German High 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.
Rossano
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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by Rossano » 09 Dec 2018 17:52

Hello
I didn' t know about Recknagel, but I' m still confused about who commanded Pz.AOK.4 april/may 1944.
I have Raus until 21.4, but his biogr. reads that he was OB still on 24.4, until when exactly ?
Then I have Nehring 22.4 - 1.5 (from Raus' biogr. and from v.Siegler), but not confirmed by Keilig (and not even by Nehring' s biogr. which reads that he was on holiday from end apr. to beginn. may).
Finally I have Harpe from 1.5 (so from his Dienstlaufbahn and from other sources, but from his Karteikarte from 18.5 whilst from history of Korps-Abt. C from 22.5). What are the correct dates for all 3 generals ?
I hope You (or others) have the war diary for this period to be able to solve my questions above
Thanks, Rossano

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askropp
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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by askropp » 09 Dec 2018 20:05

The change from Raus to Harpe was on 22 May. No one else commanded during these months (see KTB NARA T-313 R-391).
Er ist wieder da. Aber auch dieses Mal wird er nicht siegen!

Rossano
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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by Rossano » 09 Dec 2018 20:12

OK, many thanks ! But pls. can You confirm that this change (22 may) is reported in the KTB (or where from ?) ?

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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by histan » 10 Dec 2018 13:57

"12.00 Generaloberst Harpe, bisher Oberbefehlshaber der 9. Armee, übernimmt mit dem heutigen Tage, 12.00 Uhr, die Führung der 4. Panzerarmee. General der Panzertruppe Raus, dem bisherigen Oberbefehlshaber der 4 Panzerarmee, ist die Führung der 1. Panzerarmee übertragen worden."
KTB Pz AOK 4 dated 22.05.1944

Recknagel's time standing in for Balck is hidden away in the KTB
"In den Mittags und Nachmittagsstunden weilt der Kom.Gen.des XXXXII. A.K, der den in der Zeit von 15.-21.9. beurlaubten O.B vertritt, im A.H.Qu zu Besprachungen."
KTB Pz.AOK 4 dated 17.09.1944
Something I had missed when I first looked at the KTB, so thank you askropp for your detailed reading of the KTB.

Regards

John

Rossano
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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by Rossano » 10 Dec 2018 14:14

Thanks to both of You !

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askropp
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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by askropp » 14 Dec 2018 18:56

We still don't know exactly who commanded AOK 15 for which period after Haase became ill:

"Der General der Artillerie Heitz, Kommandierender General des VIII. Armeekorps, wird mit Wirkung vom 22.10.1941 für die Dauer der Erkrankung des Oberbefehlshabers mit der Führung der 15. Armee beauftragt."
PV Nr. 5750/41 vom 07.11.1941

"General der Artillerie Heitz, Kommandierender General des VIII. Armeekorps, übernimmt mit Wirkung vom 30.01.1942 bis auf weiteres die Vertretung des Oberbefehlshabers der 15. Armee."
PV Nr. 800/42 vom 17.02.1942

According to KTB VIII. AK, Heitz left the corps on 23.10.1941 for France (the rest of the staff followed him soon). Both returned to the Eastern front in March 1942. Was Heitz continually in command during the whole time, or did Haase return at some point? Who commanded after Heitz had left and before Vietinghoff was appointed? Again Haase, or was he permanently unfit for duty? I would love to read the KTB.
Er ist wieder da. Aber auch dieses Mal wird er nicht siegen!

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askropp
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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by askropp » 15 Dec 2018 18:32

This website gives 04.11.1941 as the date of the handover from Haase to Heitz. Heitz was still in command on 29 December when he expected Haase to return on 10.01.1942, but this appears to have been postponed. Alas, the dates given for the Haase / Vietinghoff takeover are contradictory.
Er ist wieder da. Aber auch dieses Mal wird er nicht siegen!

histan
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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by histan » 15 Dec 2018 19:16

This may help

"Oberbefehshaber Generaloberst Haase krankheitshalber bis auf weiteres beurlaubt. Seine Vertretung übernimmt General der Artillerie Heitz."
IIa Activity Report AOK 15 dated 18.10.1941

"Eintreffen des General der Artillerie Heitz als Vertreter für Generaloberst Haase."
IIa Activity Report AOK 15 dated 04.11.1941

"Generaloberst Haase übernimmt wieder den Oberbefehl über die Armee. General der Artillerie Heitz tritt zum VIII. AK zurück."
IIa Activity Report AOK 15 dated 10.03.1942

Fernschreiben From IIa HGr D to HPA P 3 dated 09.12.1942
"Gen Oberst Haase meldet die Befehlsübergabe an Gen. d. Pz. Tr. von Vietinghoff am 9.12.42 0730 Uhr"

Gen. d. Pz. Tr. von Vietinghoff gen. Scheel übernimmt für die Dauer der Erkrankung des GenOberst Haase die Führung der Armee.
IIa Activity Report AOK 15 dated 09.12.1942

Regards

John

Very interested that the website referenced by askropp gives a different date, since it contains detailed information that looks like it comes from the Ia KTB.

