Army / Organization of the Heer

When World War II began, the entire Heer was split into two separate parts. TheFeldheer (Field Army) was created for the exclusive control of all military operations, and the Ersatzheer (Replacement Army) was created to control all the training, procurement, and administration of the Heimatkriegsgebiet (Zone of the Interior). All the operational parts of the Oberkommando der Heer, including the Oberbefehlshaber (Commander-in-Chief) and most of the Generalstab (General Staff), established a field headquarters away from Berlin, the Capital of Germany and seat of Government, for the operational control of the Feldheer. The remaining parts of the Oberkommando der Heer were placed under thecontrol of a deputy to the Oberbefehlshaber known as the Chef der Heeresrustung undBefehlshaber des Ersatzheeres (Chief of Army Equipement and Commander of theReplacement Army). The Chef der Heeresrustung und Befehlshaber der Ersatzheeres was responsible for maintaining the Feldheer through the dispatch of replacements, the formation of new units, the supply of material, and for continuing the normal military functions at home.

At the outbreak of World War II, and for the duration of the War, Germany distinguished between a number of different command and control areas for the purpose of organizing and controlling their armed forces. The way in which Germany divided up these areas was as follows.

The entire area of possible conflict, including Germany itself, was called the Kriegsgebiet (Theater of War). The Kriegsgebietwas organized into two separate divisions, the Operationsgebiet (Theater of Operations)and the Heimatkriegsgebiet (Zone of the Interior). A secondary area was designed to exist between the Heimatkriegsgebiet and the Operationsgebiet and this was called the Gebiet der Kreigsverwaltung (Zone of Military Administration) and sometimes also called the Besetztes Gebiet (Occupied Zone). Within the Operationsgebiet existed two other areas, the Gefechtsgebiet (Combat Zone) and the Ruckwartiges (Communications Zone). Within the Ruckwartiges were the RuckwartigesHeeresgebiet (Army Group Rear Area) and the RuckwartiegsArmeegebiet (Army Rear Area). Each separate area was then administered by different types of military authority, military/civil authority, or civil authority.

Map of German Wehrkies
Map of German Wehrkries

One of the most important and fundamental aspects of WWII German organization was the concept of the Wehrkries, or Corps Area. The concept of the Wehrkries was designed to divide Germany into a number of military regions that would be responsible for the administration, mobilization, and general structure of the Korps and Divisionen of the German Heer. Germany was divided into a total of 23 Wehrkries, with an original 19 existing prior to the Invasion of Poland in September of 1939. After the Polish Campaign, another four Wehrkries were added. Of the Original 19 Wehrkries, 15 were actually in Germany proper, and the remaining four were non-territorial and did not have a specific region they controlled, although they did have Headquarters located in a specific German city. The four Wehrkriesadded after the Campaign in Poland were located in former Polish territory.

When Germany began its mobilization in 1939, it did so in a series of “waves” in which units would be formed from existing units, or from reserves or drafts of men. There were a total of 35 waves during WWII in which Divisions were raised and/or mobilized. The waves were only concerned with InfantryDivisions, other types of units being formed separately.

Wehrkreis IKonigsberg
Wehrkreis IIStettin
Wehrkreis IIIBerlin
Wehrkreis IVDreseden
Wehrkreis VStuttgart
Wehrkreis VIMunster
Wehrkreis VIIMunchen
Wehrkreis VIIIBreslau
Wehrkreis IXKassel
Wehrkreis XHamburg
Wehrkreis XIHannover
Wehrkreis XIIWiesbaden
Wehrkreis XIIINurnberg
Wehrkreis XVIIWien
Wehrkreis XVIIISalzburg
Wehrkreis XIV (Non-territorial)Magdeburg
Wehrkreis XV (Non-territorial)Jena
Wehrkreis XVI (Non-territorial)Berlin
Wehrkreis XIX (Non-territorial)Wien
Wehrkreis XXDanzig
Wehrkreis XXIPosen
Wehrkreis Bohmen und MahrenPrague
Wehrkreis GeneralgouvernementCracow



