716. Infanterie is an Axis Infantry division in Steel Division. The 716. was formed of men who were too old, too young or too sick to be sent to the front, as well as Soviet & Italian "volunteers" drawn from POW camps. A static division, it lacked armoured vehicles, but compensated with a superior provision of artillery which included heavy coastal or train guns, and heavy machine-guns to stop the Allies.
Although the division bore the brunt of the Allied assault on D-Day and was quickly dislocated, his tenacious defence prevented them from seizing their most prized objectives immediately, such as Carpiquet and Caen.
This was achieved thanks to its commander, a veteran WW1 infantryman. Richter started WW2 as an artillery regiment commander in Poland, France & USSR.
In March 1943, he was given command of the 716. Infantry Division in France, a static division formed of men too old or sick for frontline duty, and almost entirely deprived of transport.
Putting his WW1 trench warfare experience and artillery expertise to good use, Richter organised a series of reinforced strongpoints with a strong emphasis on machine-gun nests and artillery support.
His preparations slowed the Allies enough to spoil their D-Day objectives. In the single first week of fighting, his division had lost around 60% of his personnel and had to be retired from the frontline.
716. ID's soldiers are at their best fighting as their fathers did in the Great War: by forming a strongpoint around MGs and infantry guns, supported by artillery, and only advancing under cover of infantry tanks.
With few effective anti-tank assets in reserve, 716. ID must rely on early available 88mm dual-purpose guns and air support to break enemy advances and progress itself.
This page was last edited on 15 February 2021, at 16:50.
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