97th Jäger Division (Wehrmacht)

The 97th Hunter Division (JD 97) was a major unit of the Army of the German Wehrmacht in World War II.

Division History

Installation and laying in the use of space

The Division was established on 10 December 1940 in Military District VII between Murnau and Rosenheim than 97 placed light infantry division and filled with predominantly combat experienced soldiers. The division headquarters was stationed in Bad Tolz, which is why this city is considered as the home of the division. As an association, the character of Major Weyrauther (Division IIa) proposed game rooster feather was determined, and then the subsequent designation Spielhahnjager Division declined. On 20 May 1941 the advance staff of the Division was moved to Slovakia, on 23 May was followed by the remaining dressing. The troops were discharged in Pressburg and by 28 May, in the rooms and Stet Rzeszow moved to southern Poland, where extensive marches and combat exercises were conducted. To 22 The division in June was completely relocated to the east side of the river San, where they moved their staging areas for the upcoming Operation Barbarossa.

Rise fights

The Division penetrated at the 17th Army of Army Group South on Ukrainian territory and occupied before the first target Magierów. In the subsequent pursuit of the defeated enemy, the division broke through the locked position of Zolkiew, came over to the southeast before Kulikov, pierced Latyczów south of the Stalin Line and participated in the battle of encirclement at Uman. End of August 1941, the division over the river Dnepr over, built a beachhead and pushed until early November Krassnograd and Lozovaja to Artemowsk ago. Through the following winter until April 1942, the division was in the greater Artemowsk and had to fend off numerous Soviet counter-attacks. With the start of the Spring Offensive in mid-May, put the division on the river Donets and participated in the destruction of the Soviet bridgehead at Isjum, which she contributed a significant share to the victorious Battle of Kharkov. On 6 July 1942 was the 97th 97th Light Infantry Division in Hunter Division renamed. The summer offensive of 1942, the division crossed the rivers Don and Manytsch, occupied Armavir, crossed the Kuban and captured the strategically important oil fields of Maikop before they penetrated through the western Caucasus to the Pschisch Valley and brought here by strong Soviet forces organizations to stand was.

Fighting withdrawal

In early 1943, the division was moved in a hurry in the room southeast of Krasnodar, according to the defeat of the 6th Army at the Battle of Stalingrad, to prevent cutting off the German forces in the Caucasus. In the following months, the division continued fighting from the Kuban bridgehead and provided there especially in Abinskaja, Krymskaja and Moldawanskoje heavy defensive battles. After the retreat of the Little Gothic Line, beginning in October 1943, the division was transferred from the Taman Peninsula on the Strait of Kerch to the Crimea. In mid-October, the division was moved to the focus of the Wotan position in space Melitopol and retired from there fighting over Alexandrovka, Samolowski, Nikolajewka and Łopatki on the Dnieper transition in space Bolshaya Lepaticha back to where it for three months against could keep all enemy attacks. After settling on the Dnieper, the division was created by taking Bolshaya Kostromka one of the conditions for the passage of the fighting group Schörner from the Nikopol bridgehead. The further retreat route led over Moldova to Romania, where the division was detached and used east of the Polish city of Kielce, to strengthen the defense of the Vistula-San line. In September 1944, the installation was carried out in the area east of Kosice, where further heavy defensive fighting was. In early 1945, the division fought in the Upper Silesian industrial area and at Ratibor before they retreated to the territory of the Protectorate, and here learned of the German capitulation in May.


However, the Division refused to surrender and lay down their weapons and instead tried to reach the American lines in the west. This was due not only Czech partisans who had been massacred resulting German troops, but also the fear of Soviet captivity, and rumors that it would come with the Americans to a common continuation of the war against the Soviet Union. In German Brod, however, the division met with the locking bar erected by the Soviet troops Linz-Prague and broke up into several columns on the march, now self-employed trying to reach the U.S. lines. However, many of these columns fell into Soviet captivity or are still missing, including those with Division Commander Robert Bader.

Commanders (no substitutions)

•Major General Walter Weiss December 1940 – January 1941

Lieutenant General Sigismund von Foerster January 1941 – April 1941

•Major General Maximilian Fretter-Pico April 1941 – December 1941

Lieutenant General Ernst Rupp January 1942 – May 1943

Lieutenant General Ludwig Müller June 1943 – December 1943

•Lieutenant-General Friedrich-Carl Rabe von Pappenheim December 1943 – March 1945

•Major General Robert Bader: January 1945 – the war


•97th Hunter Division

Infantry Regiment 207

◦Infantry Regiment 204

Artillery Regiment 81

Reconnaissance Battalion 97 (referred between June 1 1942 and 1 April 1943 as cycling Division 97)

◦Engineer Battalion 97

Tank Destroyer Division 97

◦Supply department 97

◦Management services 97

◦Field Replacement Battalion 97 (from September 1, 1943 called the Field Replacement Battalion 81)

◦Infantry division news department 97

◦Medical Services 97

◦Veterinary Company 97


The 97th Hunter Division was one of the most awarded associations troops of the Wehrmacht. To 15 November 1944 Iron Crosses were only 12,158 (of which the first class in 1468) awarded to soldiers of this division, so is the number of awards more than 70% above the average of other Army divisions.

34 soldiers of the division were Knight’s Cross, eight of them additionally received the Oak Leaves to the Knight’s Cross. To 10 December 1943 were also awarded 68 German crosses.

The 10,000 fallen soldiers of the division a monument was erected on the Studentenbühl in Bad Tolz.


•Ernst Ott: Hunter on enemy, history and sacrifice of the 97th Hunter Division 1940-1945, published by the camaraderie of Spielhahnjager, Munich 1966

•Ernst-Ludwig Ott: The Spielhahnjager 1940-1945, image documentation of the 97th Hunter Division, Podzun-Pallas-Verlag, Friedberg 1982

•Ernst-Ludwig Ott: Spielhahnjager – brave and dutiful to the end, continue or Complement the divisional history of the 97th Hunter Division, 1990

Division of the Wehrmacht

Infantry Division (Wehrmacht)

Bad Tolz

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