|Country Nazi Germany|
Role Air Landing
|Active 15 January 1944 – 10 August 1944|
The 91st Air Landing Division (German 91. Luftlande-Infanterie-Division) was a German Army infantry division in World War II.
Originally formed as an Air Landing Division (Luftlandivision) trained, and equipped to be transported by air (i.e. transportable artillery, few heavy support weapons) to take part in Operation Tanne Ost, an aborted airborne operation in Scandinavia, despite its name the 91st was a regular Heer unit and spent its entire existence as an infantry division.
Formed in the Baumholder area from replacement center personnel in January 1944 under the command of Generalleutnant Bruno Ortner, its command was transferred to Generalleutnant Wilhelm Falley and moved to the Cotentin peninsula with von der Heydte's 6th Parachute Regiment and 100th Panzer Replacement and Training Battalion, armed with captured French light tanks, attached as part of the German 7th Army.
Located within the landing zones of both the U.S. 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. It saw heavy fighting around Sainte-Mère-Église with its divisional commander being killed.
Placed under the temporary command of Generalmajor Bernard Klosterkemper It attempted to block the U.S. 4th Infantry Divisions advance off Utah Beach at Carentan where its 1058th Grenadier Regiment was all but destroyed. After the second week of the Allied invasion of Normandy the 91st had suffered so many casualties it was no longer considered effective as a unit.
Now at battle group strength it was attached to the 77th Infantry Division then to the 243rd Infantry Division in Corps von Schlieban defending Cherbourg where most of its remaining forces were captured by the Americans. Remnants of the division under the command of Colonel Eugen Konig escaping to the south. Despite recommendation the unit be dissolved Oberkommando der Heer (OKH) chose to rebuild it adding replacement battalions and sending it back to the front in early August.
Defending Rennes from Lieutenant General George S. Patton's U.S. Third Army it again suffered heavy casualties and was reduced to battle group strength. It followed the German retreat to the Siegfried Line and was later absorbed into the 344th Volksgrenadier Division.