|Army Group A|
This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page . (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Army Group A (Heeresgruppe A) was the name of several German Army Groups during World War II. During the Battle of France, the army group named Army Group A was composed of 45½ divisions, including 7 armored panzer divisions. It was responsible for breaking through the heavily-forested Ardennes region. The operation, which was part of Fall Gelb (Case Yellow), was resoundingly successful for the Germans, as the army group outflanked the best troops of France and its allies, eventually leading to France's surrender.
Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state that controlled nearly all aspects of life via the Gleichschaltung legal process. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.
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 over 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 50 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.
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. 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 6 June 1944. Italy entered the war on 10 June 1940 and invaded France over the Alps.
In 1942, Army Group South on the Eastern Front against the Soviet Union was split into Army Group A and Army Group B, and Army Group A was responsible for the invasion into the Caucasus. In 1945, months before the fall of Nazi Germany, Army Group A was renamed Army Group Centre.
Army Group South was the name of two German Army Groups during World War II. It was first used in the 1939 September Campaign, along with Army Group North to invade Poland. In the invasion of Poland Army Group South was led by Gerd von Rundstedt and his chief of staff Erich von Manstein. Two years later, Army Group South became one of three army groups into which Germany organised their forces for Operation Barbarossa. Army Group South's principal objective was to capture Soviet Ukraine and its capital Kiev.
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of conflict between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.), Poland and other Allies, which encompassed Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Northeast Europe (Baltics), and Southeast Europe (Balkans) from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945. It has been known as the Great Patriotic War in the former Soviet Union and modern Russia, while in Germany it was called the Eastern Front, or the German-Soviet War by outside parties.
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 30 December 1922 to 26 December 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.
During the German invasion of the Low Countries and France Army Group A was under the command of Generaloberst Gerd von Rundstedt and was responsible for the break-out through the Ardennes. It was composed of 45½ divisions, including the 7 panzer divisions of Panzer Group Kleist.
The Low Countries, the Low Lands, or historically also the Netherlands, is a coastal lowland region in northwestern Europe, forming the lower basin of the Rhine, Meuse, and Scheldt rivers, divided in the Middle Ages into numerous semi-independent principalities that consolidated in the countries of Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, as well as today's French Flanders.
France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.
Generaloberst, in English colonel general, was, in Germany and Austria-Hungary—the German Reichswehr and Wehrmacht, the Austro-Hungarian Common Army, and the East German National People's Army, as well as the respective police services—the second highest general officer rank, ranking above full general but below general field marshal. It was equivalent to Generaladmiral in the Kriegsmarine until 1945, or to Flottenadmiral in the Volksmarine until 1990. The rank was the highest ordinary military rank and the highest military rank awarded in peacetime; the higher rank of general field marshal was only awarded in wartime by the head of state. In general, a Generaloberst had the same privileges as a general field marshal.
Order of Battle
Ernst Bernhard Wilhelm Busch was a German field marshal during World War II who commanded the 16th Army and later Army Group Centre.
Rudolf Koch-Erpach was a German general during World War II who commanded the LVI Panzer Corps and the 1st Army.
Johann Sinnhuber was a German general in the Wehrmacht during World War II who commanded the LXXXII Army Corps. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
Richard Ruoff was a general in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany during World War II. He commanded the 4th Panzer Army and the 17th Army on the Eastern Front.
Hans Kratzert is a German screenwriter and film director. Kratzert was born in Heerwegen in the Province of Silesia during the Second World War. He was part of the mass emigration of Germans westward following Nazi Germany's defeat during the war. Kratzert's family settled in the Soviet-occupied territory that became East Germany, where he grew up.
VIII Army Corps was a corps in the German Army during World War II. It was destroyed during the Battle of Stalingrad and reformed in mid-1943.
The 4th Army was a field army of the Wehrmacht during World War II.
Günther von Kluge was a German field marshal during World War II who held commands on both the Eastern and Western Fronts. He commanded the 4th Army of the Wehrmacht during the invasion of Poland in 1939 and the Battle of France in 1940, earning a promotion to Generalfeldmarschall. Kluge went on to command the 4th Army in Operation Barbarossa and the Battle for Moscow in 1941.
V Army Corps was a corps in the German Army during World War II.
In 1942, Army Group South was in southern Russia on the Eastern Front. For Case Blue (Fall Blau), the summer offensive of the German Armed Forces ( Wehrmacht ), Army Group South was split into Army Group A and Army Group B. Army Group A was ordered south to capture the oil fields in the Caucasus.
