German army commanders of WW2

Discussions on the personalities of the Wehrmacht and of the organizations not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Dieter Zinke, askropp and Frech.
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German army commanders of WW2

Postby askropp » 26 Nov 2015 22:02

I am trying to close some gaps in my list of army commanders. Obviously, the most (if not only) reliable source are the KTBs because they show who really held command at which time (in contrast to assignment orders who show who SHOULD hold or take over command). For example, I just learned from KTB AOK 9 that Helmuth Weidling was mdstvFb between Jordan and Vormann, although only for some 30 hours. As I am not in the possession of all KTB, I still have some questions.

The first one is: as it seems, Kurt von Tippelskirch was injured in an air crash on 18.07.1944 while mdstvFb AOK 4, and Friedrich Hoßbach took over on 20.07.1944. Does anybody know who commanded for the 48-odd hours in between (the weeks between 3 and 20 July seem to be missing from the KTB)?
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Re: Interim army commanders

Postby genstab » 29 Nov 2015 11:24

Bradley says Hossbach took over on 19-7 for what it's worth.

Let us know of any other missing dates you need- I for one am always working on the higher commanders.

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Re: Interim army commanders

Postby askropp » 29 Nov 2015 11:46

The strange thing is, as I said, that one KTB ends on 3 July and another one begins on 20 July. The arrival of Hoßbach is mentioned on the first page of 20 July. There may be a possibility that he indeed arrived on 19 July and it was only written down with the start of the new KTB a day later, but even then someone must have commanded from 18 to 19 July. Hoßbach was not in the area when Tippelskirch crashed and could hardly have arrived until one or two days later.

I will adress other command questions when I have sifted through the KTBs later. Maybe we should even start a new high command thread in an effort to fill gaps and correct errors from the Factbook.
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Re: Interim army commanders

Postby histan » 29 Nov 2015 22:44

Hi askropp

We could use this thread for Army commanders. It is a subject that I have done some research on and so can start with 11. Armee and 6. Armee, with a note on 17. Armee to complete the picture. :

11. Armee
Hans von Salmuth between the death of von Schobert and the arrival of von Manstein - 13.09.1941 to 17.09.1941. "13.09.1941 Mittags Eintreffen des stellv. OB, General von Salmuth, Kdr General XXX. AK" and "17.09.1941 Gegen 17 Uhr Eintreffen des neuen OB General d. Inf. von Manstein. Lageorientierung durch den stellv. OB General d. Inf. von Salmuth und Befehlsübernahme durch den neuen OB."

6. Armee
Hermann Hoth between the death of von Reichenau and the arrival of Paulus - 16.01.1942 - 20.01.1942. "16.01.1942 An Stelle des am 14.1. erkrankten Oberbefehlshabers der Armee, Generalfeldmarschall von Reichenau, hat Generaloberst Hoth stellvertretend die Führung der HGr Süd und der 6. Armee
übernommen. and "20.01.1942 16.00 trifft der neue Oberbefehlshaber der Armee, General d. Panzertruppen Paulus, bei der Armee ein"

17. Armee
Viktor von Schwedler while Hoth was away temporarily commanding Heeresgruppe Süd and 6. Armee - 16.01.1942 - 20.01.1942. "15.01.1942 Generaloberst Hoth wird beauftragt mit der Führung der HGr Süd, General der Infanterie von Schwedler vorläufig mit der Führung der 17. Armee. and 16.01.1942 Gen. d. Inf. von Schwedler übernimmt vorläufig die Führung der 17. Armee für den mit der Führung der HGruppe Süd beauftragten Generaloberst Hoth." and "20.01.1942 Generaloberst Hoth übernimmt wieder Führg. der 17. Armee"

Regards

John

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German army commanders of WW2: 1. Armee

Postby askropp » 29 Nov 2015 23:27

Thank you very much for this valuable information! But maybe we should start with AOK 1? Perhaps you are able to confirm or correct the following terms of command:

1. Armee
01.09.1939 - 25.10.1940 General der Infanterie Erwin von Witzleben (01.11.1939 Generaloberst, 19.07.1940 Generalfeldmarschall)
25.10.1940 - 21.12.1940 Generaloberst Johannes Blaskowitz
21.12.1940 - 07.01.1941 General der Panzertruppe Rudolf Schmidt (mdstvFb)
07.01.1941 - 23.12.1941 Generaloberst Johannes Blaskowitz
23.12.1941 - 28.12.1941 Generalleutnant Max Dennerlein (mdstvFb)
28.12.1941 - 07.01.1942 General der Infanterie z.V. Kurt von Greiff (mdstvFb)
07.01.1942 - 11.04.1942 Generaloberst Johannes Blaskowitz
11.04.1942 - 27.04.1942 General der Infanterie Hans-Gustav Felber (mdstvFb)
27.04.1942 - 16.05.1944 Generaloberst Johannes Blaskowitz
16.05.1944 - 06.06.1944 General der Panzertruppe Joachim Lemelsen (mdstvFb)
06.06.1944 - 06.09.1944 General der Infanterie Kurt von der Chevallerie (mdstvFb)
06.09.1944 - 01.11.1944 General der Panzertruppe Otto von Knobelsdorff (mdFb)
01.11.1944 - 11.11.1944 General der Infanterie Kurt von Tippelskirch (mdstvFb)
11.11.1944 - 03.12.1944 General der Panzertruppe Otto von Knobelsdorff (mdFb)
03.12.1944 - 03.03.1945 General der Infanterie Hans von Obstfelder (mdFb)
03.03.1945 - 06.05.1945 General der Infanterie Hermann Foertsch (mdstvFb, 22.03.1945 mdFb)

