Order of battle for the Battle of France

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The Order of Battle for the Battle of France details the hierarchy of the major combatant forces in the Battle of France in May 1940.

Allies[edit]

The bulk of the forces of the Allies were French, although the United Kingdom (British Expeditionary Force), Netherlands, and Belgium had significant forces in the battle opposing Germany. Supreme Command was held by the French Commander-in-Chief General de'armee Maurice Gamelin, his deputy General de'armee Alphonse Joseph Georges was appointed Commander of the North Western Front.

French First Army Group[edit]

The French 1st Army Group was tasked with guarding the northeast frontier of France, and with moving into Belgium and the Netherlands to oppose any German invasion of those nations. The First controlled four French armies as well as the Belgian Army and the British Expeditionary Force. General de'armee Gaston Billotte was Commander-in-Chief until his death in a car crash on 23 May 1940, General de'armee Georges Maurice Jean Blanchard was appointed to succeed him.

Belgian army[edit]

French Second Army Group[edit]

The French 2nd Army Group was responsible for manning the bulk of the Maginot Line from Montmedy to south of Strasbourg, and controlled three armies. General de Armee Andre-Gaston Pretelat was Commander-in-Chief of the army group throughout its existence.

  • French 5th Army - General Victor Bourret
    • Directly reporting:
      • 44th Infantry Division
    • French 8th Corps
      • 24th Infantry Division
      • 31st Infantry Division
    • French 12th Corps
      • 16th Infantry Division
      • 35th Infantry Division
      • 70th Infantry Division
    • French 17th Corps
      • 62nd Infantry Division
      • 103rd Infantry Division
    • French 43rd Corps
      • 30th Infantry Division

French Third Army Group[edit]

The French 3rd Army Group was responsible for manning the southern end of the Maginot Line, along the River Rhine and controlled a single army. The army group's Commander-in-Chief was General de Armee Antoine-Marie-Benoit Besson.

Dutch Army[edit]

The Netherlands had four corps, one motorized division and a defense division deployed to begin the battle. General Henri Winkelman was Supreme Commander of the Dutch Army.

French army facing Italy[edit]

14th Army Corps 15th Army Corps

    • Fortification sectors: Dauphiné, Savoie, Alpes Maritimes
    • Defence sectors: Rhône, Nice

Originally the French 6th Army, the Army of the Alps was responsible for manning the southeast frontier with Italy. Overall, French forces in the region numbered about 35,000 soldiers.

French reserves[edit]

The French began the battle with three reserve corps positioned behind the army groups. The VII and XXIII Corps were stationed behind the 2nd and 3rd Army Groups.

British Expeditionary Force[edit]

Axis[edit]

The commander-in-chief of the Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH) was Field Marshal ("Generalfeldmarschall") Walter von Brauchitsch. Initially the Axis forces consisted of the forces of the German army. They were joined in the conflict by the Italian army on June 10.

OKH Reserve[edit]

  • German Second Army - Generalfeldmarschall Maximilian Freiherr von Weichs[1]
    • der Armee direkt unterstellt: 294.ID, 267.ID
    • IX Corps
      • 15.ID, 205.ID
    • XXVI Corps
      • 34.ID, 45.ID, 295.ID
    • VI Corps
      • 293.ID, 5.ID
  • German Ninth Army - Generaloberst Johannes Blaskowitz[2]
    • der Armee direkt unterstellt: 211.ID
    • XXXXII Corps
      • 50.ID, 291.ID
    • XVI Corps
      • 3.Pz.Div., 4.Pz.Div., 13.ID (mot.), Inf.Reg."Großdeutschland", "Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler"
    • XXXXIII Corps
      • 96.ID, 88.ID, 292.ID
    • XVIII Corps
      • 25.ID, 81.ID, 290.ID

German Army Group A[edit]

Commanded by Generaloberst Gerd von Rundstedt (Chief of Staff - GenLt Georg von Sodenstern)

German Army Group B[edit]

Commanded by Generaloberst Fedor von Bock (Chief of Staff - Generalleutnant Hans von Salmuth).

German Army Group C[edit]

Commanded by Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb.

  • German First Army - Generalfeldmarschall Erwin von Witzleben[3]
    • der Armee direkt unterstellt: 197.ID
    • Höh.Kom.z.b.V.XXXVII
      • 246.ID, 215.ID, 262.ID, 257.ID
    • XXIV.AK
      • 60.ID, 252.ID, 168.ID
    • XII.AK
      • 75.ID, 268.ID, 198.ID
    • XXX.AK
      • 258.ID, 93.ID, 79.ID
    • Höh.Kom.z.b.V.XXXXV
      • 95.ID, 167.ID

Italian Army Group "West"[edit]

Commanded by Prince General Umberto di Savoia

Overall, the Italian forces numbered about 312,000 troops. However, they had inadequate artillery and transport and they were not equipped for the cold Alpine environment.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In the German army the rank of Colonel general ("Generaloberst") was equivalent to the rank of full general
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j The German ranks of General of Infantry ("General der infanterie"), General of the Artillery ("General der artillerie"), General of Armour ("General der Panzertruppe") etc. were equivalent to lieutenant-general.

References[edit]