|Active 10 October 1940 – 1945|
Role light infantry
|Country Nazi Germany|
The 100th Jäger Division, formerly the 100th Light Infantry Division (German: 100. Leichte Infanterie Division) was a light infantry division of the German Army during World War II. 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 formations were more facilely combat capable than the brute force offered by their standard infantry counterparts. The Jäger divisions were more heavily equipped than the mountain equivalents, but not as well armed as a larger infantry division. In the early stages of the war, it was 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 downsized, the Jäger structure of divisions with two infantry regiments, became the standard table of organization.
In 1944, Adolf Hitler declared that all infantry divisions were now VolksGrenadier Divisions except for his elite Jäger and Mountain Jäger divisions.
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 detached from the 18th Infantry. The division comprised two-thirds Austrian and one-third Silesian men.
The 100th Light Infantry Division's first campaign as a fighting force was Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union, where it 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.
In October, the 369th Reinforced Croatian Infantry Regiment was attached to the division to bolster its size when attacking the Eastern Front.
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.
The 100th Jäger Division was reestablished and fought partisans in the Balkans, Croatia, Albania, and was deployed on coastal protection duties in the Strait of Otranto.