Open main menu

Army Group South (German: Heeresgruppe Süd) was the name of two German Army Groups during World War II. It was first used in the 1939 September Campaign, along with Army Group North to invade Poland. In the invasion of Poland Army Group South was led by Gerd von Rundstedt and his chief of staff Erich von Manstein. Two years later, Army Group South became one of three army groups into which Germany organised their forces for Operation Barbarossa. Army Group South's principal objective was to capture Soviet Ukraine and its capital Kiev.[1]

Army Group South
Heeresgruppe Süd
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-B24543, Hauptquartier Heeresgruppe Süd, Lagebesprechung.jpg
Briefing at the headquarters of Army Group South at Poltava on 1 June 1942
Country Germany
BranchGerman Army Group
EngagementsWorld War II
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Gerd von Rundstedt

Erich von Manstein

Fedor von Bock

Contents

Operation BarbarossaEdit

Ukraine was a major center of Soviet industry and mining and had the good farmland required for Hitler's plans for the Lebensraum ('living space'). Army Group South was to advance up to the Volga River, engaging a part of the Red Army and thus clearing the way for the Army Group North and the Army Group Center on their approach to Leningrad and Moscow respectively.

To carry out these initial tasks its battle order included the First Panzer Group (Gen. Kleist) and the German Sixth (Gen. Reichenau), Seventeenth (Gen. Stulpagel) and Eleventh Armies (Gen. Shobert), Luftlotte 1 (Keller) and the Romanian Third and Fourth Armies.

In preparation for Operation Blue, the 1942 campaign in southern Russia and the Caucasus, Army Group South was split into two army groups: Army Group A and Army Group B.[2]

In February 1943, Army Group Don and the existing Army Group B were combined and re-designated Army Group South. A new Army Group B became a major formation elsewhere. The German Sixth Army, which was destroyed in the destructive Battle of Stalingrad, was re-constituted and later made part of Army Group South in March 1943. On 4 April 1944, Army Group South was re-designated Army Group North Ukraine. Army Group North Ukraine existed from 4 April to 28 September.

In September 1944, Army Group South Ukraine was again re-designated Army Group South. At the end of World War II in Europe, Army Group South was again renamed; as Army Group Ostmark, the remnants of Army Group South ended the war fighting in and around Austria and Czechoslovakia. Army Group Ostmark was one of the last major German military formations to surrender to the Allies.

Order of Battle for Army Group South, October 1944Edit

Army Group Army Corps Division Remarks
 
South
Gen Friessner
German
Sixth Army
Gen Fretter-Pico
IV Panzer Corps
LtGen Kleeman
24th Panzer Division
 
LXXII Army Corps
LtGen Schmidt
76th Infantry Division
 
Hungarian
VII Army Corps
MajGen Vörös
Hungarian
8th Reserve Division
 
Hungarian
12th Reserve Division
 
III Panzer Corps
LtGen Breith
1st Panzer Division
 
13th Panzer Division
 
23rd Panzer Division
 
Feldherrnhalle
Panzergrenadier Division
 
22nd SS Cavalry Division
Maria Theresa
 
46th Infantry Division
 
503rd Heavy Tank Battalion
 
German
Eighth Army
Gen Wöhler
German
XVII Army Corps
LtGen Kreysing
German
8th Jäger Division
 
Hungarian
27th Infantry Division
 
Hungarian
9th Frontier Brigade
 
Hungarian
IX Army Corps
BrigGen Kovács
German
3rd Mountain Division
 
Hungarian
2nd Replacement Division
 
German
XXIX Army Corps
LtGen Röpke
German
8th SS Cavalry Division
Florian Geyer
 
German
4th Mountain Division
 
Hungarian
Second Army
LtGen von Dalnoki
(Attached to
German
Sixth Army)
Hungarian
II Army Corps
MajGen Kiss
Hungarian
2nd Armored Division
 
Hungarian
25th Infantry Division
 
German
15th Infantry Division
 
Hungarian
Group Finta
BrigGen Finta
Hungarian
7th Replacement Division
 
Hungarian
1st Replacement
Mountain Brigade
 
Hungarian
2nd Replacement
Mountain Brigade
 
Army Reserve
LtGen von Dalnoki
Hungarian
9th Replacement Division
 
Hungarian
Third Army
LtGen Heszlényi
Hungarian
VIII Army Corps
MajGen Lengyel
Hungarian
23rd Reserve Division
 
Hungarian
5th Replacement Division
 
Hungarian
8th Replacement Division
 
Hungarian
1st Armored Division
 
German
LVII Panzer Corps
LtGen Kirchner
4th SS
Panzergrenadier Division
 
Hungarian
20th Infantry Division
 
Hungarian
1st Cavalry Division
 
Army Reserve
LtGen Heszlényi
Hungarian
Szent László
Infantry Division
 

CommandersEdit

Commander Took office Left office Time in office
1Rundstedt, GerdGeneralfeldmarschall
Gerd von Rundstedt
(1875–1953)
1 September 193926 October 193955 days
(1)Rundstedt, GerdGeneralfeldmarschall
Gerd von Rundstedt
(1875–1953)
22 June 19411 December 1941162 days
2Reichenau, WalterGeneralfeldmarschall
Walter von Reichenau
(1884–1942)
1 December 194112 January 1942 †42 days
3Bock, FedorGeneralfeldmarschall
Fedor von Bock
(1880–1945)
12 January 19429 July 1942178 days
4Weichs, MaximilianGeneralfeldmarschall
Maximilian von Weichs
(1881–1954)
9 July 194212 February 1943218 days
5Manstein, ErichGeneralfeldmarschall
Erich von Manstein
(1887–1973)
12 February 194330 March 19441 year, 47 days
6Frießner, JohannesGeneraloberst
Johannes Frießner
(1892–1971)
23 September 194428 December 194496 days
7Wöhler, OttoGeneral der Infanterie
Otto Wöhler
(1894–1987)
28 December 19446 April 194599 days
8Rendulic, LotharGeneraloberst
Lothar Rendulic
(1887–1971)
7 April 194530 April 194523 days

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Robert Kirchubel (2012). Operation Barbarossa 1941 (1): Army Group South. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 3–10. ISBN 1846036518. Illustrated.
  2. ^ Adam, Wilhelm; Ruhle, Otto (2015). With Paulus at Stalingrad. Translated by Tony Le Tissier. Pen and Sword Books Ltd. p. 25. ISBN 9781473833869.