LXXXIX Army Corps (Wehrmacht)

  (Redirected from LXXXIX. Armeekorps)

The LXXXIX Army Corps (German: LXXXIX. Armeekorps) was an army corps of Germany's Wehrmacht during World War II. It was active from August 1942 until March 1945. Its commander surrendered to United States Army forces on 2 April 1945.

HistoryEdit

Formation, 1942Edit

The LXXXIX Army Corps, also called 'Roman 89th Army Corps' (German: röm. 89. AK) in script to avoid confusion with the Roman numerals, was formed under the name Generalkommando Y on 2 August 1942 in occupied France. The corps was initially attached to 15th Army (Haase) under Army Group D (von Rundstedt). It was subsequently renamed Generalkommando Schelde on 9 August 1942, before eventually receiving the designation LXXXIX. Armeekorps on 25 October 1942.[1] Its initial subordinate divisions were the 39th, 65th and 712th Infantry Divisions.[2] The first commander of Generalkommando Schelde and LXXXIX Army Corps was Alfred Ritter von Hubicki, the former commander of the 9th Panzer Division.[3]

Occupation duties in France, 1942 – 1944Edit

The corps headquarters was in Antwerp for most of 1943 as well as early 1944. From here, it commanded coastal garrison troops in the southwestern Netherlands and at the Belgian coast. For instance, it oversaw the 65th Infantry Division at Middelburg, the 712th Infantry Division at Oostburg and the 171st Infantry Division at Diksmuide in April 1943.[4] By early June 1944, as Allied troops were about to land in Normandy, the corps headquarters were still at Antwerp, and its subordinate 48th, 712th and 165th Infantry Divisions were stationed at Ostende, Oostburg and Middelburg, respectively.[5] It formed a line along the French coast together with the LXXXII, LXXXXI, LXVII and LXXXI corps.[6]

Western Front, 1944 – 1945Edit

As Allied armies were advancing through France, LXXXIX Army Corps took the far right flank of 15th Army, which was in turn on the far right of the German lines, to the right of the 1st Parachute Army. At 15 September 1944, it stood south of Breskens, to the right of LXXXVI Army Corps, which was also part of the 15th Army.[7]

By early November 1944, the LXXXIX Army Corps had been transferred from the 15th Army to the 1st Army under Army Group G (Hausser).[2][8] In late December 1944, LXXXIX Army Corps was reinforced by most of the personnel of Division Rässler.[9] Beginning in January 1945, the LXXXIX Army Corps was also called Group Höhne (German: Gruppe Höhne).[1]

The defense of the Moselle and RhineEdit

In March 1945, the LXXXIX Army Corps was called upon by the commander of Army Group G, Paul Hausser, to defend the Moselle line. The corps command started to arrive there by 9 March 1945. The LXXXIX Army Corps was tasked with the defense of the Moselle from Koblenz over Wierschem to a sector north of Cochem.[10] Here, it stood to the right of XIII Army Corps (von Oriola), which consisted of the remnants of the 2nd Panzer Division as well as three Volksgrenadier Divisions.[11] The corps was insufficiently equipped to defend the serpentine mountainous Moselle area, as it lacked both the manpower required to defend the north bank as well as the reserves required to beat back Allied attempts to cross the Moselle. Although not nominally part of LXXXIX Army Corps, Höhne also assumed effective control of Kampfgruppe Koblenz, a local defense force of 1,800 men from the Koblenz area, as well as the 276th Infantry Division, which had escaped from the Eifel region.[10] The 6th SS Mountain Division (Brenner) was nominally assigned to LXXXIX Army Corps by Hausser, but only parts of it reached the corps in time before the sector of LXXXIX Army Corps fell under heavy American attack.[11]

On 12 March 1945, the U.S. Third Army (Patton) began its attack against Army Group G. The American XX Corps (Walker) bound the attention of the Army Group G reserves with an initial attack, whereupon the American XII Corps (Eddy) crossed the Moselle in the sector defended by LXXXIX Army Corps.[12] The remainders of the depleted 6th SS Mountain Division began joining the LXXXIX Army Corps piecemeal on the morning of 15 March 1945, whereupon they were sent by Höhne against the left flank of the U.S. 90th Infantry Division in a futile attempt to push back against the Moselle bridgehead established by XII Corps and to hold open a retreat route towards the Rhine river.[13] In heavy fighting until the 17 March 1945, the LXXXIX Army Corps was split in half by an armored thrust by XII Corps, as the 559th Volksgrenadier Division was rushed in by Hausser to assist the sector.[14] Having accepted that the forces west of the American breakthrough were lost, the part of LXXXIX Army Corps to the east of the breach were ordered by Hans Felber of 7th Army to make a fighting retreat towards the Rhine and to cross it if necessary.[15] At noon on the 16 March 1945, the remainders of the LXXXIX Army Corps was ordered to cease its defensive efforts on the west bank of the Rhine, and began withdrawing to the east bank. The Kampfgruppe Koblenz did however remain in the Koblenz urban area on the west bank to make a last stand. The troops that arrived on the east bank of the Rhine as part of the retreat by LXXXIX Army Corps numbered around 1,700.[16] They were helped in their retreat by a lack of American activity; the 4th Armored Division (Gaffey), part of XII Corps, had paused to regroup after establishing a bridgehead across the Nahe river.[17]

