January 1943 the 712 Infanteriedivision had the following Divisionswaffen:
Also on this day the division had the following static and surplus weapons:
Further on this day, we have an overview of the unterstellte Heerestruppen. These included only the HKAR 643 with the Batterie 7/747 (equipped with 4x 10.5cm K29 (p) and the Stellungsbatterie (Küste) 343 (with 4x 15.5cm sFH 414 (f)).
Finally on this we find an overview of the composition of the Artillerie-Untergruppe Zeebrügge:
On 2 January 1943 the division ordered that the Gerätebatterie A (Reusche) 712 was to be etatisiert on 5 January and renamed Stellungsbatterie (K) 343. Also on this date another Wochenmeldung was released. In terms of the defensive organisation the 9/GR 745 was now located with three Züge in Retranchement (formerly with 2 Züge and the company headquarters in Sluis and 1 Zug in Retranchement). Also 5 Betonbauten had been completed.
On 5 January 1943 the Gerätebatterie A712 was etatisiert and renamed Stellungsbatterie (K) 343. Also on this day, the division reported that in the KVA 335 German civilians with 327 rifles had been listed in Kampflisten. The document also provides the locations of these and their mission in the event of an attack.
On 7 January 1943 the division ordere that on 12 January atraining exercise by a Lehrkommando of the 26 Panzerdivision would be giiven in Brugge-St Kruis.
However, on 8 January 1943 the date of the above exercise was changes to 13-14 January
On 9 January 1943 the division issued a Wochenmeldung; There had been no changes in the defensive organisation and 6 Betonbauten had been completed, while a further 2 had been started.
On 10 January 1943 a new Alarmregelung was initiated (the order for this had been given on 5 January) consisting of: dauerende Abwehrbereitschaft, drohende Gefahr, Gefechtsbereitschaft. For reserves, headquarters and logistics units the corresponding stages were ständige Alarmbereitschaft, drohende Gefahr, Alarmstufe I, Alarmstufe II. Measures to be taken in each of these were listed in the 19-page order of 5 January. Also, a distinction was made between a stillen Alarm and a lauten Alarm. Further on this day, the division, in answer to a request from the Kommandant der Seeverteidigung Pas-de-Calais, the naval facilities at the Port of Brugge were not yet considered a strongpoint, so that no official oath by the commander was as yet required.
On 11 January 1943 the division reported that the exchange soldiers arriving from the Russian front would be held in quarantine for 14 days in Brugge. Even their belongs (not needed on daily basis) were to be kept in an unheated room for 4 weeks (in order to kill the lice!). The division issued its additions to a corps order of 9 January.
Also on this day, the division issued its additional orders to an order by the OBWest of 29 November. It was ordered that to aid with the construction of field and semi-permanent fortifications units of the RAD would be deployed in the KVA. Thus, in March a Gruppe would be deployed with 6 Abteilungen, each consisting of some 150 men. For construction work these would be subordinated to the Festungspionierstab 12. In alarm cases and in the event of a enemey attack they would be subordinated to the Abschnitt.
On 12 January 1943 2 Flakeingreiftrupps were established and made mobile by the division: one with the 2/leichte Reserveflakabteilung 847 in Sluiskil; the other with the Flakuntergruppe Zeebrügge. These were to be made mobile by means of rented vehicles. In the event of Alarmstufe I the units were to be made fahrbereit; In case of Alarmstufe II the Flakeingreiftrupp Sluiskil was to be sent to Schoondijke where it would be subordinated to the GR 745. Likewise the unit in Zeebrugge was to be sent to Westkapelle and subordinated to the GR 732.
On 13 January 1943 it was decided that Oberleutnant Arlt, rather than Leutnant Götz was to be become verbindungsoffizier to the division from the GR 745. Also on this day (and on 14 January), a Lehrkommando of the 26 Panzerdivision would give a short course on close-range anti-tank combat.
On 15 January 1943 we again find a complete Stellenbesetzung for the headquarters and ALL units of the division, which can be found below:
On 16 January 1943 the division issued an order on the training of the Artillerieverbindungsunteroffiziere. Further on this day, the divission issued another Wochenmeldung. There had been no changes in the defensive organization. 5 Betonbauten had been completed, while a further 13 had been started.
On 18 January 1943 the division passed on (additions still to come) the Grundlegende Bemerkungen OBWest Nr 18 to its units. This document covered experiences macde in recent times in all domains.
On 19 January 1943, during a visit by the Marinebefehlshaber in den Niederlanden, Admiral Hoffmann, it was decided that, even though the admiral was supposed to give the order to open fire to his batteries, the latter could decide at their own discretion to open fire on an approaching enemy. Further, since the navy batteries in the KVA did not organise patrols to the neighbouring strongpoints, the Marinebefhelshaber ordered help in this respect.
During a visit by the corps commander General der Panzertruppen Hubicki issues arising from the new organisation in the Abschnitt Links were discussed. Finally, on this day the division commander departed for an Erholungsheim. Oberst Rädler of the GR 732 was the acting division commander.
On 20 January 1943 the seetaktische Führung of the Eisenbahnartillerieabteilung 676 was handed over to the HKAA 823, which had taken possession of the Gefechtsstand in Duinbergen. Also on this day, the naval batteries in the StpGr Breskens were ordered to organize patrols to neighbouring (naval) strongpoints. Each patrol was to consist of 4 men. Finally on this day, the division issued its additions to the Grundlegende Bemerkungen OBWest Nr 18 to its units. This document covered experiences macde in recent times in all domains (see above).
On 22 January 1943 the division issued an order on the strengthening of the defensive strength. The division was ordered to show a extreme readiness to shed troops and to draw each and every man into the defence of the coast and the sector. The situation was such that each improvised action to bolster defensive strength was approved (after having been reported). The division further reported that Alarmeinheiten had been established at Oostburg, Brügge, Damme, Sluis, Schoondijke and Westkapelle. Further, the proportional relationship between fighting soldiers and those in supporting services was to be changed to the benefit of the fighting troops.
On 23 January 1943 it was reported that the 1/AA652 would be made mobile by the 4. Zug of the Kraftfahrkompanie 139. Upon the codeword Eilbote 1 the unit was to move to Lissewege. The 2/AA652 would be made mobile by the 2. klleine Kraftwagenkolonne 712 in Sluis. There had been no change in the defensive organization. 12 Betonbauten had been completed, while 16 had been started.
On 28 January 1943 the division, on the orders of the AOK15, ordered that the two kleinen Kraftwagenkolonnen were to be reorganized in a grosse Kraftwagenkolonne to be commanded by Hauptmann Hessinger. On the same day the division ordered that the established Alarmeinheiten were to receive infantry training 1/2 day a week.Also, they were to provide each week 3-4 patrols in the Fallschirmjagdbezirken. Finally, it was decided that in the event of reserve arriving, the reserve battalions were to get Ausbildingseinheiten in which the recruits would be concentrated.
On 29 January 1943 Generalfeldmarschal von Rundstedt, Oberbefehlshaber West, inspected the area of the division.
On 30 January 1943 the division issued its last Wochenmeldung of the month. There had been no changes in the defensive organisation. 18 Betonbauten had been completed, while 12 had been started. Further fortification of the PzStp Breskens had been delayed due to a shortage of Kies.
On 31 January 1943 the division reported that, in its area, 8 Alarmeinheiten had been established with 670 troops in total. These units were only to be deployed locally.
On 1 February 1943 the division ordered that, in the event of a large-scale attack NOT on the sector of the corps, the 39 Infanteriedivision (less 1 light artillery battery each of the I and II/AR139) would be pulled out of coastal defence duties for other purposes. The KVA of that division would then be taken over by the GR 745 and the III/GR 732. Finally the 65 Infanteriedivision would then take over the sector of the GR745 with one battalion of the GR 146 and Alarmeinheiten. In case a regiment was to be pulled out with the division, this would be the GR 745 and a light artillery battery. Preparations for all these contingencies were to be taken.
On 1 February 1943 the 712 Infanteriedivision had the following Divisionswaffen:
Also on this day the division had the following static and surplus weapons:
Further on this day, we have an overview of the unterstellte Heerestruppen:
On 2 February 1943 the division also issued an order arranging the deployment of all artillery in the sector as well as the cooperation with the infantry.
The Artillerieführer 712 was to report when Major Thielemann would take over the Landzielbekämpfung from Major Willmann. In case of Alarmstufe I the HKAA 823 was to send a Verbindungskommando to the Stab GR 732 in Westkapelle. The division further reported that the corps agreed to both Abteilungstäbe being headquartered in Duinbergen, though in different bunkers.
Also on 2 February 1943 the presence of an Eisenbahnausbesserungswerk in Steenbrugge. Also on this day, the subordination relations of the artillery in the sector were clarified. The Kommandeur der Artillerie-Untergruppe Zeebrügge is the Abteilungskommandeur of the HKAA 823. Further on this day the division ordered (by adding its comments to an OBWest order) that all combat-capable German men in the area of the division were to be organised in combat-ready units.Together with training, they were to be deployed at the coast 1-2 days each month.
On 3 February 1943 the division, in a change to its order of 22 February, ordered the creation of both mobile and static Alarmeinheiten; The latter were to function only as local reserves. The commanders of the former were: Alarmeinheit Ijzendijke (Stabswachtmeister Bagatzky, Stabsbatterie 652), Alarmeinheit Sluis (Leutnant Glass, 1/Nachrihctenabteilung 712), Alarmeinheit Brügge (Feldwebel der Kommandos der Divisionsnachschubtruppen 712). An Anlage to this order also mentions the Alarmeinheiten.
Also on 4 February a meeting took place with the 39 Infanteriedivision to work out the mobility of the extraction and replacement by the 712 ID in case of an enemy landing not in the corps sector (see above).
On 5 Fenruary 1943 the division ordered that in order to avoid confusion all coastal targets were to be called KZ (Küstenzielpunkte) and all land targets AP (Artillerie-Zielpunkte).
On 6 February 1943 25 military attachés accompanied by 7 officers of the Attachégruppe visited some strongpoints in the sector of the division. Also, the division passed on a 14-page report from the OKH regarding American ideas on landing operations. The report included a number of clarifying sketches. Finally, the diviion issued its first Wochenmeldung of the month. There had been no changes in the defensive organisation since the previous report. Five Betonbauten had been completed and 14 started.
On 8 February 1943 the General der Artillerie beim Oberbefehlshaber des Heeres inspected the area of the division under the guidance of the Artillerieführer 712, Oberstleutnant Majer.
On 10 February 1943 the division ordered that individual Gruppen of the Alarmeinheiten were to be deployed at the coast in order to familiarize them with coastal defence and heavy weapons., this in the period 15-20 February. Also on this day, a Regimentsplanspiel was held with the GR 732, at which the corps commander was also present.
On 11 February 1943 a Regimentsplanspiel was held with the GR 745, at which the corps commander was also present.
