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.
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VJK
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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by VJK » 10 Apr 2016 08:32

4. Armee

I have the following supplement:

30.06.1944 - 07.07.1944: Generalleutnant Vinzenz Müller

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VJK

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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by askropp » 10 Apr 2016 11:11

I heard about the Müller claim, but in my opinion it is totally unsubstantiated. The story probably goes back to a meeting of Tippelskirch and Müller on 30 June, during which Tippelskirch assigned Müller with the "Führung der zur Beresina zurückmarschierenden Kampftruppen". The majority of the remaining frontline troops from AOK 4 thus formed a "Gruppe General Müller". As Tippelskirch remained in the area until his plane crash (although he was outside the pocket), there can be no doubt that he continued as the Armeeführer while Müller was only a Kampfgruppe commander. There cannot be two army commanders at the same time. Besides Müller's Kampfgruppe, AOK 4 also contained Kampfgruppe Saucken and XXVII. AK. Also, Tippelskirch had no authority to delegate the whole army command, this could only have been done by the OKH / HPA. As sources, see KTB AOK 4 from 22 June to 3 July and the report "Die Entwicklung der Lage bei der 4. Armee während der russischen Sommeroffensive 1944" (both in NARA T-312 R-244). The KTB entries for the period always begin: "General von Tippelskirch führt die Armee" (for the absent Heinrici). Also, as a low ranking Korpsführer (his Korps command was already one level above his rank), Müller was not the obvious choice if any change of the top command would have happened. He signed his surrender appeal to the soldiers trapped near Minsk as "Führer des XII. Armeekorps", not as "Führer der 4. Armee" or something. So it seems clear to me that Tippelskirch always stayed in command.
Er ist wieder da. Aber auch dieses Mal wird er nicht siegen!

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VJK
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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by VJK » 10 Apr 2016 12:42

Many thanks for clearing that up, I'll amend my records accordingly.

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VJK

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genstab
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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by genstab » 10 Apr 2016 14:12

A couple of other websites say GenLt Vincenz Müller was acting from 30-6-44 to 7-7-44. Is there any truth to this?

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Bill in Cleveland
happy the Red Wings backed into the playoffs- 25 years straight!

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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by askropp » 10 Apr 2016 15:10

Maybe I'm having a Déjà-vu, but I think I just rejected this claim two posts above. :milwink:
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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by genstab » 10 Apr 2016 22:42

No, sorry- I jumped from your list of commanders at the bottom of page 3 and didn't see VJK's post.

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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by genstab » 11 Apr 2016 18:43

How this happened was I saw VJK's post on going to page 4 and looking at it quickly thought it was mine. I am sorry to have irritated you.

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Bill in Cleveland

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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by askropp » 11 Apr 2016 19:18

No reason to apologize, I suspected something like that. :thumbsup:

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askropp
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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by genstab » 15 Apr 2016 13:04

Hey, I just appreciatre you guys who can afford to get the Kriegstagebücher of the Armies (and occasional generals' Karteikarten to clear points up). I just retired and have to watch my money; all I have to work with are the NARA FMS unit histories from Sturmpanzer which as you know were written from memory without any wartime documentation being available to them (and the new downloads being offered over on Feldgrau which I don't yet have the expertise to obtain). So I for one am grateful that you share your research with our community and have the time to answer questions.

Have a good weekend,
Bill in Cleveland.

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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by askropp » 19 Apr 2016 15:04

Hmm, so we have a hint from histan that Kluge was mdstvFB HGr B in December 1940, and someone should have been acting OB for him at AOK 4. But I don't know who it was, and the (rather sketchy) AOK 4 Tätigkeitsbericht for the time does not mention any change. The logical substitute for Kluge would have been Schroth, but there is no KTB or Tätigkeitsbericht of XII. AK for the time. If someone has any info on this matter, please let me know. In the meantime, I will continue with PzAOK 4.
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Re: German army commanders of WW2: 4. Panzerarmee

Post by askropp » 20 Apr 2016 15:42

4. Panzerarmee (until 17.02.1941 Panzergruppe 4)
17.02.1941 – 09.01.1942 Generaloberst Erich Hoepner
09.01.1942 – 12.01.1942 Oberst Walter Chales de Beaulieu (mdstvWdGb)
12.01.1942 – 19.04.1942 General der Infanterie (08.04.1942 Generaloberst) Richard Ruoff
19.04.1942 – 27.04.1942 Generalmajor Hans Röttiger (mdstvWdGb)
15.05.1942 – 02.12.1943 Generaloberst Hermann Hoth
03.12.1943 – 22.05.1944 General der Panzertruppe Erhard Raus (bis 10.12.1943 mdstvFb, bis 10.03.1944 mdFb)
22.05.1944 – 28.06.1944 Generaloberst Josef Harpe
28.06.1944 – 05.08.1944 General der Panzertruppe Walther Kurt Nehring (mdstvFb)
05.08.1944 – 21.09.1944 General der Panzertruppe Hermann Balck (bis 01.09.1944 mdstvFb)
21.09.1944 – 08.05.1945 General der Panzertruppe Fritz-Hubert Gräser (bis 30.01.1945 mdFb)

