4th Panzer Division (Wehrmacht)
The 4th Panzer Division was an armoured division in the German Army, the Wehrmacht, during World War II, established in 1938. It participated in the 1939 invasion of Poland, the 1940 invasion of France, and it remained on the Eastern Front, mainly under Army Group Centre, until it was trapped on the coast at Courland in the summer of 1944. It was evacuated by sea and returned to the front in West Prussia in January 1945. It surrendered to the Soviets there at the end of the war, during the Polish campaign, the division engaged in a series of massacres against the civilian population and POWs. Alongside the 4th Panzer Division the 5th was formed at Oppeln, now Opole in Poland, Würzburg had previously been the garrison town for the 2nd Panzer Division which had moved its headquarters to Vienna after the Anschluss of Austria in March 1938. At the beginning of the Invasion of Poland, the division was one of the first to cross the border in the area of Army Group South. Equipped with roughly 341 tanks, including 183 Panzer I,130 Panzer II,12 Panzer IV and 16 PzBef, the division lacked some infantry and anti-tank units.
After supporting 1st Panzer, the took part in the break-through of the Polish lines near Kłobuck. Three days later, the 4th Panzer Division continued its move towards Warsaw and it reached the Polish capital on 8 September and tried to take the city by surprise. At 17.00, the forces of the 4th Panzer Division supported by the 31st Infantry Division attempted an assault on Warsaws western borough of Ochota, the assault was repulsed and the German forces suffered heavy casualties. The following day, the division was reinforced with artillery and the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler motorised infantry regiment, well-placed Polish anti-tank guns and barricades erected on main streets repulsed this assault. On several occasions, the lack of armament on the Polish side was made up for by ingenuity, one of the streets leading towards the city centre was covered with turpentine from a nearby factory. When German tanks approached, the liquid was set on fire, the German forces suffered heavy casualties and had to retreat.
After the failed assault on Warsaw, 4th Panzer Division was withdrawn westward and took part in the Battle of the Bzura, where it supported a German counter-attack. Polish-Jewish historian, Szymon Datner, stated that on 18 September, in the village of Śladów, after that it was withdrawn to the Niederrhein. During the Battle of France in 1940, the division came under the command of Erich Hoepners XVI Panzer Corps, part of von Kleists Panzer Group in the 6th Army commanded by Walther von Reichenau. After a blitzkrieg assault through Liege and Charleroi, it reached the area of Bethune, due to Adolf Hitlers orders, it did not manage to capture Dunkirk itself. In early June 1940, the managed to cross a large part of France in several days
Armoured warfare, mechanised warfare or tank warfare is the use of armoured fighting vehicles in modern warfare. It is a component of modern methods of war. The premise of armoured warfare rests on the ability of troops to penetrate defensive lines through use of manoeuvre by armoured units. Under these conditions, any sort of advance was very slow. Tanks were first developed in Britain and France in 1915, as a way of navigating the barbed wire, British Mark I tanks first went to action at the Somme, on 15 September 1916, but did not manage to break the deadlock of trench warfare. The first French employment on 16 April 1917, of the Schneider CA, was a failure, in the Battle of Cambrai British tanks were more successful, and broke a German trenchline system, the Hindenburg Line. Despite the generally unpromising beginnings, the military and political leadership in both Britain and France during 1917 backed large investments into armoured vehicle production and this led to a sharp increase in the number of available tanks for 1918.
The German Empire to the contrary, produced only a few tanks, twenty German A7V tanks were produced during the entire conflict, compared to over 4,400 French and over 2,500 British tanks of various kinds. Tactically, the deployment of armour during the war was typified by an emphasis on direct infantry support. The tanks main tasks were seen as crushing barbed wire and destroying machine-gun nests, theoretical debate largely focussed on the question whether a swarm of light tanks should be used for this or a limited number of potent heavy vehicles. Though in the Battle of Cambrai a large concentration of British heavy tanks effected a breakthrough, the manoeuvrability of the tank should at least in theory regain armies the ability to flank enemy lines. Following the First World War, the technical and doctrinal aspects of armoured warfare became more sophisticated and diverged into multiple schools of doctrinal thought, during the 1920s, only very few tanks were produced. There were however, important theoretical and technical developments, various British and French commanders who had contributed to the origin of the tank, such as Jean Baptiste Eugène Estienne, B. H.