On 12 February 1943 the division ordered that the case in which the 39ID would be extracted was cancelled and preparations were to be stopped due to changes in the deployment of the 39 ID. Also on this day, a meeting between the division O1 and the corps resulted in the cancellation of all Meldungen and Aufstellungen with regard to the Alarmeinheiten. Only the orders for training remained in force. The Abschnittskommandeure were responsible for the creation and training of the Alarmeinheiten. In future, 3 types of Alarmeinheit would be recognized:
Also in future, the Alarmeinheiten were to be organized in Alarmbattalionen, - Kompanien, -Zügen and - Gruppen.
On 13 February 1943 the division issued a Wochenmeldung. There had been no changes in the defensive organisation since the previous report. Nine Betonbauten had been completed and 6 started.
On 15 February 1943 we again find a complete Stellenbesetzung for the headquarters and ALL units of the division, which can be found below:
On 18 February 1943 the division added its comments to a corps order for the re-creation of the 6. Armee. In the corps area the 44 Infanteriedivision was to be rebuilt in the Antwerp area. To do this, the division was to shed 2 units: 10/GR 745 and the II/2/Pionierbataillion 712. The latter units were then to be reconstituted by the division itself! On this day, the division also issued another Wochenmeldung. First the shedding of the 2 units above was mentioned. It was further reported that 6 Betonbauten had been completed and 16 started. Finally, the fortification work in the Panzerstützpunkt Breskens had to be suspended die to a shortage of building materials (Kies).
On 19 February 1943 the division ordered that the above units were to reach Maldegem on 20 February and were to spend the night there. Then would be loaded onto a train on 21/2 with Beveren-Waas as destination. From there a march on foot would take them to Zwijndrecht and Burcht.
On 20 February 1943 the division reported that in the period 15/2-27/3 (?) 14-day courses in close-combat defence would be held in Brugge.for Marine and Heeresküstenartillerie personnel. Also on this day, the division ordered that in case of combat the foreign OT-workers were to be moved from the coast further inland. The following movements would be prepared by the OT: from Terneuzen and Hoofdplaat to Sas-van-Gent, from Breskens to Watervliet, from Schoondijke to Linde, from Cadzand to Middelburg, from Westkapelle to Knesselare and from Lissewege to the Brugge area. Further on this day, the division added its Zusätze to the Grundlegende Bemerkungen OBWest Nr 20 of 15 February. Firstly, the division reported that it had made contact with Luftflotte III to discuss areas under risk of air-assault. Secondly, it was ordered that the logistical units and division headquarters staff were also to practice AT-combat at close range. With respect to suuplies it was found that the supplies did not reach the subordinated Fremde units (i.e. Luftwaffe and Marine) fast enough. The Nachschub der Verpflegung for the above units in Belgium was to be done by the Divisionsverpflegungsamt 712 in Brugge; in the Dutch area by the Verpflegungsausgabestelle Ijzendijke. German infantry munitions would be supplied by the Munitionslager Eecloo.
On 22 February 1943 the KTB mentioned the folloiwng units as Divisionsreserve: 7/GR 745, Panzerjägerkompanie 712, Pionierbataillon 712, KOB Lehrgang in Sluis, Uffz-Antwärter und Zugführerlehrgang in Sluis, Uffz-Antwärter und Zugführerlehrgang in Brugge.
On 24 February 1943 the division reported that the shed 10/GR 745 had been rebuilt by the GR 745. Also on this day, the Divisionsreserven were mentioned as follows: 7/GR 745, Panzerjägerkompanie 712, Pionierbataillon 712, KOB-Lehrgang in Sluis, Uffz-Anwärter- und Zugführerlehrgänge in Sluis und Brügge (from 1/3 instead of Sluis).
On 25 February 1943 suspect naval movements were reported by the Seekommandant Südholland. The corps ordered Alarmstufe I. This was later reduced to drohende Gefahr, which was itself later cancelled.
However, on 26 January 1943 the corps again ordered Alarmstufe I. The actual order came from OBWest for the sector of the AOK15.
On 27 February 1943 Alarmstufe I was revoked, but the corps ordered erhöhte Aufmerksamheit for that night. Also on this day, the division issued its Wochenmeldung. It reported that the 10/GR 745 had been re-established. In addition, 8 Betonbauten had been completed and four started.
On 28 February 1943 drohende Gefahr was again called. This stage was called during the following nights. Further on this day, the division reported that Alatmeinheiten of the types I, II, III (see above) had been established.
On 1 March 1943 the Ist-Stärke of the division was 130 officers, 17 doctors, 18 veterinarians, 39 Beamte, 19 Offizieranwärter, 1237 NCOs and 5398 other ranks.
On 2 March 1943 the General der Panzertruppen von Vietinghoff, the commander of the AOK15 inspected strongpoints in the area of the division. Further on this day, the division ordered that the training of artillery liaison NCOs and their deputies was to be repeated
On 3 March 1943 the division ordered that, in order to make possible the timely and sufficient deployment of reserves against a landed enemy, alteady in case of Alarmstufe II the 9 und 10/GR 732 in the Abschnitt Links were to be relieved by the Alarmeinheit Brügge (Technische Festungsparkkompanie, Stab Festungsbaubataillon 12, Festungspionierstab 12). Other (parts of) Alarmeinheiten were to be used as patrols and Jagdkommandos. Also on this day, preparations were ordered for the contingency plan in which the GR 745 and the AA 652 would be withdrawn. The strongpoints at the coast would then be taken over by Alarmeinheiten. The Alarmeinheiten in question were: Alarmeinheit Hochseelehrkommando Terneuzen, Alarmeinheit Sluis, Alarmeinheit Breskens, Alarmeinheit: Vorkommando des RAD in Breskens, Alarmeinheit Brügge (142 Mann), 2/Pionierbataillon 712). The code word for this operation was Wotan. Further, preparations were to be made also for the entire division to be extracted with code name Freya.
On 4 March 1943 the division, in its additions to some OBWest orders ordered that, as of this month, one Alarmübung by day and by night were to be held with each batallion. The same applied to each regiment. Further on this day, a Planspiel was held. Also on this day, the division reported that it had 158 Panzernahkampftrupps, each consisting of 4 men. A total of 4 officers, 171 NCOs and 718 other ranks had been trained in close-combat AT-defence. Finally, the divison reported to the corps on the Alarmeinheiten with some more details. In the Abschnitt Rechts the II/745 in the Abschnitt Ijzendijke would be replaced by the Alarmeinheit Hochseelehrkommando (2 Züge) and the Alarmeinheit Sluis (1 Zug, 2 Gruppen) Likewise the I/745 in the Abschnitt Nieuwvliet would be replaced by the Alarmeinheit Breskens (2 Züge), RAD Breskens (1Zug, 1 Gruppe) and Brügge (1 Kompanie). Further, after the GR 745 and the AA 652 had left, the following reserve units would remain: Panzerjägerkompanie 712, Stab Pionierbataillon 712, 1/Pionierbataillon 712, III/GR 732, 7/GR 732. Next the Alarmeinheiten that could be deployed in the KVA were listed: Ijzendijke (1 Zug, 2 Gruppen), Damme (1 Zug), Blankenberge (1 Kompanie), Zeebrügge (3 Gruppen), Brügge (Nachschubtruppen)(1Zug). Finally, the Alarmeinheiten that could be deployed only locally: IJzendijke (1 Zug), Schoondijke (1 Zug), Oostburg (1 Zug) and Brügge (1 Bataillon). The document was accompanied by a map.
On 5 March 1943 a meeting took place under the leadership of the corps commander General der Panzertruppen Hubicki. The KTB contains an overview of the items discussed (34 items!).
On 6 March 1943 the division issued another Wochenmeldung. There had been no changes in the defensive organization. Seven Betonbauten had been compelted and 5 started.
On 9 March 1943 the division ordered that, on the orders of the corps, the new alarm phase Vorwarnung would be called before Alarmstufe I. Further on this day the division issued an order on what to do in the event of a gas attack. on the strongpoint Oostburg. The Anlage contained a Truppenentgiftungsordnung. including a drawing of the layout of the Truppenentgiftungsplatz.
In the period 10-11 March 1943 a training exercise on close-combat AT-defence took place in Brugge Sint-Kruis by a Lehrkommando of the 26. Panzerdivision.
On 11 March 1943 the division ordered, on the orders of the corps, that the Alarmstufe drohende Gefahr was to be abolished with immediate effect (and to be replaced by Vorwarnung (see above).
On 13 March 1943 the division issued a Wochenmeldung. There had been no changes in the defensive organisation. Nine Betonbauten had been completed and the same number started.
On 15 March 1943 the division ordered that, with approval from the corps, patrols with out combat mission (Verbindungsstreifen) could have a strength less than that of a Gruppe. Also on this day we again find a complete Stellenbesetzung for the headquarters and ALL units of the division, which can be found below:
In the period 15-17 March and 18-20 March 1943 practical training sessions were organised in close-range AT-combat.
On 16 March 1943 the division ordered that a Truppenentgiftungso???nung to be fixed for the Stp Oostburg.
In the period 17-19 March 1943 the division ordered that no fewer than four contingency cases were to be prepared:
On 20 March 1943 a Schanz- und Marschübung of the III/GR 745 was held. Further on this day the division issued a Wochenmeldung. There had been no changes in the defensive organisation. 15 Betonbauten had been completed, while 5 had been newly started.
On 23 March 1943 the newly to be created 44ID in the area of Antwerp held a Geländebesprechung under the leadership of its commander, Generalleutnant Baier in the area Brugge-Blankenberge on the deployment of a reinforced infantry batallion as Vorausabteilung against an enemy broken through in Blankenberge.
On 27 March 1943 the division reported that from 15 April onwards defensive measures in the KVA would be assessed by the General der Artillerie Stemmermann. In preparation for this inspection the units were to fill in a questionnaire (Fragebogen), thus checking the defensive measures. Further on this day, the division issued a Wochenmeldung. In the Unterabschnitt Terneuzen the 6/GR 745 had been relieved by the 8/GR 745. The former was mow located in Ijzendijke. Further, nine Betonbauten had been completed and 2 started.
In the period January-March 1943 the division had the following Gefechts- und Verpflegunngsstärken and verwendungsbereite Waffen:
On 1 April 1943 the 712 Infanteriedivision had the following Divisionswaffen:
Also on this day the division had the following static and surplus weapons:
Further on this day, we have an overview of the unterstellte Heerestruppen:
On 3 April 1943 the division issued its Wochenmeldung for March. There had been no changes in the defensive organization, while 18 Betonbauten had been compled and 9 newly started.
On 6 April 1943 the AOK15 commander inspected strongpoints between Blankenberghe-Mole and Knocke-West.
On 8 April 1943 Italian officers visited the same sector as mentioned above. Interesting in this document is the list of participants on the German side. Thus we learn about the presence of General der Pioniere Jacob and his Ordonnanzoffizier Obersleutnant Kühne, as well as Generalleutnant Schmetzer, Inspekteur der Landesbefetigungen West.
On 10 April 1943 the division issued another Wochenmeldung. There had been no changes in the defensive organization, while 12 Betonbauten had been completed and 7 newly started.
