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1st Army (Wehrmacht)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 1st Army (German: 1. Armee) was a World War II field army.

Combat chronicle


The 1st Army was activated on 26 August 1939, with General Erwin von Witzleben in command. Its primary mission was to guard the western defences of Germany against Allied forces along the Maginot Line,[1] making it the principal German combatant during the short-lived French Saar Offensive.


The 1st Army continued its defensive assignment on the French border until June 1940, when the Battle of France had turned decisively to Germany's favor.[1]

Starting on 14 June 1940, the 1st Army began the penetration of the Maginot Line, concentrating its forces in the frontier sector south of Saarbrücken. Another penetration was conducted north of Wörth am Main on 19 June. Beginning on 21 June and until 24 June, the 1st Army participated in the annihilation of the remnants of the French forces in the Moselle and Vosges regions.[1]


After the French capitulation, the 1st Army spent until mid-1944 protecting the Atlantic coast of France from a possible seaborne incursion. Following the Normandy invasion in 1944, the army reorganized in Lorraine after a hasty retreat with the rest of the German forces across France in August 1944. During the battles along the German frontier, the First Army attempted to prevent the Third United States Army from crossing the Moselle River and capturing Metz while also attempting to hold the northern Vosges Mountains against the Seventh United States Army.

In November 1944, both defensive lines were broken and the First Army retreated to the German border and defended the Saarland of Germany, an important industrial region.


With the Third U.S. Army engaged to the north against the German Ardennes Offensive, the 1st Army attacked the Seventh U.S. Army on New Year's Day 1945 in Operation Nordwind, causing the Americans to give ground and inflicting significant casualties where Seventh U.S. Army defensive lines were stretched taut by the length of frontage they had to cover. With the failure of Nordwind in late January, the 1st Army was first pushed back to the Siegfried Line and then forced to retreat across the Rhine River when the Allies pierced the German fortifications. Thereafter, the First Army made an ordered withdrawal to the Danube River before surrendering near the Alps on May 6, 1945.

Noteworthy individuals


No. Commander Took office Left office Time in office
1Witzleben, ErwinGeneraloberst
Erwin von Witzleben
26 August 193923 October 19401 year, 58 days
2Blaskowitz, JohannesGeneraloberst
Johannes Blaskowitz
24 October 19402 May 19443 years, 191 days
3Lemelsen, JoachimGeneral der Panzertruppe
Joachim Lemelsen
3 May 19443 June 194431 days
4Chevallerie, KurtGeneral der Infanterie
Kurt von der Chevallerie
4 June 19445 September 194493 days
5Knobelsdorff, OttoGeneral der Panzertruppe
Otto von Knobelsdorff
6 September 194429 November 194484 days
6Obstfelder, HansGeneral der Infanterie
Hans von Obstfelder
30 November 19442 February 194564 days
7Foertsch, HermannGeneral der Infanterie
Hermann Foertsch
28 February 19454 May 194565 days
8Koch, RudolfGeneral der Kavallerie
Rudolf Koch-Erpach
6 May 19458 May 19452 days

Chiefs of Staff


Assignment and attachment to higher units

Order of battle

Subordinated units
9 Sep IX Corps
XXIV Corps
XII Corps
10 May XII Corps
XXIV Corps
XXX Corps

See also


  1. ^ a b c Tessin, Georg (1977). "1. Armee (AOK 1)". Die Landstreitkräfte 1-5. Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945 (in German). 2. Osnabrück: Biblio Verlag. pp. 1–4. ISBN 3764810971.
This page was last edited on 26 September 2020, at 03:28
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