Army Group South

Army Group South

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Army Group South was the name of a number of German
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 Army Groups
Army group
An army group is a military organization consisting of several field armies, which is self-sufficient for indefinite periods. It is usually responsible for a particular geographic area...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.

Poland campaign


Germany used two army groups to invade Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 in 1939: Army Group North
Army Group North
Army Group North was a German strategic echelon formation commanding a grouping of Field Armies subordinated to the OKH during World War II. The army group coordinated the operations of attached separate army corps, reserve formations, rear services and logistics.- Formation :The Army Group North...

 and Army Group South. In this campaign Army Group South was led by Gerd von Rundstedt
Gerd von Rundstedt
Karl Rudolf Gerd von Rundstedt was a Generalfeldmarschall of the German Army during World War II. He held some of the highest field commands in all phases of the war....

 and his chief of staff Erich von Manstein
Erich von Manstein
Erich von Manstein was a field marshal in World War II. He became one of the most prominent commanders of Germany's World War II armed forces...

.

Eastern Front


Army Group South was one of three army groups into which the Germans organised their forces for Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

. Army Group South's principal objective was to capture Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 and its capital Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

. Ukraine was a major center of Soviet industry and mining and had the good farmland required for Hitler's plans for Lebensraum
Lebensraum
was one of the major political ideas of Adolf Hitler, and an important component of Nazi ideology. It served as the motivation for the expansionist policies of Nazi Germany, aiming to provide extra space for the growth of the German population, for a Greater Germany...

 ('living space').

Army Group South was then to advance up to the Volga River
Volga River
The Volga is the largest river in Europe in terms of length, discharge, and watershed. It flows through central Russia, and is widely viewed as the national river of Russia. Out of the twenty largest cities of Russia, eleven, including the capital Moscow, are situated in the Volga's drainage...

, subsequently draining a portion of the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 and thus clearing the way for the Army Group North
Army Group North
Army Group North was a German strategic echelon formation commanding a grouping of Field Armies subordinated to the OKH during World War II. The army group coordinated the operations of attached separate army corps, reserve formations, rear services and logistics.- Formation :The Army Group North...

 and the Army Group Center
Army Group Centre
Army Group Centre was the name of two distinct German strategic army groups that fought on the Eastern Front in World War II. The first Army Group Centre was created on 22 June 1941, as one of three German Army formations assigned to the invasion of the Soviet Union...

 on their approach to Leningrad
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

 and Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 respectively.

To carry out these initial tasks its battle order included the First Panzer Group
German First Panzer Army
The 1st Panzer Army was a German tank army that was a large armoured formation within the Wehrmacht Heer field forces during World War II.-Formation:...

 and the German Sixth
German Sixth Army
The 6th Army was a designation for German field armies which saw action in World War I and World War II. The 6th Army is best known for fighting in the Battle of Stalingrad, during which it became the first entire German field army to be completely destroyed...

, Seventeenth and Eleventh Armies, and the Romanian Third
Romanian Third Army
The 3rd Army was a field army of the Romanian Land Forces active from the 19th century to the 1990s. It that fought as part of the German Army Group B during World War II, in Ukraine, Crimea, and the Caucasus...

 and Fourth
Romanian Fourth Army
The 4th Infantry Division Gemina is one of three major units of the Romanian Land Forces, with its headquarters in Cluj-Napoca. Until June 15, 2008 it was designated as the 4th Territorial Army Corps "Mareşal Constantin Prezan" .-Structure in April 2007 :This structure was in force when the...

 Armies.

The German Sixth Army
German Sixth Army
The 6th Army was a designation for German field armies which saw action in World War I and World War II. The 6th Army is best known for fighting in the Battle of Stalingrad, during which it became the first entire German field army to be completely destroyed...

, which fought in the destructive Battle of Stalingrad
Battle of Stalingrad
The Battle of Stalingrad was a major battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in southwestern Russia. The battle took place between 23 August 1942 and 2 February 1943...

, was later made part of Army Group South.

