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|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 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.
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 also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also 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.
An echelon formation is a formation in which its units are arranged diagonally. Each unit is stationed behind and to the right, or behind and to the left, of the unit ahead. The name of the formation comes from the French word échelon, meaning a rung of a ladder, which describes the shape that this formation has when viewed from above or below.
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 Army Group North was created on the 2 September 1939 by reorganization of the 2nd Army Headquarters. Commander in Chief as of 27 August 1939 was Field Marshal Fedor von Bock.
Moritz Albrecht Franz Friedrich Fedor von Bock was a German field marshal who served in the German army during the Second World War. Bock served as the commander of Army Group North during the Invasion of Poland in 1939, commander of Army Group B during the Invasion of France in 1940, and later as the commander of Army Group Center during the attack on the Soviet Union in 1941; his final command was that of Army Group South in 1942.
The first employment of Army Group North was in the invasion of Poland of 1939, where in September it controlled:
The Invasion of Poland, known in Poland as the September Campaign or the 1939 Defensive War, and in Germany as the Poland Campaign (Polenfeldzug), was an invasion of Poland by Germany that marked the beginning of World War II. The German invasion began on 1 September 1939, one week after the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact between Germany and the Soviet Union. The Soviets invaded Poland on 17 September following the Molotov–Tōgō agreement that terminated the Soviet and Japanese Battles of Khalkhin Gol in the east on 16 September. The campaign ended on 6 October with Germany and the Soviet Union dividing and annexing the whole of Poland under the terms of the German–Soviet Frontier Treaty.
The 3rd Army was a German field army that fought during World War II.
The 4th Army was a field army of the Wehrmacht during World War II.
The 10th Panzer Division was a formation of the German Army during World War II. It was formed in Prague in March 1939, and served in the Army Group North reserve during the invasion of Poland of the same year. The division participated in the Battle of France in 1940, including the Siege of Calais, and in Operation Barbarossa attached to Army Group Center in 1941.
The Army Group was commanded by Fedor von Bock for the operation.
After the end of the campaign, it was transferred to the Western Theatre and on the 10 October 1939 was renamed as the Army Group B, and consisted of:
In preparation for Operation Barbarossa, Army Group North was reformed from Army Group C on 22 June 1941. Army Group North was commanded by Field Marshal Wilhelm Ritter von Leeband staged in East Prussia. Its strategic goal was Leningrad, with operational objectives being the territories of the Baltic republics and securing the northern flank of Army Group Centre in Northern Russia between Western Dvina River and Daugavpils-Kholm Army Group boundary. On commencement of the Wehrmacht's Baltic offensive operation the army group deployed into Lithuania and northern Belorussia. It served mainly in Baltic territories and north Russia until 1944. Commander in Chief 22 June 1941: Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb.
Its subordinate armies were deployed with the following immediate objectives:
All operational objectives such as Tallinn were achieved despite stubborn Red Army resistance and several unsuccessful counter-offensives such as the Battle of Raseiniai, and the army group approached Leningrad, commencing the Siege of Leningrad. However, while the Baltic states were overrun, the Siege of Leningrad continued until 1944, when it was lifted as a result of the Red Army Leningrad-Novgorod strategic offensive operation.
In September 1941, the Spanish Blue Division was assigned to Army Group North.
Commander in Chief 17 January 1942: GFM Georg von Küchler
Soviet Toropets-Kholm Operation
Battle of Velikiye Luki
Battle of Krasny Bor
Commander in Chief 9 January 1944: Field marshal Walter Model
Commander in Chief 31 March 1944: Generaloberst Georg Lindemann
Commander in Chief 4 July 1944: Generaloberst Johannes Frießner
Commander in Chief 23 July 1944: GFM Ferdinand Schörner
Battle of Narva, consisting of:
Combat in South Estonia, 1944
Soviet Baltic Offensive
Battle of Porkuni
Battle of Vilnius (1944)
Battle of Memel
After becoming trapped in the Courland Cauldron after 25 January 1945, the Army Group was renamed Army Group Courland. On the same day, in East Prussia, a new Army Group North was created by renaming Army Group Center. On the 2 April 1945, the army group was dissolved, and the staff formed the 12th Army headquarters.
