Well, now that Victory Was Beyond Their Grasp is being shipped out by the publisher (including signed copies to Marc, Christian et al), I need to post a correction in order to head some of my critics off at the pass, to use the well-worn cowboy expression.
In the book, I state that the Volks-Grenadier Division was the last evolution in the development of the German infantry division. This is both true and not technically correct. Technically, the so-called "Infanterie-Division 45" was the final evolution of the German infantry division, but differed very little from the Volks-Grenadier Division structure and, in fact, was nearly identical.
On 10 Dec. 1944, ALL infantry divisions of the field army were ordered to convert to the Inf.Div. 45 structure. This order had only minimal impact on existing VGDs but all the other infantry divisions (excepting Jaeger and Gebirgsjaeger Divs) organized under the old "Inf.Div.n.A." aka Kriegsetat 1944 structure had to undergo transformation in order to comply. Exempted from this order was the 1. Inf.Div. (which kept the old 1941 structure) and 6 infantry divisions in Norway (210., 230., 270., 274., 280., and 295.).
In actual terms, the Inf.Div. 45 differed from the VGD structure by acknowledging changes that had already been adopted in the field by existing VGDs, by formalizing the restoration of the Fuesilier Kompanie back into a Fuesilier Battalion and by adding a 3rd Kompanie back to the Pionier-Bataillon.
Also, all the old remaining two-regiment infantry divisions (each regiment with 3 battalions) were converted to the Inf.Div. 45 structure, if time and troops & equipment were available. This affected 11 of this type of division - the 199., 281., 361., 711., 712., 719., 702., 715., 347., 84., and 89. However, the planned conversions of these divisions in several cases never came to fruition as they were either destroyed before they could undergo the process or the war ended before their reorganization was completed.
Bottom line, the Inf.Div. 45 was nearly identical to the VGD table of organization and did not represent a new design, unlike the case of the VGD, which in fact represented a significant departure from how earlier divisions were manned, armed and equipped.
Since I knew this when I wrote the book, I did not really spend much time dwelling on it. However, since I know that readers of this website and elsewhere will attempt to call me on it, I will include this little bit of information in the next edition of VWBTG.
PS: I do not mention the 4 RAD divisions in this context since tecnically they were formed primarily from RAD personnel using the framework of shattered regular divisions. From everything that I can gather, it seems that they were supposed to follow the Inf.Div. 45 aka VGD structure, but formation of these units seems to have been haphazard at best, with substantial deviations in equipment.
Abbott: This sure is a beautiful forest.
Costello: Too bad you can't see it for all those trees!