By 25 March 1945, the 6th SS Mountain Division had been called away by Albert Kesselring, the commanding general of Army Group D and thus Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht forces in the West, towards Wiesbaden, weakening the defensive position of LXXXIX Army Corps east of the Rhine even further,[18] just before the U.S. VIII Corps (Middleton) crossed the Rhine Gorge into the sector defended by LXXXIX Army Corps.[19]

The collapse of LXXXIX Army CorpsEdit

The total collapse of LXXXIX Army Corps began on 27 March 1945, when the corps was dislodged from its positions on the east bank of the Rhine by the advancing American VIII Corps. The corps had been nominally assigned back to the 15th Army under Army Group B (Model) during the leadup to the American attack, but the LXXXIX Army Corps had not established any contact to its new commanding army and very little contact to its new commanding army group. Further weakened by the loss of the 6,000 soldiers of the 6th SS Mountain Division, the LXXXIX Army Corps had no hope of repelling the U.S. VIII Corps. Kesselring reverted his decision after news arrived of the American advances, and attempted to engage the 6th SS Mountain Division to defend the Lahn river in the Limburg area, but the 6th SS Mountain Division was out of fuel, and its troops, now marching on foot, came too late to prevent Limburg's capture by American troops on 26 March.[20]

Faced with the VIII Corps in the west and threatened by the American breakthrough at Limburg, Höhne, at last in contact with Kesselring, requested the right to retreat his battered forces towards the east, but was denied. By now, only the 276th Infantry Division remained barely in fighting condition within the LXXXIX Army Corps. With a threat of the 276th Division's collapse, Höhne disobeyed Kesselring's instructions and retreated anyway. His own headquarters had already fallen under enemy fire when he and his remaining staff officers retreated.[20] With this retreat, the LXXXIX Army Corps disintegrated. Its personnel did not serve another purpose until the German surrender on 8 May 1945.[21]

In the meantime, the remainders of the 6th SS Mountain Division, numbering some 2,000 troops, took to setting up roadblocks on the motorways they attempted to defend, in spite of the fact that several American contingents had already passed them by on either side.[20] Starting on 30 March 1945, the 6th SS Mountain Division attempted to infiltrate back into German-controlled territory, but the remainders of the division were pinned down and 800 survivors forced to surrender on 2 April 1945. 500 members of the 6th SS Mountain Division had been killed during the last few days. Their American counterparts were partially spurred on by false rumors that the members of the 6th SS Mountain Division had murdered and raped staff members of an American military hospital from which they had stolen fuel in the last few days.[22]

With the collapse of LXXXIX Army Corps and the destruction of the 6th SS Mountain Division, the American forces had punched a hole between Army Group B and Army Group G. The only division left in any position to retaliate, the 11th Panzer Division, was quickly defeated before an effective response could be formulated.[22] The collapse of the LXXXIX Army Corps was partially brought about by the fact that the corps had not retreated quickly enough when faced with the Rhine Gorge crossing by the U.S. VIII Corps.[23]

On 2 April 1945, Höhne was captured by American forces and formally surrendered to a Quartermaster detachment in the American rear.[24]

The LXXXIX Army Corps was marked 'Verbleib unbekannt' (German: status unknown) by the German high command starting in April 1945.[1]

Noteworthy individualsEdit

Organizational chartEdit

Superior formations over LXXXIX Army Corps[1]
Name Year Month Army Army Group Operational Area
Generalkommando Schelde 1942 September – October 15th Army Army Group D Antwerp
LXXXIX Armeekorps November – December
1943
1944 January – April
May – October Army Group B Belgium, Netherlands
November – December 1st Army Army Group G Saarpfalz
1945 January – March
April – May Status unknown
Subordinate units under LXXXIX Army Corps[2][8]
Year Date Army Subordinate divisions
1942 2 Sep 15th Army 65th, 39th, 712th
8 Oct
5 Nov
1 Dec 65th, 712th
1943 1 Jan
3 Feb
4 Mar
9 Apr
1 May 171st, 712th, 65th
1 Jun
7 Jul 171st, 712th, 19th LFD
5 Aug
5 Sep 264th, 171st, 712th, 19th LFD
4 Oct
8 Nov 171st, 712th, 19th LFD
3 Dec
1944 1 Jan 272nd, 171st, 712th, 19th LFD
12 Feb 48th, 712th, 165th
11 Mar 48th, 19th LFD, 712th, 165th
8 Apr 48th, 712th, 165th
11 May
12 Jun
17 Jul
31 Aug 182nd, 64th, 59th, 712th, 70th
16 Sep 64th, 145th
13 Oct 344th, 712th
5 Nov 1st Army 553rd, 361st
26 Nov 553rd, 245th, 256th
31 Dec 256th, 245th, 361st
1945 19 Feb 905th, 257th, 245th, 47th
1 Mar 905th, 257th

