Army Group B

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Army Group B
Heeresgruppe B
CountryFlag of Germany (1935-1945).svg  Nazi Germany
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 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 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.


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 country 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 square kilometres (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 country in Southern and Western Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe.

Erwin Rommel German field marshal of World War II

Erwin 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 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.


Western Front
CommanderTook officeLeft officeTime in office
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1977-120-11, Fedor von Bock.jpg
Bock, FedorGeneralfeldmarschall
Fedor von Bock
12 October 1939August 19409 months
Eastern Front
CommanderTook officeLeft officeTime in office
Maximillian von Weichs.jpg
Weichs, MaximilianGeneraloberst
Maximilian von Weichs
August 1942February 19436 months
Northern Italy/Northern France
CommanderTook officeLeft officeTime in office
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1977-018-13A, Erwin Rommel(brighter).jpg
Rommel, ErwinGeneralfeldmarschall
Erwin Rommel
14 July 194319 July 19441 year, 5 days
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1973-139-14, Gunther v. Kluge.jpg
Kluge, GüntherGeneralfeldmarschall
Günther von Kluge
19 July 194417 August 194429 days
Otto Moritz Walter Model.jpg
Model, WalterGeneralfeldmarschall
Walter Model
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
November 1939 4th Army, 6th Army, 18th Army
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
January 194118th Army, 4th Army, 17th Army, 2nd Panzer Group, Military commander in the General Government
May 19419th Army, 4th Army
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
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
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
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

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  1. Builder, Banks, Nordin, p. 106