243. Infanterie Division
The division was formed in July 1943 in Döllersheim, Germany, and sent to Normandy inthe autumn.
Originally it was a static division, but it had been gradually upgrading itsmobility and in May 1944 it had comparatively good mobility for being a Germaninfantry division in the west.On 1 May 1944, the manpower strength of the division amounted to 11 529.
This was probably close to authorized strength, since one month earlier it was reported that thedivision was short of 226 men
.The structure of the division looked like this on 1 May
:All infantry battalions had 44 light machine guns, except II./921 which had 46 and I./922which had 45. The number of mortars were eight per battalion, except I./921 which hadten. All mortars had a calibre of 8 cm. Each infantry regiment had one infantry howitzer company with six Russian 7,62 cm infantry howitzers. Also each regiment had onecompany with three 7,5 cm AT guns. All infantry companies, except those of 920. Rgtwere equipped with bicycles.
Equipment of the artillery regiment consisted of Russian 7, 62 cm guns in I. and II.Abteilung. The III. Abteilung had Russian 12,2 cm howitzers in batteries 7 - 9, while 10.Batterie had Russian 12,2 cm guns. All batteries had four artillery pieces each. They wereall motorized.
The Panzerjäger Abteilung had 14 Marder 38 and 10 StuG III.
They had been sent to thedivision in March 1944.
Also the battalion had a company with twelve 2 cm Flak guns.
One of these was on tracked chassis, while two were motorized.
With only two companies the engineer battalion was relatively weak. It had 19 machineguns. Both companies were equipped with bicycles.
The field replacement battalion had four companies. Equipment consisted of 48 machineguns and one mortar.
When the allies landed, the 243. Division was deployed on the western side of theCotentin peninsula. Thus it was gradually drawn into the battle. Parts of the division wereencircled in Cherbourg, but also those parts not cut off had substantial casualties. Amongthe elements not surrounded losses amounted to 55 % among the infantry, 25 % in theartillery, 30-40 % among AT units and 90 % of the engineers. The figures apply to the period 6 - 24 June.