Liddell Hart and J. F. C. Fuller, theorised about a future use of independent armoured forces, containing a large concentration of tanks. Especially Liddell Hart wrote many books about the subject, partly propagating Fullers theories, such doctrines were faced with the reality that during the 1920s the armoured vehicles, as early road transport in general, were extremely unreliable, and could not be used in sustained operations. Mainstream thought on the subject was more conservative and tried to integrate armoured vehicles into the infantry and cavalry organisation. To save weight, such designs had thin armour plating and this inspired fitting small-calibre high-velocity guns in turrets, J. Collins, after Fuller refused the function. The unit carried out operations on Salisbury Plain and was observed by the major nations, the United States, Germany
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Nazi Germanys invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II, which was launched on Sunday 22 June 1941. In the two leading up to the invasion, the two countries signed political and economic pacts for strategic purposes. Nevertheless, the German High Command began planning an invasion of the Soviet Union in July 1940, over the course of the operation, about four million Axis personnel invaded the western Soviet Union along a 2, 900-kilometer front, the largest invasion force in the history of warfare. In addition to troops, the Wehrmacht employed some 600,000 motor vehicles, the offensive marked an escalation of the war, both geographically and in the formation of the Allied coalition. Despite their successes, the German offensive stalled in the Battle of Moscow and was pushed back by the Soviet winter counteroffensive. The Red Army repelled the Wehrmachts strongest blows and forced the unprepared Germans into a war of attrition, the Wehrmacht would never again mount a simultaneous offensive along the entire strategic Soviet–Axis front.
The failure of the operation drove Hitler to demand further operations of limited scope inside the Soviet Union, such as Case Blue. The failure of Operation Barbarossa proved a point in the fortunes of the Third Reich. Most importantly, the operation opened up the Eastern Front, in more forces were committed than in any other theater of war in world history. The German armies captured 5,000,000 Soviet prisoners of war who were not granted protections stipulated in the Geneva Conventions, a majority of them never returned alive. The Nazis deliberately starved 3.1 million of the prisoners to death as part of a Hunger Plan that aimed to reduce the population of Eastern Europe, over a million Soviet Jews were murdered by Einsatzgruppen death squads and gassing as part of the Holocaust. On 10 February 1939, Hitler told his commanders that the next war would be purely a war of Weltanschauungen. Totally a peoples war, a racial war, on 23 November, once World War II had already started, Hitler declared that racial war has broken out and this war shall determine who shall govern Europe, and with it, the world.
The racial policy of Nazi Germany viewed the Soviet Union as populated by non-Aryan Untermenschen, Hitler claimed in Mein Kampf that Germanys destiny was to turn to the East as it did six hundred years ago. Accordingly, it was stated Nazi policy to kill, deport, or enslave the majority of Russian and other Slavic populations and repopulate the land with Germanic peoples, under the Generalplan Ost. Likening the Soviets to the forces of Genghis Khan, Hitler told Croatian military leader Slavko Kvaternik that the Mongolian race threatened Europe. Following the invasion, Wehrmacht officers told their soldiers to target people who were described as Jewish Bolshevik subhumans, the Mongol hordes, the Asiatic flood, German army commanders cast the Jews as the major cause behind the partisan struggle. The main guideline policy for German troops was Where theres a partisan, theres a Jew, many German troops viewed the war in Nazi terms and regarded their Soviet enemies as sub-human
Major is a military rank of commissioned officer status, with corresponding ranks existing in many military forces throughout the world. When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicators, major is one rank senior to that of an army captain and it is considered the most junior of the field officer ranks. Majors are typically assigned as specialised executive or operations officers for battalion-sized units of 300 to 1,200 soldiers, in some militaries, notably France and Ireland, the rank of major is referred to as commandant, while in others it is known as captain-major. The rank of major is used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures, such as the Pennsylvania State Police, New York State Police, New Jersey State Police. As a police rank, major roughly corresponds to the UK rank of superintendent, the term major can be used with a hyphen to denote the leader of a military band such as in pipe-major or drum-major. Historically, the rank designation develops in English in the 1640s, taken from French majeur, in turn a shortening of sergent-majeur, which at the time designated a higher rank than at present
Hungary is a unitary parliamentary republic in Central Europe. With about 10 million inhabitants, Hungary is a member state of the European Union. The official language is Hungarian, which is the most widely spoken language in Europe. Hungarys capital and largest metropolis is Budapest, a significant economic hub, major urban areas include Debrecen, Miskolc, Pécs and Győr. His great-grandson Stephen I ascended to the throne in 1000, converting the country to a Christian kingdom, by the 12th century, Hungary became a middle power within the Western world, reaching a golden age by the 15th century. Hungarys current borders were established in 1920 by the Treaty of Trianon after World War I, when the country lost 71% of its territory, 58% of its population, following the interwar period, Hungary joined the Axis Powers in World War II, suffering significant damage and casualties. Hungary became a state of the Soviet Union, which contributed to the establishment of a four-decade-long communist dictatorship.
