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Army Group South

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Country  Germany
Branch  German Army Group
Army Group South
Engagements  World War II Invasion of Poland Operation Barbarossa Operation Blue
Notable commanders  Gerd von Rundstedt Erich von Manstein

Army Group South (German: Heeresgruppe Süd) was the name of two German Army Groups during World War II. It was first used in the 1939 September Campaign, along with Army Group North to invade Poland. In the invasion of Poland Army Group South was led by Gerd von Rundstedt and his chief of staff Erich von Manstein. Two years later, Army Group South became one of three army groups into which Germany organised their forces for Operation Barbarossa. Army Group South's principal objective was to capture Soviet Ukraine and its capital Kiev.

Operation Barbarossa

Ukraine was a major center of Soviet industry and mining and had the good farmland required for Hitler's plans for the Lebensraum ('living space'). Army Group South was to advance up to the Volga River, engaging a part of the Red Army and thus clearing the way for the Army Group North and the Army Group Center on their approach to Leningrad and Moscow respectively.

To carry out these initial tasks its battle order included the First Panzer Group (Gen. Kleist) and the German Sixth (Gen. Reichenau), Seventeenth (Gen. Stulpagel) and Eleventh Armies (Gen. Shobert), Luftlotte 1 (Keller) and the Romanian Third and Fourth Armies.

The German Sixth Army, which fought in the destructive Battle of Stalingrad, was re-constituted and later made part of Army Group South. In preparation for Operation Blue, the 1942 campaign in southern Russia and the Caucasus, Army Group South was split into two armies: Army Group A and Army Group B.

In February 1943, Army Group Don and the existing Army Group B were combined and re-designated Army Group South. A new Army Group B became a major formation elsewhere. On 4 April 1944, Army Group South was re-designated Army Group North Ukraine. Army Group North Ukraine existed from 4 April to 28 September.

In September 1944, Army Group South Ukraine was again re-designated Army Group South. At the end of World War II in Europe, Army Group South was again renamed; as Army Group Ostmark, the remnants of Army Group South ended the war fighting in and around Austria and Czechoslovakia. Army Group Ostmark was one of the last major German military formations to surrender to the Allies.


Army Group South Wikipedia

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