Appendix 3: German Force Engaged
The following diagrams and notes show how the Command of the German Army was organised for the 1939–40 Campaign in France and Flanders.
The Supreme Command of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force) was exercise by Adolf Hitler with, as his instrument for that purpose,
THE HIGH COMMAND OF THE ARMED FORCES (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht—or OKW)
Chief of OKW Colonel-General Keitel
Chief of Operations Staff Major-General Jodl
The Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy was Grand-Admiral Raeder; the head of the Air Force was Field Marshal Goering; the command of the Army was organised as follows:
ARMY HIGH COMMAND (Oberkommando des Heeres—or OKH)
Commander-in-Chief Colonel-General von Brauchitsch
Chief of the Army General Staff General Halder
On the next page is shown the composition of Army Group A and Army Group B down to corps level, the corps being shown in Roman numbers. An infantry corps controlled from two to four divisions; an armoured corps normally consisted or two armoured and one motorised division. But the grouping of forces underwent continual changes. The diagram shows their grouping on May the 24th, 1940, according to available evidence.
NOTE: Roman numerals denote Corps; those shown in Kleist and Hoth Groups were armoured corps.
ARMY GROUP A
The corps grouped under General von Kleist and General Hoth were all armoured corps. On May the 24th, 1940, their composition was as follows:
XIX Corps, General Guderian: 1st, 2nd and 10th Armoured Divisions and smaller motorised units.
XXXXI Corps, Lieutenant-General Reinhardt: 6th and 8th Armoured Divisions and the Motorised SS Verfügungs Division.
XVI Corps, General Hoepner: 3rd and 4th Armoured Divisions and the Motorised S.S. Totenkopf Division.
XXXIX Corps, General Schmidt: 5th and 7th Armoured Divisions and the 20th Motorised Division
The 9th Armoured Division was on this day in reserve.
These were part of the armed section [Waffen SS] of the Schutz Staffel or protective guard of the Nazi party. They were wholly militarised formations of long-term volunteers, recruited, trained, supplied and administered by the SS but, when employed in the field, they were under the orders of the Army High Command.
All the other corps shown were infantry corps.
ARMY GROUP B
All the corps shown were infantry corps. There were no armoured divisions in Army Group B at this time.
ARMY GROUP C
This Army Group was not involved in the fighting in which the British Expeditionary Force was concerned.