Army Group South

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Army Group South
Heeresgruppe Süd
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-B24543, Hauptquartier Heeresgruppe Sud, Lagebesprechung.jpg
Briefing at the headquarters of Army Group South at Poltava on 1 June 1942
CountryFlag of Germany (1935-1945).svg  Germany
Branch German Army Group
Engagements World War II
Gerd von Rundstedt

Erich von Manstein

Fedor von Bock

Army Group South (German : Heeresgruppe Süd) 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. [1]

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 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.

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.

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

Ukraine was a major center of Soviet industry and mining and had the good farmland required for Hitler's plans for the Lebensraum ('living space'). Army Group South was to advance up to the Volga River, engaging a part of the Red Army and thus clearing the way for the Army Group North and the Army Group Center on their approach to Leningrad and Moscow respectively.

<i lang="de" title="German language text">Lebensraum</i> "Living space", one of the Nazi Partys goals at obtaining for superior races

The German concept of Lebensraum comprises policies and practices of settler colonialism which proliferated in Germany from the 1890s to the 1940s. First popularized around 1901, Lebensraum became a geopolitical goal of Imperial Germany in World War I (1914–1918) originally, as the core element of the Septemberprogramm of territorial expansion. The most extreme form of this ideology was supported by the Nazi Party (NSDAP) and Nazi Germany until the end of World War II.

Volga River river in Russia, the longest river in Europe

The Volga is the longest river in Europe with a catchment area of 1,350,000 square kilometres. It is also Europe's largest river in terms of discharge and drainage basin. The river flows through central Russia and into the Caspian Sea, and is widely regarded as the national river of Russia, being an important river for both Slavs and Turks.

Red Army Soviet army and air force from 1917–1946

The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, frequently shortened to Red Army was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, and, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established immediately after the 1917 October Revolution. The Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; taking the official name of "Soviet Army", until its dissolution in December 1991. The former official name Red Army continued to be used as a nickname by both sides throughout the Cold War.

To carry out these initial tasks its battle order included the First Panzer Group (Gen. Kleist) and the German Sixth (Gen. Reichenau), Seventeenth (Gen. Stulpagel) and Eleventh Armies (Gen. Shobert), Luftlotte 1 (Keller) and the Romanian Third and Fourth Armies.

6th Army (Wehrmacht) German field army during World War II

The 6th Army was a field-army unit of the German Wehrmacht during World War II (1939-1945). It became widely remembered for its destruction by the Red Army at the Battle of Stalingrad in the winter of 1942/43. It also acquired a reputation for the war crimes that it committed under the command of Field Marshal Walther von Reichenau during Operation Barbarossa.

The German Seventeenth Army was a World War II field army.

The 11th Army was a World War II field army.

In preparation for Operation Blue, the 1942 campaign in southern Russia and the Caucasus, Army Group South was split into two army groups: Army Group A and Army Group B. [2]

Army Group 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, 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.

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

In February 1943, Army Group Don and the existing Army Group B were combined and re-designated Army Group South. A new Army Group B became a major formation elsewhere. The German Sixth Army, which was destroyed in the destructive Battle of Stalingrad, was re-constituted and later made part of Army Group South in March 1943. On 4 April 1944, Army Group South was re-designated Army Group North Ukraine. Army Group North Ukraine existed from 4 April to 28 September.

Army Group Don was a short-lived army group of the German Army during World War II.

Battle of Stalingrad Major battle of World War II

The Battle of Stalingrad was the largest confrontation of World War II, in which Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in Southern Russia.

The Army Group North Ukraine was a major ground force formation of the German armed forces.

In September 1944, Army Group South Ukraine was again re-designated Army Group South. At the end of World War II in Europe, Army Group South was again renamed; as Army Group Ostmark, the remnants of Army Group South ended the war fighting in and around Austria and Czechoslovakia. Army Group Ostmark was one of the last major German military formations to surrender to the Allies.

Army Group South Ukraine was a German army group on the Eastern Front during World War II.

