271st Infantry Division (Wehrmacht)

The 271st Infantry Division (German: 271. Infanterie-Division) was an infantry division of the German Heer during World War II.

In total, three infantry formations used the ordinal number 271 within the Wehrmacht. The first 271st Infantry Division's deployment was aborted in May 1940, whereas the second iteration of the division saw its deployment completed in November 1943 and was destroyed in August 1944. Subsequently, a division designated 271st Volksgrenadier Division (German: 271. Volks-Grenadier-Division) was deployed in August 1944 and remained in combat until 1945.


First planned deployment, 1940

Initially, a division named 271st Infantry Division was assembled starting on 1 July 1940, following a directive of 22 May. After the German-French armistice, the assembly of the division was interrupted on 22 July. The division was planned to consist of the Infantry Regiments 562, 563, and 564, as well as the Artillery Detachment 271 and the Division Units 271.[1]

Second deployment, 1943 – 1944

Another formation named 271st Infantry Division was assembled as part of the twenty-second Aufstellungswelle on 17 November 1943 in the occupied Netherlands under the supervision of Oberbefehlshaber West. It consisted of the Grenadier Regiments 977, 978, and 979, as well as the Division Fusilier Battalion 271, and the Artillery Regiment 271.[1] The personnel divisional staff and the 979th Regiment were provided by the 137th Infantry Division, whereas the 113th Infantry Division provided the men of the 977th Regiment, 271st Artillery Regiment and the 271st Division Fusilier Battalion, and the 102nd Infantry Division provided the personnel of the 978th Regiment.[2]

The division was destroyed in August 1944 in the Falaise Pocket in Normandy, while under the supervision of the 5th Panzer Army.[1]

The 271st Infantry Division was commanded by Paul Danhauser between 10 December 1943 and its destruction in the Falaise Pocket.[2]

271st Volksgrenadier Division, 1944 – 1945

On 25 August 1944, the 576th Volksgrenadier Division was deployed in Slovakia. This formation was redesignated 271st Volksgrenadier Division on 17 September 1944. It consisted of the reassembled Grenadier Regiments 977, 978, and 979 (previously Grenadier Regiments 1186, 1187, and 1188), as well as the Artillery Regiment 271, formerly Artillery Regiment 1576.[1]

Unlike the 271st Infantry Division, the 271st Volksgrenadier Division was sent to the Eastern Front and was deployed to the defense against the Soviet-Romanian Budapest Offensive.[1]

After Grenadier Regiment 978 saw combat in the Budapest area, the division was refreshed at Nitra in February 1945. The 271st Volksgrenadier Division was subsequently captured by Red Army forces in Moravia in May 1945.[1]

Throughout its service, the 271st Volksgrenadier Division was commanded by Martin Bieber, who was appointed on 3 September 1944. Bieber was taken prisoner by the Red Army along his division in May 1945 and remained in Soviet captivity until 1955.[2]

Superior formations

Organizational chart of the 271st Infantry Division and the 271st Volksgrenadier Division[1]
Year Month Army Corps Army Army Group Area
271st Infantry Division, November 1943 – August 1944
1943 December LXXXVIII Army Corps WBF Niederlande Army Group D Netherlands
1944 January
February LXII Reserve Corps None. Besançon
March – April IV Luftwaffe Field Corps 19th Army Montpellier
May – June Army Group G
July II SS Panzer Corps Panzer Group West Army Group B Normandy
August LXXIV Army Corps 5th Panzer Army Falaise Pocket
September Unable to fight, remnants sent to the Replacement Army.
271st Volksgrenadier Division, September 1944 – May 1945
1944 October – November Deployment. Trnava, Slovakia
December LXXII Army Corps Hungarian 3rd Army Army Group South Stuhlweißenburg
1945 January III Army Corps 6th Army Budapest
February – March Panzer Corps Feldherrnhalle 8th Army Esztergom
April LXXII Army Corps Moravia
May XXXXIX Mountain Corps 1st Panzer Army Army Group Center

Noteworthy individuals

  • Paul Danhauser, divisional commander of the 271st Infantry Division.
  • Martin Bieber, divisional commander of the 271st Volksgrenadier Division.


  1. Tessin, Georg (1973). "271". Die Landstreitkräfte 201–280. Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945 (in German). 8. Osnabrück: Biblio Verlag. pp. 302–306. ISBN 3764808721.
  2. Mitcham, Samuel W. (2007). "271st Infantry (later Volksgrenadier) Division". German Order of Battle. Volume One. 1st-290th Infantry Divisions in World War II. Stackpole Books. pp. 321–323. ISBN 9780811734165.
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