On 12 April 1943 the division ordered the reorganization of the Alarmeinheiten. Only 2 types still existed: Alarmeinheiten I (deployable anywhere in the KVA) and Alarmeinheiten II (deployable only locally). Interestingly, the document contains an Anlage with all the Alarmeinheiten at this point in time. It has been processed below:
On 15 April 1943 we again find a complete Stellenbesetzung for the headquarters and ALL units of the division, which can be found below:
Further on this date, the division issued its additions for the Fall Freya to the grundlegende Bemerkungen OBWest Nr 23. The order concerned the organzation of the rail transport of the division. The division could be moved either as Kampftra,sport or as Verlegungstransport. Stations for departure were Maldegem and Brugge.
On 16 April 1943 courses in close-range AT-combat were organized within the division. On the same day the division issued its own orders to the OBWest Grundlegende Bemerkungen Nr 24.
On 17 April 1943 the division issued another Wochenmeldung. There had been no changes in the defensive organization of the division. 14 Betonbauten had been completed and 8 begun.
On 18 April 1943 the 3x sFH 13 (SFL), already requested in December 1942, arrived with the division. The battery using them was to be called the Gerätebatterie 712 and was to be deployed as a mobile unit. Initially, though, the canons would be delivered to the 2/AA652.
On 19 April 1943 the division commander led a visit to the fortifications in the coastal strongpoints of the KVA A3 (171RD).
On 21 April 1943 a new order arranged the deployment of Alarmeinheiten and troops in the event of the pulling out of the GR745 and the AA652 (Fall Baldur). The document details which units were to take over which strongpoints. The units taking over the strongpoints in the Abschnitt Rechts included the Pionierbataillon 712, Hochseelehrkommando Terneuzen, Stabskompanie GR745, RAD-Abteilung 16, Alarmeinheit Breskens, RAD-Abteilung 2/13, RAD-Abteilung 1/13, Stab III/GR 732 mit 11 und 12/GR732. Interestingly, the Stp Retranchement would be given up and the static weapons transferred to the Wn Bastion Cadzand. In the Abschnitt links the units were Alarmeinheit Veterinärkompanie 712, Alarmeinheiten des Dinafü 712;
On 23 April 1943 it was decided that the 3x sFH 13 (SFL) were to be organized in such a way that they could both be used together as a unit, as well as inidvidually if and when required. The canons were fully subordinated to the 2/AA652. An Etatisierung of this unit was not planned.
On 24 April 1943 Generalleutnant Stemmermann inspected the StpGr Breskens, Stp Blücher-West and the 6/MAA 202 and lastly the Feuerstellung of the 2/AA652. On the same day the division issued an order for the return of the Rahmentruppen to the division which had been provided for the rebuilding of the 44 ID. Units that had been established as replacements were again to be disbanded. Units concerned were the 10/GR 745 and the II/2/Pionierbataillon 712. Finally on this day, the division issued its Wochenmeldung. There had been no changes in the defensive organization, while 12 Betonbauten had been completed and 1 started.
In the period 24-27 April 1943 the General zbV Generalleutnant Stemmermann assessed the division's readiness in the KVA.
On 26 April 1943 the General zbV Generaleutnant Stemmermann inspected the Abschnitt Links. Further on this day, the units shed for the recreation of the 44ID (10/GR 745, I/2/Pionierbataillon 712) were returned to the division. Consequently, the newly-established 10/GR712 and the Pionierzug were to be dissolved.
On 30 April 1943 the division commander led a Planspiel in Oostburg, the aim of the exercise being the deployment of Alarmeinheiten in the Abschnitt Rechts and the destruction of an enemy having landed near Wn Badhuis. A prepartory document dated 21 April mentions all participants. Non divisional participants were the Kommandeur Flakuntergruppe Zeebrügge Major Döhler, Komandant der Nahverteidigung Brügge, Major Hegenberg, Gruppenführer des RAD, Arbeitsführer Dr. Knackstedt, Führer Festungspionierabschittsgruppe I/12, Hauptmann Cornelius. In terms of artillry, the Artillerieführer was Major Materne, Kommandeur der Artillerie-Untergruppe Breskens Hauptmann Blum (before the relief) / Hauptmann Herbert (after the relief), Kommandeur der Artillerie-Untergruppe Zeebrügge, Major Thielamann, Kommandeur der EAA 676, Major Föringer, Führer der Seezielbekämpfung im Abschnitt Recnts Oberleutnant Lange (10/MAA202), Kommandeur des Stp Gneisenau (after the relief) Oberstfeldmeister Stahl (RAD 1/13).
In the period April-June 1943 the division had the following Gefechts- und Verpflegunngsstärken and verwendungsbereite Waffen:
On 1 May 1943 the division issued an order concerning the Kommandierung of tanks. The division would be allocated 1 tank to practise close-range AT-combat (period 4-9 May). On the same day, the division issued its first Wochenmeldung of the new month. There had been no changes in the defensive organization, while 8 Betonbauten had been completed and 1 started.
On 2 May and 4 May 1943 (divisional) artillery units (the railway batteries on 4 May) were to practise live firing
In the period 4-9 May 1943 a tank of the 26 Panzerdivision was made available to practise close-range AT-combat. All Panzernahkampfftrupps in the KVA were to participate.
On 7 May 1943 the LXXXIX AK established a Kampfkommandant. For this position, the division nominated Major Birsack (I/GR745). In the event of large-scale combat the team of the Kampfkommandant was to assemble in Brugge and to reach a Sammelort ordered by the AOK15. In the event of Aufmarschbewegung 2A Birsack would be deployed in Brugge and subordinated to the 712ID. The division was to prepare the Dienstanweisung for this case, as well as the Dienstanweisung for a possible kampfkommandant for Eeklo. Further, the division was to draft Dienstanweisungen for 2 Strassenkommandanten.
On 8 May 1943 the division released its Wochenmeldung. There had been no changes in the defensive organization, while 7 Betonbauten had been completed and 2 started.
On 9 May 1943 the division issued an order concerning the orrganisation of the HQ of the Kampfkommandant Birsack (see above).
On 11 May 1943 the combat training of the Hilfskräfte, already ordered on 2 February, was to be continued in the coming months.
On 12 May 1943 a new set of liaison officers were appointed (Oberleutnant Arlt, GR745 to division; Oberleutnant Keuper, GR732 to division; Leutnant Seeger, division to corps; Oberleutnant Reinarz, from corps to AOK15).
In the period 12-16 May 1943 a total of 2500 men participated in the close-range AT-combat training with the tank lent by the 26 Panzerdivision. This led to a subtsantial increase in the quality of this combat.
On 14 May 1943 the division issued an order for the sending of observers to a Luftlandeübung which was to be held in the week 16-22/5 in the area St.Pol - Aumale - Moreuil - Albert.
On 15 May 1943 the division reported that the Gerätebatterie 676 was feuerbereit with 4x sFH 414 (f), calibre 155mm. Also on this day, the division issued its Wochenmeldung; There had been no changes in the defensive organization, while 9 Betonbauten had been completed and 7 started.
On 15 May 1943 we again find a complete Stellenbesetzung for the headquarters and ALL units of the division, which can be found below:
On 17 May 1943 the division issued an order concerning the organization of close-range AT-combat courses in the area of the 65ID in the period 20/5-2/6.
On 19 May 1943 the Chef des Generastabes LXXXIX AK, Oberst Ulrich inspected the KVA.
On 22 May 1943 the division issued its Wochenmeldung. There had been no changes in the defensive organization, while 7 Betonbauten had been completed and 8 started.
On 25 May 1943 the organisation of the StpGr Breskens was changed:
On the same day it was ordered that the two Strassenkommandanten would have their HQ in Gent and Deinze.
On 27 May 1943 the division reported that the 4-day corps course on close-range AT-combat which had so far been held with the 65ID was to be held with the Panzerjägerkompanie 712 from 14 June onwards. Further on this day, the corps ordered that the 11/GR745 was to relieve the 7/GR 146 as Sicherungskompanie with the corps HQ in Antwerp on 5 June.
On 28 May 1943 the division, in turn, ordered that the 11/GR745 was to relieve the 7/GR 146 as Sicherungskompanie with the corps HQ in Antwerp on 5 June.
On 29 May 1943 the corps commander General der Panzertruppen Hubicki took formal leave of the division.
On 30 May 1943 the division issued its last Wochenmeldung of the month. The changes in the defensive organization reported were mentioned above (see 25 May). 12 Betonbauten had been completed and 2 started.
On 31 May 1943 the division commander led a Planübung. The theme of the exercise was the pulling out of the GR745 and the counterattack against an enemy having landed between the strongpoints Blankenberghe-Mole and Gneisenau.
On 1 June 1943 the division ordered that the training courses for the Artillerieverindungsoffiziere were to be repeated Also on this day the 712 Infanteriedivision had the following Divisionswaffen:
Also on this day the division had the following static and surplus weapons:
Further on 1 June we find a numbers overview of troops and light and heavy weapons in the KVA A2, split up by Wehrmacht service:
On 4 June 1943 the new corps commander, Generalleutnant von und zu Gilsa, briefly visited the divisional headquarters.
On 5 June 1943 Major Peglow, the commander of the III/GR732 was designated Vertreter of the Kampfkommandant Major Birsak for the period 4-21 June. Also on this day, the division (on the orders of the corps) ordered the protection of the Stellwerk I Brügge against sabotage. The guard was to consisted of armed German railway men (strength: 1 NCI, 6 men). Finally on this day, the 11/GR745 relieved the 7/GR146 as Sicherungskompanie at the corps headquarters in Antwerp.
In the period 5-7 June 1943 8 officers and 140 Offiziersbewerber of the Schnelle Brigade 20 visited the KVA A2.
On 6 June 1943 the division issued its first Wochenmeldung of the month. Six Betonbauten had been completed, while 5 had been started.
On 7 June 1943 the corps commander gave a presentation in Diksmuide to the Ia officers on the military situation. Large-scale enemy action was to be expected in June.
On 8 June 1943 the division commander, in his turn, issued an order on enemy landing attempts to be expected in the newt few weeks, even days!
On 9 June 1943 the Ia of the IX Fliegerkorps, Oberstleutnant Böhme gave a presentation in Oostburg on the combat methods of the Luftwaffe.
On 10 June 1943 the division ordered the presence of a security guard at the Verpflegungsausgabestelle Ijzendijke with a strength of 1NCO and 3 other ranks. The reason for this was the transfer of the 6/GR745 from Ijzendijke to Breskens. The guard was to be supplied by the Stabsbatterie/AA652. Further on this day a map and overview were issued on the available Fallschirmjagdkommandos in the KVA.
On 11 June 1943 the division issued an order on the required reactions and actions in the event of an alert being called. Observations had learned that not all soldiers and units were fully aware of the actions to be taken in case of a specific alert.
On 12 June 1943 the AOK15 commander General der Panzertruppen von Vietinghoff inspected the KVA. Visited were the Stp Oostburg, 2 und 3/AA652, Stp Het Zoute and the E718.