The IIa Activity report states:
"Der Oberbefehshaber meldet sich krank." dated 05.12.1942

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askropp
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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by askropp » 15 Dec 2018 20:20

Thank you very much, John! I have no doubt that the dates given by you are correct. It is also interesting that Haase did not arrive until 15.04.1941. Obviously, his Chef Maximilian Grimmeiß was managing affairs in the meantime.
Er ist wieder da. Aber auch dieses Mal wird er nicht siegen!

Rossano
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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by Rossano » 15 Dec 2018 20:36

Hello, me too have a question
Above it is stated that Haase was ill and left (and Heitz came) on 18.10.41 and 22/23.10.41, but then it is also stated that Heitz took over on 4.11. So all postponed or what did Heitz do from 10.41 to 11.41 ? Same for Haase. He was already ill on 18/22.10, but did he remain at his place until Heitz´s arrival on 4.11, or what ? Also, until when was Heitz deputy ? Because above it is also stated that Heitz took over command AGAIN on 30.1.42. I hope You have certain elements to positively reply to such questions. One last thing, who stood in for Heitz the first time from 11.41 (or 10.41) until ? , and the second time from 30.1 to 10.3.42 ?
Thanks, Rossano

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askropp
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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by askropp » 15 Dec 2018 22:08

Haase was suffering from heart troubles. He was not bedridden or even unconscious, but waiting for his leave to begin a Kur in Germany, and a few days did not matter in that respect. Note that Haase was still in nominal command when he died, so he was also expected to return after his second leave. Note also that both leaves extended over the holidays, and that was probably no coincidence. It does not seem as if his illness was thought to be so serious that speed was urgent. Heitz left the Eastern Front on 23 October, and he will have stopped in Berlin for orders and may have gotten a few days leave. I don't know if he was replaced at VIII. AK or if he held both commands in the winter of 1941/42.
Er ist wieder da. Aber auch dieses Mal wird er nicht siegen!

Rossano
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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by Rossano » 16 Dec 2018 18:37

OK, thanks. So Heitz took over on 4.11, until when ? (He stood in for Haase twice, right ?)
I believe that somebody stood in both times for Heitz too (anybody has the KTB of VIII.AK ?)

histan
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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by histan » 16 Dec 2018 20:17

There is no KTB for VIII. AK for its time spent in France over the winter of 1941 - 1942.

There are monthly Ia activity reports for this period but these contain no details of command changes or dates.

However, all is not lost.

The IIa KTB for VIII. AK for the period 17.01.1942 to 10.11.1941 was countersigned by Generalleutnant Sinnhuber as i.V. Kom. Gen. on 10.11.1941

Korps-Befehl 18 dated 23.10.1941 is signed by von Studnitz as i.V. Kom.Gen.
a Korps-Befehl dated 27.10.191 is signed by the Chef (not unusual)
Korps-Befehl 1 dated 10.11.1941 is signed by Sinnhuber as i.V. Kom.Gen.

The Ia Activity Report for November 1941 states that on 09.11.1941 VIII. AK took over from Höh. Kdo. XXXXV and had 28., 337. and 215. Division under command.
A training order for VIII. AK dated 22.11.1941 was signed by Sinnhuber as i.V. Kom.Gen.
The Ia Activity Report for November 1941 was dated 22.12.191 and signed by Generalleutnant Sinnhuber as i.V. Kom.Gen.

The Ia Activity Report for December 1941 dated 03.01.1942 was signed by Sinnhuber as i.V. Kom.Gen.

The Ia Activity Report for January 1942 dated 02.02.1942 was signed by Höhne as i.V. Kom.Gen.

The Ia Activity Report for February 1942 states that the Kom.Gen. (z.Zt.stellvertr. OB 15 .Armee arrived at 19.00 on 23.02.1942 for a 3 day visit. This activity report was dated 28.02.1942 and signed by the Chef
The Ia Activity Report also states that at 18.00 on 26.02.1942 VIII. AK handed over to Höh.Kdo. XXXXV and that on 27.02.1942 VIII. AK was assigned z.V. OKH and allocated to H.Gr. Süd.

In early March 1942 VIII. AK was in transit from France to the Russian Front.

The Ia Actvity Report for March 1942 states: "Am 19.3 traf der bisher stellvertretungsweise mit der Führung des A.O.K. 15 beauftragte Kommandierende General, General der Artillerie Heitz, wieder beim Stab. des Gen.Kdos ein und übernahm die Führung des VIII. A.K."

My assessment is that when the VIII. AK left the Russian front and was in transit to France the Chef was in charge. This remained the case until it took command of the forces previously under the command of Höh.Kdo. XXXXV, when a more senior officer was required to stand in for Heitz - Generalleutnant Sinnhuber. At some point in January 1942 Höhne became the stand in and that this remained the case until the end of February. When VIII. AK was removed from the line at the end of February and was in transit the Chef was in charge until 19.03.1942 when Heitz resumed command.

Regards

John

Rossano
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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by Rossano » 16 Dec 2018 21:02

Astonishing/super, well done. Thanks !

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askropp
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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by askropp » 16 Dec 2018 22:50

Great work as always, John! One note: the last days of VIII. AK on the Eastern Front before its transfer west are documented in the KTB. From 23.10.1941 to 26.10.1941, Studnitz was mstFb VIII. AK (this was the short period between General Heitz' departure for France and the removal of the whole Korpsstab from the frontline, to be replaced by IX. AK).
Er ist wieder da. Aber auch dieses Mal wird er nicht siegen!

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