11th SS Panzer Army
The 11th SS Panzer Army (SS-Panzer-Armeeoberkommando 11) was not much more than a paper army formed between November 1944 and February 1945 by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler while he was commander of Army Group Vistula.
The military historian Antony Beevor wrote that when the 11th SS Panzer Army was created the available units at best could constitute a corps, "'But panzer army' observed Hans-Georg Eismann 'has a better ring to it'". It also allowed Himmler to promote SS officers to senior staff and field commands within the formation. Obergruppenführer Felix Steiner, probably the best SS officer available, was named its commander. The Army was officially listed as the 11th Army but it was also known as SS Panzer-Armeeoberkommando 11 and is often referred to in English as the 11th SS Panzer Army.
After taking part in Operation Solstice (a counter-attack) east of the Oder River during February 1945, the 11th was assigned to OB West and reorganized in March 1945. Many of the units formerly subordinated to the 11th SS Panzer Army were transferred to the 3rd Panzer Army and other units were assigned to the 11th Army for operations against the Western Allies. After defending the Weser River and the Harz Mountains, the 11th surrendered to the Western Allies on 21 April.
Order of battle
By 5 February the 11th, subordinated to Army Group Vistula, had the following units assigned to it:
- III SS Panzer Corps:
- XXXIX Panzer Corps
- HQ, Wehrkreis II as corps-level field command (stellv. II):
- Direct army command
By 1 March the Eleventh, subordinated to Army Group Vistula had no units assigned to it.
By 12 April the Eleventh was directly subordinated to OB West and had the following units assigned to it.
- LXVII Army Corps:
- KG Fellner,
- Division Ettner,
- Division Heidenreich,
- Division Grosskreuz.
- LXVI Army Corps:
- German 11th Army the official German Army name for the army. The 11th Army also existed before this last reincarnation as an army that fought on the Eastern Front earlier in the war.
- Army Detachment Steiner fought in the Battle of Berlin, and because Steiner commanded that paper army it can easily be confused with the 11th SS Panzer Army.
- Tessin, Georg. Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS 1939 - 1945 Volume 3
- Beevor, Antony. Berlin: The Downfall 1945, Penguin Books, 2002, ISBN 0-670-88695-5
- Beevor p.88
- Tessin p.194