First World War
The army of the German Empire had so-called Army Inspectorates (Armee-Inspektionen) as command authorities above their army corps (latterly numbered from I to VIII), which were renamed in the First World War to Armeeoberkommandos.
In Austria-Hungary an Armeeoberkommando (AOK) - there was only one - was established in summer 1914 at the outbreak of the war and was the command centre for all land and naval forces within the double monarchy. It was led by the following commanders-in-chief (Armeeoberkommandanten): Archduke Frederick; from 2 December 1916 by Emperor Charles I himself; on 3 November 1918 by Arthur Arz and from 4-11 November 1918 by Hermann Kövess. Its chiefs of general staff were: to 1 March 1917, Field Marshal Conrad; from 2 November 1918, Arthur Arz. The AOK was stationed in Teschen in Austrian Silesia until 1916, and then in Baden bei Wien.
Second World War
In the Second World War an AOK (usually commanded by colonel general, Generaloberst, or above) led several army corps and had its own army troops, e.g. heavy artillery, sappers and other specialist troops that were subordinated to it depending on availability and task. The AOK was the command level between the army group and the army corps. Demands and allocation of logistic supplies usually went straight to the senior quartermaster (Oberquartiermeister) of the AOK; the army group command was only involved in situations of crisis. The area of responsibility of an AOK was split into the operational area, which was further subdivided at corps and divisional level, and the army rear area, which was run by "Commander Rear Area" (Kommandanten rückwärtiges Gebiet or Korück).
In the course of the war in certain places as a stopgap alongside the AOKs there were also army divisions (Armeeabteilungen) and army groups. These were named after their respective commanders and, often, did not have the usual levels of command support.
Organization of an AOK
The normal organization of an Armeeoberkommando in the Second World War was as follows:
- AOK Commander - Befehlshaber des Armeeoberkommandos
- Chief of Staff - Chef des Generalstabes - e.g. a major general
- I Division, the Command Division - Abteilung I (Führungsabteilung)
- First General Staff Officer (Ia) (Operations) - Erster Generalstabsoffizier (Ia) (Operationen)
- Third General Staff Officer (Ic) (Enemy situation) - Dritter Generalstabsoffizier (Ic) (Feindlage)
- Fourth General Staff Officer (Id) (Training) - Vierter Generalstabsoffizier Id (Ausbildung)
- Nazi Command Officer (NSFO; from 1944) - Nationalsozialistischer Führungsoffizier
- II Division (Adjutancy - management) - Abteilung II (Adjutantur – Verwaltung)
- 1st Adjutant IIa (Officers' personnel matters) - 1. Adjutant IIa (Personalangelegenheiten der Offiziere)
- 2nd Adjutant IIc (NCOs' and soldiers' personnel matters) - 2. Adjutant IIc (Personalangelegenheiten der Unteroffiziere und Mannschaften)
- Senior Quartermaster's Division (Supplies) - Oberquartiermeisterabteilung (Nachschub)
- Second General Staff Officer (Senior Quartermaster) - Zweiter Generalstabsoffizier (Oberquartiermeister)
- Army Doctor IVb - Armeearzt
- Army Veterinarian IVc - Armeeveterinär
- Higher Artillery Commander - Höherer Artilleriekommandeur (Harko)
- Army Chief of Engineers - Armeepionierführer (A.Pi.Fü)
- Army Chief of Intelligence - Armeenachrichtenführer (A.Nachr.Fü.)
- Gas Defence Staff Officer - Stabsoffizier für Gasabwehr
- Tank Warfare Staff Officer - Stabsoffizier für Panzerbekämpfung (Stopak)