On 13 June 1943 the OBWest ordered the immediate reporting of enemy acitivity or action, without losing time to check the details. In addition, the corps further ordered the immediate reporting of all air attacks and overflights of aircraft. Further on this day, the division issued its Wochenmeldung. There had been no changes in the defensive organization. Four Betonbauten had been completed, but none started.
For a number of nights in this period Alarmstufe I was ordered, since enemyh action was expected in this period.
On 14 June 1943 the following units were listed as Divisionsreserven: 10/GR745 (Wachkompanie), Panzerjägerkompanie 712, Pionierbataillon 712, NSKK-Führerlehrgang in Sluis and the 13. Uffz. Anwärter- und Zugführer-Lehrgang in Knocke.
On 15 June 1943 the corps commander inspected the KVA, more specifically the Abschnitt Rechts. On the same day, it was reported that the III/GR745 would be organising 4-week training courses for NSKK-Führer. Finally on this day, the division reported that for the defence of the port of Zeebrugge 120 naval personnel would be made available, while for Breskens 158 men of the III1. Flottillenstammregiment could be expected by the end of July. Further on this day, the division communicated to the GR 745 that the 11/GR 745 would be relieved as Wachkompanie by a company of the Reichsgrenadierdivision Hoch- und Deutschmeister on 18 June.
Finally on 15 June we again find a complete Stellenbesetzung for the headquarters and ALL units of the division, which can be found below:
On 16 June 1943 the presence of DRK-Helferinnen as mentioned at the Soldatenheime Oostburg, Sluis, Knokke, Blankenberge. Finally on this day, the corps replaced the alert stages (e.g. Alarmstufe I) with code names.
On 18 June 1943 the 11/GR745 was relieved by a company of the Reichsgrenadierdivision Hoch- und Deutschmeister as Sicherungskompanie of the corps in Antwerp. Further on this day, the VGAD (on the orders of OBWest) was integrated into the overall defences. The order was sent to the Bezirkzollkommissare Sas van Gent, Brügge and Koudekerke. Further on this day, the division issued a Wochenmeldung; The following changes in the defensive organization had been made: the 6/GR 745 was now located in the Panzerstützpunkt Breskens. Also, from 19 June, the II1/GR745 would be back in Sluis Three Betonbauten had been finished and none started.
On 19 June 1943 the 11/GR745 arrived in Sluis. Further on this day, a divisional order determined the subordination of the batteries within the KVAA2.
Also on this day we find a complete overview of ALL subordination relationships (Unterstellungsverhältnisse) in the KVA A2:
On 21 June 1943 the Stab/II/GR745 was moved to the Panzerstützpunkt Breskens.
Also on this day we find an Unterkunftsübersicht for the division:
On 22 June 1943 the division issued an order concerning the departure of 6 RAD-Abteilungen (from 5/7) and the Hochseelehrkommando Terneuzen. The RAD-Abteilungen would be replaced by only two, one each would be deployed in the two sub-sectors of the division. This change had big consequences for the Alarmeinheiten in the Abschnitt rechts, would would decrease by some 500. In case the GR745 and the AA652 were also withdrawn for other purposes (Fall Baldur) the division would be forced to leave a weak occupation force in the Abschnitt Rechts, as listed in the accompanying document. The RAD-Abteilungen leaving the Abschnitt Rechts were the 1/13, 2/13 and 6/10 to be replaced by the 5/162.
In the period 23-24 June 1943 the KVA was inspected by 5 officers of the Stab Wehrmachtbefehlshaber Niederlande and the Kommandeur der Truppen des Heeres in den Niederlanden.
On 23 June 1943 the division reported that in the period 29/6-12/7 3 close-range AT-combat courses would take place in Aardenburg. Further on this day, the division issued its additions to the Grundlegenden Bemerkungen OBWest Nr 23 with respect to the Fall Freya and the possibility of the transfer of the division by rail, in which case a difference would be made between Kampftransport and Verlegungstransport, the organisation of which was then detailed.
On 26 June 1943 the division reported that the Luftflotte III had ordered the Unbrauchbahrmachung of the Flugplatz Het Zoute. The defensive infrastructure was taken over and further expanded by the GR732; Further on this day, the division issued its last Wochenmeldung of the month. The only change in the defensive organisation had been that the Stab II/GR745 was now located in the Stp Breskens. Six Betonbauten had been completed and two begun.
On 27 June 1943 the division responded to an order by the corps to establish a Schiessplatz. It reported that such a facility could be stablished in the Braakman (west of Terneuzen), not however for Pak and Flak.
On 29 June 1943 the construction of a Soldatenheim in Breskens is mentioned. The DRK-Helferinnen located here would also be withdrawn in case of enemy action.
In the period July-September 1943 the 712 Infanteriedivision had the following Gefechts- und Verpflegungsstärken and verwendungsbereite Waffen:
On 1 July 1943 the transport organisation for the possible withdrawal of the division (Fall Freya) was overhauled. Also on this day the corps ordered the training guidelines for July. Further on this day, the Sturmbootzug Terneuzen became officially subordinated to the division. Finally on this day, the division issued an order on the taking over of the Abschnitt Rechts of the division by a reinforced batallion of the 19 Luftwaffenfelddivision in the event of Fall Wotan. The unit in question would be the I/Jägerregiment 37 (L). The document is interesting in that it provides a number of overviews:
On 2 July 1943, in the context of an air attack, the presence of the Pionierpark and the Güterzug of the Eisenbahnartillerieabteilung 676 in Brügge-Seehafen was mentionedas well as that of verpflegungsfahrzeuge of the I/GR732 at the Ortsausgang Brügge nach Lissewege. Also, on the orders of the corps the division suggested a location for a zweite Verteidigungslinie for new reserves and suggested the line Terneuzen-Hoek-Philippine-Leopoldkanaal-Sluis/ Brugge canal - Oostende/Brugge canal to the corps. Also, the firing range at the Braakman suggested by the division officially became the Korpsschiessplatz. Finally, for the Fall Wotan arrangements were made with the 19 LwFd. Also on this day, the divison issued an order designating the Truppenärtzte for the transports in the Fall Freya. Further, on this day, the division issued its aditions to the corps order subordinating the Sturmbootzug Terneuzen to the division. Its strength was said to be +/- 81 men. Finally, the division made a few changes to an order of 1 July above.
On 4 July 1943 the division issued an order concerning the Ia-Meldungen in the event of major combat, detailing when which reports were to be made and what content these were supposed to have. Further on this day, the division issued a Wochenmeldung. There had been no changes in the defensive organisation. Four Betonbauten had been completed and 6 started.
On 5 July 1943 a Planspiel was held in Oostburg under the command of the division commander and in the presence of the corps commander.
In the period 5-6 July 1943 6 RAD-Abteilungen were withdrawn as well as the Hochseelehrkommando Terneuzen. Two new Abteilungen were expected, one each in the Abschnitte Links und Rechts.
On 6 July 1943 the division ordered that, upon orders of the corps, the Korpsschiessplatz was also to accommodate Pak until 3.7cm calibers. Also, in the period 14/4-11/8 6 further courses in close-range AT-combat were to be held with the Panzerjägerkompanie 712 in Aardenburg.
On 7 July 1943 the division communicated to the corps that, due to the weakening of the Alarmeinheiten, the batallion of the 19 LwFd to be deployed in the Dutch sector in the event of Fall Wotan would have to be deployed at the coast. The 19LwFd was in agreement.
On 8 July 1943 the division responded to a request from the 171RD to take part with the left Stellungsbataillon in a exercise of the former on the division boundary (Divisionsnaht). The commander of the RGR 216 was Oberst Lott.
On 9 July 1943 the division ordered that, on the orders of the OKH, a static Divisionskartenstelle was to be established by the division as of 1/7, consisting of 1 officer, 1 NCO and 4 other ranks. Also, the division would detach 4 Panzervernichtungstrupps to the courses in close-range AT-combat, starting from the 16th course.
On 11 July 1943 the division issued another Wochenmeldung. There had been no changes in the defensive organization. Three Betonbauten had been completed and 1 started.
On 12 July 1943 the division was allocated for cooperation 1 Flakbegleittrupp from the Flakuntergruppe Zeebrügge (the unit was the I/2/leichte Flakabteilung 415 commanded by Leutnant Dornheim and equipped with 3x 2cm Flak, 1x MG and 3x MP) and (together with the 171RD) 2 Flakbegleittrupps (the III/4/252 and the II/5/252, each with 3x 20mm Flak) and 1 Flakkampftrupp (the 3/253 with 2x Flak 88mm and 3x Flak 20mm) from the Untergruppe Ostende by the Flakregiment 129. The mission of these units was the support of mobile reserves and airfield by defence against air attacks and by use in land combat. Also on this day, the division ordered ordered he creation of new Vernichtungsräume. Each of these was given a code name. Accompanying the document were some drawings showing the areas with the coordinates. Finally, the division ordered the GR 745 that the Uitwateringskanaal Ijzendijke - Bakkersdam - Cadzand-Hafen was to be flooded in the event of enemy action.
On 13 July 1943 an exercise too place on the boundary with the 171RD with the I/RGR216.
On 14 July 1943 the division ordered that Pionierbataillon 712 was to organize courses for infantry engineers im Pionierdienst, including mine-laying. Additionally, short courses in the operation of flamethrowers and mine-searching and clearing were being planned. Finally on this day, 200 workers were brought to the OT-Sammellager Groede and Westkapelle-Dorf in order to be transferred to the Ruhr area. This order was slightly changed on 16 July. It was also added that from Groede and Westkapelle, the workers would be transferred to the OT-Sammellager Jabbeke.
On 15 July 1943 we again find a complete Stellenbesetzung for the headquarters and ALL units of the division, which can be found below:
On 16 July 1943 the Major Hauch, commander of the HKAA 832, took over command of the Artillerie-Untergruppe Zeebrügge.
On 17 July 1943 the Hauptmann Müller, in addition to his command functions as Unterabschnittskommandeur der UA Ijzendijke and Kommandeur der Stutzpunktgruppe Breskens, was also appointed as Kommandant des Panzerstützpunkt Breskens; Further on this day, the division issued overviews of planned training courses. Newly-mentioned was a weapons course for NSKK-Führer, to take place as the Stp Fliegerhorst.