In preparation for Operation Blue
Operation Blue
Case Blue , later renamed Operation Braunschweig, was the German Armed Forces name for its plan for a 1942 strategic summer offensive in southern Russia between 28 June and November 1942....

, the 1942 campaign in southern Russia and the Caucasus, Army Group South was split into two armies: Army Group A
Army Group A
Army Group A was the name of a number of German Army Groups during World War II.-Western Front, 1940:During the German invasion of the Low Countries and France Army Group A was under the command of General Gerd von Rundstedt, and was responsible for the break-out through the Ardennes...

 and Army Group B
Army Group B
Army Group B was the name of three different German Army Groups that saw action during World War II.-Battle for France:The first was involved in the Western Campaign in 1940 in Belgium and the Netherlands which was to be aimed to conquer the Maas bridges after the German airborne actions in Rotterdam...

.

In February 1943, Army Group Don
Army Group Don
Army Group Don was a short-lived German army group during World War II.Army Group Don was created from the headquarters of the Eleventh Army in the southern sector of the Eastern Front on 22 November 1942. The army group only lasted until February 1943 when it was combined with Army Group B and...

 and the existing Army Group B
Army Group B
Army Group B was the name of three different German Army Groups that saw action during World War II.-Battle for France:The first was involved in the Western Campaign in 1940 in Belgium and the Netherlands which was to be aimed to conquer the Maas bridges after the German airborne actions in Rotterdam...

 were combined and re-designated Army Group South. A new Army Group B
Army Group B
Army Group B was the name of three different German Army Groups that saw action during World War II.-Battle for France:The first was involved in the Western Campaign in 1940 in Belgium and the Netherlands which was to be aimed to conquer the Maas bridges after the German airborne actions in Rotterdam...

 became a major formation elsewhere.

On 4 April 1944, Army Group South was re-designated Army Group North Ukraine
Army Group North Ukraine
The Army Group North Ukraine was a major ground force formation of the German armed forces.It was created on the 1 April 1944 by renaming Army Group South on trial basis, in the course of the separation of troops under command of General Field Marshal Erich von Manstein and General Field Marshal...

. Army Group North Ukraine existed from 4 April to 28 September.

In September 1944, Army Group South Ukraine
Army Group South Ukraine
Army Group South Ukraine was a German army group on the Eastern Front during World War II.Army Group South Ukraine was created on 31 March 1944...

 was again re-designated Army Group South.

Order of Battle for Army Group South, October 1944

Army Group Army Corps Division Remarks
 
South
Gen Friessner
German
Sixth Army
German Sixth Army
The 6th Army was a designation for German field armies which saw action in World War I and World War II. The 6th Army is best known for fighting in the Battle of Stalingrad, during which it became the first entire German field army to be completely destroyed...


Gen Fretter-Pico
IV Panzer Corps
LtGen Kleeman
24th Panzer Division
 
LXXII Army Corps
LtGen Schmidt
76th Infantry Division
 
Hungarian
VII Army Corps
MajGen Vörös
Hungarian
8th Reserve Division
 
Hungarian
12th Reserve Division
 
III Panzer Corps
LtGen Breith
1st Panzer Division
German 1st Panzer Division
The German 1st Panzer Division was an elite armoured division in the German Army during World War II. Its divisional insignia was a white oakleaf emblem.-History:...


 
13th Panzer Division
 
23rd Panzer Division
 
Feldherrnhalle
Panzergrenadier Division
 
22nd SS Cavalry Division
Maria Theresa
 
46th Infantry Division
German 46th Infantry Division
The 46th Infantry Division was a division of the German army from 1938 until 1945. It was formed in the latter part of 1938, and was constituted of recruits from the Sudetenland.-History:...


 
503rd Heavy Tank Battalion
German 503rd Heavy Panzer Detachment
The 503rd Heavy Tank Battalion was a German heavy Panzer Abteilung equipped with Tiger I tanks and Panzer IIIs. In 1944, it was re-equipped with the new Tiger II. The 503rd saw action on the Eastern and Western Fronts during the Second World War...