On 23 October 1989, Hungary became again a democratic parliamentary republic, in the 21st century, Hungary is a middle power and has the worlds 57th largest economy by nominal GDP, as well as the 58th largest by PPP, out of 188 countries measured by the IMF. As a substantial actor in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the worlds 36th largest exporter and importer of goods, Hungary is a high-income economy with a very high standard of living. It keeps up a security and universal health care system. Hungary joined the European Union in 2004 and part of the Schengen Area since 2007, Hungary is a member of the United Nations, NATO, WTO, World Bank, the AIIB, the Council of Europe and Visegrád Group. Well known for its cultural history, Hungary has been contributed significantly to arts, literature and science. Hungary is the 11th most popular country as a tourist destination in Europe and it is home to the largest thermal water cave system, the second largest thermal lake in the world, the largest lake in Central Europe, and the largest natural grasslands in Europe.
The H in the name of Hungary is most likely due to historical associations with the Huns. The rest of the word comes from the Latinized form of Medieval Greek Oungroi, according to an explanation the Greek name was borrowed from Proto-Slavic Ǫgǔri, in turn borrowed from Oghur-Turkic Onogur. Onogur was the name for the tribes who joined the Bulgar tribal confederacy that ruled the eastern parts of Hungary after the Avars. The Hungarians likely belonged to the Onogur tribal alliance and it is possible they became its ethnic majority. The Hungarian endonym is Magyarország, composed of magyar and ország, the word magyar is taken from the name of one of the seven major semi-nomadic Hungarian tribes, magyeri
Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a unitary parliamentary republic in Europe. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria, San Marino, Italy covers an area of 301,338 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate and Mediterranean climate. Due to its shape, it is referred to in Italy as lo Stivale. With 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth most populous EU member state, the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom, which eventually became a republic that conquered and assimilated other nearby civilisations. The legacy of the Roman Empire is widespread and can be observed in the distribution of civilian law, republican governments, Christianity. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, exploration, Italian culture flourished at this time, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo and Machiavelli. The weakened sovereigns soon fell victim to conquest by European powers such as France and Austria.
Despite being one of the victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil. The subsequent participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in defeat, economic destruction. Today, Italy has the third largest economy in the Eurozone and it has a very high level of human development and is ranked sixth in the world for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs, as a reflection of its cultural wealth, Italy is home to 51 World Heritage Sites, the most in the world, and is the fifth most visited country. The assumptions on the etymology of the name Italia are very numerous, according to one of the more common explanations, the term Italia, from Latin, was borrowed through Greek from the Oscan Víteliú, meaning land of young cattle. The bull was a symbol of the southern Italic tribes and was often depicted goring the Roman wolf as a defiant symbol of free Italy during the Social War. Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus states this account together with the legend that Italy was named after Italus, mentioned by Aristotle and Thucydides.