I know that Blaskowitz was mdstvFb HGr D 04.02.1942 - 15.03.1942, but I don't know if he left his army during that period or carried both hats.
Also, there were at least two periods during which Rundstedt was on leave in 1943 and 1944. As the ranking army commander, Blaskowitz should again have acted as stv OB HGr D in 1943 (in 1944 Rommel should have been already in France). During all periods, Sperrle was acting OB West. Does anybody know the dates of those stand-ins? I also wonder why Dennerlein should have acted as OB, were all corps commanders on leave over christmas?
Last edited by askropp on 30 Nov 2015 14:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Interim army commanders

Postby histan » 30 Nov 2015 02:17

Sorry askropp

From your initial post I thought you were interested in the obvious gaps that are not listed in the main secondary sources, such as when a commander was killed or seriously injured - hence my post about AOK 11 and AOK 6, since as far as I am aware, these gaps in command have not been covered elsewhere.

Very interested in your sources for some of these dates - for example Rudolf Schmidt. The Ia and IIa files I have are quite terse and don't mention him at all. I am sure there is a good primary source somewhere, since it is mentioned in Wegmann and Zweng.

Also can you confirm that Hans von Obstfelder was not in fact in command (Url.Vert) between 10.12.1943 an 28.12.1943 as was planned.

Hans von Obstfelder was mFb and Foertsch was mstFb until 22.03.1945 then mFb

The planned dates for 1944 were 13.01.1944 to 15.02.1944 with as you say Sperrle and Rommel as "Url.Vertr." but I don't have the KTB so can not confirm the actual dates.

Regards

John

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Re: Interim army commanders

Postby askropp » 30 Nov 2015 14:44

Yes, it was my initial intention to clear the interim commands, but then I thought it was easier to discuss those when we can see the official commands at the same glance because the interim commands are tied to the leaving of a former or the arrival of a new official commander.

The Schmidt info (as all info on Blaskowitz's Urlaubsvertreter) is from Blaskowitz's entry in Biblio's "Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht". At this time, I have only the KTBs from the "free NARA thread", although I could swear I had the 1944 HGr G and / or AOK 1 KTB (can't remember from which source), but I can't find them on my hard drive anymore.

I assume your dates for 1944 are correct, because Sperrle was commanding in early February when he issued the infamous "Sperrle-Erlass" against partisans. Do I understand it right that Obstfelder was to stand in for Blaskowitz's Urlaub in 1943, but did not, or is it unknown whether he did? If he did not, was there another Stellvertreter or was Blaskowitz's absence cancelled? And finally, if it was an Urlaub, this was obviously not the period when Blaskowitz was acting OB HGr D for Rundstedt.

Another question would be whether Sperrle and Rommel had substitutes for themselves while they were replacing Rundstedt.
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German army commanders of WW2: 1. Panzerarmee

Postby askropp » 07 Dec 2015 17:33

After the newest contributions in the Nehring thread, it may now be the appropriate time to discuss the commands of the next army in line:

1. Panzerarmee (until 05.10.1941 Panzergruppe 1)
16.11.1940 - 22.11.1942 Generaloberst Ewald von Kleist
22.11.1942 - 04.11.1943 General der Panzertruppe (06.07.1943 Generaloberst) Eberhard von Mackensen (until 01.03.1943 mdFb)
04.11.1943 - 20.04.1944 General der Panzertruppe Hans-Valentin Hube (until 15.02.1944 mdFb)
20.04.1944 - 23.05.1944 General der Infanterie Kurt von der Chevallerie (mdstvFb)
23.05.1944 - 16.08.1944 General der Panzertruppe Erhard Raus
16.08.1944 - 20.03.1945 Generaloberst Gotthard Heinrici
20.03.1945 - 08.05.1945 General der Panzertruppe Walther Kurt Nehring (mdFb)

Kleist was mdstvFb HGr Süd for some 14 hours in January 1942, but it seems that he never left PzAOK 1 before he was replaced by Hoth.
Last edited by askropp on 08 Dec 2015 13:41, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Interim army commanders

Postby histan » 07 Dec 2015 22:45

From the KTB of 1 Panzerarmee

"22.11.42 Um Mitternacht vom 21 zum 22.11 geht folgender Fernspruch der Heeresgruppe ein: Generaloberst von Kleist wird vorübergehend mit sofortiger Wirkung mit der Führung der Heeresgruppe A, General der Kavallerie von Mackensen mit der Führung der 1. Panzerarmee beauftragt."

