Army Group A
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|Army Group A|
Army Group A (Heeresgruppe A) was the name of several German Army Groups during World War II. During the Battle of France, the army group named Army Group A was composed of 45½ divisions, including 7 armored panzer divisions. It was responsible for breaking through the heavily-forested Ardennes region. The operation, which was part of Fall Gelb (Case Yellow), was resoundingly successful for the Germans, as the army group outflanked the best troops of France and its allies, eventually leading to France's surrender.
In 1942, Army Group South on the Eastern Front against the Soviet Union was split into Army Group A and Army Group B, and Army Group A was responsible for the invasion into the Caucasus. In 1945, months before the fall of Nazi Germany, Army Group A was renamed Army Group Centre.
Western Front, 1940
During the German invasion of the Low Countries and France Army Group A was under the command of Generaloberst Gerd von Rundstedt and was responsible for the break-out through the Ardennes. It was composed of 45½ divisions, including the 7 panzer divisions of Panzer Group Kleist.
Order of Battle
- 4th Army Generaloberst Günther von Kluge
- V Army Corps (Wehrmacht) General Infantry Richard Ruoff
- VIII Army Corps (Wehrmacht) General Infantry Ernst Busch
- II Army Corps (Wehrmacht) General Infantry Adolf Strauss
- XV Army Corps (Wehrmacht) General Infantry Hermann Hoth
- 12th Army Generaloberst Wilhelm List
- 16th Army General Infantry Ernst Busch
- Panzer Group Kleist
- XIX Army Corps (Wehrmacht) (Guderian)
- XLI Army Corps (Wehrmacht) (Reinhardt)
- XIV Army Corps (Wehrmacht) (Wietersheim)
- XXXX Corps - Generalleutnant Georg Stumme
Eastern Front, 1942
In 1942, Army Group South was in southern Russia on the Eastern Front. For Case Blue (Fall Blau), the summer offensive of the German Armed Forces (Wehrmacht), Army Group South was split into Army Group A and Army Group B. Army Group A was ordered south to capture the oil fields in the Caucasus.
Army Group A included the following armies:
Eastern Front, 1944-1945
Army Group A was formed a third time on September 23, 1944, in southern Poland and the Carpathian region by renaming Army Group North Ukraine.
The army group was used to defend southern Poland and Slovakia.
Subordinate were :
After the breakthrough of the Red Army near Baranow on the Vistula during the Soviet Vistula-Oder Offensive, on January 16, 1945 Colonel Bogislaw von Bonin, the Chief of the Operational Branch of the Army General Staff (Generalstab des Heeres) gave Heeresgruppe A permission to retreat rejecting a direct order from Adolf Hitler for them to hold fast. Although Heeresgruppe A escaped encirclement and regrouped, von Bonin was arrested by the Gestapo on January 19, 1945, and imprisoned.
|No.||Commander||Took office||Left office||Time in office|
Gerd von Rundstedt
|15 October 1939||1 October 1940||11 months|
|10 July 1942||10 September 1942||2 months|
|10 September 1942||21 November 1942||2 months|
Ewald von Kleist
|22 September 1942||June 1943||6 months|
|5||General der Gebirgstruppe|
|June 1943||July 1943||1 month|
Ewald von Kleist
|July 1943||25 March 1944||8 months|
|25 March 1944||31 March 1944||0 months|
|28 September 1944||17 January 1945||3 months|
|17 January 1945||26 January 1945||0 months|
Chiefs of Staff
|No.||Chief of Staff||Took office||Left office||Time in office|
Erich von Manstein
|26 October 1939||1 February 1940||98 days|
|2||General der Infanterie|
Georg von Sodenstern
|6 February 1940||1 October 1940||238 days|
Hans von Greiffenberg
|10 July 1942||23 February 1943||228 days|
|23 February 1943||13 May 1943||79 days|
Hans von Greiffenberg
|13 May 1943||16 July 1943||64 days|
|16 July 1943||24 March 1944||252 days|
|24 March 1944||22 July 1944||120 days|
Wolf-Dietrich von Xylander
|28 September 1944||15 February 1945 †||208 days|