16th Army (Wehrmacht)

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16. Armee
16th Army
Insignia of the German 16. Armee (Wehrmacht).svg
Active22 October 1939 – 8 May 1945
CountryFlag of Germany (1935-1945).svg  Nazi Germany
Branch Army
Engagements World War II

The 16th Army (German : 16. Armee) was a World War II field army of the Wehrmacht.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium and Liechtenstein. It is one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages that are most similar to the German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch, including Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

World War II 1939–1945, between Axis and Allies

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from more than 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Field army military unit size designation

A field army is a military formation in many armed forces, composed of two or more corps and may be subordinate to an army group. Likewise, air armies are equivalent formation within some air forces. A field army is composed of 100,000 to 150,000 troops.

Contents

History

It took part in the Battle of France. It was then deployed with Army Group North during Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union. It fought its way into northern Russia where in January 1942 part of it was encircled by the Soviets near Demyansk. Hitler forbade a withdrawal and the Army was re-supplied by air until a land corridor was opened in April 1942. It was subsequently involved in the siege of Leningrad. The Soviets relieved Leningrad in January 1944.

Battle of France Successful German invasion of France in 1940

The Battle of France, also known as the Fall of France, was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries during the Second World War. France had previously invaded Germany in 1939. In the six weeks from 10 May 1940, German forces defeated Allied forces by mobile operations and conquered France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, bringing land operations on the Western Front to an end until the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944. Italy entered the war on 10 June 1940 and invaded France over the Alps.

Army Group North was a German strategic echelon formation, commanding a grouping of field armies during World War II. The German 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, including the Army Group North Rear Area.

Operation Barbarossa 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union during the Second World War

Operation Barbarossa was the code name for the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, which started on Sunday, 22 June 1941, during World War II. The operation stemmed from Nazi Germany's ideological aim of conquering the western Soviet Union so that it could be repopulated by Germans, and to also use some Slavs as a slave labour force for the Axis war effort and to annihilate the rest according to Generalplan Ost, and to acquire the oil reserves of the Caucasus and the agricultural resources of Soviet territories.

On February 19, 1944, the Soviet 2nd Baltic Front launched a fresh set of attacks against the German 16th Army around Kholm. The Soviet 22nd Army made good progress in the initial assault. These attacks greatly diminished the 16th Army. It, along with the 18th Army was cut off in the Courland Peninsula when the Soviets launched their summer and autumn offensives of 1944. It stayed trapped there as part of Army Group Courland until the end of the war. In May 1945 the remnants of the army, now reduced to corps strength, capitulated to the Red Army and were marched into captivity. The survivors were eventually repatriated in 1955.

The 2nd Baltic Front was a major formation of the Red Army during the Second World War.

The 22nd Army was a field army of the Red Army during World War II.

The Courland Peninsula is the north-western part of Courland.

Commanders

No.CommanderTook officeLeft officeTime in office
1
Ernst Bernhard Wilhelm Busch.jpg
Busch, ErnstGeneralfeldmarschall
Ernst Busch
(1885–1945)
22 October 193911 October 19433 years, 354 days
2
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1971-035-88, Christian Hansen.jpg
Hansen, ChristianGeneral der Artillerie
Christian Hansen
(1885–1972)
11 October 19431 July 1944264 days
3
Blank.png
Laux, PaulGeneral der Infanterie
Paul Laux
(1887–1944)
2 July 194430 August 194459 days
4
Portrait Carl Hilpert (cropped).jpg
Hilpert, CarlGeneraloberst
Carl Hilpert
(1888–1947)
3 September 194410 March 1945188 days
5
Blank.png
Krosigk, ErnstGeneral der Infanterie
Ernst-Anton von Krosigk
(1898–1945)
10 March 194516 March 1945 6 days
6
Blank.png
Kirchensittenbach, FriedrichGeneral der Gebirgstruppen
Friedrich-Jobst Volckamer von Kirchensittenbach
(1898–1945)
[1]
17 March 194510 May 194554 days

Related Research Articles

Army Group Courland was a German Army Group on the Eastern Front which was created from remnants of the Army Group North, isolated in the Courland Peninsula by the advancing Soviet Army forces during the 1944 Baltic Offensive of the Second World War. The army group remained isolated until the end of World War II in Europe. All units of the Army Group were ordered to surrender by the capitulated Wehrmacht command on 8 May 1945.

Battle of Narva (1944) Battle of World War II

The Battle of Narva was a military campaign between the German Army Detachment "Narwa" and the Soviet Leningrad Front fought for possession of the strategically important Narva Isthmus on 2 February – 10 August 1944 during World War II.

Baltic Offensive military offensive

The Baltic Offensive, also known as the Baltic Strategic Offensive, denotes the campaign between the northern Fronts of the Red Army and the German Army Group North in the Baltic States during the autumn of 1944. The result of the series of battles was the isolation and encirclement of the Army Group North in the Courland Pocket and Soviet re-occupation of the Baltic States.