There are some uncertainties here. Hoth and Harpe may have been mdFb at the beginning of their tenure. When Ruoff went on leave, Röttiger stayed behind until PzAOK 4 was withdrawn from the frontline. It was then reformed under Hoth and Bernuth. Because of a gap in the KTB, I don't know when they arrived or when the PzAOK actually returned to the frontline. The date of 15 May is from Bradley. The KTB of AOK 17 may help to clear at least when Hoth physically left that army.
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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by genstab » 20 Apr 2016 21:24

In the 1-3-42 Stellenbesetzung from Keilig's "Das Deutschen Heer", it shows Gen d. Inf Ruoff, with a footnote that Gen d. Inf von Salmuth was acting while Ruoff was on leave from 11-4 to 15-5-42, whatever that's worth.

The 22-4-42 schematic OKH O/B does show the Armee still in line under Hgr. Mitte, then the Army HQ in OKH Reserve in the 29-4-42, 11-5-42 and 25-5-42 O/B. The first OKH schematic O/B to show it in line again has it under Armeegruppe Weichs (HQ 2.Armee) on 8-6-42. These O/Bs are from Mehner's "Die Geheimen Tagesberichte".

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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by Stauffenberg II » 20 Apr 2016 21:38

askropp wrote:Hmm, so we have a hint from histan that Kluge was mdstvFB HGr B in December 1940, and someone should have been acting OB for him at AOK 4. But I don't know who it was, and the (rather sketchy) AOK 4 Tätigkeitsbericht for the time does not mention any change. The logical substitute for Kluge would have been Schroth, but there is no KTB or Tätigkeitsbericht of XII. AK for the time. If someone has any info on this matter, please let me know. In the meantime, I will continue with PzAOK 4.
Dear Askropp, histan is right. I had a look into the Bock diary. Due to health problems List took over (Halder KTB confirmed this in the 26.10. Entry). On 19.12.1940 List reported to Bock that Kluge will take over. Bock took over his army group - meanwhile moved to Posen - on 03.02.1941.

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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by askropp » 20 Apr 2016 22:28

With a footnote that Gen d. Inf von Salmuth was acting while Ruoff was on leave
The KTB ends on 27.04. and there was no Salmuth until then. I found a Kriegsrangliste that says Bernuth arrived on 28 April and Hoth on 15 May, but this may be "on paper" dates. Salmuth is nowhere mentioned. As Salmuth took over AOK 4 shortly after, maybe this is another mix-up. I also have Tagesbefehle which suggest that PzAOK 4 indeed returned to the front in the first week of June.
Bock took over his army group - meanwhile moved to Posen - on 03.02.1941
Thank you very much for the info! I guess Bock did not happen to mention who replaced Kluge during ths time?
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Re: German army commanders of WW2

Post by histan » 20 Apr 2016 23:25

It had been the plan for von Salmuth to stand in for Ruoff while Ruoff went on leave.
Fernschreiben to HGr Mitte and Pz.AOK 4
Für die Dauer der Beurlaubung des Generals der Infanterie Ruoff wird der General der Infanterie von Salmuth, FR OKH, mit der Führung der 4. Panzer-Armee beauftragt. Eintreffen General der Infanterie von Salmuth bei HGr Mitte am 17.4.42;
OKH/HPA Ag P 1/1.Abt.(aII) dated 11.04.1942

This was then cancelled
Fernschreiben to HGr Mitte and Pz.AOK 4:
Die mit FS vom 11.4.42 ausgesprochene Beauftragung des Generals der Infanterie von Salmuth, FR OKH, mit der Führung der 4. Pz.Armee wird nicht wirksam.
OKH/HPA Ag P 1/1.Abt.(aII) dated 18.04.1942

Instead, von Salmuth went to AOK 17 to stand in for Hoth, who was to go on leave until a planned exchange of posts with Ruoff in mid-May.

Keilig is quoting from a Kriegs-Stellenbesetzung produced by Abt GZ.

I am confident that 15.05.1942 is the date when Hoth stopped being OB AOK 17 and became OB Pz.AOK 4 and Ruoff stopped being OB Pz.AOK 4 and became OB AOK 17 - that is a "mit Wirkung vom" date and not an actual handover date.

Dates in a KRL are sometimes actual dates and sometimes "mit Wirkung vom" dates - taken from the PV or FS sent to the II a.

Regards

John

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