 
German
Eighth Army
German Eighth Army
The 8th Army was a World War I and World War II field army.-World War I:At the outbreak of World War I, the 8. Armee was stationed in East Prussia to defend against the expected Russian attack, Plan XIX. After the scrappy Battle of Gumbinnen, 8. Armee commander Generaloberst Maximilian von...


Gen Wöhler
German
XVII Army Corps
LtGen Kreysing
Hans Kreysing
Hans Kreysing was a German general who commanded the 3. Gebirgs-Division. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords...

German
8th Jäger
Jäger (military)
Jäger is a term that was adopted in the Enlightenment era in German-speaking states and others influenced by German military practice to describe a kind of light infantry, and it has continued in that use since then....

 Division
 
Hungarian
27th Infantry Division
 
Hungarian
9th Frontier Brigade
 
Hungarian
IX Army Corps
BrigGen Kovács
German
3rd Mountain Division
 
Hungarian
2nd Replacement Division
 
German
XXIX Army Corps
LtGen Röpke
German
8th SS Cavalry Division
 
German
4th Mountain Division
 
Hungarian
Second Army
Hungarian Second Army
The Hungarian Second Army was one of three field armies raised by the Kingdom of Hungary which saw action during World War II. All three armies were formed on March 1, 1940...


LtGen von Dalnoki
(Attached to
German
Sixth Army)
Hungarian
II Army Corps
MajGen Kiss
Hungarian
2nd Armored Division
 
Hungarian
25th Infantry Division
 
German
15th Infantry Division
 
Hungarian
Group Finta
BrigGen Finta
Hungarian
7th Replacement Division
 
Hungarian
1st Replacement
Mountain Brigade
 
Hungarian
2nd Replacement
Mountain Brigade
 
Army Reserve
LtGen von Dalnoki
Hungarian
9th Replacement Division
 
Hungarian
Third Army
Hungarian Third Army
The Hungarian Third Army was a Hungarian field army which saw action during World War II.-Commanders:* Lieutenant General Elemér Gorondy-Novák from 1 March 1940 to 1 November 1941* Lieutenant General Zoltán Decleva from 1 November 1941 to 1 December 1942...


LtGen Heszlényi
József Vitéz Heszlényi
József Vitéz Heszlényi was a Hungarian General during World War II and commander of the 3rd Hungarian Army.-Military career:...

Hungarian
VIII Army Corps
MajGen Lengyel
Hungarian
23rd Reserve Division
 
Hungarian
5th Replacement Division
 
Hungarian
8th Replacement Division
 
Hungarian
1st Armored Division
 
German
LVII Panzer Corps
LtGen Kirchner
4th SS
4th SS Polizei Division
The SS Polizei Division was one of the thirty-eight divisions fielded as part of the Waffen-SS during World War II.The division was formed in 1939 as part of the Ordnungspolizei...


Panzergrenadier Division
 
Hungarian
20th Infantry Division
 
Hungarian
1st Cavalry Division
 
Army Reserve
LtGen Heszlényi
József Vitéz Heszlényi
József Vitéz Heszlényi was a Hungarian General during World War II and commander of the 3rd Hungarian Army.-Military career:...

Hungarian
Szent László
Szent László Infantry Division
The Szent László Infantry Division was an elite Hungarian infantry unit formed in the final year of World War II. It was made up of a mix of army and air force personnel. The division saw action at Budapest, in western Hungary, and in southeastern Austria....


Infantry Division
 


At the end of World War II in Europe
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 Western Allies and the Soviet Union took place in late April and early May 1945.-Timeline of surrenders and deaths:...

, Army Group South was again re-named. As Army Group Ostmark
Army Group Ostmark
Army Group Ostmark was a German army group formed very late in World War II.Army Group Ostmark was formed on 2 April 1945 from the remnants of Army Group South . Army Group Ostmark was operational in Austria and Czechoslovakia. Army Group Ostmark was one of the last major German military...

, the remnants of Army Group South ended the war fighting in and around Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 and Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

. Army Group Ostmark was one of the last major German military formations to surrender to the Allies.