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Order of battle for Operation Barbarossa

German advances during the opening phases of Operation Barbarossa

This is the order of battle for Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II. It was fought between the German-led Axis Forces and the Soviet Forces. The operation started on June 22, 1941, and ended on December 5, 1941, at the conclusion of Operation Typhoon.



German Army Group North[1]Edit

Commanded by Field marshal Wilhelm von Leeb (Chief of Staff - Lt.Gen. Kurt Brennecke)

German Army Group Center[3]Edit

Commanded by Field marshal Fedor von Bock (Chief of Staff - Maj.Gen. Hans von Greiffenberg)

German Army Group South [4]Edit

Commanded by Field marshal Gerd von Rundstedt (Chief of Staff - Lt.Gen. Georg von Sodenstern)



The "Main Command of the Armed Forces of the USSR" (Stavka Glavnogo Komandovaniya) was formed on 23 June, largely from the existing People's Commissariat for Defence.

Commander in Chief: Marshal Semyon Timoshenko (until July 19), then Josef Stalin
Deputy Commander-in-Chief: Army General Georgy Zhukov (from August 8)
Chief of the General Staff: Army General Georgy Zhukov (until July 21), then Marshal Boris Shaposhnikov

Northern Front[5]Edit

General Colonel Markian Popov

The front was the Leningrad Military District until 24 June.

Northwestern FrontEdit

General Colonel Fyodor Isodorovich Kuznetsov Source:[7]

Baltic Special Military District until 22 June.

Western Front[8]Edit

General Colonel Dmitry Grigorevich Pavlov

Western Special Military District until 22 June.

Southwestern Front[9]Edit

General Colonel Mikhail Kirponos

Kiev Special Military District until 22 June.

Southern Front[9]Edit

General Colonel Ivan Tyulenev

Air ForcesEdit



The directive issued to the Luftwaffe for Barbarossa ordered that Luftflotte 2, under the command of Albert Kesselring was to be the strongest Air Fleet. Kesselring was assigned to supporting Army Group Centre, which was to capture Minsk, Smolensk and Moscow. Kesselring was given Fliegerkorps VIII (a specialised ground attack Corps, commanded by tactical specialist Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen), Fliegerkorps II (commanded by Bruno Loerzer) and the 1st Anti-Aircraft Corps (1st AA Corps under Walther von Axthelm). Army Group South was supported by Luftflotte 4, containing Fliegerkorps V (under Robert Ritter von Greim) and Fliegerkorps IV (under Kurt Pflugbeil). The Air Fleet and Army Group were responsible for capturing Kiev, the Crimea and the Caucasus oilfields. Army Group North was supported by Luftflotte 1, and Luftflotte 5. Luftflotte 5 conducted operations in the Arctic near Murmansk. Luftflotte 1 supported operations in the Baltic Sea, Baltic States and near, in and over Leningrad. Luftflotte 1 contained Fliegerkorps I under the command of Helmuth Förster.[10]

Other Axis air forcesEdit

The Romanian Air Force was considered weak by the OKL, and therefore unlikely to play a great role in the ground fighting. Far more attention was given by the OKW to training and preparing the Romanian Army. Hitler, on 18 June 1941, declared that the primary mission of the Romanian air arm was to defend Romania and the Romanian oilfields. Only when those forces were sufficient, could they divert the remaining forces to ground support operations for Barbarossa. On 21 June 1941, it possessed a balanced fleet of 53 Squadrons; 11 bomber (five modern), 17 fighter (nine modern), 15 reconnaissance, six liaison, two flying boat, one transport and one air ambulance unit. On the 22 June, there was 160 fighters and 82 bombers in service. Total strength amounted to 380 aircraft. Only 30 of the Romanian fighters were Bf 109s, of the E model.[11] However, this small force did not remain inferior in numbers for along. Despite a weak inter-war economy, the aircraft industry was run very efficiently, and they were able to produce some very capable aircraft; such as the IAR 37 and IAR 39. Unlike the army that stagnated, it was able to garner the cream of the Romanian officer corps. With the right support, organisation and modern equipment, it was able to grow in number and match its enemies in quality. In air defence and ground support operations it performed well, but failed in strategic bomber and naval operations owing to a lack of doctrine.[12] Within a few weeks of Barbarossa beginning, it was able to put up 1,061 aircraft, including 400 trainers.[13] The modern combat aircraft were focused into one unified Air Combat Command, or GAL (Gruparea Aeriana Lupta), while the obsolete types were given the Romanian Fourth Army, operating under the German Army Group South.[14]



