Infanterie Division 89
Organization, History and Strength
The division was organized as an infantry division on the 25th Mobilization Wave in January 1944, and moved to Norway in February to complete its formation. The division moved to Amiens, France, in June 1944 after the Allied landings in Normandy where it received its divisional fusilier (reconnaissance) battalion, field replacement battalion and briefly a fourth battalion for its divisional artillery which went instead to the 711th Infantry Division.1
The division had the following major units under command in August 1944.2
The division is estimated to have had a strength of just 8,000 to 8,500 men, but a report on 18 July 1944 stated the division had 100% mobility in its horse-drawn elements, and 83% of its motorized elements. The division arrived in Normandy at the end of July 1944, and on 3 August subordinated to 1st SS Panzer Corps.
On 4 August 1944 the division was deployed as follows:
On 6 August 1944 elements of the division went into action accompanied by 13 Sturmpanzer IVs attached from Sturmpanzer Abteilung 217. The division's positions were attacked during Operation TOTALIZE on 7 August 1944 and about 4,000 men were lost in the ensuing fighting. By 25 August the division had just six artillery pieces still in service.3
The division was shattered in the Normandy fighting and later rebuilt with a third Grenadier Regiment. The division went back into action and remained on the Western Front, fighting in the Netherlands and Germany until April 1945.
The division was commanded by Generalleutnant Conrad-Oskar Heinrichs from 10 February 1944 until September 1944 when he was killed in action during an air attack.
Heinrichs' military service began in 1911 with Graf Tauentzien von Wittenberg (3rd Brandenburger) Regiment No. 20. He began the First World War as a battalion adjutant, and was wounded and taken prisoner by the French on 9 September 1914. He remained a prisoner until August 1918, and was interned in Switzerland for an additional year. He joined the Reichswehr after returning to Germany in August 1919 and retired in May 1934 at the age of 44. His commission was reactivated in May 1939 and he commanded several infantry regiments, fighting in the French Campaign as coomander of Infantry Regiment 24 (of the 21st Infantry Division). On 1 July 1942 he assumed command of the 290th Infantry Division. In January 1944 he left the 290th, spent a brief period attached the the Führer Reserve, and assumed command of the 89th on 10 February.
Heinrichs had received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 13 September 1941 when he commanded the 24th Infantry Regiment with the rank of Oberst.