The German 6. Infanterie Division (6th Infantry Division) was formed in 1921 with its Infantry
Regiments being used to form other units, but retained its 18th Infantry Regiment. In 1934 the
division used the codename Infanterieführer V (Infantry Leader 5), and was composed mainly of
Westphalians, with some East Prussians and Rhinelanders. The 6. Infanterie Division was
assigned to the Saar sector when the Invasion of Poland took place in 1939, but would fight well
during the Battle of France gaining a reputation as an effective fighting unit. It remained in
France on occupation duty until March 1941 when it was sent to East Prussia in preparation of
Operation Barbarossa. Assigned to Army Group Center the division took part in the Drive on
Moscow, and even managed to cross the Volga River at Kalinin north of Moscow in November.
The division held the city until January of 1942 when it was forced back due to the Soviet Winter
Counter-Offensive. The 6. Infanterie Division fought in the Rzhev Salient until March 1943 when
it and a dozen other divisions retreated to shorten the front lines. In July 1943 the division took
part in the Battle of Kursk and Orel before going on the defensive. In July 1944 the division
surrendered with the rest of the surrounded XXXV Korps (35th Corps) at Mogilev. However
enough of the division had escaped the encirclement or returned wounded to form a new 6.
Infanterie Division. With roughly 1,100 veterans of the old 6. Infanterie Division and absorbing
the 552. Grenadier Division they combined to form the 6. Volksgrenadier Division in October
1944. The new division, which was severely understrength, was sent back to the eastern front
and took part in the defensive battles of Poland at Warsaw and Radom in late 1944 before
being surrounded in January 1945 and all but destroyed during the Soviet Vistula-Oder
Offensive. The 6. Infanterie Division was reformed again in March 1945, this time using the
Shadow Infanterie Division Dresden, which consisted of 4 Infantry Battalions, an Artillery
Battalion and an Engineer Company.