211 Grenadier Regiment History

French Campaign

Infantry Regiment 211 was established on 25 August 1939. The unit was situated at a castle near Magdeburg. 

The regiment was formed from: 
I. Battalion from Infantry Regiment 33 in Dessau. 
II. Battalion from Infantry Regiment 66 in Burg. 
III. Battalion from Infantry Regiment 93 in Stendal and Salzwedel.

The regiment was subordinate to the 71st Infantry Division. After the formation, the regiment was relocated on September 1, 1939 to the area of Pirmasens in Germany near the French border. It was then moved west to Buchweiler-Bärenbach. 

In early 1940, the regiment moved to the Birkenfeld area. On 10 May, the regiment's advance to France began with a march to Wanen, west of Arlon, which was reached on 13 May. On the night of 14 May, the regiment marched into its staging area near Pin in Belgium. There, the regiment remained in readiness overnight. 

On 15 May, the regiment set up reconnaissance troops over the Chiers. 

On 17 May, III. Battalion moved from Pin to the area of Infantry Regiment 191 near Mt. Tilleul. It was given the order to take hill 311. 

Suffering losses, the battalion was not able to take the fortified hill until the evening. The following morning, an armored French counter-attack to the hill took place, which was repulsed. 

On 20 May, the regiment able to rest as another attack on the Maginot Line was no longer necessary. 

The III. Battalion, during the days of 17 to 21 May, had 50 killed, 129 wounded and 17 missing. The I. and III. Battalion took over a section in the Bois de Neudan. The II. Battalion remained at the armored works within the city. 

On 27 May, the I. and III. Battalions of the regiment participated in an attack on Hill 342 in the forest of Inor, but could not penetrate it, suffering heavy losses. 

On 29 May, French forces had withdrawn from the Bois d'Inor. The regiment immediately followed and reached the southern edge of the forest northeast of Inor. On the morning of 11 June, raiding parties of the regiment observed the evacuation of Hill 342 by the enemy. It then attacked independently to the south and reached the southern edge of the le Ligant by 1120am. 

At 2 pm it passed through the Bois de Pelerin. On 12 June, the attack continued in the direction of Verdun. The 2nd Battalion reached Brouennes, the day's destination of the regiment. 

On June 13, the advance in the direction of Verdun continued with Reconnaissance Division 171 placed under the control of the regiment as the left flank guard. 

On June 14, 2nd Battalion of the regiment reached Damvillers at about 8:00 am. By noon, the Second Battalion pushed forward to Azannes, with French forces nested in the woods on either side of the advance road. 

Subsequently, the regiment received the command to advance on Fort Douaumont and Vaux. After brief but fierce battles at Gremilly and Ornes, 2nd Battalion had reached south of Ornes by 8pm. The 1st Battalion prepared to attack to the left of the 2nd Battalion. 

On June 15, the regiment, with II Battalion attacking Douaumont on the right, and with 1st Battalion on the left at Fort Vaux, with the aim of reaching the Verdun - Etain road. 2nd Battalion was commissioned to comb through the wide gap between Infantry Regiment 194 and Infantry Regiment 211 in the forest in a southerly direction to eliminate any flank threats. The battalion was supported by the division reconnaissance unit. At 9am, the 1st Company started moving on Fort Vaux and began to bring into German possession. 2nd Battalion was able to successfully attack Fort Douaumont. 

After the attacks on Forts Vaux by I. and Douaumont by II. Battalion, both battalions advanced south again and reached Verdun - Etain in the evening. To secure the left flank of the regiment, two battalions of Infantry Regiment 379 were brought in. The two battalions arrived in Damloup around 4:00 pm and crossed Verdun - Etain in the late afternoon, throwing back weaker enemy forces. 

At about 3 o'clock on June 16, the line Tillat - South Rim Fort Moulainville - 1 km south of Eix was reached. On the morning of June 16, 1940, the battle for the fortress Verdun were over and the regiment went to the pursuit of the remaining forces. 

The regiment marched on the road leading south on the eastern slope of the Côte Lorraine. It reached the area north of Chaillon by early morning of June 17. By midday, the regiment launched an attack via Beaumont on Toul. On June 18, the regiment, with II and III. Battalion, reached the bridge point at Aingeray and was used by the Division to secure the Toul - Nancy road in Foret de Haye. 

1st Battalion attacked the forest of Marbotte on 18 June and cleaned it of the enemy. On June 19, the regiment remained in these secured positions, thus ending their campaign through France. 

Infantry Regiment 211 suffered during the fighting the losses of 

Officers: 12 KIA, 11 WIA
Enlisted: 204 KIA, 539 WIA and 5 missing.