Enemies

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1914-1918

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1939-1945

Germany 1939-1945
Formations

  Infanterie Division 70

  Infanterie Division 84
  Infanterie Division 361

  Infanterie Division 346
Commanders

►►Wilhelm Mohnke

Procedures

►►Rendering Honours

Portrayals

►►Cross of Iron
 Warsaw Pact

1955-1991

Infanterie Division 361 / Volksgrenadier Division 361

Infanterie Division 361 was a formation of the German Army that is reported to have faced the First Canadian Army in the Final Phase of the Northwest Europe campaign. 

The division was raised in Denmark from staff of 86 Infanterie Division (which had been disbanded) and personnel of 76 Infanterie Division. The division was destroyed on the Eastern Front in July 1944 and disbanded in August 1944.

The division reformed as 361 Volksgrenadier Division though some sources refer to it also as 361 Infanterie Division. The 361 Volkgrenadier Division was formed in September 1944 using the partially formed 569 Volksgrenadier Division. The unit apparently moved south to fight in Lorraine and the Vosges mountains against U.S. troops. It was absorbed by 559 Volksgrenadier Division in January 1945. 

A. Donald MacKay makes reference to the "361st Volksgrenadier Division" being engaged by 3rd Canadian Division at Zutphen in April 1945. The Official History of the Canadian Army refers to the 361st Infantry Division (with a footnote clarifying that the 361st "was a Volksgrenadier Division.") forming part of the defences in the Zutphen sector, a component of the 88th Corps. Stacey indicates the 361st had a parachute training battalion under command, and that the battalion included many "teen-aged youngsters" who "fought very fiercely."2

The division later faced the 1st Canadian Division's advance west of the Ijssel near Arnhem in April 1945.3 During the advance on Apeldoorn, Stacey notes "General Foster's veterans then encountered tougher opposition from the 361st Volksgrenadier Division - in particular from its 953rd Grenadier Regiment."4 The Canadian Official History also notes that the division was forced to use its artilleryman as infantry.5

Two images found online purportedly of 361. Volksgrenadier Division. "Maarseen, the Netherlands, May 10, 1945: Soldiers of 361.Volks Grenadier Division surrender their arms and kit at a local factory yard supervised by British troops. The POW closest to the camera, looking into the lens, is carrying an MP-40 SMG. He wears three sleeve silver tank destruction badges awarded for destroying a tank single-handedly with a hand-held weapon."

Notes

  1. McKay, A. Donald Gaudeamus Igitur "Therefore Rejoice" (Bunker to Bunker Books, Calgary, AB, 2005) ISBN 1894255534 p.230

  2. Stacey, C.P. Official History of the Canadian Army in the Second World War: Volume III: The Victory Campaign: The Operations in North-west Europe 1944-45 (Queen's Printer, Ottawa, ON, 1960), p.550

  3. Some online references mention the division fighting at "Arnhem" but mention this in their chronologies before the move south. It's not clear if the formation fought at Arnhem during MARKET-GARDEN in September 1944, or if those reports are due to confusion (or unawareness) regarding the second battle at Arnhem in April 1945.

  4. Stacey, Ibid, p.573

  5. Ibid, p.576


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