Since 1935, Soviet military aviation had been divided between the army (VVS KA) and the navy (VVS VMF). The VVS KA had been split into four different organisations owing to faulty conclusions drawn from the Winter War. Owing to a lack of coordination in close support operations with the Red Army, the entire VVS KA was subordinated to the field armies. The existence of too many different branches under separate commands in Soviet air power caused coordination problems (made worse by Axis bombing during Barbarossa). Most Soviet bomber units could not coordinate with fighter aviation, consequently they did not have fighter escort for long periods.[15]

The total strength of the VVS amounted to 61 divisions; 18 fighter, nine bomber and 34 mixed. Five brigades were also included. The Front Air Forces were divided into Districts (later 'Fronts') and the home defence, the PVO. This element had 40.5 per cent of the Soviet air strength. The Army Air Forces comprised 43.7 per cent of the VVS' strength. The liaison squadrons were a collection of individual squadrons assigned to different army corps of the ground army (KAE). They comprised only 2.3 per cent.[15]

The Soviet order of battle:

Leningrad and Baltic FrontsEdit

Western and South Western FrontsEdit

Odessa Front and Long Range AviationEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ Glantz 2002, p. 531
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Operation Barbarossa 1941 (2): Army Group North (Campaign) (v. 2)=Robert Kirchubel. Osprey Publishing. 2005. p. 29. ISBN 978-1-84176-857-1.
  6. ^ Ammentorp, Steen. "The Generals". Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  7. ^ Operation Barbarossa 1941 (2): Army Group North (Campaign) (v. 2) Robert Kirchubel. Osprey Publishing. 2005. p. 30. ISBN 978-1-84176-857-1.
  8. ^ Operation Barbarossa 1941 (3): Army Group Center (Campaign) (v. 3)Robert Kirchubel. Osprey Publishing. 2007. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-84603-107-6.
  9. ^ a b Operation Barbarossa 1941 (1): Army Group South (Campaign) (v. 1)Robert Kirchubel. Osprey Publishing. 2003. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-84176-697-3.
  10. ^ Plocher 1968, pp. 9, 28-29.
  11. ^ Statiev 2002, pp. 1091-1092.
  12. ^ Statiev 2002, p. 1112.
  13. ^ Statiev 2002, p. 1093.
  14. ^ Statiev 2002, pp. 1093, 1097.
  15. ^ a b Bergström 2007, p. 134.
  16. ^ a b c d Bergström 2007, p. 131.
  17. ^ Niehorster, Air Forces, Western Special Military District
  18. ^ a b Bergström 2007, p. 132.


  • Bergström, Christer. Barbarossa - The Air Battle: July–December 1941, London: Chevron/Ian Allan, 2007. ISBN 978-1-85780-270-2.
  • Plocher, Hermann. The German Air Force versus Russia, 1941. United States Air Force Studies, Washington, 1968. ISBN 978-0-405-00044-7
  • Plocher, Hermann. The German Air Force versus Russia, 1942. United States Air Force Studies, Washington, 1968. ISBN 978-0-405-00045-4
  • Statiev, Alexander. Antonescu's Eagles against Stalin's Falcons: The Romanian Air Force, 1920-1941, in 'The Journal of Military History', Volume 66, No. 4 (Oct. 2002), pp. 1085–1113
  • Glantz, David M. (2002). The Battle for Leningrad 1941-1944. Kansas University Press. ISBN 0-7006-1208-4.

External linksEdit