German occupation of Latvia during World War II

The occupation of Latvia by Nazi Germany was completed on July 10, 1941 by Germany's armed forces. Latvia became a part of Nazi Germany's Reichskommissariat Ostland—the Province General of Latvia. Anyone not racially acceptable or who opposed the German occupation, as well as those who had cooperated with the Soviet Union, were killed or sent to concentration camps in accordance with the Nazi Generalplan Ost.

Many Latvians resisted the occupation of Latvia by Nazi Germany. The Latvian resistance movement was divided between the pro-independence units under the Latvian Central Council and the pro-Soviet units under the Central Staff of the Partisan Movement in Moscow. Daugavpils was the scene of fierce Jewish resistance during the Holocaust. Many local Latvians were actively involved in the resistance movement against the ethnic policies of the German occupation regime. Žanis Lipke risked his life to save more than 50 Jews. 134 Latvians were later honored with the title Righteous Among the Nations.

Courland Pocket Group of German forces on the Courland Peninsula that was cut off and surrounded by the Red Army from July 1944 through May 1945

The Courland Pocket was a group of German forces of Reichskommissariat Ostland on the Courland Peninsula that was cut off and surrounded by the Red Army from July 1944 through May 1945.

Leningrad Front front

The Leningrad Front was formed during the 1941 German approach on Leningrad by dividing the Northern Front into the Leningrad Front and Karelian Front on August 27, 1941.

The 42nd Army was a field army of the Soviet Union's Red Army, created in 1941.

310th Rifle Division (Soviet Union)

The 310th Rifle Division was a standard Red Army rifle division formed on July 15, 1941 in Kazakhstan before being sent to the vicinity of Leningrad, where it spent most of the war, sharing a similar combat path with its "sister", the 311th Rifle Division. The soldiers of the division fought until early 1944 to, first, hold open some sort of lifeline to the besieged city, then to break the siege and drive off the besieging German forces. They then participated in the offensive that drove Germany's Finnish allies out of the war. Finally, the division was redeployed to take the fight to the German heartland in the winter and spring of 1945. It ended the war north of Berlin with a very creditable combat record for any rifle division.

The 67th Army was a field army of the Soviet Union's Red Army. The 67th Army was formed in October 1942 on the Leningrad Front from the Neva Operational Group. It defended the right bank of the Neva River, holding the Nevsky Pyatachok and covering the Road of Life. In January 1943 the army fought in Operation Iskra. In late December, the army was combined with 55th Army. The 67th Army headquarters was disbanded and 55th Army headquarters was renamed 67th Army headquarters. Between January and March 1944 67th Army fought in the Leningrad–Novgorod Offensive, in which it captured Mga and Luga. In April the army became part of the 3rd Baltic Front and fought in the Pskov-Ostrov Offensive in July and the Tartu Offensive in August and September. The army fought in the Riga Offensive in September and October. The army then fought to eliminate the Courland Pocket. After the end of the war the army was disbanded during the summer of 1945.

327th Rifle Division (Soviet Union)

The 327th Rifle Division was first formed in September 1941, as a standard Red Army rifle division, based on a cadre of workers from Voronezh. This formation was assigned to the Volkhov Front near Leningrad, toiling through the so-called "Rat's War" in the wooded swamps of that region and taking significant casualties in the encirclement of its 2nd Shock Army near Lyuban in early 1942. In January 1943, it helped to lead the partial raising of the German siege of Leningrad in Operation Iskra, distinguishing itself sufficiently to be redesignated as the 64th Guards Rifle Division. Well over a year later a second 327th Rifle Division was formed and was also moved to the Leningrad region where it took part in the offensive that drove Finland from the war, then spent the first months of 1945 clearing German forces from the coasts of the Baltic States and containing the German forces trapped in Courland.

314th Rifle Division (Soviet Union)

The 314th Rifle Division was a standard Red Army rifle division formed on July 15, 1941 at Petropavlovsk in northern Kazakhstan, before being sent to the vicinity of Leningrad, in the 7th Separate Army east of Lake Ladoga, facing the Finnish Army in East Karelia for more than a year. In consequence the division saw relatively uneventful service on this mostly quiet front until the autumn of 1942, when it was moved south to face German Army Group North, and took a leading role in Operation Iskra, which finally drove a land corridor through to besieged Leningrad in January 1943; a year later it also served prominently in the offensive that broke the enemy siege for good. During the summer the division played a role in the offensive that drove Finland out of the war. Following this, the 314th spent a few months fighting in the Baltic States, before being reassigned southwards to 1st Ukrainian Front to take the fight into Poland and then into the German heartland in the winter and spring of 1945. It ended the war in Czechoslovakia with a distinguished record of service.

