Army Group B

Last updated

Army Group B
Heeresgruppe B
CountryFlag of Germany (1935-1945).svg  Nazi Germany
Insignia
Identification
symbol
Oberbefehlshaber Heeresgruppe.svg

Army Group B (German: Heeresgruppe B) was the title of three German Army Groups that saw action during World War II.

Nazi Germany The German state from 1933 to 1945, under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler

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 where nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government. 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 1939–1945 global war

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.

Contents

Operational history

Army Group B took part in Battle for France in 1940 in Belgium and the Netherlands. The second formation of Army Group B was established when Army Group South was divided for the summer offensive of 1942 on the Eastern Front. Army Group B was given the task of protecting the northern flank of Army Group A, and included the 6th Army during the Battle of Stalingrad. In February 1943, Army Group B and Army Group Don were combined to create a new Army Group South.

Belgium Federal constitutional monarchy in Western Europe

Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30,688 km2 (11,849 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.

Netherlands Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Europe

The Netherlands is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba—it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.

Army Group South name of a number of German Army Groups during World War II

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.

A new Army Group B was formed in northern Italy under Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in 1943 and was moved to Northern France. On 19 July 1944 , Field Marshal Günther von Kluge took command from Rommel and on 17 August, Field Marshal Walter Model replaced Kluge. Army Group B participated in the Battle of Normandy. Moving to the Low Countries, Model received a shock when his HQ was located at Osterbeek close to Arnhem during the 17 September start of Operation Market Garden before the army group participated in the Battle of the Bulge. [1] The army group was isolated in the Ruhr Pocket in northern Germany and after being divided up into smaller and smaller sections, the final section surrendered to the Allies on 21 April 1945.

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Italian Alps and surrounded by several islands. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea and traversed along its length by the Apennines, Italy has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. The country covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and shares open land borders with France, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in the Tunisian Sea (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.

Erwin Rommel German field marshal of World War II

Johannes Erwin Eugen Rommel was a German general and military theorist. Popularly known as the Desert Fox, he served as field marshal in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany during World War II, as well as serving in the Reichswehr of the Weimar Republic, and the army of Imperial Germany.

Günther von Kluge German general

Günther Adolf Ferdinand von Kluge, also known as Hans 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.

Commanders

Western Front
CommanderTook officeLeft officeTime in office
1
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1977-120-11, Fedor von Bock.jpg
Bock, FedorGeneralfeldmarschall
Fedor von Bock
(1880–1945)
12 October 1939August 19409 months
Eastern Front
CommanderTook officeLeft officeTime in office
1
Maximillian von Weichs.jpg
Weichs, MaximilianGeneraloberst
Maximilian von Weichs
(1881–1954)
August 1942February 19436 months
Northern Italy/Northern France
CommanderTook officeLeft officeTime in office
1
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1977-018-13A, Erwin Rommel(brighter).jpg
Rommel, ErwinGeneralfeldmarschall
Erwin Rommel
(1891–1944)
14 July 194319 July 19441 year, 5 days
2
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1973-139-14, Gunther v. Kluge.jpg
Kluge, GüntherGeneralfeldmarschall
Günther von Kluge
(1882–1944)
19 July 194417 August 194429 days
3
Walter Model October 1944.jpg
Model, WalterGeneralfeldmarschall
Walter Model
(1891–1945)
17 August 194421 April 1945 82 days

Chiefs of Staff

Hans von Salmuth German general

Hans von Salmuth was a German general and war criminal during World War II. Salmuth commanded several armies on the Eastern Front, and the Fifteenth Army in France during the D-Day invasion. Following the war, he was tried in the High Command Trial, as part of the Subsequent Nuremberg Trials. He was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity and sentenced to 20 years. He was released in 1953.

Hans von Greiffenberg German General and Knights Cross recipients

Hans von Greiffenberg was a general in the army of Nazi Germany during World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.

Eastern Front

Georg von Sodenstern German General and Knights Cross recipient

Georg von Sodenstern was a German general in the Wehrmacht during World War II who commanded the 19th Army. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross of Nazi Germany.