WaveYearInfantry Divisions Mobilized
1st Wave19391st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th,16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th,29th, 39th, 31st, 32nd, 33rd, 34th, 35th, 36th, 44th, 45th, 46th
2nd Wave193952nd, 56th, 57th, 58th, 61st, 62nd, 68th, 69th, 71st, 73rd, 75th, 76th,78th, 79th, 86th, 87th
3rd Wave1939206th, 207th, 208th, 209th, 210th, 211th, 212th, 213th, 214th, 215th, 216th,217th, 218th, 221st, 223rd, 225th, 227th, 228th, 231st, 239th, 246th
4th Wave1939251st, 252nd, 253rd, 254th, 255th, 256th, 257th, 258th, 260th, 262nd, 263rd,267th, 268th, 269th
5th Wave193993rd, 94th, 95th, 96th, 97th
6th Wave193981st, 82nd, 83rd, 88th
7th Wave1940161st, 162nd, 163rd, 164th, 167th, 168th, 169th, 170th, 181st, 183rd, 196th,197th, 198th
8th Wave1940290th, 291st, 292nd, 293rd, 294th, 295th, 296th, 297th, 298th, 299th
9th Wave1940351st, 358th, 365th, 372nd, 379th, 386th, 393rd, 395th, 399th, 100th, 200th,300th, 400th
10th Wave1940270th, 271st, 272nd, 273rd, 274th, 276th, 277th, 278th, 279th, 280th
11th Wave1940121st, 122nd, 123rd, 124th, 125th, 126th, 129th, 131st, 132nd, 134th, 137th
12th Wave194097th, 98th, 100th, 101st, 102nd, 106th, 110th, 111th, 112th, 113th
13th Wave1940302nd, 304th, 305th, 306th, 319th, 320th, 321st, 323rd, 327th
14th Wave1940333rd, 335th, 336th, 337th, 339th, 340th, 342nd
15th Wave1940702nd, 704th, 707th, 708th, 709th, 710th, 711th, 712th, 713th, 714th, 715th,716th, 717th, 719th
16th Wave1941201st, 202nd, 203rd, 204th
17th Wave1941328th, 329th, 330th, 331st
18th Wave1942383rd, 384th, 385th, 387th, 389th
19th Wave1942370th, 371st, 376th, 377th
20th Wave194238th, 39th, 65th
21st Wave1943349th, 352nd, 353rd, 357th, 359th, 361st, 362nd, 363rd, 364th, 367th
22nd Wave1943271st, 272nd, 275th, 276thm 278th
23rd Wave1943390th, 391st, 394th, 388th
24th Wave1944331st, 389th
25th Wave194477th, 84th, 85th, 89th, 91st, 92nd
26th Wave1944“Wildflecken”, “Ostpreussen”, “Schlisen”, “Milowitz”
27th Wave194459th, 64th, 226th, 232nd, 237th
28th Wave1944“Jutland”, “Schkesien”, “Grafenwohr”, “Munsingen”
29th Wave1944543rd, 546th, 550th, 552nd
30th Wave194412th VG, 16th VG, 19th VG, 36th VG, 560th VG, 563rd VG
31st Wave1944“Brelsau”, “Dollersheim”, “Mahren”, “Rohn”, “Gross-Born”
32nd Wave194418th VG, 26th VG, 47th VG, 183rd VG, 212th VG, 246th VG, 256th VG, 271st VG,272nd VG, 276th VG, 277th VG, 326th VG, 337th VG, 340th VG, 349th VG,352nd VG, 361st VG, 363rd VG, 708th VG, 584th VG “Dennewitz”, 585th VG”Neider-Gorsdorf”, 586th VG “Katzback”, 588th VG “Mockern”, 583rd VG
33rd Wave194548th, 85th, 189th, 245th, 264th, 275th, 361st, 553rd, 706th, 716th
34th Wave1945“Hannover”, “Dresden”, “Donau”, “Doberitz”, “Berlin”, “Hamburg”, “Jutland”,”Seeland”
35th Wave19451st RAD “Schlageter”, 2nd RAD “Friedrich Ludwig Jahn”, 3rd RAD TheodorKorner”, 4th RAD, “Potsdam”, “Scharnhorst”, “Ulrich von Hutten”, “Ferdinandvon Schill”