Army Group

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Military symbol of NATO for army groups

An army group ( abbreviation HGr ; military symbol XXXXX ) is the combination of several large military units ( army , army group , corps ) under a single command , predominantly during the First and Second World Wars . It formed a typical institution of the German army, but also found equivalents in the military of other states, e.g. B. Front (large association) .

Army groups in the German army

The Supreme Army Command (OHL) led the army at the beginning of the First World War by directing instructions to the individual army high commands . But it soon turned out to be impossible to command a mass army of (after mobilization ) more than 3.9 million men with a single central authority with the communications technology of the time . In the course of the war it was possible to expand the intelligence service by means of telephone and telegraphy , which initially only went up to the corps level, up to the divisional headquarters . And this enabled them to operate much more independently. In the course of the First World War, however, the number of armies multiplied, and it was not uncommon for several armies to fight together in one theater of war. This made it necessary to group them together in Army Groups (→ Army Group (German Empire) ), each with its own command. For this reason, from 1916 onwards, armies were increasingly grouped under one army group command. These then acted as relieving intermediate bodies. The army groups were directly subordinate to the OHL.

In the interwar period , the Reichswehr had two group commands, later six army group commands, which, however, had more the character of army high command, since they were only subordinate to divisions (→ Army Group (Reichswehr) ).

During the Second World War , numerous army groups (→ Army Group (Wehrmacht) ) were formed on the German side , which were either subordinate to the Army High Command (OKH) or the Wehrmacht High Command (OKW). In some cases, however, regional commanders in chief were also entrusted with the management of several army groups. In addition to their operational and / or strategic importance, they were also responsible for the administration of the opposing country directly subordinate to them (→ Commander of the Rear Army Area ).

Similar facilities in other armed forces

In the Anglo-American language area, the level of the Army Group is called the " Army Group " . These do not correspond to a German army group . The Allied troops formed six such army groups during the Second World War.

The " fronts " of the Red Army formed a comparable formation during the Second World War, which had similar tasks to the German army groups.

The French armed forces set up a total of four army groups in defense against the western campaign of the Wehrmacht: Army group 1 under Gaston Billotte and later Georges Maurice Jean Blanchard ; Army Group 2 under André-Gaston Prételat and later Charles-Marie Condé ; Army Group 3 under Benoît Besson ; finally Army Group 4 under Charles Huntziger .

On the Japanese side, the so-called main armies ( Japanese 総 軍 , sōgun ) corresponded to the level of the army group during the Pacific War .

As part of NATO's defense of Europe , it formed the “Army Groups” NORTHAG, CENTAG and SOUTHAG, which were dissolved in 1993 after the end of the Cold War .

AFCENT consisted of the CENTAG and the NORTHAG including the British Army of the Rhine. Today all forces are subordinate to the Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum .


  • Reinhard Brühl , Albrecht Charisius, Klaus Dorst et al. (Ed.): Dictionary of German military history. Volume 1: A - Me. Military publishing house of the German Democratic Republic, Berlin (East) 1985, p. 287 f.