"23.11.42: Um 11.20 Uhr wird den Korps mitgeteilt, dass Generaloberst von Kleist die Führung der Heeresgruppe A und General der Kavallerie von Mackensen die Führung der 1. Panzerarmee übernommen haben. Um 13.30 Uhr wird Generalleutnant der Waffen SS Steiner mit der Führung des III. Pz Korps beauftragt."

"04.11.43: Um 12.00 Uhr übergibt Generaloberst von Mackensen den Oberbefehl die 1. Pz.-Armee an General der Panzertruppe Hube und erlässt folgenden Armeebefehl:"

"20.4.44: Der O.B. ist zum Führer berufen worden. in der Zeit seiner Abwesenheit führt General von der Chevallerie die 1. Panzerarmee"

Nehring was mstFb 1. Panzerarmee, replacing Heinrici until a permanent commander could be appointed. General der Infanterie Hasse was initially appointed mFb 1. Panzerarmee, but this was later changed to be mFb 17. Armee and Nehring appointed mFb 1. Panzerarmee

According to the Armee card and his "Generalskartei" Heinrici was to be on leave between 07.01.1945 and 13 or 16.01.1945, his stand in being Generaloberst Laslo.

Regards

John

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Re: Interim army commanders

Postby askropp » 07 Dec 2015 23:00

I'm hesitating to add "mdFb" to the name of officers who later became OB as long as I don't have the date of that change because it would look as if they never became full commanders.

On Heinrici, it is hard to believe that a foreigner should have commanded a German army. Could it be that László was only commander of Armeegruppe Heinrici for the period in question?
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Re: Interim army commanders

Postby histan » 08 Dec 2015 00:26

Mit dem 1. März werden ernannt
der Generalfeldmarschall von Kleist Ob.Befh. d. 1. Pz.-Armee, m. d. Führg. d. HGr. A beauftr., z. Ob.Befh. d. HGr. A der General der Kavallerie von Mackensen, Kom. Gen. d. III. Pz.-Korps, m. d. Führg. d. 1. Pz.-Armee, z. Ob.Befh. d. 1. Pz.-Armee
26 Februar 1943 Nr.1800/43 g.Ag P 1/Chefabt./Ref.9

Regards

John

PS Breith's tasking (mdFb) as commander of III. Pz.-Korps was "für d. Dauer d. Abwesenh. d. Kom. Gen." - for the period of the absence of the Commanding General

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German army commanders of WW2: 1. Fallschirmarmee

Postby askropp » 12 Dec 2015 20:43

I almost added AOK 2 because I have a question on that army, but I guess we should not forget the only Luftwaffe field army:

1. Fallschirmarmee
01.03.1944 - 04.11.1944 General der Fallschirmtruppe (13.07.1944 Generaloberst) Kurt Student
04.11.1944 - 28.03.1945 General der Fallschirmtruppe Alfred Schlemm (mdstvFb)
28.03.1945 - 10.04.1945 General der Infanterie Günther Blumentritt (mdstvFb)
10.04.1945 - 28.04.1945 Generaloberst Kurt Student
28.04.1945 - 05.05.1945 General der Infanterie Erich Straube (mdstvFb)
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Re: Interim army commanders

Postby genstab » 14 Dec 2015 01:03

I have additional information regarding Generals Schlemm and Straube. According to his bio on the Bridgend Island Farm website, Gen. Schlemm was wounded on 21 March. Heinz Günther Guderian in "From Normandy to the Ruhr" says Gen. Straube was acting from 21 March to 28 March.

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Re: Interim army commanders

Postby histan » 14 Dec 2015 16:43

Ties in with the FMS studies.

B-084 by Schlemm covers the period 20 Nov 1944 to 21 March 1945. Schlemm states he took over on 20 November 1944.

Blumentritt in B-365 states: "At the end of March, the commander of Heeresgruppe H, General Blaskowitz, informed us that General Sclemm of the Airforce who was in command of 1 Falschirm Armee had suffered a brain concussion from an enemy air attack and was hardly able to fulfill his duties in that capacity any more. On 27 March I received an order over the telephone from the Heeresgruppe which stated that I was to take over the command of the 1 Falschirm Armee. I was to leave without my staff and was to take over this command temporarily as General Schlemm's condition had become worse. I gave up the command of 25 Armee to General Kleffel of the Cavalry and after having reported to the Heeresgruppe first, I continued my journey to the 1 Falschirm Armee by motor truck."

Blumentritt in B-361 states: " I left the staff of 1 Falschirm Armee on 9 April 45"

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John

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Re: Interim army commanders

Postby askropp » 14 Dec 2015 17:12

I knew that Schlemm was wounded on 21.03., but I thought he continued on in command nethertheless because Blumentritt described that he met Schlemm in person when he took over command on 28.03. (although he says Schlemm was very ill with fever, bedridden and hardly conscious) while I found no mention of Straube. Of course, if Schlemm was that ill, it seems logical he could not actually command although he may still have been the formal commander.

If Schlemm took over on 20.11., I presume Student stayed until then, and if Blumentritt left on 09.04., Student returned probably then. Does that mean Student did not command HGr H before 20.11., or had he a dual command for some time?
Alas, I am not able anymore to edit my post on FsAOK 1.
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