German Orders of Battle for the campaign in the West, May 1940

A Panzer I leads Panzer 38(t)

A Panzer I leads Panzer 38(t) into Northern France.

German Orders of Battle for the campaign in the West, 10 May 1940

By May 1940, the number of divisions in the German army was as follows:

  • 129 infantry divisions;
  • 8 motorised infantry divisions (3 Waffen-SS);
  • 10 panzer divisions;
  • 3 mountain divisions;
  • 1 cavalry division;
  • 2 airborne divisions;

In addition the SS-Verfügungstruppe (from April 1940, known as the Waffen-SS) provided three motorised infantry divisions and a brigade. There were now over two-and-a-half million men under arms in the German Army, of which the Waffen-SS contributed about 100,000.

For the invasion of France the German Army was organised into three army groups:

  • Army Group A (von Rundstedt) with 45 1/2 divisions including 7 panzer;
  • Army Group B (von Bock) with 29 1/2 divisions including 3 panzer, and
  • Army Group C (von Leeb) with 19 divisions.

Army Group C held a defensive position against the Maginot Line while the main offensive was launched by Rundstedt’s Army Group A in the Ardennes with a subsidiary invasion of Holland and Belgium undertaken by Army Group B.


Deployment Western Front

Deployment Western Front in May 1940.


Schematic layout of the German Wehrmacht in the West from May 10th, 1940

Schematic layout
Army Group Army Corps Divisions
Army Group A opposite Belgium and Luxembourg (Ardennes) (Reserves: 4, 87, 211, 263, 267 Infantry division) 4th Army V Corps 251, 267, 32, 31 Infantry divisions
VIII Corps 8, 28 Infantry divisions
XV Panzer Corps 5, 7 Panzer, 62 Infantry division
II Panzer Corps 12, 32 Infantry division
12th Army (Reserves: 9, 27 Infantry division) III Corps 3, 23. Infantry division
VI Corps 16, 24 Infantry division
XVIII Corps 5, 21, 25 Infantry, 1 Mountain division
Panzer Group Kleist (12th Army) XI Panzer Corps 1, 2, 10 Panzer division, mot. Infantry Regiment Grossdeutschland
XLI Panzer Corps 6, 8 Panzer, 2 motorized Infantry division
XIV mot. Corps 13, 29. motorized Infantry division
16th Army (Reserves: 6, 15, 26, 33, 52, 71, 73 Infantry division) VII Corps 36, 68 Infantry division
XIII Corps 17, 34 Infantry division
XXIII Corps 58, 76 Infantry division
Army Group B located opposite to Holland (Reserves: 7, 211, 253, 267, 269 Infantry division) 18th Army (Reserves: XXIX Corps with 208, 225 Infantry, 9. Panzer division) X Corps 207, 227 Infantry division, 1 Cavalry division, mot.SS division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, mot.SS division ?
XXVI Corps 207, 254, 256 Infantry division, mot. SS-Division ?
IX Corps 294, 295 Infantry division
6th Army (Reserves: I Corps with 1, 11, 61, 216, 223, 255 Infantry division) IV Corps 18, 35 Infantry division
IX Corps 19, 30, 56 Infantry division
XI Corps 7, 14, 31 Infantry division
XXVII Corps 253, 269 Infantry division
XVI Panzer Corps 3, 4 Panzer, 20 motorized Infantry division
Air Landing Corps 7 Paratroopers, 22 Air Landing division
Army Group C in the Saar and Rhine front in Southwest Germany (Reserves: 197, 213, 215, 246, 262, 554, 555 Infantry division) 1st Army XII Corps 75, 198, 268 Infantry division
XXIV Corps 60, 168, 252 Infantry division
XXX Corps 79, 93, 258 Infantry division
XXXVII Corps 257 Infantry division
XLV Corps 95, 167 Infantry division
7th Army XXV Corps 557 Infantry division
XXVII Corps 218, 221 Infantry division
XXXIII Corps 239, 556 Infantry division
OKH Reserves in the West 9th Army XVII, XXXXVIII, XL, XLII, XLIII, XLIV, XXXVI, XLV Corps 10, 44, 45, 46, 50, 57, 60, 72, 78, 81, 82, 83, 86, 88, 96, 161, 162, 164, 167, 168, 169, 170, 183, 197, 205, 206, 212, 213, 217, 218, 221, 260, 290, 291, 292, 293, 294, 295, 296, 297, 298, 299 Infantry divisions, 1 SS-Brigade (motorized), SS-Police division, 1 Police division (?)

Overview of fully established and operational divisions of the Wehrmacht, Waffen-SS and Luftwaffe in the West on 10 May, 1940

Overview
Panzer mot.Inf. Cav. Inf. Mountain Airborne Total
Army Group A 7 3.33 36 1 - 47.33
Army Group B 3 4 1 30 2 40
Army Group C - 24 24
Reserves 1.33 43 44.33
TOTAL 10 8.66 1 133 1 2 155.66

Approximate organization strength of the major types of the German Army divisions in 1940
Infantry Division motorised Infantry Division Mountain Division Panzer Division Airborne Division
Officers 500 500 ? 400 500
Officials 100 100 ? 100 100
NCOs 2,500 2,500 ? 2,000 2,500
Privates 13,400 13,400 ? 9,300 13,400
Total men 16,500 (35 divisions of 1st wave 18,000) 16,500 ? 11,.800 16,500
Infantry Regiments 3 with 3,000 men each 3 with 3,000 men each 2 with 3,000 men each 2 with 3,000 men each 2 or 3 with 3,000 men each
Machine guns MG34 500 500 220 220 500
Mortars 140 (54 x 8,1cm, others 5cm) 140 (54 x 8,1cm, others 5cm) 90 50 140 ((54 x 8.1cm, 86 x 5cm)
Infantry guns 25 (6 x 15cm, others 7,5cm) 25 (6 x 15cm, others 7,5cm) 14 (2 x 15cm, 12 x 7,5cm) 10 ?
AT 3,7 cm PAK 36 75 75 48 (6 x 4,7cm) 50 36
Howitzers and guns 48 (12 x 15cm, others 10,5cm leFH ) 48 (12 x 15cm, others 10,5cm leFH) 32 (16 x 7,5cm, 8 x 10,5cm leFH, 8 x 15cm) 28 24 (10.5cm recoiless guns)
AA 20mm Flak 12 12 12 12 12
Armored Cars 3 30 - 100
Tanks - - - 324
Trucks 500 1.700 - 1,400
Cars 400 1,000 - 560
Motorcycles 500 1,300 - 1,300
Sidecars 200 600 - 700
Horses 5,000 - ? - -
Horse-drawn carriages 1,000 - ? - -

Known quantities of tanks in May 1940:
Armored fighting vehicles Inventory
PzKpfw 35(t) (witn 6th Panzer division in France) c. 200
PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf. A-C (15 A in Norway, 7th and 8th Panzer division in France) c. 350
PzKpfw III (E-G) mit 3.7cm KwK L/46.5 348
PzKpfw IV (A-D) short 7.5cm KwK L/24 280
Assault gun StuG IIIA with short 7.5cm L/24 c. 24
other serviceable Armored fighting vehicles in Panzer Divisions c. 1,372
TOTAL serviceable Armoured fighting vehicles in Panzer Divisions 2,574
Call of War
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One Comment

  1. I don’t think a 1940-type panzer division had 324 tanks and I’m pretty sure that the light mechanised divisions were phased out after the Polish Campaign.

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