Chinese Air Force, Fleet, Communist Forces

Pilots of the Chinese Flying Tigers are running to their planes.

Chinese Air Force During the 1930s, the Chinese Air Force was composed largely of foreign volunteers, at first Americans but later Italians. By 1937 the strength of the Air Force stood at 500 aircraft, but few of these were serviceable,… learn more

Chinese Nationalist Army

Chiang Kai-sheks's German-trained and equipped Chinese soldiers.

The seizure of Mukden on 19 September 1931 marked the beginning of overt Japanese aggression against China, and from 1937 there was open war. The disorganised Chinese forces were no match on the battlefield for the Japanese armies, but determined… learn more

Bulgarian Armed Forces

Tsar Boris III from Bulgaria

Bulgarian Army Throughout World War II Tsarist Bulgaria was only officially at war with England and America. Her alliance with Germany was due in part to their common experiences during World War I, the hope of territorial gains, and her… learn more

Belgian Armed Forces

Belgian soldiers take a rest by the roadside

Belgian Army In 1914 neutral Belgium had been suddenly attacked by the German Army and had experienced four years of trench warfare. After the German occupation of the Rhineland in 1936 the country was again jolted into awareness of impending… learn more

Baltic volunteers with the German Army

Decoration of Baltic soldiers and auxiliaries in German service.

On 22 June 1941 the Red Army’s 29th Corps (Baltic Special Military District) disintegrated. The two divisions (the 179th and 184th ?) were ex-Lithuanian Army Divisions. The mutinied, killed most of their officers and commissars, then declared themselves a new… learn more

Russian Troops with the German Army

Russian Cossacks in German service.

Strength and Organization of the Wehrmacht volunteers from Russia. Russian volunteers with the German Army The continuous drain of German military personnel brought about by the bitter fighting on the Eastern Front, together with increasing partisan activity in the German… learn more

Axis Eastern Front allies

Spanish soldiers of the Blue Division on the Eastern Front.

Spanish Volunteer Units In return for German help in the Spanish Civil War, Franco agreed to the formation of a Spanish Volunteer Division of 18,000 men, most of whom were regular soldiers, to participate in the ‘crusade’ against Bolshevism on… learn more

Slovak Armed Forces

Soldiers of the Slovak Mobile Division on the Eastern Front

Slovak Army In March 1939 Hitler summoned the leaders of the Slovak populist party to Berlin and told them that unless they broke away from Czechoslovakia, he would allow the Hungarians to invade their country. Slovakia declared itself independent on… learn more

German uniforms of WW2

group of German infantrymen

Army uniforms of the Wehrmacht in the Second World War. The field-gray uniform of the Wehrmacht was a further development of the German uniform used during World War One. The final form of this uniform was introduced in several steps… learn more

Fighting Power of the Wehrmacht

The last cigarette for Wehrmacht soldiers

Fighting power of the German Wehrmacht (Part I) What is fighting power? In the military history there were always outstanding armed forces. The Greeks under Alexander the Great, the Romans under Caesar, the Mongols of the Genghis Khan, the French… learn more

Military performance

German paratroopers with a 7.5-cm PaK 40

The German military performance during World War Two. Part III of the assessment of the fighting power of the Wehrmacht in WW2. back to Part II: Wehrmacht vs US Army German Performance against the Western Allies With the development and… learn more

Performance on the Western Front

Infantry of the US XX Corps move forward

German military performance against the Western Allies in France and on the German frontier in 1944. back to Part III: Military performance in Italy 1943-44 As Rommel had forecast, the ensuing three months after the Allied invasion in Normandy on… learn more

Wehrmacht

Conscripts of the Wehrmacht during basic training

Wehrmacht – the German Armed Forces of the Third Reich. In the plebiscite on the Saar on January 13, 1935, more than 90% of the electorate voted to return to Germany. On March 1, 1935, Saarland returned to the German… learn more

Organization of the Wehrmacht

Keitel and Jodl

Organization of the Wehrmacht, Third Reich and Nazi Party with Power balance of Germany during WW2. back to PART I about the Wehrmacht Organization of the Wehrmacht In March 1939 the operational control of the Armed Forces was unified under… learn more

1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte-SS-Adolf Hitler

Junior officer followed by soldiers of LAH

Creation, organization, commanders, actions, particularities and the end of the 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte-SS-Adolf Hitler. Designations SS-Stabswache Berlin (March 17, 1933) SS-Sonderkommando Berlin (May 8, 1933) SS-Sonderkommando Zossen (May 10, 1933) SS-Sonderkommando Jüterborg (July 8, 1933) Adolf Hitler Standarte… learn more

LSSAH Campaigns

Tiger tanks of LAH

1. SS-Panzer-Division Leibstandarte-SS-Adolf Hitler (Part II) The campaigns of the LSSAH. back to PART I: Designations, Commanders, Creation, Organization, Particularities and the End of LSSAH Campaigns Campaigns 1938-1941: The motorized infantry regiment ‘Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler’ participated in the invasion of… learn more

Waffen-SS divisions 1-3

Grenadiers of 2 SS diviision 'Das Reich'

Order of Battle Waffen-SS divisions 1 – 3 (LAH, Reich, Totenkopf) Between early 1943 and until the end of World War II the ‘Order of Battle’ of the Waffen-SS rose from 8 to 38 divisions with nearly one million men.… learn more

Waffen-SS divisions 4-6

Policemen of 4 SS Polizei division

Order of Battle Waffen-SS divisions 4 – 6 (Polizei, Wiking, Nord) 4 SS-Polizei-Panzer-Grenadier-Division Raised (as division) October 1940 (taken into Waffen-SS in February 1942). Commanders SS-Gruf. Pfeffer-Wildenbruch (until November 1940), SS-Brigaf. Schmedes (August to November 1944), SS-Staf. Harzer (until May… learn more

Waffen-SS

Himmler and Hitler walking in front of a SS honour guard company.

Waffen-SS – Creation, Atrocities and Combat Reputation. Creation of the Waffen-SS Before Germany went to war the term Waffen-SS had not been coined. The small units which at the beginning of WW2 had a strength of 18,000 men were to… learn more

SS at War

Recruiting poster of the Waffen-SS

Waffen-SS at War – Hitler’s Elite soldiers in combat (Part II). to Part I of Waffen-SS Waffen-SS at war The SS-Verfuegungstruppe (Waffen-SS from April 1940) took part in the Polish, French and Balkans campaigns not as an integral formation, but… learn more