End of World War II in Europe

The final battles of the European Theatre of World War II as well as the German surrender to the Allies took place in late April and early May 1945.

Army Group Ostmark was a German army group formed very late in World War II.

Order of Battle for Army Group South, October 1944

Army GroupArmyCorpsDivisionRemarks
Gen Friessner
Sixth Army
Gen Fretter-Pico
IV Panzer Corps
LtGen Kleeman
24th Panzer Division
LXXII Army Corps
LtGen Schmidt
76th Infantry Division
VII Army Corps
MajGen Vörös
8th Reserve Division
12th Reserve Division
III Panzer Corps
LtGen Breith
1st Panzer Division
13th Panzer Division
23rd Panzer Division
Panzergrenadier Division
22nd SS Cavalry Division
Maria Theresa
46th Infantry Division
503rd Heavy Tank Battalion
Eighth Army
Gen Wöhler
XVII Army Corps
LtGen Kreysing
8th Jäger Division
27th Infantry Division
9th Frontier Brigade
IX Army Corps
BrigGen Kovács
3rd Mountain Division
2nd Replacement Division
XXIX Army Corps
LtGen Röpke
8th SS Cavalry Division
Florian Geyer
4th Mountain Division
Second Army
LtGen von Dalnoki
(Attached to
Sixth Army)
II Army Corps
MajGen Kiss
2nd Armored Division
25th Infantry Division
15th Infantry Division
Group Finta
BrigGen Finta
7th Replacement Division
1st Replacement
Mountain Brigade
2nd Replacement
Mountain Brigade
Army Reserve
LtGen von Dalnoki
9th Replacement Division
Third Army
LtGen Heszlényi
VIII Army Corps
MajGen Lengyel
23rd Reserve Division
5th Replacement Division
8th Replacement Division
1st Armored Division
LVII Panzer Corps
LtGen Kirchner
4th SS
Panzergrenadier Division
20th Infantry Division
1st Cavalry Division
Army Reserve
LtGen Heszlényi
Szent László
Infantry Division


CommanderTook officeLeft officeTime in office
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-S37772, Gerd v. Rundstedt.jpg
Rundstedt, Gerd Generalfeldmarschall
Gerd von Rundstedt
1 September 193926 October 193955 days
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-S37772, Gerd v. Rundstedt.jpg
Rundstedt, GerdGeneralfeldmarschall
Gerd von Rundstedt
22 June 19411 December 1941162 days
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-B05284, Walter v. Reichenau.jpg
Reichenau, WalterGeneralfeldmarschall
Walter von Reichenau
1 December 194112 January 1942 42 days
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1977-120-11, Fedor von Bock.jpg
Bock, FedorGeneralfeldmarschall
Fedor von Bock
12 January 19429 July 1942178 days
Maximillian von Weichs.jpg
Weichs, MaximilianGeneralfeldmarschall
Maximilian von Weichs
9 July 194212 February 1943218 days
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-H01758, Erich v. Manstein.jpg
Manstein, ErichGeneralfeldmarschall
Erich von Manstein
12 February 194330 March 19441 year, 47 days
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1984-018-27A, Johannes Friessner.jpg
Frießner, JohannesGeneraloberst
Johannes Frießner
23 September 194428 December 194496 days
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-2007-0313-500, Rumanien, Otto Wohler bei Lagebesprechung.jpg
Wöhler, OttoGeneral der Infanterie
Otto Wöhler
28 December 19446 April 194599 days
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1995-027-32A, Lothar Rendulic.jpg
Rendulic, LotharGeneraloberst
Lothar Rendulic
7 April 194530 April 194523 days

See also

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  1. Robert Kirchubel (2012). Operation Barbarossa 1941 (1): Army Group South. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 3–10. ISBN   1846036518. Illustrated.
  2. Adam, Wilhelm; Ruhle, Otto (2015). With Paulus at Stalingrad. Translated by Tony Le Tissier. Pen and Sword Books Ltd. p. 25. ISBN   9781473833869.