On 18 July 1943 the division reported that it had found a suitable Pak-Schiessplatz. The GR745 had been ordered to ready it. For this purpose the Strafvollstreckungszug Sluis had been put at its disposal. Further on this day, the division issued its Wochenmeldung. There had been no changes in the defensive organisation. Two Betonbauten had been completed and 5 started. On this day the division also issued its important order Kampfanweisung für die Verteidigung der KVA A2. The mission of the division was to defend the coast and the southern bank of the Schelde estuary and to secure the Schelde estuary in coopration with the 19 Luftwaffenfeldivision and the Schelde entrance in cooperation with the Abschnitt Antwerpen. Focal points for the defence were Breskens (Panzerstützpunkt Breskens in the StpGr Breskens) and Zeebrugge (Panzerstützpunkt Fischereihafen (under construction) in the StpGr Zeebrügge). Artillery consisted of the Artillerie-Untergruppe Breskens (AA 652) and Artillerie-Untergruppe Zeebrügge (HKAA 823) for combat against land targets. For combat against naval targets the Seekommandant Südholland was in command for the Abschnitt Rechts (Untergruppe Breskens, 10/MAA202), while the Seekommandant Pas-de-Calais was in command of the Abschnitt Links (Untergruppe Zeebrügge, HKAA 823). The reserves consisted of the III/GR745, III/GR732, 10/GR745, Panzerjägerkompanie 712, Pionierbataillon 712, Infanterie Lehrgangskompanie, Pionier Lehrgangskompanie, Artillerielehrgang, Panzernahbekämpfungslehrgang. In addition, there were also Flakkampftrupps consisting of 2 Flakbegleittrupps Zeebrügge and (on call) 2 Flakbegleittrupps and 1 Flakkampftrupp. Ammunition would be drawn from the Munitionslager Eeklo and distributed through the Munitionsausgabestellen Schoondijke, Zuidzande, Anna-ter-Muiden, Westkapelle, Dudzele, Vierweghe. Other supplies would come from the Verpflegungsausgabestelle Ijzendijke and Brügge. The Hauptverbandplatz was in Brugge as was the Krankenkraftwagenzug 712. The latter had Wagenhalteplätze in Oostburg (4 ambulances), Dudzele (3) south of Vierweghe (2) Breskens (3) and Terneuzen (1). Truppenentgiftungsplätze were located with each batallion and also in Oostburg and Terneuzen.
On 19 July 1943 a 2. Flakkamptrupp was established and ordered to cooperate with the GR732. The Trupp had been allocated from the II/1/leichte Flakabteilung 716 and was equipped with 3x 4cm Flak (Bofors). Also on this day the Artillerieregimentsstab zbV 652 was established (on corps orders of 17/7). Its commander was to be Oberstleutnant Majer, the commander of the HKAR 643. The new headquarters (22 men) was to be subordinated to the 712ID. After the Artillerieregimentsstab zbV 652 had been established the Heeresküstenartillerieregimentsstab 643 was to be transferred to the LXXXII Armeekorps for deployment in the sector of the 191 Reservedivision. Further, based on experiences in Sicily, the division (on the orders of the corps and the AOK15) again reminded headquarters to be located in bunkers and cellars, not barracks in times of tension, and with Alarmstufe II at the latest during the hours of darkness. Finally on this day, the division ordered that training courses in the operation of Festungssonderwaffen were to be organized (for 3.7/4.7cm Pak, 3 und 6-Schartenturm) for members of the Festungsstammtruppen. Locations for these courses were Breskens, Stp Ostende-Hafen, Steene and Stp Friedrich Karl in Oostende.
On 20 July 1943 the division issued an overview of the Land-B.-Stellen der Artillerie which could be used if and when needed, together with their coordinates. These included church towers, lighthouses, water towers and other high features inland.
On 21 July 1943 the division ordered that, since the Pak guns for the Panzerjägerkompanie 712 were not to be expected in the short term, the necessary number of static Pak guns would be transferred to the unit. These included 3x 5cm Pak, 2x 4.7cm (t) and 2x 7.5cm Pak.
On 22 July 1943 the division issued its training guidelines for the period August-October. The main focus was to be placed on coastal defence.
On 25 July 1943 the division issued its Wochenmeldung. There had been no changes in the defensive organisation. Two Betonbauten had been completed and 4 started.
On 27 July 1943 the E655 was heavily bombed. 3 bunkers were damaged and large amounts of ammunition were lost. Only 1 cannon was still operational.
On 28 July 1943 the cokes factory in Zeebrügge was heavily bombed. 8 civilians were killed, numerous missing and 40 partially seriously injured. Also on this day, the AOK15 commander von Vietinghoff inspected that Abschnitt Rechts of the division. In the document some strongpoint commanders were mentioned: Feldwebel Funk (Wn Bastion-Cadzand); Feldwebel Baldus (Wn Badhuis).
On 29 July 1943 the division ordered the establishing of the II/AR 652 (upon corps orders of 2 July), the commander of which was to be Major Idel.
On 30 July 1943 the Chef des Generalstabes of the corps Oberst Ulrich inspected the KVA. It was also decided that the training courses in the operation of Festungssonderwaffen would be continued.
On 31 July 1943 the division ordered that the Artillerieverbindungsoffiziere would get priority when communicating fire requests to the respective artillery units upon use of the code word Artillerie-Feueranforderung. Also on this day the division ordered the continuation of the Panzernahbekämpfungslehrgänge.
On 1 August 1943 the division issued its first Wochenmeldung of the month. There had been no changes in the defensive organisation. One Betonbauten had been completed and none started.
On 3 August 1943 the division ordered that the positions vacated by both the Batterie E655 and the Gerätebatterie 676 were on the one hand to be made useless for use by the enemy and, on the other hand, to be used as Scheinstellungen.
On 6 August 1943 the 712ID reported the creation of the Feldersatzbataillon 712 as the unit in wich most training courses were to take place. It did not have a Bataillonsstab.
On 8 August 1943 the division ordered a new version for the to be prepared takeover of the Abschnitt Rechts by the 196LwFd and the taking over of the sector of the 171RD, (Fall Wotan).
On 10 August 1943 the new commander of the AOK15 Generaloberst von Salmuth inspected the division for the first time. Further on this day, the division reported that the AOK15 had ordered that, for the purpose of increasing the number of bunkers and improving camouflage the 171RD, 711ID and 19LwFd would be informed about the Ausbaustand of the 712ID. Consequently, on this day, 12 officers of the 171RD visited bunkers in the Abschnitt Links (while on 6/8 5 officers of the 711ID had done the same).
On 11 August 1943 the division ordered the uniform signalling of three types of alert: Alarm, Fliegeralarm, Gasalarm.
On 15 August 1943 the preparations for the extraction of the GR745 and the AA652 (Fall Baldur) were newly arranged.
On 17 August 1943 the division reported that the third weapons course for NSKK-Führer would take place in the period 18/8-14/9 in the Stp Fliegerhorst. Also, in the period 23/8-11/9 3 further courses in the operation of static Festungssonderwaffen would take place in Breskens.
On 18 August 1943 15 officers of the 171RD visited the Abschnitt Links of the division in the context of the planning and fortification level of the division.
On 19 August 1943 the corps ordered, until further notice, certain measures of Alarmstufe I to be taken every day between 4-6.
On 20 August 1943 the division again ordered the checking of preparations made for the event of an attack.
On 24 August 1943 the division ordered that in the period 7/9-1/10 further courses were to be organizd in close-range AT combat with the Panzerjägerkompanie 712. Also on this day the corps determined the Marschbereitschaft for the Baldur case as follows: x + 12 hours for the GR745; In case of Alarmstufe I/II the time would be x+5 for the Stab GR745, III/GR745, I/ER 652 and x+12 for the other units.
On 25 August 1943 the division reported that the courses in the operation of Festungssonderwaffen in Breskens would be concluded on 28/8. Further courses for September were ordered by the corps.
On 27 August 1943 the division passed on an order from OBWest that, in the event of an enemy landing attempt, nobody was to wait for orders from above; rather everyone was to immediately assume his reponsibilities. On the same day, the division ordered that, on the orders of the corps, in the case Wotan the KVA A2, which was to be taken over by the I/JR19 (L) was to remain subordinated to the 712ID. Thus, in the event of Fall Wotan the following would be subordinated to the division: KVA A2 (which would then be renamed Abschnitt Rechts under the Kommandeur GR732 and the KVA A3 with the Abschnitt Mitte (Kommandeur III/GR745) and the Abschnitt Links (Kommandeur GR 745). The Divisionsstab was ordered to set up its headquarters for the Fall Wotan in Brugge. The Gefechtsstand of the I/JR 19 (L) would come to Oostburg.
On 28 August 1943 the division ordered that the Pionierbataillon 712 was to organise further courses on mine-searching and the operation of flamethrowers in the period 6/9-2/10.
On 29 August 1943 the division ordered that in the Panzerstützpunkt Breskens four courses for MG-Kasematte and 3 courses for Pak-Kasematte were to be held in the period 1-30/9.
On 31 August 1943 the division ordered that in the period 13-25/9 with the Pionierbataillon 712 in Sluis a course for 24 soldiers of the Fliegerregiment 53 (Brüssel) was to be held. Also on this day, the division ordered the comprehensive execution of measures against air attack.
On 3 September 1943 the division ordered that, on orders of the corps, the division was to maintain contact with the commanders of the navy and ir force commands both within and on either side of the KVA and that all the observations of the latter were to be reported to the corps. As a consequence, the Seekommandanten Süd-Holland and Pas-de-Calais, the Flakuntergruppe and the Fluko Gent were requested to pass on their observations. Further, the division reported that the OBWest had ordered that each commander was to remain in the know about the situation in the neighbouring sector and that means of communication were to be checked constantly. Finally on this day, the division ordered that, on the orders of the corps, the setting up of a Strassenentgiftungszug was to be prepared.
On 4 September 1943 the division ordered that, with immediate effect, it was to be communicated at 5.45am to the OvD whether there were reasons NOT to lift Alarmstufe I, in place since 4am. Actually, the ending of the Alarmstufe I, which had existed since 20/8 between 4 an 6am each day could only be ordered by the corps.Further on this day, the Überprüfungsstab Generalleutnant Macholz assessed the defensive readiness. Finally on this day, the AOK15 ordered that, with immediate effect, all headquarters personnel until and including regimental headquarters were to live and sleep in their bunkers.
On 5 September 1943 the division ordered that, in the event of planes crashing and/or polots being taken prisoner, this was to be immediately reported to the Flugleitung Vlissingen for the Dutch sector and the Flugleitung Maldegem for the Belgian sector of the KVA. Further on this day the division ordered that in case of Alarmstufe II or a landing or airlanding attempt any existing air-raid alert was to be terminated immediately and all troops were to return to their battle stations.
On 9 September 1943 the division commander gave a summary of measures to be taken when an enemy attack appears imminent. Further, the division ordered that the transfer of the GR745 (Fall Baldur) could be done by rail, which case would be known as Baldur E. Finally on this day, the AOK15 ordered that all heavy Paks were to be made mobile and organised in companies/batallions. Thus, the division suggested the setting-up of the Panzerjägerabteilung 712, which would consist of a Abteilungsstab, 1. Kompanie (the current Panzerjägerkompanie 712) and the 2. Kompanie (the current Panzerjägerzüge of the regiments and the static Pak guns).
On 10 September 1943 the 11/GR732 was transferred to Westkapelle and the 11/GR745 to Zuidzande. Further, the division also reported that a second training course was to be organised for soldiers of the Fliegerregiment 53 with the Pionierbataillon 712 in Sluis in the period 27/9 - 9/10.