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Tessin, Georg (1977). "Generalkommando LXXXIX. Armeekorps (röm. 91. AK)". Die Landstreitkräfte 71-130. Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945 (in German). 6. Osnabrück: Biblio Verlag. p. 105. ISBN 3764810971.
  2. ^ a b c Tessin, Georg (1977). "15. Armee". Die Landstreitkräfte 15-30. Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945 (in German). 4. Osnabrück: Biblio Verlag. pp. 1–3. ISBN 3764810971.
  3. ^ Mitcham, Samuel W. (2001). "9th Panzer Division". The Panzer Legions: a Guide to the German Army Tank Divisions of World War II and their Commanders. Westport: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0313316406.
  4. ^ Boog, Horst; et al. (2006). The Strategic Air War in Europe and the War in the West and East Asia 1943–1944/5. Germany and the Second World War. 7. Translated by Cook-Radmore, Derry. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 482. ISBN 0198228899.
  5. ^ Boog, Horst; et al. (2006). The Strategic Air War in Europe and the War in the West and East Asia 1943–1944/5. Germany and the Second World War. 7. Translated by Cook-Radmore, Derry. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 501. ISBN 0198228899.
  6. ^ Citino, Robert M. (2017). The Wehrmacht's Last Stand: German Campaign of 1944-1945 (eBook ed.). Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas. p. 121. ISBN 9780700624959. LCCN 2017026680.
  7. ^ Boog, Horst; et al. (2006). The Strategic Air War in Europe and the War in the West and East Asia 1943–1944/5. Germany and the Second World War. 7. Translated by Cook-Radmore, Derry. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 630. ISBN 0198228899.
  8. ^ a b Tessin, Georg (1977). "1. Armee". 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. 3–4. ISBN 3764810971.
  9. ^ Mitcham, Samuel W. (2007). "DIVISION RAESSLER". German Order of Battle. Volume Two: 291st-999th Infantry Divisions, Named Infantry Divisions, and Special Divisions in WWII. Stackpole Books. ISBN 9780811734165.
  10. ^ a b MacDonald, Charles B. (1993) [1973]. The Last Offensive. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History. p. 242. LCCN 71-183070.
  11. ^ a b MacDonald, Charles B. (1993) [1973]. The Last Offensive. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History. p. 243. LCCN 71-183070.
  12. ^ MacDonald, Charles B. (1993) [1973]. The Last Offensive. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History. p. 244. LCCN 71-183070.
  13. ^ MacDonald, Charles B. (1993) [1973]. The Last Offensive. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History. p. 247. LCCN 71-183070.
  14. ^ MacDonald, Charles B. (1993) [1973]. The Last Offensive. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History. p. 248. LCCN 71-183070.
  15. ^ MacDonald, Charles B. (1993) [1973]. The Last Offensive. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History. p. 249. LCCN 71-183070.
  16. ^ MacDonald, Charles B. (1993) [1973]. The Last Offensive. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History. p. 251. LCCN 71-183070.
  17. ^ MacDonald, Charles B. (1993) [1973]. The Last Offensive. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History. p. 256. LCCN 71-183070.
  18. ^ MacDonald, Charles B. (1993) [1973]. The Last Offensive. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History. p. 274. LCCN 71-183070.
  19. ^ MacDonald, Charles B. (1993) [1973]. The Last Offensive. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History. p. 292. LCCN 71-183070.
  20. ^ a b c MacDonald, Charles B. (1993) [1973]. The Last Offensive. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History. p. 349. LCCN 71-183070.
  21. ^ MacDonald, Charles B. (1993) [1973]. The Last Offensive. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History. p. 374. LCCN 71-183070.
  22. ^ a b MacDonald, Charles B. (1993) [1973]. The Last Offensive. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History. p. 350. LCCN 71-183070.
  23. ^ MacDonald, Charles B. (1993) [1973]. The Last Offensive. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History. p. 373. LCCN 71-183070.
  24. ^ MacDonald, Charles B. (1993) [1973]. The Last Offensive. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History. p. 379. LCCN 71-183070.