|100th Jäger Division|
Unit logos of the 100th Jäger division
|Active||10 October 1940 – 1945|
The German 100th Jäger Division, formerly the 100th Light Infantry Division (German: 100. Leichte Infanterie Division) was a light infantry division. As such, it was provided with partial horse or motor transport and lighter artillery. Light divisions were reduced in size compared to standard infantry divisions. During the latter stages of the war, the division was composed of members from most of Germany's geographic areas and a large number of German-speaking Walloons (Belgian/French). Today, 6,000 men are still unaccounted for.
The main purpose of the German Jäger Divisions was to fight in adverse terrain where smaller, coordinated units were more facilely combat capable than the brute force offered by the standard infantry divisions. The Jäger divisions were more heavily equipped than mountain divisions, but not as well armed as a larger infantry division. In the early stages of the war, they were the interface divisions fighting in rough terrain and foothills as well as urban areas, between the mountains and the plains. The Jägers (means hunters in German) relied on a high degree of training, and slightly superior communications, as well as their not inconsiderable artillery support. In the middle stages of the war, as the standard infantry divisions were down sized, the Jäger model with two infantry regiments came to dominate the standard tables of organization.
Initially established in December 1940 as the 100th Light Infantry Division, the unit was raised in Upper Austria, and based in Ried. The 54th Jäger Regiment was attached from the 18th Infantry. The division was two-thirds Austrian and one-third Silesian men.
The 100th Light Infantry Division's first campaign as a fighting force was Operation Barbarossa in the Eastern Front, where the division served with the 17th Army in the Southern Sector. Its first campaign was in the Battle of Uman, followed by action at Kiev and Odessa.
The formation was the only German Jäger Division that fought at the Battle of Stalingrad. The 100th Light Infantry Division, along with the 369th Reinforced Croatian Infantry Regiment, was virtually destroyed at Stalingrad.
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