On 11 September 1943 the division reported that the Seekommandant Südholland had designated Oberleutnant Lange of the 10/MAA202 as Küstenartillerie-Abschnittsführer der Marine-Untergruppe Seeflandern. From a land-tactical perspective he was subordinated to the Artillerieführer 712 with the 9/MFlAbt 810, 6/MAA202, 7/MAA202 and the 10/MAA 202. Further, the division ordered that a horse-riding and driving courses were to be organised in Bruges under the command of Rittmeister Goldbeck (Kdr der Divisionsnachschubtruppen 712). Finally, the military Sperrstunde was brought back to 10pm for the area of the division, with some exceptions.
On 12 September 1943 the division ordered that the III/GR 732 was not only Regimentsreserve but also Nahtreserve to the 171RD. Finally, the division ordered, that on the order of OBWest, that all headquarters were to be checked for redundant troops and equipment.
On 13 September 1943 the division informed the corps on the approach roads of the Divisionsreserven for the various deployment scenarios in the KVA A2 and the sector of the 171RD.
On 14 September 1943 the division ordered that the AA652 ws now subordinated to the Artillerieregimentstab 652 in all aspects.
On 15 September 1943 the division reported that the creating of the Panzerjägerabteilung 712 had for the time being been ordered behelfsmässig until the promised vehicles and equipment had arrived.
On 16 September 1943 the division reported that, on the orders of the AOK15, all Hafenkommandanten had to report to the Landbefehlshaber strength and armament of the naval units located in the ports. This also held for the Hafenkommandant Zeebrügge.
On 19 September 1943 a transport exercise was held in the context of the Fall Baldur with the participation of the II/GR745, Alarmeinheiten UA Ijzendijke, NSKK-Kolonne Knocke. Also on this day, the OBWest ordered that all officers until the rank of batallion commander (included) essentially had to wear troop uniforms.Also, in the event of combat, all Unterschiedsmerkmale distinguishing them from the other ranks had to be removed.
On 20 September 1943 the 10pm Sperrstunde ordered earlier was revoked. Further on this day, the corps commander inspected the StpGr Breskens and in the afternoon attended a Sperrfeuerschiessen. Finally, Hauptmann Jüssen of the Festungsbaubataillon 12 was appointed Ständortälteste for the Standort Brügge.
On 21 September 1943 the division ordered that preparations for the extraction of the entire division (Fall Freya) were to be ceased. Also, the division ordered that billeting more than a Gruppe in one and the same building in villages and towns was forbidden. Finally, the division set up a Panzerjägerabteilung only calendrically (until the vehicles and equipment would arrive).
On 22 September 1943 the division, on the orders of the AOK15, ordered that weapons were to be deployed such that, in the event of a bombing run, losses would remain low.
On 23 September 1943 officers and Sachbearbeiter of the 242ID visited the KVA. Further, the division ordered that, on the orders of the corps, the Versorgungseinheiten were no longer to provide Alarmeinheiten. The only exception was the Veterinärkompanie 712, which was still to provide 1 Gruppe for the occupation of the Wn Ludendorff. Finally, it was ordered that in case Baldur the Untergruppe Breskens would be taken over by the Marine-Untergruppe Seeflandern, to which the 7/HKAA747 would then be subordinated.
On 24 September 1943 the corps ordered that documents required for combat were to be kept inside the bunkers between 6pm and 8am. Likewise, single officers were to be present in the same bunkers at all times, so that in case of a surprise attack, the fight could be led until the full headquarters staff had arrived.
On 26 September 1943 the divisin ordered that the Panzerjägerabteilung 712 would assemble upon the code word Guderian.
On 28 September 1943 the division reported that it was to receive an Ostbataillon. This unit would relieve the I/GR745 at the coast. The latter unit would then be positioned in the area Sluis-Lapscheure-Middelburg-Moerkerke. The III/GR745 would be relocated.
On 29 September 1943 the division ordered the training for the period 4/10 - 31/5. Finally on this day, the following units of the Marine-Untergruppe Seeflanders changed names:
On 30 September 1943 OBWest inspected the KVA, more specifically the Panzerstützpunkt Breskens and the Wn 1 of the Stp Terneuzen. Further, the division ordered that in the cases Wotan or Baldur any troops away on training courses were to return to their units (GR745, AR652). Finally on this day, the division submitted to the corps a provisional Anweisung for the use of the Korpsschiessplatz Braakman.
On 4 October 1943 the KVA would be visited by commanders and commandeered officers under the leadership of the division commander.
On 1 December 1943 the 712 Infanteriedivision had the following Heerestruppen subordinated to it:
On 1 January 1944 the 712 Infanteriedivision was deployed as follows:
On 4 January 1944 the corps reported to the AOK15 on the setting-up of reserves.More specificaly, in case of the pulling out of the 712 Infanteriedivision the following (main) units would remain: II/Grenadierregiment 745 and a Marschbataillon 712 (consisting mainly of the Feldersatzbataillon 712). In case of the pulling out of the Reservegrenadierregiment 71 the following (main) units would remain: 2 Marschkompanien.
On 15 January 1944 the corps issued an important order to its divisions with respect to a number of issues: the forward deployment of reserves, the construction of the 2. Stellung, the pulling out of units and the preparation for the deployment of the 19 Luftwaffenfelddivision in the KVA A2/A3. An important issue was the move from reserve units in the rear to locations just behind the coastline in order to be able to respond faster to any allied landing (and in accordance with Rommel's) orders. Separate orders were given for each division:
Also on 15 January the Fall Oostburg (pulling out of thhe 712 ID) was defined as follows:
On 15 February 1944 the Ia of the 712 Infanteriedivision Oberst Wühlisch, was replaced by Major Wentzel.
On 16-17-18 February 1944 the 3 corps divisions were ordered to start calendrical preparations for the pulling out of one infantry regiment each, to be put at the disposal of the Generalkommando within 12 hours. The units affected were the Grenadierregimenter 127 (48ID), 260 (165RD) and 745 (712ID). In each case artillery units would be added. and the sector vacated was to be taken over by other units of the division The code words were Möwe for the 48ID, Feyerabend for the 165RD (assembly area Goes) and Baldur for the 712ID (assembly area Schoondijke-Breskens-Lissewege-Sluis)
On 28 February 1944 the commander of the Füselierbataillon 712 Major Birsak was commandeered as Lehrgruppenleiter to the Kompanieführerschule in Sissonne.
On 1 April 1944 the 712 Infanteriedivision possessed the following surplus and static weapons:
Also on this day, the division had the following subordinated Heerestruppen:
On 5 April 1944 the LXXXIX Armeekorps issued orders to its divisions and the KVA Antwerpen to turn the Küstenverteidigungsabschnitte into Festungsbereichen or fortress areas. Interestingly, detailed information was privided for each of the sectors. For the 712 ID the instructions were as follows:
On 4 May 1944 the corps commander's notes on the inspection visits of 2-3 May above were released. In general the corps commander was pleased with the progress in the construction of beach obstacles. However, the construction of Luftlandesperren was still seen as insufficient. As the poles were too thin, it was suggested to tie together pairs of poles. Other problems were encountered, notably in the sector of the GR 745:
It was further noted that the Strafvollstreckungszug 712 had to march hours each day from Sluis to their work place (i.e. constructing beach obstacles at the ZWn 4). The bunker of the Regimentsgefechtsstand 745 had been built too close to one another and were badly camouflaged.With the exception of 2, all bunkers were of VF-strength.
2. HISTORY OF THE PIONIERFÜHRER (Ia/Pi)
Contsruction work on field fortifications was continued in the strongpoints and resistance nests. Semi-permanent constructions were built by the building contractors of the OT in either 1m Stahlbeton or 1.5 Stampfbeton. The permanent constructions which were already in the process of being built were continued (2m Stahlbeton).
At the end of this month the following constructions had been completed overall: 668 field constructions, 75 semi-permanent constructions and 12 permaenent constructions. To this should be added a further 98 constructions, of which the concrete was poured in Spring..
In August the field fortifications were continued and improved. Trenches were lined with brick walls. All strongpoints and resistance nests received all-round obstacles in the form of single and double barbed wire lines.
For the construction of permanent fortifications the OT employed 130 German and 2870 foreign personnel. On 20 August a total of 318 constructions were either fit for human habitation or ready for defence (160 for the infantry, 1 for the artillery, 148 for the Kriegsmarine and 9 for the Luftwaffe. On 30 August 82% of the Ausbauprogramm 1. Dringlichkeit was completed. From the constructions to be built under this phase 102 semi-permanent and 7 permanent constructions had been completed and 45 semi permanent and 5 permanent constructions had been made partly operational.
In August the Pionierkompanie 712 laid 11 Minensperren with a total of 1215 mines. In addition, Schnellsperren were prepared on major roads.
Tobruk bunkers were built in especially large numbers. These were said to be especially liked by the troops.
Following a Führerbefehl the OT, as of now, was allowed only to build permanent fortifications. The KVA was allocated 480 of these. The construction programmes for field and semi-permanent concrete constructions were to be discontinued. Only such constructions in the process of being built were to be finished.
In the KVA the following numbers were completed:
The change to permanent construction methods was said to have been made without any problems and no delays were experienced on the construction sites.
In addition to the construction work undertaken by the OT the troops were to continue their work on the field fortifications in their positions. In this process they were aided by a large number of foreign labourers, a number which continued increasing.
The Pionierkompanie 712 laid 3 Minensperren with a total of 84 mines. These mainly involved the narrowing of roads. By means of prepared Schnellsperren these narrow passages could be closed off.
As before the main objective for the field troops was the construction of field defences and fortications, work on which was progressing day-by-day. In a large number of strongpoints the drilling of wells had ensured a steady and reliable supply of water. In all 70 wells had been drilled, of which 55 had been fitted with pumps. However, not in all strongpoints had one been able to locate water, as the width of the dunes was sometimes too small.
On 17 October the following permanent bunkers had been constructed: 4 Leitstände, 7 Gruppenunterstände, 18 Doppelgruppenunterstände, 4 Flakgeschützstände, 3 Geschützbettungen. Still under construction were 135 Anlagen, including KwK 5cm - Ständen and Ringständen.
The Pionierkompanie 712 had laid 10 Minensperren with a total of 1422 mines.
The division had been allocated Festungspanzer, which in accordance with orders from OBWest, were to be concentrated in Panzerstütspunkten. The mission of the latter was the blocking of ports. 2 were planned: Breskens and Zeebrügge.
The planned number of permanent bunkers to be constructed by May 1943 had been reduced from 480 to 200. Consequently, and also as a result of the priority for the Panzerstütspunkte, the planning of the winter construction programme would have to be redone from scratch. As a result the construction of field fortifications was to be intensified. In support of this, around 1500 Belgian and Dutch civil labourers were engaged in the KVA.
On 21 November 64 permanent bunkers had been betoniert. In the course of the month 2306 mines had been laid.
