Orders of Battle – Armies and Armeegruppes

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4th Panzer Army

The 4th Panzer Army (German: 4. Panzerarmee) was, before being designated a full army, the Panzer Group 4 (Panzergruppe 4), a German panzer army that saw action during World War II. Its units played a part in the invasion of France, and then on the Eastern Front.

6th Army

The 6th Army was a field army of the German Wehrmacht during World War II. The army is known for being destroyed in the Battle of Stalingrad and for the war crimes committed under the command of Field Marshal Walther von Reichenau during Operation Barbarossa.

7th Army

The 7th Army (German: 7. Armee Oberkommando) was a World War II field army of the German land forces.

During the Battle of the Bulge, it consisted of three infantry (212th, 256th, 352nd Volksgrenadier) divisions and one parachute (5th) division.

12th Army

The 12th Army (German: 12. Armee) was a World War II field army.

The 12th Army was activated on October 13, 1939, with General Wilhelm List in command. First seeing defensive action along the Siegfried Line, the army was involved in the invasion and occupation of France. The army was then relocated to Romania as part of the Axis offensive in the Balkans.

In February 1941, an agreement between Field Marshal List and the Bulgarian General Staff allowed the passage of German troops. On the night of February 28, German Army units crossed the Danube from Romania and took up strategic positions in Bulgaria.

On 6 April, units of the 12th army advanced into Yugoslavia and Greece. The Yugoslavians crumbled first. But, after six months of fighting the Italians, the Greeks could not stand up to the 12th Army’s fifteen divisions, four of which were armored.

The British subsequently rushed four divisions from Libya to aid the Greeks but they, like the Greeks, were overwhelmed by the German panzers and by Luftwaffe strikes. The northern Greek armies surrendered to the Germans on April 23. Four days later the panzers entered Athens and hoisted the swastika over the Acropolis.

The 12th Army became Army Group E (Heeresgruppe E) on January 1, 1943.

The 12th Army was reconstituted on the Western Front near the Elbe River on April 10, 1945.  Under General Walther Wenck, the 12th Army made the last attempt by a German Army to relieve Adolf Hitler in the besieged German capital during the Battle of Berlin. Although it successfully reached Potsdam, the 12th Army was stopped by superior Soviet Red Army forces and forced to abandon the effort to relieve Berlin. The 12th Army then linked up with the remnants of General Theodor Busse’s decimated 9th Army south of Beelitz and, in the confusion of the Soviet breakthrough, provided a corridor to the west for soldiers and refugees alike to reach and cross the partially destroyed Elbe River bridge at Tangermünde and surrender to American Forces between May 4 and May 7, 1945.

17th Army

The German Seventeenth Army (German: 17. Armee) was a World War II field army.

Army Group North

Army Group North (German: Heeresgruppe Nord) was a German strategic echelon formation, commanding a grouping of field armies during World War II. The army group was subordinated to the Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH), the German army high command, and coordinated the operations of attached separate army corps, reserve formations, rear services and logistics.

Army Group South

Army Group South (German: Heeresgruppe Süd) was the name of a number of German Army Groups during World War II.

Germany used two army groups to invade Poland in 1939: Army Group North and Army Group South. In this campaign Army Group South was led by Gerd von Rundstedt and his chief of staff Erich von Manstein.

Army Group South was one of three army groups into which the Germans organised their forces for Operation Barbarossa. Army Group South’s principal objective was to capture Ukraine and its capital Kiev. Ukraine was a major center of Soviet industry and mining and had the good farmland required for Hitler’s plans for Lebensraum (‘living space’).

Army Group South was then to advance up to the Volga River, subsequently draining a portion of the Red Army and thus clearing the way for the Army Group North and the Army Group Center on their approach to Leningrad and Moscow respectively.

To carry out these initial tasks its battle order included the First Panzer Group(Gen. Kliest) and the German Sixth ( Gen. Reichenau), Seventeenth (Gen. Stulpagel) and Eleventh (Gen. Shobert) Armies, Luftlotte 1(Keller) and the Romanian Third and Fourth Armies.

The German Sixth Army, which fought in the destructive Battle of Stalingrad, was re-constituted and later made part of Army Group South.

In preparation for Operation Blue, the 1942 campaign in southern Russia and the Caucasus, Army Group South was split into two armies: Army Group A and Army Group B.

In February 1943, Army Group Don and the existing Army Group B were combined and re-designated Army Group South. A new Army Group B became a major formation elsewhere.

On 4 April 1944, Army Group South was re-designated Army Group North Ukraine. Army Group North Ukraine existed from 4 April to 28 September.

In September 1944, Army Group South Ukraine was again re-designated Army Group South.

At the end of World War II in Europe, Army Group South was again renamed. As Army Group Ostmark, the remnants of Army Group South ended the war fighting in and around Austria and Czechoslovakia. Army Group Ostmark was one of the last major German military formations to surrender to the Allies.

German Military History with a focus on World War 2 History including other areas of German History

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