Army Group North (old Army Group Centre), was driven into an ever smaller pocket around Königsberg in East Prussia. On April 9, 1945 Königsberg finally fell to the Red Army, although remnants of Army Group units continued to resist on the Heiligenbeil & Danzig beachheads until the end of the war in Europe.
Soviet East Prussian Offensive
Battle of Königsberg
Commander in Chief 27 January 1945: Generaloberst Dr. Lothar Rendulic
Commander in Chief 12 March 1945: Walter Weiss
Soviet East Pomeranian Offensive
Battle of Kolberg
On the 25 January 1945 Hitler renamed three army groups. Army Group North became Army Group Courland, more appropriate as it had been isolated from Army Group Centre and was trapped in Courland, Latvia; Army Group Centre became Army Group North and Army Group A became Army Group Centre.
|№||Commander||Took office||Left office||Time in office|
Fedor von Bock
|27 August 1939||20 June 1941||1 year, 297 days|
Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb
|20 June 1941||17 January 1942||211 days|
Georg von Küchler
|17 January 1942||9 January 1944||1 year, 357 days|
|9 January 1944||31 March 1944||82 days|
|31 March 1944||4 July 1944||95 days|
|4 July 1944||23 July 1944||19 days|
|23 July 1944||27 January 1945||188 days|
|27 January 1945||12 March 1945||44 days|
|12 March 1945||2 April 1945||21 days|
Below is the timeline of the events of the Eastern Front of World War II, the conflict between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1945.
The German 1st Infantry Division,, was one of the original infantry divisions of the Reichswehr and Wehrmacht and served throughout World War II.
The German 218th Infantry Division (218.Infanterie-Division) was an infantry division of the German Army that served in World War II. It was organised along the standard lines for a German infantry division, and had about 15,000 men, 48 guns in its artillery regiment, and mobility was provided mainly by horse-drawn vehicles, it had about 5,000 horses. Its men moved predominantly on foot.
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.
The 12th Panzer Division was an armoured division in the German Army, the Wehrmacht, during World War II, established in 1940.
Georg Lindemann was a German general during World War II. He commanded the 18th Army during the Soviet Kingisepp–Gdov Offensive.
The 16th Army was a World War II field army of the Wehrmacht.
The XXXIX Panzer Corps was a German panzer corps which saw action on the Western and Eastern Fronts during World War II.
After the occupation of Latvia by the USSR in June 1940, much of the previous Latvian army was disbanded and many of its soldiers and officers were arrested and imprisoned or executed. The following year Nazi Germany occupied Latvia during the offensive of Army Group North. The German Einsatzgruppen were aided by a group known as Arajs Kommando in the killing of Latvian Jews as part of the Holocaust. Latvian soldiers fought on both sides of the conflict against their will, and in 1943 180,000 Latvian men were drafted into the Latvian Legion of the Waffen-SS and other German auxiliary forces.
The Northwestern Front was a military formation of the Red Army during the Winter War and World War II. It was operational with the 7th and 13th Armies during the Winter War. It was re-created on 22 June 1941, the first day of the Soviet-German War on the basis of the Baltic Special Military District. On 22 June the Front consisted of the 8th, 11th, and 27th Armies, as well as the 5th Airborne Corps and the headquarters of the 65th Rifle Corps.
The East Prussian Offensive was a strategic offensive by the Soviet Red Army against the German Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front. It lasted from 13 January to 25 April 1945, though some German units did not surrender until 9 May. The Battle of Königsberg was a major part of the offensive, which ended in victory for the Red Army.
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.
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 Heiligenbeil Pocket or Heiligenbeil Cauldron was the site of a major encirclement battle on the Eastern Front during the closing weeks of World War II, in which the Wehrmacht's 4th Army was almost entirely destroyed during the Soviet Braunsberg Offensive Operation. The pocket was located near Heiligenbeil in East Prussia in eastern Germany, and the battle, part of a broader Soviet offensive into the region of East Prussia, lasted from 26 January until 29 March 1945.
The 56th Infantry Division was a German infantry division which fought during World War II.
The 93rd Infantry Division was a German infantry division that was formed in the fall of 1939. The division fought in the Second World War in both the Battle of France and on the Eastern Front. It was ultimately destroyed by the Red Army in March 1945 while defending East Prussia.
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.
The 268th Rifle Division was an infantry division of the Soviet Union's Red Army during World War II.
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.