3rd Panzer Division (Wehrmacht)

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3rd Panzer Division
3rd and 20th Panzer Division logo.svg
Unit insignia
Active 15 October 1935 – 8 May 1945
Country  Nazi Germany
Allegiance Balkenkreuz.svg Wehrmacht
Branch Heer
Type Panzer
Role Armoured warfare
Size Division
Engagements World War II
During Operation Citadel 75px
summer 1943 3rd Panzer Division logo.svg

The German 3rd Panzer Division (3. Panzer-Division) was established in 1935 under the command of Generalleutnant Ernst Feßmann. It later participated in the 1939 invasion of Poland under the command of Leo Geyr von Schweppenburg (where it was the most numerically powerful Panzer Division in the campaign, with 391 tanks), the 1940 invasion of France, and the 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union. One light company from the 5th Panzer Regiment of the 3rd Panzer Division participated in the Invasion of Norway.[1] On the Eastern Front it participated in the 1942 drive on the Caucasus. It participated in the Battle of Kursk as part of the 48th Panzer Corps, fighting alongside the 11th Panzer division, the 167th Infantry division and the elite Panzer Grenadier Division Grossdeutschland. During the battle, the 3rd Panzer was used to achieve the initial breakthrough and inflicted heavy damage to the Soviet forces. It was then used to protect the flanks of the 48th Panzer Corps. After the Soviet counter-attack at Kursk, in which the 3rd Panzer division tried unsuccessfully to defend Kharkov, it retreated as the Germans were driven back westward. In early 1945 it was transferred from Poland to Hungary, and in the spring it was transferred to Austria, where it surrendered to the US at the end of the war.

Its insignia was the Berlin Bear.[2]

File:Deutsches Kriegerdenkmal Fuerstenfeld.JPG
3rd Panzer Division memorial commemorating those killed in action


See also


  1. Achtung Panzer.com accessed 21 May 2008
  2. Samuel W. Mitcham, The Panzer Legions, Stackpole Books, 2000
  • David M. Glantz."The Battle of Kursk"