November - December 1943, somewhere in western France


( December 1943 )


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Generalleutnant Hans Schmidt



Grenadier-Regiment 983
Grenadier-Regiment 984
Grenadier-Regiment 985
Divisions-Füsilier-Bataillon 275
Artillerie-Regiment 275
Pionier-Bataillon 275
Panzerjäger-Abteilung 275
Divisions-Nachrichten-Abteilung 275
Divisions-Nachschubführer 275

The division reported a strength of 11538 men on 1 March 1944. Three months later it was reported to have 10768 officers and men plus 1560 HiWi.

Since the division had a shortage of transport a mobile Kampfgruppe was organized. This consisted of I./Gren.Rgt. 984, II./Gren.Rgt. 984, one infantry howitzer platoon, one platoon with 7,5 cm AT guns, Pi.Btl. 275, Füs.Btl. 275, III./Art.Rgt. 275 and the Pz.Jäg.Kp. 275. Probably the Kampfgruppe had a strength of about 4 000 men.

When the allies invaded it was decided to send the mobile Kampfgruppe to Normandy. On 8 June 1944 it had loaded on fourteen trains. Three days later it was reported that this unit was in the area west of St. Lo. The following day it was subordinated to 352. Inf.Div.

During June 1944 this Kampfgruppe (Kampfgruppe Heintz) was the only parts of 275. Inf.Div. committed to the fighting. However, on 27 June it was decided that the division should be sent to Normandy as soon as it could be relieved.

During the night between 5 and 6 July 1944 units from 343. Inf.Div. and 265. Inf.Div. began to relieve the 275. Inf.Div. Thereafter the division began to move towards the front as fast as it could given the shortage of transport. On 15 July 1944 it was reported that Gren.Rgt.985 and I./Art.Rgt. 275 was located 22 km south east of Avranches. Other elements trailed behind.

On 19 July 1944 Gren.Rgt. 985 was near Canloy, Gren.Rgt. 983 was near Marigny while the Art.Rgt. 275 was in the Canisy - Amrigny area. Six days later the last units of the division were reported to be committed.

At the time of operation Cobra the 275. Inf.Div. was not employed as a single formation. The 4./Art.Rgt. 275 and 6./Art.Rgt. 275 were with the 2. SS-Pz.Div., while one infantry battalion was with the Pz.Lehr Division. This battalion was the remnants of the Kampfgruppe sent to Normandy previously. The Gren.Rgt. 985 was sent to the 352. Inf.Div. Also the rest of the artillery was directly subordinated to 84. Korps.

It seems that the division was never employed as a united formation in Normandy and this makes it hard to follow its whereabouts. Also the reports giving its condition after the Falaise pocket are conflicting.

One report, which is consistently too pessimistic, states that the division had a strength of approximately 4000 men on 1 September 1944. This can be compared to a report showing that the division received 5473 replacements 22 - 28 August 1944. The report also shows that no replacements arrived 1 - 21 August 1944. Another report asserts that the division suffered 21237 casualties from D-Day until 13 September 1944. This is either a typing error or else losses suffered by other units are included in this figure.

There also exist a Gliederung that shows the condition of the 275. Inf.Div. on 10 September 1944. According to this the infantry battalions had 2151 men together. The Füs.Btl. had 288 men while the Pi.Btl. had only one company with 59 men. The artillery regiment had just one battery with four guns. Gren.Rgt. 985 was not present. The division had not received any replacements since 29 August 1944. It is quite likely that the missing Gren.Rgt. 985 had been partially absorbed by some other unit. The same could have happened to other parts of the division since it was not deployed as a complete unit. This makes it very difficult to estimate the casualties suffered by the division.



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