The 288th Rifle Division was an infantry division of the Soviet Union's Red Army during World War II. Formed in the summer of 1941, the division was sent into combat on the Volkhov Front in the fall of that year. The division served in the area until early 1944 when the Siege of Leningrad was ended and the 288th advanced into the Baltic states. The division spent the final months of the war blockading trapped German troops in the Courland Pocket before being disbanded in early 1946.

The 268th Rifle Division was an infantry division of the Soviet Union's Red Army during World War II.

The 267th Rifle Division was an infantry division of the Soviet Union's Red Army during World War II.

376th Rifle Division (Soviet Union)

The 376th Rifle Division was raised in 1941 as an infantry division of the Red Army, and served for the duration of the Great Patriotic War in that role. It began forming in August, 1941 in the Siberian Military District. It followed a very similar combat path to that of the 374th Rifle Division. It joined the fighting front in December with the new 59th Army along the Volkhov River and it continued to serve in the battles near Leningrad until early 1944. The division took horrendous casualties in the combat to create and hold open a passage to the 2nd Shock Army during the Lyuban Offensive and was itself partly or fully encircled at several times during this dismal fighting. The division finally left this region as it advanced during the Leningrad–Novgorod Offensive in January 1944 and in July won a battle honor in the liberation of Pskov, while its 1250th Rifle Regiment was awarded the Order of the Red Banner. In October the 376th as a whole would also receive the Red Banner for its part in the liberation of Riga. The division ended the war in Latvia, helping to contain and reduce the German forces trapped in the Courland Pocket, and was reorganized as a rifle brigade shortly thereafter.

377th Rifle Division (Soviet Union)

The 377th Rifle Division was raised in 1941 as an infantry division of the Red Army, and served for the duration of the Great Patriotic War in that role. It began forming in August, 1941 in the Urals Military District. It followed a very similar combat path to that of the 374th and 376th Rifle Divisions. It joined the fighting front in December with the 4th Army, and then briefly came under command of 2nd Shock Army, but soon moved to the 59th Army along the Volkhov River, and continued to serve in this Army's battles near Leningrad until early 1944. The division took very heavy casualties during the Lyuban Offensive in several attempts to relieve the beleaguered 2nd Shock Army. After rebuilding the division held the Army's bridgehead over the Volkhov during 1943, and finally advanced during the Leningrad–Novgorod Offensive in January, 1944, taking part in the assault that liberated Novgorod. During the spring the division saw heavy fighting in the battles for Narva before moving south for the summer offensive into the Baltic states. In September it won a battle honor in the liberation of Valga, and in October also received the Order of the Red Banner for its part in the liberation of Riga. The division ended the war in Latvia, helping to contain and reduce the German forces trapped in the Courland Pocket, and was disbanded later in 1945.

379th Rifle Division (Soviet Union)

The 379th Rifle Division was raised in 1941 as an infantry division of the Red Army, and served for the duration of the Great Patriotic War in that role. It began forming in August, 1941 in the Urals Military District. It first served in the winter counteroffensive west of Moscow, and later in the bitter fighting around the Rzhev salient, but was moved north late in 1942. It took up positions along the Volkhov River, mostly under command of the 8th Army, and continued to serve in this Army's battles near Leningrad until September 1943, when it was transferred to the 2nd Baltic Front, where it would stay for the remainder of its service. During this period the division served under many army and corps commands but mostly in the 3rd Shock Army. The division ended the war in Lithuania, helping to contain and reduce the German forces trapped in the Courland Pocket. By this time it was judged as being surplus to the Red Army's needs and in December 1944 its personnel were parceled out to help bring other units of the Front closer to establishment strength. The 379th officially disbanded on the first day of 1945.

382nd Rifle Division (Soviet Union)

The 382nd Rifle Division was raised in 1941 as an infantry division of the Red Army, and served for the duration of the Great Patriotic War in that role. It began forming on August 10 in the Siberian Military District. It joined the fighting front in December with the new 59th Army along the Volkhov River. Apart from a few weeks in 1944 the division served in either the Volkhov Front or the Leningrad Front for the entire war. It suffered horrendous casualties after being encircled in the swamps and forests near Lyuban and was severely understrength for many months afterwards while serving on a relatively quiet front. It remained in the line in the dismal fighting near Leningrad until early 1944 with little opportunity to distinguish itself, and the division did not finally earn a battle honor until late January, 1944, during the Leningrad–Novgorod Offensive. Following this the division was moved to the Karelian Isthmus and entered the summer offensive against Finland in the reserves of Leningrad Front before being assigned to the 23rd Army. Following the Finnish surrender it was redeployed westward, helping to mop up pockets of enemy forces in the Baltic states in early 1945. The 382nd ended the war in Latvia, helping to contain and reduce the German forces trapped in the Courland Pocket, and was officially disbanded in February, 1946.

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