German Orders of Battle for September 1, 1939

Orders of Battle, strength of the Army divisions and tank inventory of the Wehrmacht at time of campaign in Poland.

German Panzer Division after the first border fights on September 1, 1939. In front a Panzer I, followed by Panzer II tanks.

The German Orders of Battle at the time of the campaign in Poland and the resulting outbreak of World War 2.
In 1939 Germany was divided into 13 geographical districts known as ‘Wehrkreise’, each of which was a depot for a number of divisions and formed a ‘home-base’ for their regiments. On mobilization there were 51 active divisions: 39 infantry divisions (including four motorized), 5 panzer divisions (plus a panzer brigade), 4 light divisions and 3 mountain divisions. When Germany mobilized, the system was rapidly expanded to include 16 reserve, 21 territorial (Landwehr) and 14 training divisions (Ergänzungsdivisionen).
For the Polish Campaign the OKW created two army groups (deployment see map further down): Army Group North (divided into two armies each of three corps) consisted of one panzer division, one mixed Army/SS panzer division, two motorized divisions, 16 infantry divisions and a cavalry brigade. Army Group South (10 corps in three armies) consisted of four panzer divisions, four light, 21 infantry and three mountain divisions. Two of XVII Army Corp’s infantry divisions were Slovak, while attached to XIII Army Corps was the motorized SS infantry regiment Leibstandarte (Bodyguard Regiment) Adolf Hitler.

Location of Polish and German Armies on September 1, 1939

Schematic layout of the German Wehrmacht from September 1, 1939:

Army GroupArmyCorpsDivisions
Army Group South (v.Rundstedt) in Silesia, Czech and Slovakia 14 Army (List) in Czech and Slovakia VIII, XVII, XVIII, XXIII Corps, Border Guard Command 3 2, 5 Panzer
4 Light
7, 8, 28, 44, 45, 239 Infantry
1, 2, 3 Mountain
Border Guard unit 30
10 Army (v.Reichenau) in Lower Silesia XIV, XV, XVI Panzer-Corps, IV, VII XI Corps 1, 4 Panzer
1, 2, 3 Light
13, 29 motorised Infantry
4, 14, 18, 19, 27, 31, 46, 62, 68, 213, 221 Infantry
8 Army (Blaskowitz) in Upper Silesia X, XIII Corps, Border Guard Commands 13, 14 10, 17, 24, 30 Infantry
Army Group North (v.Bock) in Pommerania and East Prussia 4 Army (v.Kluge) in Pommerania XIX Panzer-Corps, II, III Corps, Border Guard Commands 1, 2, 12 3, 10 Panzer
2, 20 motorised Infantry
3, 23, 32, 50, 73, 207, 208, 218 Infantry
3 Army (v.Küchler) in East Prussia I, XXI Corps, Gen.-Com. Wodrig, Fortress-Com. Königsberg and Lötzen, Army Group Danzig and Group 15 Panzer Unit East Prussia (4 Panzer Brigade)
1 Cavalry Brigade
1, 11, 12, 21, 61, 206, 217, 228 Infantry
Army Group C (v.Leeb) in West Germany (Reserves: 22, 87, 209, 216, 223, 225, 251, 253, 254 Infantry)5 Army VI Corps, General Com. Eifel 16, 26, 69, 86, 211, 227 Infantry, Forttress troops Aachen, Border Guard troops Trier
1 Army IX, XII Corps, General-Com. Saarpfalz 6, 9, 15, 25, 33, 34, 36, 52, 71, 79, 214, 231, 246 Infantry, Combat group St Wendel
7 Army Border Guard Com. Oberrhein 5, 35, 78, 212, 215 Infantry, 14 Landwehr (Homeguard)
Reserves subordinated to OKW56, 57, 58, 75, 76, 252, 257, 258, 260, 262, 263, 267 Infantry
Reserve Army and Commander of the Army Armament4 Infantry divisions in preparation

Approximate organization strength of the major types of the German Army divisions in 1939:

Infantry Divisionmotorized Infantry Division (1939)Mountain DivisionPanzer Division (1939-40)Light Division
Units total874354
Officers500=?400400
Officials100=?100100
NCOs2,500=?2,0001,600
Privates13,400=?9,3008,700
Total men 16,500-17,200 (35 divisions of 1st wave 18,00016,50013,05611,80010,800
Infantry Regiments3 with 3,000 men each=2 with 3,000 men each2 with 3,000 men each1 or 2 with 2,000 or 3,000 men each
Machine guns MG34643 (116 heavy)=569220460
Anti-tank rifles90=-
Mortars142 (84 x 5cm, 58 x 8.1cm)=118 (60 x 8.1cm, 58 x 5cm)5060
Infantry guns 24 (6 x 15cm, 18 x 7.5cm) =4 (15cm)1010
Anti-tank guns75 (3.7cm Pak 36)=51 (45 x 3.7 cm, 6 x 4.7cm)5050
Howitzers and guns 48 (8 x 15cm, 36 x 10.5cm leFH, 4 x 10.5cm guns)=36 (8 x 15cm, 12 x 10.5cm, 16 x 7.5cm)28 24 (10.5cm leFH)
Anti-aircraft guns (2cm)11=121212
Armored Cars330-100100
Tanks---32486
Trucks5001,700-1,4001,400
Cars4001,000-560600
Motorcycles4521,300-1,3001,100
Sidecars200600-700600
Horses5,375-?--
Horse-drawn carriages1,133-?--

Inventory of armored fighting vehicles on September 1, 1939:

Armored fighting vehiclesInventory
Panzer I 1,445
Panzer II 1,223
Panzer II(flamethrower)3
Panzer III98
Panzer IV211
Armoured Command Vehicles215
Assault gun StuG III5
Panzer 35(t)219
Panzer 38(t)59
TOTAL3,478

German Forces total:
3,706,104 men (103 divisions), 3,478 tanks, over 7,000 guns
4,093 planes (inc. 1,176 bombers, 1,179 fighters, 335 dive-bombers)
2 old battleships, 2 battlecruisers, 3 pocket battleships, 8 cruisers, 22 destroyers, 56 submarines

See also: Germany Army Unit Organization 1939-41.


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