21.Infanterie-Division History

The 21st Infantry Division (Germany) was formed in 1934 in Elbing, East Prussia, by expanding the 3rd Prussian Infantry Regiment of the 1st Division of the old Reichswehr. As this was a direct breach of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, its existence was initially concealed; it was formally designated as the 21st Infantry Division in October 1935. Its East Prussian origin informed the adoption of the divisional symbol, a figure holding a shield bearing the black cross of the Teutonic Knights.

Mobilised in the 1st wave in 1939, the division took part in the German invasion of Poland and the following year's invasion of France. For the next four years, it fought on the Eastern Front, largely as part of Army Group North, assigned to Eighteenth Army.

After being involved in series of defensive battles and retreats to Riga as the Soviet army liberated their territory, late 1944 saw the 21st Infantry Division again in East Prussia, assigned to Third Panzer Army in the area of Tilsit before being reallocated to Fourth Army and deployed in the area of Insterburg, facing the Soviet East Prussian Offensive. Along with the bulk of Fourth Army it was encircled and largely destroyed in the Heiligenbeil pocket in the closing weeks of the war. Remnants of the division's forces were transported over the Frisches Haff to Pillau and Samland, where the unit was eventually dispersed in battle with Soviet troops, while some elements escaped along the Frische Nehrung to Hela and eventually by sea to Schleswig-Holstein.

Area of operations

Poland (Sep 1939 - May 1940)

France (May 1940 - June 1941)

Eastern front, northern sector (June 1941 - Sep 1944)

Eastern front, central sector (Sep 1944 - May 1945)

Date of  operations


1st-3rd September 1939 storming of the fortress Graudenz

4.-10th September 1939 storming of the fixing of Nowogrod

11th-13th September 1939 battles south Zambrow

14th-18th September 1939 fighting around Białystok and eastward

October 18, 1939 to 9 May 1940 using the operational area of ​​the Western Front


11th-17th May 1940 advance through Luxembourg, Belgium to Aisne

18.-20. May 1940 taking Rethel

May 21-June 8 1940 defensive fighting on the Aisne

9th-10th June 1940 Violent Aisne transition at Rethel

11th-13th June 1940 breakthrough fights at Suippe section

14th-17th June 1940 follow-up battles through the Champagne u. Over the Rhine-Marne Canal

18th-25th June 1940 follow-up battles both sides Côte d'Or

26 June to 10 September 1940 securing the demarcation line and Military Invasion

September 11, 1940 to June 21, 1941 use in the home territory of the eastern front


22-29th June 1941 border fighting in Lithuania

22-25th June 1941 break through the limit positions

25th-27th June 1941 breakthrough by the Venta-Dubyssa position and taking Siauliai (Siauliai)

27 June-10 July 1941 conquest of Riga and fighting between Daugava and Velikaya

10 July to 23 September 1941 advance over the old Russian frontier and operations south of Lake Ilmen

16th-19th July 1941 fighting on Porkhov and Don

20 July-9 August 1941 attack on the Shelon River to Mshaga

10th-20th August 1941 operations against Leningrad

10th-13th August 1941 breakthrough by Mshaga position

10th-17th August 1941 conquest of Novgorod

10th-24th August 1941 Battle of Novgorod

18.-20. August 1941 foray to the railway line Leningrad - Moscow

21 August to 15 October 1941 defensive battles between Ilmen- and Ladoga

16 October to 27 November 1941 foray Tikhvin and Volkhovstroy and struggles for Tikhvin

16 October to 15 November 1941 foray Volkhovstroy and Grusino

16 November to 18 December 1941 defensive fighting on the Volkhov and between Volkhovstroy and Grusino

19th-27th December 1941 defensive battles at Volkhovstroy and dodging south in the positions of Lake Ladoga

December 28, 1941 to June 30, 1942 battle between Ilmen- and Ladoga

December 28, 1941 to May 10, 1942 defensive battles in the bridgehead Kirishi and Sokoly-Moor


December 28, 1941 to June 30, 1942 Defence of the enemy fall in the Tigoda Estuary

10 March to 10 May 1942 Defence of the enemy breakthrough attack from the Pogostjeraum on Ljuban

8-21st May 1942 Defence of the enemy attack on Lipowik

22 May-30 June 1942 Trench warfare at Volkhov and Pogostjeraum

July 1, 1942 to January 13, 1944 Trench warfare in the area of ​​Army Group North

1 July to 19 September 1942 defensive battles in Volkhov bridgehead Kirishi

27 August-3 September 1942 1 defensive battle south of Lake Ladoga

September 20, 1942 to January 11, 1943 Trench warfare between Grusino and Kirishi and on the Volkhov


12 January to 31 March 1943 2. defensive battle south of Lake Ladoga

1 April to 15 May 1943 defensive battles in space Maluxo - Gaitolowo

15 May-21 July 1943 defensive battles on the Neva between Mga and Kolpino River

22 July to 24 September 1943 3. defensive battle south of Lake Ladoga

September 25, 1943 to January 13, 1944 Trench warfare in space Tschudowo-Grusino


14 January to 23 April 1944 defensive battles in northern Russia and in the Baltic countries

14 January to 1 March 1944 defensive battle against Novgorod and Leningrad, Pskov and Narva retreat fights on

4.-12th March 1944 1. defensive battle at Ostroff and Pskov

31 March-17 April 1944 2. Defence Battle of Pskov

24 April to 21 June 1944 Trench warfare in the area of ​​Army Group North

April 24 to 21 June 1944 defensive fighting south Pskov and at the Velikaya

22 June-26 July 1944 defensive battles in front and in the Baltic countries

22 June-26 July 1944 defensive battle between Pskov and Ostroff, retreat fighting between Peipussee and Walk

October 6 1944 to April 28, 1945 defensive battles to East Prussia

6th. 13 October 1944 defensive battle at Raseinen and Tauroggen

14th-28th October 1944 Trench warfare at Memel both sides Tilsit

October 29, 1944 to January 17, 1945 defensive and retreat fights in East Prussia to Heilsberg position


31 January to 28 March 1945 Battle Heiligenbeil and Balga

29 March-16 April 1945 Battle of Königsberg-Fischhausen

17th-28th April 1945 defensive battles in Pillau and on the Vistula Spit

21.Infanterie Tactical  symbol

21st Infanteire- Division - Russian campaign in 1941

21.Infanterie Divionional  symbol, a figure holding a shield bearing the black cross of the Teutonic Knights.