17. Luftwaffe Feld-Division
Luftwaffe Field Divisions
The 17th Luftwaffe Field Division was one of 22 infantry divisions formed by the Luftwaffe from 1942-1943. The Luftwaffe Field Divisions were the result of political turmoil among the different factions of the German military system. While the German Army was being bled dry on the Russian front the German Navy and especially the Air force, had an excess of men. In the summer of 1942 the German Army High Command requested that some of these troops be transferred to the army as replacements for the extreme loses being suffered. Though Hitler initially agreed he was convinced by Hermann Göring that these were good political solders and decided to form his own army with them. The creation of the Luftwaffe Field Divisions in addition to the Waffen SS resulted in German ground forces that were fragmented and held their allegiance to three distinct organizations. The army generals argued that the Luftwaffe men were poorly trained and that the results would be catastrophic. Of course, they were correct and after performing poorly and suffering heavy losses they were eventually brought into the army.
17th Luftwaffe Field Division
The 17th Luftwaffe Field Division was stationed on the Channel Coast in France in 1943. In the spring of 1944 the division was in the Le Havre area. This was one of the units designated as “bodenstandig,” which means they were a static division with minimal transportation. The division had been subordinated to the 81.AK. since late 1943. It was virtually destroyed in northern France in August 1944 and was disbanded. Its remnants were absorbed by the 167th Volksgrenadier Division which was formed at that time.