2nd Light Division (Germany)

The 2nd Light Division (sometimes described as "Light Mechanized" or "Light Panzer" to distinguish it from the later "Light" infantry divisions) was created in November 1938. In 1939 it fought in the Invasion of Poland. Due to shortcomings that the campaign revealed in the organization of the Light divisions it was reorganized as the 7th Panzer Division afterward, in October 1939.

As the 7th Panzer Division it participated in the 1940 Battle of France under the command of the soon-to-be-famous Erwin Rommel, earning its nickname "Gespenster-Division" ("Ghost Division") when it advanced so rapidly into and beyond the breach in the French front line that higher headquarters lost track of where it was. It then remained in France on occupation duty until early 1941.

In June 1941 it joined Operation Barbarossa and fought on the Eastern Front until the spring of 1942, when it was shipped to France for rehabilitation. It returned to the east in early 1943 and was used in the attempt to shore up the front line after the Battle of Stalingrad, and continued with Army Group South as the front line was pushed back through the Ukraine. In July 1944 it was transferred to Army Group Center and moved northward to fight in Lithuania and Courland. It continued to be driven westward along with the front lines, and surrendered to the Soviets at Schwerin in Pomerania at the war's end in May 1945.

War Crimes

Soldiers from the division took part in atrocities against Polish citizens during September Campaign.On the 12th of September in the village of Kozłowice, soldiers of the division killed 5 Polish prisoners of war.Near Opatowiec 45 Polish prisoners of war were killed by the soldiers of the division.

See also

* Panzertruppe, Panzer, Panzer division
* Division (military), Military unit
* Heer, Wehrmacht, List of German divisions in WWII

References

Note: The Web references may require you to follow links to cover the unit's entire history.
* Wendel, Marcus (2004). " [http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=970 2. Leichte-Division] ". Retrieved April 11, 2005.
* " [http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gliederungen/leichte%20Panzerdivisionen/2leDiv.htm 2. leichte Division] ". German language article at www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de. Retrieved April 11, 2005.
* Szymon Datner (1974). Zbrodnie Wehrmachtu (Crimes of the Wehrmacht)


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