1st Army (Wehrmacht)

The 1st Army (German: 1. Armee) was a World War II field army.

1. Armee
1st Army
Country Germany (3rd Reich)
TypeField army (Wehrmacht)
EngagementsWorld War II

Combat chronicleEdit


The 1st Army was activated on 26 August 1939, in Wehrkreis XII with General Erwin von Witzleben in command. Its primary mission was to take defensive positions and guard the western defences (West Wall) of Germany against Allied forces along the Maginot Line during the attack on Poland,[1] making it the principal German combatant during the short-lived French Saar Offensive.


During the Western campaign it belonged to the Army Group C and initially remained passive towards the Maginot Line. the 1st Army continued its defensive assignment on the French border until June 1940, when the Battle of France had turned decisively to Germany's favor.[1]

Starting on 14 June 1940, the 1st Army began the penetration of the Maginot Line, breaking through French defenses, it began concentrating its forces in the frontier sector south of Saarbrücken. Another penetration was conducted north of Wörth am Main on 19 June. Beginning on 21 June and until 24 June, the 1st Army participated in the annihilation of the remnants of the French forces in the Moselle and Vosges regions.[1]

After the end of the western campaign, the army remained in France. It secured the demarcation line and then the Atlantic coast (Atlantic Wall) in southwest France until May 1942, when they were moved to Normandy.


After the French capitulation, the 1st Army spent until mid-1944 protecting the Atlantic coast of France from a possible seaborne incursion. Following the successful Allied Normandy landings in June 1944, the 1st army was pushed back to the western border of the German Reich. and reorganized in Lorraine after a hasty retreat with the rest of the German forces across France, in August 1944, During the battles along the German frontier, the First Army attempted to prevent the Third United States Army from crossing the Moselle River and capturing Metz while also attempting to hold the northern Vosges Mountains against the Seventh United States Army.

In November 1944, both defensive lines were broken and the First Army retreated to the German border and defended the Saarland of Germany, an important industrial region.


With the Third U.S. Army engaged to the north against the German Ardennes Offensive, the 1st Army attacked the Seventh U.S. Army on New Year's Day 1945 in Operation Nordwind, causing the Americans to give ground and inflicting significant casualties where Seventh U.S. Army defensive lines were stretched taut by the length of frontage they had to cover. With the failure of Nordwind in late January, the 1st Army was first pushed back to the Siegfried Line and then forced to retreat across the Rhine River, From March 15 to March 24, 1945 during (Operation Undertone), the 7th US Army on a broad front surrounded to the 1st Army near Kaiserslautern. However, when the Allies pierced the German fortifications, they were forced to retreat, Thereafter, the First Army made an ordered withdrawal to the Danube River, and later to Munich, on May 6, 1945, near the alps, the 1st army surrendered to allied forces.

Noteworthy individualsEdit


No. Portrait Commander Took office Left office Time in office
1Witzleben, ErwinGeneraloberst
Erwin von Witzleben
26 August 193923 October 19401 year, 58 days
2Blaskowitz, JohannesGeneraloberst
Johannes Blaskowitz
24 October 19402 May 19443 years, 191 days
3Lemelsen, JoachimGeneral der Panzertruppe
Joachim Lemelsen
3 May 19443 June 194431 days
4Chevallerie, KurtGeneral der Infanterie
Kurt von der Chevallerie
4 June 19445 September 194493 days
5Knobelsdorff, OttoGeneral der Panzertruppe
Otto von Knobelsdorff
6 September 194429 November 194484 days
6Knobelsdorff, OttoGeneral der Infanterie
Kurt von Tippelskirch
30 October 194411 November 194412 days
7Obstfelder, HansGeneral der Infanterie
Hans von Obstfelder
30 November 19442 February 194564 days
8Foertsch, HermannGeneral der Infanterie
Hermann Foertsch
28 February 19454 May 194565 days
9Koch, RudolfGeneral der Kavallerie
Rudolf Koch-Erpach
6 May 19458 May 19452 days

Chiefs of StaffEdit


Assignment and attachment to higher unitsEdit

Order of battleEdit

Subordinated units
9 Sep IX Corps
XXIV Corps
XII Corps
10 May XII Corps
XXIV Corps
XXX Corps

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Tessin, Georg (1977). "1. Armee (AOK 1)". Die Landstreitkräfte 1-5. Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945 (in German). 2. Osnabrück: Biblio Verlag. pp. 1–4. ISBN 3764810971.