July 28, 2014

9th Panzer-Division

Insignia 9. Panzerdivision
At the end of 1940 the 4th Light (leichte) Division was redesignated as the 9th Panzer-Division. The 33rd Panzer-Regiment provided the necessary tank element.

The Division took part in the French Campaign with the Eighteenth Army and fought in the Low Countries. In the pursuit that followed the collapse of the French Army the Division advanced as far as Lyon. 

In the Balkan Campaign the 9th was part of the Twelfth Army. The Division, deployed in Bulgaria, invaded the Yugoslavian Macedonia and from there it entered Greece. It fought off Greek, British and Commonwealth forces but was recalled before the end of the campaign for the preparations for Barbarossa. On 28 June 1941 the Division crossed the German-Soviet border, as part of Panzergruppe 1, and fought in Ukraine. Later it was given to Guderian for the assault on Moscow.

The 1942 German summer offensive found the 9th under the command of Hoth’s Fourth Panzer Army. The next year the Division took part in the Kursk battle with Ninth Army’s XLVII Panzerkorps. After the failure of that operation 9th Panzer was returned to Ukraine, where it participated in Army Group South’s retreating battles. It was pulled out of the line in April 1944 and was sent to France.

When the Allies landed in Southern France 9th Panzer was close to Marseilles. From Southern France it was sent to Normandy, where it suffered heavy losses. Receiving minor reinforcements it took part in the actions at Arnhem and Aachen. In October 1944 it was rebuilt to strength and was sent to the western front. It took part in the Battle of the Bulge under the command of XII SS-Armeekorps. Finally the 9th Panzer was trapped into the Ruhr pocket and surrendered to American forces.

Carruthers, Bob. German Tanks at War. London: Cassell, 2000.
Jentz, Thomas L. Panzertruppen. Atglen, PA: Schiffer, 1996.
Mitcham, Jr., Samuel W. The Panzer Legions. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole, 2007.

Photo attribution
Marco Kaiser, via Wikimedia Commons