The name Italia originally applied only to a part of what is now Southern Italy – according to Antiochus of Syracuse, but by his time Oenotria and Italy had become synonymous, and the name applied to most of Lucania as well. The Greeks gradually came to apply the name Italia to a larger region, excavations throughout Italy revealed a Neanderthal presence dating back to the Palaeolithic period, some 200,000 years ago, modern Humans arrived about 40,000 years ago. Other ancient Italian peoples of undetermined language families but of possible origins include the Rhaetian people and Cammuni. Also the Phoenicians established colonies on the coasts of Sardinia and Sicily, the Roman legacy has deeply influenced the Western civilisation, shaping most of the modern world
It is the longest river of Ukraine and Belarus and the fourth longest river in Europe. The total length ranges between 2,145 km and 2,201 km with a basin of 504,000 square kilometres. The river is noted for its dams and hydroelectric stations, the Dnieper is an important navigable waterway for the economy of Ukraine and is connected via the Dnieper–Bug Canal to other waterways in Europe. In antiquity, the river was known to the Greeks as the Borysthenes and was part of the Amber Road, Arheimar, a capital of the Goths, was located on the Dnieper, according to the Hervarar saga. The name Dnieper is derived from Sarmatian Dānu apara the river on the far side, according to V. Abaev the name Dnieper derives from Scythian Dānu apr deep river, while the name Dniester is combination of Scythian Dānu and Thracian Ister, the old name of Dniester. In the three countries through which it flows it has essentially the name, albeit pronounced differently, Russian, Днепр, Belarusian, Дняпро or Днепр, Ukrainian.
The late Greek and Roman authors called it Δάναπρις - Danapris and Danaper respectively - and its Old East Slavic name used at the time of Kievan Rus was Slavuta or Slavutych, the Huns called it Var, and Bulgars - Buri-Chai. The name in Crimean Tatar, Özü, the total length of the river is 2,145 kilometres, of which 485 km are within Russia,700 km are within Belarus, and 1,095 km are within Ukraine. Its basin covers 504,000 square kilometres, of which 289,000 km2 are within Ukraine,118,360 km2 are within Belarus, the source of the Dnieper is the sedge bogs of the Valdai Hills in central Russia, at an elevation of 220 m. For 115 km of its length, it serves as the border between Belarus and Ukraine and its estuary, or liman, used to be defended by the strong fortress of Ochakiv. On the Dnepr River to the south of Komarin urban-type settlement, Braghin District, the Dnieper has many tributaries with 89 being rivers of 100+ km. The water resources of the Dnieper basin compose around 80% out of all Ukraine, Dnieper Rapids were part of trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks, first mentioned in the Kiev Chronicle.
The route was established in the late eighth and early ninth centuries. On the Dnieper the Varangians had to portage their ships round seven rapids, after Dnieper Hydroelectric Station was built in 1932, they were inundated by Dnieper Reservoir. The river is part of the Quagga mussels native range, the mussel has been accidentally introduced around the world where it has become an invasive species. From the mouth of the Prypiat River to the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Station, there are six sets of dams and hydroelectric stations, the first constructed was the Dnieper Hydroelectric Station near Zaporizhia, built in 1927–1932 with an output of 558 MW. It was destroyed during World War II, but was rebuilt in 1948 with an output of 750 MW, the Dnieper River in different regions Major cities, over 100,000 in population, are in bold script. Cities and towns located on the Dnieper are listed in order from the source to its mouth, Arheimar
Nazi Germany is the common English name for the period in German history from 1933 to 1945, when Germany was governed by a dictatorship under the control of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Under Hitlers rule, Germany was transformed into a fascist state in which the Nazi Party took totalitarian control over all aspects of life. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich from 1933 to 1943, the period is known under the names the Third Reich and the National Socialist Period. The Nazi regime came to an end after the Allied Powers defeated Germany in May 1945, Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by the President of the Weimar Republic Paul von Hindenburg on 30 January 1933. The Nazi Party began to eliminate all opposition and consolidate its power. Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934, and Hitler became dictator of Germany by merging the powers and offices of the Chancellery, a national referendum held 19 August 1934 confirmed Hitler as sole Führer of Germany. All power was centralised in Hitlers person, and his word became above all laws, the government was not a coordinated, co-operating body, but a collection of factions struggling for power and Hitlers favour.
In the midst of the Great Depression, the Nazis restored economic stability and ended mass unemployment using heavy military spending, extensive public works were undertaken, including the construction of Autobahnen. The return to economic stability boosted the regimes popularity, especially antisemitism, was a central feature of the regime. The Germanic peoples were considered by the Nazis to be the purest branch of the Aryan race, millions of Jews and other peoples deemed undesirable by the state were murdered in the Holocaust. Opposition to Hitlers rule was ruthlessly suppressed, members of the liberal and communist opposition were killed, imprisoned, or exiled. The Christian churches were oppressed, with many leaders imprisoned, education focused on racial biology, population policy, and fitness for military service. Career and educational opportunities for women were curtailed and tourism were organised via the Strength Through Joy program, and the 1936 Summer Olympics showcased the Third Reich on the international stage.
Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels made effective use of film, mass rallies, the government controlled artistic expression, promoting specific art forms and banning or discouraging others. Beginning in the late 1930s, Nazi Germany made increasingly aggressive territorial demands and it seized Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939. Hitler made a pact with Joseph Stalin and invaded Poland in September 1939. In alliance with Italy and smaller Axis powers, Germany conquered most of Europe by 1940, reichskommissariats took control of conquered areas, and a German administration was established in what was left of Poland. Jews and others deemed undesirable were imprisoned, murdered in Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps, following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the tide gradually turned against the Nazis, who suffered major military defeats in 1943
Frankfurt is a town in Brandenburg, located on the Oder River, on the German-Polish border directly opposite the town of Słubice, which was part of Frankfurt until 1945. At the end of the 1980s, it reached a peak with more than 87,000 inhabitants. The number dropped below 70,000 in 2002 and was just above 60,000 in 2010, the official name Frankfurt and the older Frankfurt an der Oder are used to distinguish it from the larger city of Frankfurt am Main. The town of Frankfurt received its charter in 1253 at the Brandendamm, the early settlers lived on the western banks of the Oder, the town was extended to the eastern bank. In the late Middle Ages, the town dominated the trade between Breslau and Stettin. In 1430, Frankfurt joined the Hanseatic League, but was a member for only a short time, in April 1631, during the Thirty Years War, Frankfurt was the site of the Battle of Frankfurt an der Oder between the Swedish Empire and the Holy Roman Empire. After a two-day siege, Swedish forces, supported by Scottish auxiliaries, the result was a Swedish victory.
The city was occupied by the Russian Imperial Army during the Seven Years War, in August 1759. With the dissolution of the Margraviate of Brandenburg during the Napoleonic Wars, in the 19th century, Frankfurt played an important role in trade. There was no fighting for the town in 1945 during World War II even though the town was declared a fortress in an attempt to block the Red Armys route to Berlin, the nearly empty town was burned down. The postwar German-Polish border ran along the Oder, separating the Dammvorstadt on the eastern bank - which became the Polish town of Słubice - from the rest of Frankfurt, while part of communist East Germany, Frankfurt was administered within Bezirk Frankfurt. It became part of the state of Brandenburg with German reunification in 1990. Today, Frankfurt and Słubice have friendly relations and run several common projects, Poland joined the European Union on 1 May 2004, and implemented the Schengen Agreement on December 21,2007 leading to the removal of permanent border controls.
In the post-communist era, Frankfurt has suffered high unemployment. Its population has fallen significantly from around 87,000 at the time of German reunification in 1990, FC Viktoria Frankfurt is the towns local football team. In March 2008, the Jewish community of Frankfurt celebrated its first Torah dedication since the Holocaust, the procession of the new Torah scroll began from the spot where the towns Frankfurter Synagogue stood prior to World War II,500 meters from Germanys current border with Poland. Celebrants marched with the scroll into the towns Chabad-Lubavitch centre, where they danced with the Torah, the Margraviate of Brandenburgs first university was Frankfurts Alma Mater Viadrina, founded in 1506 by Joachim I Nestor, Elector of Brandenburg. An early chancellor, Bishop Georg von Blumenthal, was an opponent of the Protestant Reformation
The term panzer division as commonly used in English language refers almost exclusively to the armored division in the army branch of the Wehrmacht and of Nazi Germany during World War II. The panzer divisions were the key element of German success in the Blitzkrieg operations of the years of the war. Later the Waffen-SS formed panzer divisions, and even the Luftwaffe fielded a panzer division, the term Panzerdivision is still used in todays Army of the Bundeswehr. A panzer division was a combined formation, having both tanks and infantry as organic components, along with artillery, anti-aircraft, etc. However, the proportions of the components of a panzer division changed over time, heinz Guderian first proposed the formation of panzer units larger than a regiment, but the inspector of motorized troops, Otto von Stuelpnagel, rejected the proposal. After his replacement by Oswald Lutz, Guderians mentor, the idea gained more support in the Wehrmacht, the first three panzer divisions were formed on 15 October 1935.