New guidelines on the construction in Panzerstützpunkte and the allocation of further Festungspanzer necessitate a re-planning of the Panzerstützpunkte. While the first planning for Breskens planned a concentration of Festungspanzerteile, the new planned involved constructions in a semi-circle around Breskens, all the way to the Fort Frederik Hendrik. In the planning of Zeebrugge the Stp Udet with 88mm Flak was now integrated. Besides the Panzerstützpunkte the permanent bunkers already started were completed.
At the end of December 99 permanent bunkers had been betoniert: 7 Leitstände, 1 grosser Sanitätsstand, 57 Mannschaftsunterstände, 1 Artillerie B-Stand, 25 Munitions- und Verpflegungsstände, 8 Luftwaffenstände.
A large number of the Feldstellungen constructed by the troops had been strengthened with bricks. In the KVA 8000 mines had been laid and 384 had been prepared for prepared Schnellsperren.
This report starts by saying that by 10 January all bunkers still to be built under the Winterbauprogramm had been eingewiesen. A series of urgent constructions had to be delayed, since Versorgungsanlagen also had to be constructed in the strongpoints. Fortunately, the good weather meant that construction (i.e. concrete pouring) had been possible during the entire month. Less good, however, was the shortage of Kies. During the course of the month the first Sechsschartentürme arrived. In the Panzerstützpunkten work was being carried out with great urgency. Unfortunately, analysis of ground samples had shown that the underground for a number of bunkers in the fishing port was bad, so that that the use of wooden poles was being considered.
For field fortifications sufficient building materials could be provided. The number of civilians for the Stellungsbau had increased to 1700. For the permanent fortifications the OT employed 3400 workers. By 23 January 117 permanent bunkers had been poured and 118 MG-Ringstände aus Stahlbeton completed. The number of mines laid had increased to 13250.
3. HISTORY OF THE QUARTIERMEISTERABTEILUNG (Ib)
On 11 June 1942 the 712 Infanteriedivision left the command of the Armeegruppe Felber (LXXXIII Armeekorps) and became subordinated to the AOK15.
On 12 June 1942 an advance party of the division was en route to Brugge.
In the period 15-17 June 1942 the division left for its new deployment area.
On 20 June 1942 the section noted that the changed nature of the KVA (i.e. 2 regiments in front vs. 1) required a different logistical organisation. The Munitionslager Eeklo was taken over by the division (the latter depended on the Feldzugstab 31 in Bruges). However, the lack of logistical units in the division posed problems. Through lack of other available personnel an NCO of the AA 652 and a Schreiber were appointed for the management of the depot, while civil labourers would be hired to handle and transport the ammunition).
On 22 June 1942 the division officially took command of its new ssctor.
On 23 June 1942 the WuG officer Oberleutnant Burkhart arrived and was immediately detached to attend a course with Oberquartiermeister West.
On 25 June 1942 the Ib section stated that the takeover of bodenständiger ammunition caused many issues, which could only be resolved after multiple testing.
On 27 June 1942, on the basis that the commander of AOK15 had agreed to the establishment of logistical troops auf dem Kommandowege, the section requested weapons and material for the following units: 1 Zug Nachschubkompanie, 1 2. kleine Kraftwagenkolonne, 1 Kraftfahrzeuginstandsetzungsstaffel, 1 Feldgendarmerietrupp, 1 Divisionskartenstelle, 1 Drückereitrupp, 2 Regimentsradfahrerzüge and 2 Regimentspionierzüge.
On 28 June 1942 the division took over 4x 7,5cm FK 97 (f) as Landungsabwehrgeschütze from the 306 Infanteriedivision.
On 29 June 1942 the division ordered the creation of a Pionierumschlagstelle at Draaibrug. Also, to ensure the mobility of the reserve batallions in case of an attack, an agreement was concluded with the NSKK-Maldegem (subordinated to the Flughafenbereich Brüssel). It was agreed that 30 tonnes of loading capacity would be made available for the reserve batallion in Sluis and 30 tonnes for the reserve batallion in Bruges (the latter by the NSKK-Kolonne in Male). Further, the kleine Kraftwagenkolonne of the LXXXII Armeekorps was made available to the division in case of emergency. Finally, it was found that the transport means of the division were insufficient to supply the troops. More specifically, the transport of supplies from the Verpflegungsamt 712 in Bruges and the Ausgabestelle Ijzendijke, as well the supply of bread to the IR 745 was carried out with hired trucks. In an attempt to alleviate this problem a Fahrbereitschaft, consisting of 6 Holzgas trucks (cominng from the Oberfeldkommandantur Gent), was allocated, also for the transport of engineer material. It was commanded by Hauptmann Hessinger.
On 30 June 1942 it was reported that, since the division was to establish a large number of new strongpoints in the Abschnitt Rechts, a 2nd Munitionssaustattung should be made available. This would be atken from the 2. Ausstattung that had meanwhile been transported to the Munitionslager Eeklo by the AOK15.
On 3 July 1942 the vehicles arrived for the behelfsmässig established Panzerjägerzüge and machine-gun company.
On 14 July 1942 it was stated that the AT-platoons would be rearmed with 9x 7,5cm Pak 97/38 (3 of which were to become static). However, the 6x Pak 4,7cm 181 (f) of the division would not be returned but rather also became static weapons.
On 16 July 1942 the division requested Protzen and ammunition vehicles with the LXXXII Armeekorps for the 7.35cm 98/37 which were not delivered.
On 25 July 1942 the division was allocated 1100 bicycles, which were to remain in the sector as bodenständig.
On 27 July 1942 the weapons of the division were strengthened by the allocation of 60 Maschinenpistole and 15 AT-weapons (Panzerbüchse).
On 31 July 1942 the Generalkomùmando Y was deployed for the unified command at the Schelde estuary. The 712 Infanteriedivision became subordinated to this corps.
On 2 August 1942 Hauptmann Lehmann was tasked with the role of Divisionsnachschubführer, with the following units subordinated to him:
On 4 August 1942 a Divisionskartenstelle was established. On the same day the division was supplied with 72 machine guns, 16 mortars, 8AT-weapons, 16 AT-guns, 13 field huns, 4 howitzers and 8 flamethrowers. Most of these weapons were captured weapons (Beutewaffen).
On 5 August 1942 a divisional train service was established for the transport munitions and supplies. The route followed was Bruges-Westkapelle-Sluis-Oostburg-Schoondijke.
On 6 August 1942 the division reported a shortage of materials for obstacles. Especially barbed wire was lacking. Even the otherwise very helpful Festungspionierstab 12 in Bruges was unable to help.
On 13 August 1942 the division possessed 2263 bicycles. On the same day gas defence equipment had been requested for all the strongpoints.
On 14 August 1942 Pionierkompanie 712 received 2 assault boats with engine.
On 15 August 1942 equipment to create artificial smoke for the defense of strongpoints was requested.
On 19 August 1942 it was reported that the training of truck drivers was being continued and that recces and exercises were being carried out. Also new locations were being assessed for ammunition and equipment depots as well as Sammelstellen for prisoners.
On 22 August 1942 it was reported that nearly all supplies in the right sector were being delivered by making use of the narrow-gauge rail system. The division warned for the removal of these rail tracks for other purposes, as this would seriously hamper deliveries of supplies, especially in view of the fact that OT-materials were also being transported in this way.
On 31 August 1942 it was reported that in the month of August the folloiwng equipment had been supplied to the division: 2 Flak searchlights, 500 static bicycles, 6 7,5cm guns, 34 Maschinenpistolen, 210 rifles, 42 Zwillingssockel 36, 23 Schiessbecher, 2 AT-guns and 12 vehicles for 7,5cm Pak.
On 6 September 1942 it was reported that the 2. Munitionsaustatttung for all divisional weapons in the strongpoints had been delivered, in as far as it was available, as ammunition was not available for certain weapons.
On 7 September 1942 23 Schiessbecher were received and divided. Also on this day 53 systems for fixing light MG to bikes as well as 18 for mortar were allocated. Also on this day it was communicated that practice ammunition was available for all German weapons, but not for foreign weapons, though this ammunition had been requested.
On 10 September 1942 the division requested additional (captured) weapons More specifically the folloiwng was requested:
Also requested was the exchange of the 4,7cm Pak (b) against the 5cm KwK L42.
On 11 September 1942 it was reported that means for destroying guns and canons were available
On 14 September 1942 weapons were requested for the etatisierte Bäckerei- und Schlächtereihalbkompanie 712.
On 15 September 1942 it was reported that the destruction of the electric powerstation at Zeebrugge had been prepared.
On 16 September 1942 the renting of 3 more Holzgas trucks was requested to make possible larger deliveries.
On 17 September 1942 it was reported that of the 5 available ambulances 2 were stationed in Bruges and 3 in Oostburg, while at the same time the exchange against 5 better and more economical vehicles was requested. Also on this day, it was reported that the evacuation of the Ortslazarett Brügge had been prepared (in case of emergency) and that Ausweichlazarette had been planned in Bruges, Eeklo and Maldegem. Measures had been agreed with the Transporftkommandantur Brüssel for the transfer of wounded soldiers from Terneuzen and Bruges to Gent. Further civilian ambulances could be made available by the Kreiskommandantur Brügge.
On 21 September 1942 10 MGs were requested for the support troops. Further, 4 sFH 414 (f) were allocated to the Gerätebatterie in exchange for the lFH 14/19 (t). The latter would be assigned to the infantry regiments as Landabwehrgeschütze. In the sector of the division 106 wells had been established, 46 of which had already been equipped with pumps, allowing an average capacity of 40 litres/minute. 60 pumps would still have to be delivered.
On 24 September 1942 2 trucks for 2 field kitchen were allocated to the Nachrichtenkompanie. For the Verpflegungsamt, Bäckerei- un Schlächtereihalbkompanien the officially allowed number of trucks was requested.
On 25 September 1942 25 trucks were delivered to the OT.
On 26 September 1942 it was reported that a practice run with the trucks for the Reservebataillon Sluis had shown that 10 trucks developed serious problems, so that of the 29 rented trucks a considerable number was in repair.
On 2 January 1943 60 bicycles were made available by the III/GR 732 to the Panzerjägerkompanie 712 for the mobility of the Jagdkommandos. Further on this day the Etatisierung of the Stellungsbatterie (K) 343 (formerly Gerätebatterie A 712) was ordered, taking effect from 5 January.
On 4-5 January 1943 Abhohlkommandos were sent, including to Paris, to collect equipment.
On 6 January 1943 151 Gleithalbringlafetten were received from the Waffenwerkstatt Paris.
On 8 January 1943 the AOK15 allocated from the Lager Roubaix33 Zielfernrohren for 5cm KwK and 2 Fettbüchsen, allocated to the GR732.
On 10 January 1943 the AOK15 Oberquartiermeister Munition, Oberleutnant Brückner, was on the phone to report the departure from Versailles of 1 train wagin containing 36 Schutzschilden for 5cm KwK.
On 12 January 1943 an Abhohlkommando departed for Versailles to collect 16 Zwillingssockel für MG. Further, Further, 2 Beutefahrzeugen (f) and 3 Hf 7/11 of the 65ID were allocated.