Order of battle

DateSubordinated commands
1939
November 1939 4th Army, 6th Army, 18th Army
1940
May 19406th Army, 18th Army
June 1940 9th Army, 6th Army, 4th Army, Panzer Group Kleist
July 1940 7th Army, 4th Army
August 19407th Army, 4th Army, 6th Army
September 194018th Army, 4th Army, 6th Army
1941
January 194118th Army, 4th Army, 17th Army, 2nd Panzer Group, Military commander in the General Government
May 19419th Army, 4th Army
1942
August 1942 2nd Army, Hungarian 2nd Army, Italian 8th Army, XXIX Army Corps, 6th Army, 4th Panzer Army
September 19422nd Army, Hungarian 2nd Army, Italian 8th Army, 6th Army, 4th Panzer Army
October 19422nd Army, Hungarian 2nd Army, Italian 8th Army, 4th Panzer Army, Romanian 3rd Army, Romanian 4th Army
November 19422nd Army, Hungarian 2nd Army, Italian 8th Army, Romanian 3rd Army, 6th Army, 4th Panzer Army, Romanian 4th Army
December 19422nd Army, Hungarian 2nd Army, Italian 8th Army
1943
January 19432nd Army, Hungarian 2nd Army, Italian 8th Army, Army Detachment Fretter-Pico
February 19432nd Army, Army Detachment Lanz, Italian 8th Army, Hungarian 2nd Army
September 1943 LI Army Corps, II SS Corps, LXXXVII Army Corps
December 1943in disposal of the OKW in Denmark
1944
May 19447th Army, 15th Army, Wehrmacht commander in the Netherlands
June 19447th Army, 15th Army, Wehrmacht commander in the Netherlands, Panzer Group West
August 1944 1st Army, 5th Panzer Army, 7th Army, 15th Army, Wehrmacht commander in the Netherlands
September 19447th Army, 1st Parachute Army, 15th Army
November 19447th Army, 5th Panzer Army, Student Army Group
December 19447th Army, 5th Panzer Army, 6th Panzer Army
1945
January 19457th Army, 5th Panzer Army, 6th Panzer Army, 15th Army
February 19457th Army, 5th Panzer Army, 15th Army
April 194515th Army, 5th Panzer Army, Army Detachment von Lüttwitz

Related Research Articles

Afrika Korps military force of Germany deployed to North Africa

The Afrika Korps or German Africa Corps was the German expeditionary force in Africa during the North African Campaign of World War II. First sent as a holding force to shore up the Italian defense of their African colonies, the formation fought on in Africa, under various appellations, from March 1941 until its surrender in May 1943. The unit's best known commander was Field Marshal Erwin Rommel.

Ernst Busch (field marshal) German field marshal

Ernst Bernhard Wilhelm Busch was a German field marshal during World War II who commanded the 16th Army and later Army Group Centre.

Generalfeldmarschall was a rank in the armies of several German states and the Holy Roman Empire (Reichsgeneralfeldmarschall); in the Habsburg Monarchy, the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary, the rank Feldmarschall was used. The rank was the equivalent to Großadmiral in the Kaiserliche Marine and Kriegsmarine, a five-star rank, comparable to OF-10 in today's NATO naval forces.

North African campaign military campaign of World War II

The North African campaign of the Second World War took place in North Africa from 10 June 1940 to 13 May 1943. It included campaigns fought in the Libyan and Egyptian deserts and in Morocco and Algeria, as well as Tunisia.

4th Army (Wehrmacht) field army of the Wehrmacht during World War II

The 4th Army was a field army of the Wehrmacht during World War II.

Hans Speidel German general

Hans Speidel was a German general during the Second World War and the Cold War, who served as Supreme Commander of the NATO ground forces in Central Europe from 1957 to 1963.

The 21st Panzer Division was a German armoured division best known for its role in the battles of the North African Campaign from 1941–1943 during World War II when it was one of the two armoured divisions making up the Deutsches Afrikakorps (DAK).

The 1st Panzer Army was a German tank army which was a large armoured formation of the Wehrmacht during World War II.

XXXXVIII Panzer Corps, was a corps-level formation of the German Army which saw extensive action on both the eastern and western fronts during World War II.

As the number of German troops committed to the North African Campaign of World War II grew from the initial commitment of a small corps the Germans developed a more elaborate command structure and placed the enlarged Afrika Korps, with Italian units under this new German command and a succession of commands were created to manage Axis forces in Africa:

The 7th Panzer Division was an armored formation of the German Army in World War II. It participated in the Battle of France, the invasion of the Soviet Union, the occupation of Vichy France, and on the Eastern Front until the end of the war. The 7th Panzer Division is sometimes known by its nickname, Ghost Division.

Georg von Boeselager German noble and army officer

Georg von Boeselager was a German nobleman and an officer in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany, who led rear security operations in the Army Group Centre Rear Area on the Eastern Front, calling for harsh measures, including shooting of all males in "gang-infested areas".

46th Infantry Division (Wehrmacht) German infantry division during World War II

The 46th Infantry Division was an infantry division of the German Army during World War II that fought on the Eastern Front.

<i>Fox on the Rhine</i> book by Michael Dobson

Fox on the Rhine is a 2000 alternate history novel written by Douglas Niles and Michael Dobson. It details a course of events over late 1944 that resulted from Adolf Hitler's death in the July 20 plot and Field-Marshal Erwin Rommel's survival of the crackdown.

Italo Gariboldi Italian general

Italo Gariboldi was an Italian senior officer in the Royal Army before and during World War II. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross by German Führer Adolf Hitler, for his leadership of Italian forces in the Battle of Stalingrad.

The Westheer is the name given to the German Army fighting on the Western front of World War II after 1941. The Oberbefehlshaber West was the largest command structure for the Westheer.

IX Army Corps was a corps in the German Army during World War II. It was formed on 1 October 1934 under the command of General Friedrich Dollman in Kassel with the camouflage name of Kassel and redesignated XII Corps after the creation of the Wehrkreis IX recruitment and training area.

XIV Panzer Corps was a corps-level formation of the German Army which fought on both the Eastern Front and in the Italian Campaign.

References

  1. Builder, Banks, Nordin, p. 106

Bibliography