What was the 999th Light Afrika Division (Wehrmacht)?

Introduction

The 999th Africa Brigade was a German Army unit created in October 1942 as a penal military unit.

It was later expanded into the 999th Light Africa Division (999. leichte Afrika-Division) and began deploying to Tunisia in early 1943. However, this was interrupted by the surrender of Axis forces in that theatre. Those elements that made it to Africa before the collapse fought as independent units rather than as a division, and were lost in the general collapse. The remainder were sent to Greece for garrison duties and to conduct security warfare, where a number of those forced into service because of their anti-Nazi activities continued them, such as Falk Harnack, who deserted and formed the Anti-Fascist Committee for a Free Germany with other soldiers. Another notable member was August Landmesser, who was said to be the man who refused to make the Nazi salute in a now well known famous photograph.

During the only combat engagement, many of the political prisoners in the division went over to the US troops or retreated, the US Army took their previously held positions without any heavy fighting.

Refer to Strafbataillon and 36th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS.

Commanders

Commanders were:

  • Oberst Heinz Karl von Rinkleff: October 1942 to 02 February 1943 (transferred to Russian front after the surrender at Stalingrad).
  • Generalleutnant Kurt Thomas: 02 February 1943 to 01 April 1943 (KIA 01 April 1943 when his plane was shot down en route to Tunis).
  • Generalmajor Ernst-Günther Baade: 02 April 1943 to 13 May 1943.

Organisation

Order of Battle of Afrika-Brigade 999

Afrika-Schützen-Regiment (Infantry) 961.
Afrika-Schützen-Regiment 962.
Nachrichten-Kompanie (Communications) 999.

Order of Battle of 999 Afrika Division

  • Stab.
  • Divisions-Kartenstelle (Maps) 999.
  • Afrika-Schützen-Regiment 961.
  • Afrika-Schützen-Regiment 962.
  • Afrika-Schützen-Regiment 963.
  • Panzerjäger-Abteilung 999.
  • Artillerie-Regiment (Artillery) 999.
  • Pionier-Bataillon (Engineers) 999.
  • Aufklärungs-Abteilung (Reconnaissance) 999.
  • Astronomischer Messtrupp (Navigation) 999.
  • Werkstatt-Kompanie (Laboratory) 999.
  • Werkstatt-Kompanie 999.
  • Entgiftungs-Batterie (Detoxification) 999.
  • Nachschub-Bataillon (Supply) 999.
  • Schlächterei-Kompanie (Butchers) 999.
  • Bäckerei-Kompanie (Bakers) 999.
  • Divisions-Verpflegungsamt (Rations) 999.
  • Sanitäts-Kompanie (Medical) 999.
  • Krankenkraftwagen-Zug (Ambulance) 999.
  • Veterinär-Kompanie (Veterinary) 999.
  • Feldgendarmerie-Trupp (Military police) 999.
  • Feldpostamt (Postal) 999.
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