On 21 January 1943 the allocated 30 sGrW 278 (f) were divided as follows: 17 for the GR732 and 13 for the GR745. The division also asked the corps when the allocation of heavy weapons for the Panzerjägerkompanie 712 could be expected. There was also still a further need for MGs and LAGs.
On 28 January 1943 6 light motorcycles were allocated, to be collected from the Korpsnachrichtenabteilung 437 in Aire. On this day the division further reported that it had been forced to acquire building materials on the free market, due to a shortage in deliveries.
On 30 January 1943 76 light MGs and 15 sMGs were allocated. from the Stockierungslager Roanne-Mably in the Loire department.
On 6 February 1943 the division was allocatie practice material for anti-gas exercises.
On 13 February 1943 the corps allocated Nadelschnittholz from the Wehrmachtlager Snauwaert Antwerpei for the storage of extra supplies.
On 17 February 1943 the division was allocated engineer equipment.
On 21 February 1943 the division reported on the logistical situation of the division. Special problems still existed with transport and over-aged horses.
On 27 February 1943 the division hired 10 trucks to ensure the mobility of both Infanteriepanszerjägerzüge. Also, the process of hiring trucks for the mobility of the motorized Panzerjägerkompanie had been started.
On 28 February 1943 the division was allocated fire extinguishers from the Zentralersatzteillager 206 Paris.
On 3 March 1943 the division received 500 Eisenigel from the Festungsdienststelle Bitburg. These were to be used as AT-obstacles by blocking streets with them.
On 12 March 1943 the division received 390 Karabiner from the HSGP Roeulx
On 15 March 1943 the division divided the 10 Bespannfahrzeuge taken over in Clermont-Ferrand.
On 19 March 1943 the division received 33 lMG 15 (f) and 33 sMG 14 (f) from the Feldwerkstatt (mot) Roeselare.
On 21 March 1943 the division received 1750 Tschenchenigel to be used as Panzersperre.
On 28 March 1943 700 Augenschilde were received from the HSGP Roeulx
Next we will look at the actual logistical section, the Abteilung IVa
The Verpflegungsamt 712 was based in Bruges with the Verpflegungsausgabestelle, Divisionsmarkenetenderei and Bekleidungssammelstelle. Food, oats, hay and straw were received by train from the Heeresverpflegungsstelle Gent. Vegetables and fruit were bought on the free market. The Verpflegungsstärke of the division was 11,000 troops.
A second Verpflegungsausgabestelle was established in Ijzendijke. Meat, sausages and vegetables for this sectort were bought on the free market, while the rest was supplied from gent. Oats, hay and straw was transported by boat to Terneuzen where it was transhipped onto small-gauge trains.
The Bäckereihalbkompanie was located in the Kleine Kuiperstraat 21 in Bruges, while the Schlächteriehalbkompanie was also located in Bruges near the city abattoir, the installation of which it used.
The supplies stored in the strongpoints were taken over from the 306 Infanteriedivision aftter their completness had been checked. The new, more intensive occupation of the deployment area necessitated an additional provision of 240 strongpoint supply portions, totalling soime 50 tonnes. With a lot difficulties static and hired vehicles were able to make the deliveries since the DVA did not possess any vehicles. The lack of vehicles was seen as a constant problem in delivering supplies.
Also located in Bruges was the Feldkasse. Thus init was supplied by the Hauptkasse 4 of the Oberfeldkommandantur 570 in Gent for the Belgian sector and by the Amtskasse des Wehrmachtsverpflegungsamts in Rotterdam for the Dutch sector. There were further Zahlstellen and Nebenzahlstellen.
In this period the Verpflegungsstärke of the division rose from 11,000 (see above) to 17,000. In addition, there were also 2,000 horses. Even though the supply situation was assessed as good, the lack of transport vehicles was deplored. However, use was made of available standard and narrow-gauge railways.
The Bäckereihalbkompanie employed 65 Belgian civilian bakers and labourers. By using Belgiian labour the Schlächtereihalbkompanie was also able to increase meat production four-fold.
n this period the Verpflegungsstärke of the division was still 17,000. In addition, there were also 2,000 horses. Tactical considerations and the difficulty of bringing supplies across the Schelde in the event of combat, necessitated the economic subordination to the division of some fremde Einheiten on the southern side of the Schelde, which would normally have to be supplied from the northern side. This resulted in all units south of the Schelde being supplied from there. A recurring problem in transporting and delivering supplies was the lack of transport vehicles. Supplies of food, potatoes, hay and straw were being delived by train from the Hauptverplegungsstelle Gent. Meanwhile, the Bäckereihalbkompanie 712 had been officialised (etatisiert), as had the
In September preparatory measures were taken for the oncoming winter period. The Versorgungsstärke of the division increased from 17,000 to 18,000. There were also 2,000 horses to take care off. There was still a lack of transport means. The division established a coal depot (Kohlenlager) in Breskens. The division was still waiting (since June) for sausage-making machines.
In this period the Versorgungsstärke varied between 20000-22.000 men and 1150-1250 horses. Focus was being laid on increased supplies for strongpoints (56 days). In terms of transport the division in this period was short of 47 trucks and 10 Sfl.
Following is the medical section or Abteilung IVb
The Feldhalblazarett 712 was not deployed. Rather, some of its medical personnel were deployed to the Ortslazarett Brügge. For dental care a Zahnstation was also established in Bruges.
Next, we will consider the veterinary section or Abteilung IVc
In this period only 8 of the required 11 veterinary surgeons were available. They experienced great difficulties in travelling across the sector, due to the lack of vehicles. On 14 July 10 smiths were allocated to the division. At the end of September the division possessed 1715 horses. Thirty per cent of the guard dogs were found to be unsuitable for guard duty and either sold or killed. Due to a lack of veterinary material, much old material was re-utilised and improved by the smiths.
4. HISTORY OF THE ABWEHROFFIZIER (Ic)
In July this section kept maps and document on the Russian front, England and shipping activities off the English coast. Instructions were issued for dealing with expected British POW's and relevant questions were formulated for interpreters when interrogating POW's.
Contacts were establisshed with the Abweherstellen in Belgium and Holland, as well as with the geheime Peldpolizei in Bruges and the Sicherheitspolizei in Terneuzen.
The Propagandakompanie was active in Breskens, Heist and Blankenberge.
The population was partly seen to be deutschfeindlich and partly deutschfreundlich, though the majority of the population was assessed as quiet and as assuming a wait-and-see attitude.
A document was compiled summarizing the measures to be taken by the Abteilung Ic in case of an enemy landing or drohender Gefahr. Orders were released concerning British landing plans, as well as a document on the tactics employed by the British in landing operations.
In this period there were 3 instances of cable sabotage, 2 instances of balloons being recovered 3 other sabotage actions and 1 anti-German demonstration.The Feldpostprüfstelle intercepted a number of letters and postcards sent by the troops containing sensitive information.
A Berichtertrupp of the Propagandakompanie 698 was established in Knokke. Multiple exercises were filmed.
It was noted that the Flemish population was a great deal more friendly towards the Germans than the Dutch. The landing attempt at Dieppe was said to have led to great expectations with the Belgian and Dutch population.
On 13 September 1942 11 auxiliary interpreters were hired and trained. During this month there were 3 instances of cable sabotage. As was the case in August, civilians were forced the guard the lines day and night. There is a reference to a GFP unit in De Haan. Also several bottles with phosphor hydrogen, dropped from airplanes (to cause incendiaries) were confiscated. These were all handed over to the Fliegerhorst Maldegem. There was 1 other instance of sabotage, investigated by the GFP Brügge. Further, there were two specific instances of anti-German demonstrations. In one of these, a window of the Propagandanebenstelle in the Sint-Amandsstraat in Bruges was thrown it. Finally, one german soldier committed suicide.
With respect to general attitudes, it was noted that the while the peasant population was generally accessible and friendly, the better-off ann intellectual groups in the cities were not. It was also further noted that the constructions of bunkers in strongpoints as well as further inland had caused unrest among the population, as they feared these area becoming a combat zone.
One alert exercise and 1 communication exercise with use of radio was held every week. On 24/10 Zug Leutnant Wiese of the Propagandakompanie 698 was transferred to Oostburg. On 29/10 the AOK15 Ic Major von Trotha and the Ic Generalkommandi LXXXIX Armeekorps were in the area of the division. Mentioned were the Kreiskommandantur 510 in Brugge, the GFP De Haan, the Sicherheitspolizei Terneuzen. the Feldpostprüfstelle des AOK and the Fliegerhorst Maldegem.
One alert exercise and 1 communication exercise with use of radio was held every week. On 21/11 a Stabs- und Nachrichtenübung was held, in which all sections of the divisional HQ participated. Contact was established with the leaders of the VGAD-K in Brugge and Sas Van Gent. For the Dutch part OBWest had ordered a new line for the Küstensperrlinie. The Ortskommandantur Oostburg was tasked with publicizing the change to the population and issuing permits. Leutnant Matheis joined the Abteilung 1c as 2. Dolmetscher. The Zug - Leutnant Wiese of the Propagandakompanie 698 was moved to Lille for infantry training. Mentioned was the Sicherheitspolizei Terneuzen and the Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei, Aussensstelle 's-Hertogenbosch
In terms of organisation it was reported that 4 radio and 4 alert exercises had taken place. Secondly, in addition to the Küstensperrlinie, which delineated the Küstensperrgebiet, the so-called grüne Linie, delineating the Strandbefestigungsgebiet in the Dutch part was extended to the Braakman. While the Küstensperrgebiet belonged to the general Sicherungsbereich, controlled by the VGAD-K in Brugge and Sas-van-Gent, the Strandbefestigungsgebiet was declared as belonging to the military Sicherungsbereich, guarded by the Truppe.For the handing out of permissions in the two area the following were responsible: for the Belgian part the Kreiskommandantut Brügge; for the Dutch part the Polizeioffizier in Middelburg for the Küstensperrgebiet and the Ortskommandantur Oostburg for the Strandbefestigungsgebiet. Finally, after their infantry training in Lille the Zug / Propagandakompanie 698 returned to Oostburg on 7/12. Also mentioned in the document were the GFP De Haan and the GFP Brügge, as well as the Sicherheitspolizei Terneuzen.
On 1 February the activity report for the month of January was released. In organisational terms 4 radio communication and 4 alarm communication exercises had been held. Also, on 10 January, the Propagandazug was moved from Knokke to Brugge and became directly subordinated to the corps. In the period 11-28 January Oberleutnant Albert of the 39ID had been commandeered to the division as O3. On 15 January there had been a visit by the AOK15 Ic, Major von Albert and the AOK15 Betreuungsoffizier Oberleutnant Altmann. On 28 January an Ic-Monatsbericht was sent to the corps by the division.
On 26 February the Ic section issued its activity report for this month. The main topic was the worsening of the attitude of the population against the German occupier, especially in the Dutch part of the divisional area.