Orders of Battle – Armies, Korps, and Armeegruppes / Orden der Schlacht – Armeen, Korps und Armeegruppes

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2. Armee / 2nd Army

The 2nd Army (German: 2. Armee Oberkommando) was a World War II field army.

The 2nd Army was activated on 20 October 1939, with General Maximilian Reichsfreiherr von Weichs in command. First seeing service in France, the army was involved in the invasion of the Balkans, before offensive operations in Ukraine as part of Operation Barbarossa.

In 1942, the II. Armee covered the northern wing of opération Fall Blau operating in the surroundings of Voronezh and suffered a major defeat during the Soviet winter offensive that followed the Battle of Stalingrad.

In 1945, the army was redesignated AOK Ostpreußen and was pivotal in the defense of East and West Prussia before finally surrendering on 9 May 1945.

3rd Panzer Army

The 3rd Panzer Army (German: 3. Panzerarmee) was a German armoured formation during World War II, formed from the 3rd Panzer Group on 1 January 1942.

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.

4th Army

The 4th Army (German: 4. Armee) was a field army of the Wehrmacht during World War II.

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.

9. Armee

The 9th Army (German: 9. Armee) was a World War II field army. It was activated on 15 May 1940 with General Johannes Blaskowitz in command.

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.

14. Armee

The 14th Army (German: 14. Armee) was a World War II field army of the German Army.

The 14th Army was activated on 1 August 1939 with General Wilhelm List in command and saw service in Poland until the end of the Polish campaign on 13 October 1939.

The 14th Army was reactivated for the defense of Italy in late 1943 when its headquarters was created using the headquarters personnel of Army Group B which had been abolished when Albert Kesselring was given command of all Axis troops in Italy. 14th Army was initially responsible for the defense of Rome and dealing with any amphibious landings the Allies might make to the rear of the German 10th Army, which was fighting on the defensive lines south of Rome. The 14th Army faced the Allied amphibious landings at Anzio in January 1944 and after the Allied breakthrough in May 1944 took part in the fighting retreat to the Gothic Line. The German armies in Italy finally surrendered on 2 May 1945 after being defeated during the Allies’ Spring offensive.

17th Army

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

20. Gebirgsarmee – 20th Mountain Army

The German Lapland Army (AOK Lappland) was one of the two army echelon headquarters controlling German troops in the far north of Norway and Finland during World War II. It was established in January 1942 and renamed the 20th Mountain Army (20. Gebirgsarmee) in June 1942. On 18 December 1944, the 20th Mountain Army absorbed the German 21st Army.


XXXIX.Panzerkorps

The XXXIX Panzer Corps was a German panzer corps which saw action on the Western and Eastern Fronts during World War II.

The Corps whose home station was formed (as the XXXIX Army Corps) in 1940 for the German invasion of France, in which it was part of Group Guderian, the 2nd and 1st Armies. In June 1941, the Corps was assigned to Army Group Centre for Operation Barbarossa, Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union. It initially attacked towards Vilnius and was then took part in the first Battle of Minsk. By August, it was assigned to Army Group North for the attack on Leningrad.

On 9 July 1942, the Corps was reorganized as the XXXIX Panzer Corps. It was shifted to the Rzhev salient, under the 9th Army of Army Group Centre, where it was involved in Battle of Rzhev in the summer of 1942. Army Group Centre evacuated the Rzhev salient early in 1943. During the autumn, the Corps took part in the defense against Operation Suvorov, withdrawing to positions east of Mogilev.

During June 1944, the XXXIX Panzer Corps took part in the defense against the Soviet summer offensive, Operation Bagration; covering the strategically important highway through Mogilev, it was one of the strongest corps in the Army Group at the time, with four high-quality divisions. Soviet breakthroughs to the north and south saw the Corps threatened with encirclement within a matter of days, while the 12th Infantry Division was encircled in Mogilev and destroyed. The corps commander, General Robert Martinek was killed on 28 June and his replacement Otto Schünemann was killed the following day. The Corps disintegrated at the Berezina River crossings as its columns attempted to cross the river under heavy air attack; nearly all its units were destroyed by the 2nd Belorussian Front in the subsequent encirclement east of Minsk. The commanders of the 110th, 12th, 31st, and Feldherrnhalle Divisions, Kurowski, Bamler, Ochsner, and Steinkeller respectively, were all captured.

The Corps was reformed by redesignating Gruppe von Saucken, composed of ad hoc battle groups along with the 5th Panzer Division and commanded by Dietrich von Saucken. Renamed XXXIX Panzer Corps, it fought for the control of Minsk and then retreated in the face of the subsequent stages of the Soviet strategic offensive through Belarus, Poland, and Lithuania, being pushed back into the Courland Pocket. During this period, the rebuilt Corps was reinforced with the 4th and 12th Panzer Divisions as well as the Panzergrenadier Division Großdeutschland, taking part in Operation Doppelkopf. Late in the year, it was redeployed to East Prussia before being reorganized and withdrawn for use in the Ardennes Offensive. It was assigned to Hasso von Manteuffel’s 5th Panzer Army.

After the defeat of the Ardennes offensive in the Battle of the Bulge, the Corps was redeployed against the Soviet offensives in Pomerania as part of the newly organized 11th SS Panzer Army, Army Group Vistula. It was employed in Operation Solstice, the failed counter-offensive at Stargard against the spearheads of the 1st Belorussian Front. On 27 March, the Corps was thrown into a disastrous counter-attack to relieve the fortress of Küstrin and was almost entirely destroyed.

Army East Prussia

Army East Prussia (Armeeoberkommando Ostpreußen, abbreviated AOK Ostpreußen) was created from the AOK 2nd Army and also absorbed the remnants of the 4th Army on 7 April 1945. AOK Ostpreußen controlled all the troops in East Prussia and West Prussia. After the loss of Gdańsk (then: Danzig) and Gdynia (then: Gotenhafen) in the East Prussian Offensive, the army had been isolated in the Bay of Gdansk.


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.

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