Army Group A included the following armies:
On January 16, 1945 Colonel Bogislaw von Bonin, the Chief of the Operational Branch of the Army General Staff (Generalstab des Heeres) gave Heeresgruppe A permission to retreat during the Soviet Vistula-Oder Offensive, rejecting a direct order from Adolf Hitler for them to hold fast. Although Heeresgruppe A escaped encirclement and regrouped, von Bonin was arrested by the Gestapo on January 19, 1945, and imprisoned first at Flossenbürg concentration camp and then Dachau concentration camp. He was eventually liberated along with other prisoners in South Tyrol by the US Army in May 1945.
On 25 January 1945 Hitler renamed three army groups. Army Group North became Army Group Courland; Army Group Centre became Army Group North and Army Group A became Army Group Centre.
|№||Commander||Took office||Left office||Time in office|
Gerd von Rundstedt
|15 October 1939||1 October 1940||11 months|
|10 July 1942||10 September 1942||2 months|
|3||Adolf Hitler |
|10 September 1942||21 November 1942||2 months|
Ewald von Kleist
|22 September 1942||June 1943||6 months|
|5||General der Gebirgstruppe |
|June 1943||July 1943||1 month|
Ewald von Kleist
|July 1943||25 March 1944||8 months|
|25 March 1944||31 March 1944||0 months|
|28 September 1944||17 January 1945||3 months|
|17 January 1945||26 January 1945||0 months|
|№||Chief of Staff||Took office||Left office||Time in office|
Erich von Manstein
|26 October 1939||1 February 1940||days98|
|2||General der Infanterie |
Georg von Sodenstern
|6 February 1940||1 October 1940||days238|
Hans von Greiffenberg
|10 July 1942||23 February 1943||days228|
|23 February 1943||13 May 1943||days79|
Hans von Greiffenberg
|13 May 1943||16 July 1943||days64|
|16 July 1943||24 March 1944||days252|
|24 March 1944||22 July 1944||days120|
Wolf-Dietrich von Xylander
|28 September 1944||15 February 1945 †||days208|
Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist was a German field marshal during World War II. Kleist successfully led the 1st Panzer Group during the Battle of France, the Battle of Belgium, the Balkans Campaign and the initial stages of Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union. He was the commander of Army Group A during the latter part of Case Blue, the 1942 summer offensive in southern Russia. Following the war, Kleist was extradited to the Soviet Union where he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for war crimes; he died in prison.
The 33rd Infantry Division was a German Army infantry division active in World War II. It served in the battle of France and subsequently was converted into the 15th Panzer Division.
The 2nd Panzer Division was an armoured division in the German Army, the Wehrmacht, during World War II.
The 1st Panzer Army was a German tank army which was a large armoured formation of the Wehrmacht during World War II.
III Army Corps was a corps level formation of the German Army during World War II.
Hans-Valentin Hube was a general in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany during World War II. He commanded several panzer divisions during the invasions of Poland, France and the Soviet Union. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, Nazi Germany's highest military decoration. Hube died in an air crash on 21 April 1944.
The 2nd Panzer Army was a German armoured formation during World War II, formed from the 2nd Panzer Group on October 5, 1941.
The XXXIX Panzer Corps was a German panzer corps which saw action on the Western and Eastern Fronts during World War II.
The Battle of Białystok–Minsk was a German strategic operation conducted by the Wehrmacht's Army Group Centre under Field Marshal Fedor von Bock during the penetration of the Soviet border region in the opening stage of Operation Barbarossa, lasting from 22 June to 9 July 1941.
The 3rd Panzer Army was a German armoured formation during World War II, formed from the 3rd Panzer Group on 1 January 1942.
The 11th Army was a World War II field army.
Army Group F was a strategic command formation of the Wehrmacht during the Second World War. The commander of Army Group F served also as the Oberbefehlshaber Südost.
Bogislaw Oskar Adolf Fürchtegott von Bonin was a German Wehrmacht officer and journalist.
XLVII Panzer Corps was a panzer corps of the German Army in World War II that was formerly designated as XLVII Corps. Various formations of the corps fought in the French campaign of 1940, in the invasion of Soviet Union from 1941 to 1944, and on the Western Front from June 1944 until April 1945.
The XVI Army Corps was a corps in the German Army during World War II.
XII Army Corps was a corps in the German Army during World War II. It was formed in the Wehrkreis XII recruitment and training district in Wiesbaden in October 1936 and was mobilized before the outbreak of war at the end of August 1939.
XIII Army Corps was a corps of the German Army during World War II. Made up of several divisions, which varied from time to time, it was formed in Nuremberg on 1 October 1937.