German 26th Infantry Division
|Active||1 April 1936–1945|
|Engagements||World War II|
The 26th Infantry Division (German: 26. Infanterie-Division) was a pre-World War II German Infantry Division of the 1st mobilisation wave (1. Welle). It was mobilised for World War II on September 26, 1939, disbanded on September 10, 1944, near Radom and reformed as the 26th Volksgrenadier Division (26. Volksgrenadier-Division) on September 17, 1944, near Poznań by absorption of the new 582nd Volksgrenadier Division of the 32nd mobilisation wave (32. Welle). Remnants of the Division entered U.S. captivity in the Harz region in 1945.
The 26th Infantry Division spent the early war years on the Western Front, taking part in the Battle of France in May/June 1940, first under the command of the Sixteenth Army (16. Armee) and later the Twelfth Army. The division was transferred to the Eastern Front in June 1941 to serve under Army Group Centre (Heeresgruppe Mitte). It participated in the Battle of Kursk in July 1943. After this action the 26th Infantry Division absorbed the 174th Reserve Division (174. Reserve-Division). The division was disbanded after casualties were sustained near Kowel on September 10, 1944; surviving troops were transferred to the 253rd Infantry Division (253. Infanterie-Division).
A new 26th Volksgrenadier Division was formed on September 17, 1944, in the Warthelager (now Biedrusko in west central Poland), near Poznań by absorption of the 582nd Volksgrenadier Division and remnants of the old 26th Infantry Division. This new division spent the rest of the war on the Western Front under Army Group B (Heeresgruppe B) until it entered U.S. captivity in the Harz in 1945.