Most other armies of the era organized their tanks into tank brigades that required additional organic, Panzer divisions had their own organic infantry and artillery support. This led to a change in doctrine, instead of the tanks supporting operations by other arms. Since the panzer divisions had the arms included, they could operate independently from other units. These first panzer divisions were composed of two regiments, one motorised infantry regiment of two battalions each, and supporting troops. Some of these divisions had quite a large proportion of Panzerkampfwagen I in them. After the invasion of Poland in 1939, the old divisions were partially reorganised, around this time, the newly organised divisions diverged in organisation, each on average with one tank regiment, one separate tank battalion, one or two infantry regiments. The number of tanks in the 1941-style divisions was relatively small, all other units in these formations were fully motorised to match the speed of the tanks.
During the winter 1941/42, the divisions underwent another reorganisation, composing each tank regiment of one to three battalions, depending on location, throughout 1942, the reconnaissance battalions were merged into the motorcycle battalions. By the summer of 1943, the Luftwaffe and Waffen-SS had panzer divisions, a renewed standardization of the tank regiments was attempted. Each was now supposed to consist of two battalions, one Panzer IV and one Panzer V, in reality, the organization continued to vary from division to division. The first infantry battalion of the first infantry regiment of each division was now supposed to be fully mechanised (mounted on armoured half-tracks. The first battalion of the regiment replaced its former light-towed howitzers with a mix of heavy
2nd Panzer Division (Wehrmacht)
The 2nd Panzer Division was an armoured division in the German Army, the Wehrmacht, during World War II. It took part in the Balkans campaign and transferred to the Eastern Front in September 1941, the division fought with Army Group Centre in the battles of Moscow and Kursk. After heavy losses on the Eastern Front it was sent to France for rehabilitation and it fought in Normandy and was almost completely destroyed in the Falaise Pocket. It was rebuilt once more and fought in the Battle of the Bulge and in the defence of the Rhine, the 2nd Panzer Division was formed on 15 October 1935 and was headquartered in Würzburg, Bavaria. It was one of three tank divisions created at the time, the two having been the 1st and 3rd Panzer Division. It formed part of the garrison in Vienna, Austrias capital with most of its personnel now recruited from former Austria, in early September 1939, the 2nd Panzer Division took part in the invasion of Poland, crossing the Polish-Slowak border and advancing towards Kraków.
The division suffered heavy losses fighting in central Poland. In May 1940, the took part in the Battle of France as a part of the XIX Army Corps under the command of Guderian. The division was involved in fighting in Belgium and the Mosel River valley and it arrived in the town of Abbeville on the 20th. Later the division formed the armoured element which flanked the British Expeditionary Army, the 2nd Panzer Division advanced along the River Aisne into the interior of France. At the end of the campaign in the last months of 1940, the division was reassigned to the XVIII Mountain Corps of the 12th Army on 6 April 1941 to play a role in Operation Marita, the invasion of Greece. The German army pushed through the south of Yugoslavia, reaching the Greek border, on 9 April the division took the city of Salonika and forced the surrender of the Greek Eastern Macedonia Army Section. The division, together with the 5th Mountain Division, the 6th Mountain Division, after the 6th Division had taken Verroia and formed a spearhead, on the other side of the River Haliacmon, the 2nd Panzer Division crossed the river, taking Katerini on 14 April.
After the Battle of Thermopylae, the 2nd Panzer Division entered Athens together with the 6th Mountain Division, in October 1941, the 2nd Panzer Division was sent to the Eastern Front, reinforcing Army Group Centre in their push towards Moscow, Operation Typhoon. It was attached to the XL Panzer Corps of the 4th Panzer Army during the Battle of Moscow. The division retreated following a counterattack of the Red Army in the winter of 1941, in 1943 the 2nd Panzer Division took part in Operation Citadel, as part of the XLVII Panzer Corps of the 9th German Army of Army Group Centre. Following the operations failure, the Red Army launched Operation Kutuzov in Army Groups Centers sector, in late 1943 the 2nd Panzer Division was sent to France for refitting after the heavy losses it suffered on the Eastern Front. The division was equipped with Panther tanks, following the invasion of Normandy, the division was moved to Normandy in June, it engaged British troops of the 50th Infantry Division and the 7th Armoured Division