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WW2 German Army Group B / Heeresgruppe B (2)


Lineage

  • Arbeitstab von Rundstedt
  • 12.Armee (1)
  • Heeresgruppe Süd (1)
  • Heeresgruppe A (1)
  • Abschnittstab Winter
  • Heeresgruppe Süd (2)
  • Heeresgruppe B (2)

Campaigns

  • Eastern Front 1942-1943
  • Italian Front 1943
  • Western Front 1944-1945

History

Heeresgruppe B (chronologically the second Heeresgruppe to be known by this name during WWII) was formed from the breakup of Heeresgruppe Süd 2 in July of 1942. Heeresgruppe Süd was split into two seperate Heeresgruppen in preperation for the German summer offensive which was centered in the south of the Soviet Union. The goal of the German summer offensive was the capture of the dual objectives of Stalingrad (to the east of Rostov), and the deep Caucasus region (to the south of Rostov). Heeresgruppe A was the other unit formed when Heeresgruppe Süd was split into two. Heeresgruppe A was given the objective of capturing the Caucasus region while Heeresgruppe B was tasked with the capture Stalingrad.

Tasked with the advance on Stalingrad, units under the control of Heeresgruppe B bore the brunt of the brutal and fierce fighting leading up to, within, and around this critically important industrial center on the Volga River. As the 6.Armee literally bleed itself white in the rubble of Stalingrad, Soviets forces smashed through the Italian, Hungarian and Romanian Armies holding the weak northern and southern flanks around the city, totally encircling and later destroying it as a combat formation.

After the Soviets fully encircled the 6.Armee in Stalingrad, Heeresgruppe Don was formed under the able command of Gen.FM Erich von Manstein. Its main purpose was to lead a relief operation codenamed Operation Wintertempest and to take over the southern portion of the front once controlled by Heeresgruppe B, whose area of operations became considerably smaller as a result.

In the spring of 1943, after the Stalingrad relief operation had long since failed and with German forces once more pushed back to Rostov, Heeresgruppe B was transferred to Northern Italy to be commanded by Gen.FM Erwin Rommel. Heeresgruppe Don became the third formation of Heeresgruppe Süd 3 and took control of all forces in the southern region of the front, minus Heeresgruppe A which was holding on in the Crimean region further to the south.

In November of 1943, Heeresgruppe B in northern Italy was superseded by Heeresgruppe C and transfered to France where it was reestablished still under Rommel's control. Its mission in France was to strengthen the anti-invasion forces located along the Channel coast. It later took part in operations in France once the Allies launched the Normandy Invasion in June 1944. Later still, Heeresgruppe B controlled German forces during the Ardennes counteroffensive in December 1944. In the beginning of 1945, Heeresgruppe B was responsible, under the command of Heeresgruppe D, for the German sector between the Mosel in the south to north of Aachen. Heeresgruppe B ended WWII in fighting in this region against the Western Allies.

Major Units

1942 Aug 2.Armee, 6.Armee, 4.Pz.Armee, 2 Hungarian Army, 8 Italian Army, XXIX Corps
1942 Sep 2.Armee, 6.Armee, 4.Pz.Armee, 2 Hungarian Army, 8 Italian Army
1942 Oct-Nov 2.Armee, 6.Armee, 4.Pz.Armee, 2 Hungarian Army, 8 Italian Army, 3 Rumanian Army, 4 Rumanian Army
1942 Dec 2.Armee, 2 Hungarian Army, 8 Italian Army
1943 Jan 2.Armee, 2 Hungarian Army, 8 Italian Army, Armee-Abteilung Fretter-Pico
1943 Feb-Aug 2.Armee, 2 Hungarian Army, 8 Italian Army, Armee-Abteilung Lanz
1943 Sep-Nov LI.Armeekorps, LXXXVII.Armeekorps, II.ss.Armeekorps
1943 Dec Staff based in Denmark at disposal of OKW
1944 Jan-Apr Staff based in France at disposal of OKW
1944 May 7.Armee, 15.Armee, Wehrmacht Commander-in-Chief in Holland
1944 Jun-Jul 7.Armee, 15.Armee, Panzergruppe West, Wehrmacht Commander-in-Chief in Holland
1944 Aug 1.Armee, 5 Pz.Armee, elements 7.Armee, 15.Armee, Wehrmacht Commander-in-Chief in Holland
1944 Sep-Oct 1.Fallschrim.Armee, 7.Armee, 15.Armee
1944 Nov 5.Pz.Armee, 7.Armee, Armeegruppe Student (1.Fallschirm.Armee, 15.Armee)
1944 Dec 5.Pz.Armee, 7.Armee
1945 Jan 5.Pz.Armee, 6.Pz.Armee, 7.Armee, 15.Armee
1945 Feb-Mar 5.Pz.Armee, 7.Armee, 15.Armee
1945 Apr 5.Pz.Armee, 15.Armee, Armeegruppe von Lüttwitz

Commanders

Gen.FM Maximilian Reichsfreiherr von Weichs 7.15.42 - 7.10.43
Gen.FM Erwin Rommel 7.10.43 - 7.17.44
Gen.FM Günther von Kluge 7.17.44 - 8.15.44
SS-Obegrpfr Paul Hausser 8.15.44 - 8.17.44
Gen.FM Walter Model 8.17.44 - 4.17.45