Armies

German military parade

Adolf Hitler at a miltary parade for the reintroduction of the military service.

Strength, Organization, Orders of Battle, Weapons, Equipment of WW2 Armies.

A description of the strength, organization, orders of battle, weapons and equipment of the armies and armed forces of the involved nations for different periods of WW2.

On 1 September 1939 the armed forces of Nazi Germany began WW2 by invading Poland. With the notable exception of the German Wehrmacht, the organization and many weapons of the armed forces which fought the early campaigns was dominated by the memories of World War I and this was also the case in the design of uniforms. Not before the end of WW2, organization, uniform, equipment and weapons had often acquired a very modern look, as we knew it until today.


US Army North-West Europe

US 1st Infantry Division lands at the bloody Omaha Beach

Strength and Organization of the US Army in Northwest Europe 1944-45. Here to Part I: US Army at the beginning of WW2. US Army in North-West Europe 1944-1945 American troops had arrived in Britain since 1942 in preparation for the… learn more

Deployment of Anglo-American forces 1942

British 6-pounder anti-tank gun ready to fire

Deployment of Anglo-American forces by theaters in summer 1942. Deployment of the armed forces of the Anglo-Americans (Britain with Commonwealth and United States) by theaters of war (Europe, Middle East, Atlantic) in summer 1942 according to nominal (paper) strengths. BRITISH… learn more

Deployment of Axis Minors forces 1942

Italian infantry with the old pith helmet

Deployment of the armed forces of the Axis Minors (Italy, Finland, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Slovakia) by theaters of war in summer 1942. Italian, Finnish, Romanian, Hungarian, Bulgarian and Slovakian distribution of forces after theaters of war in summer (June-July)… learn more

German Orders of Battle Operation Blue

German armored cars Donets Basin Steppes

German Orders of Battle before the summer offensive in Russia (Operation Blue) of June 24, 1942. The German Orders of Battle and distribution of the divisions from the Wehrmacht and subordinated units of allies shortly before the summer offensive in… learn more

Yugoslavia Armed Forces

Men of the Belgrade 'Iron Regiment' on the march

Strength and organisation of the Yugoslav Army, Air Force and Navy in 1941. Yugoslav Army The titular head of the armed forces was the King. At the end of March 1941 a group of Army officers overthrew the Regent Prince… learn more

Hungarian Armed Forces 1942

Troops of the 2nd Hungarian Army

Strength and Organization of the Army and Air Force of Hungary. Hungarian Army In spring 1942 Germany’s need for more manpower on the Eastern Front demanded a maximum effort and the Hungarians dispatched to the front the 2nd Hungarian Army… learn more

German Orders of Battle Balkans Campaign

German advance on the muddy roads of Yugoslavia.

German Orders of Battle on 5 April 1941 at the attack on Yugoslavia and Greece. In order to secure his southern flank for the invasion of Russia Hitler forced Yugoslavia’s Prince Regent Paul into the Axis alliance, but when he… learn more

Italian Armed Forces 1942

Italian infantry in the Western Desert i

Strength and Organisation of the Italian Army and Air Force (Regia Aeronautica) in 1942. Italian Army All Italian citizens from the ages of 18 to 54 years were liable for military service. The first stage was that of conscript service… learn more

5th SS Panzer division Wiking

crew of a Russian tank surrenders

Creation and Campaigns of the 5th SS Panzer division Wiking. Designations Nordische (Nordic) Division Nr. 5 (1940) SS-Division Germania (mot) (December 1, 1940) SS-Division Wiking (December 20, 1940) SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Wiking (November 9, 1942) 5. SS-Freiwilligen-Panzer-Division Wiking (February 1944) Commanders SS-Obergruppenführer… learn more

Luftwaffe Orders of Battle September 1942

Ju88C long-range fighters

Strength and aircrafts of the Luftflotten at the beginning of the Battle for Stalingrad. The Luftwaffe Orders of Battle gives the strength of its operational units when the German Air Force was at its most powerful. After three years of… learn more

Partisans

Partisans

Partisans and Chetniks – strength and organization of irregular forces in Russia and Yugoslavia. Partisans in Russia The rapid disintegration of the Red Army along the western frontiers of the Soviet Union as a result of the Axis invasion in… learn more

2nd SS-Panzer-Division Das Reich

Grenadiers of 2 SS diviision 'Das Reich'

Operations of the 2nd SS-Panzer-Division Das Reich 1943-45 (Part II). Here to Part I: Creation and Campaigns of the SS-Verfuegungsdivision (later Reich) from 1939 to 1942. Russia 1943 After its reorganization into the SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Das Reich, which actually corresponded to… learn more

SS Division Reich

Motorcyclists of the SS-Division Reich

Creation and Campaigns of the SS-Verfuegungsdivision (later Reich) from 1939 to 1942 (Part I). Designations Panzerverband Ostpreussen (September 10, 1939) SS-Verfügungs-Division (mot.) (October 10, 1939) SS-Division Deutschland (April 1, 1940) SS-Division (mot.) Reich (December 1, 1940) SS-Division (mot.) Das Reich… learn more

Military Ranks

Von Rundstedt

Military ranks and designations in the Second World War in international comparison. Promotions in the German Army Promotions in the German Army before the First World War took place after the years of service and were extremely slow compared to… learn more

Performance on the Russian Front

successful knock-out

The German military performance on the Russian Front during World War II. back to Military Performance on the Western Front 1944 (Part IV) Part IV of the analysis of fighting power. Unfortunately, the HERO database is (Historical Evaluation and Research… learn more

German Orders of Battle October 1943

German scorched earth tactics

The German Orders of Battle from October 4, 1943 after the surrender and occupation of Italy. The German Orders of Battle and distribution of the divisions of the Wehrmacht and subordinated units of allies after the capitulation of Italy, 8… learn more

Romanian Armed Forces 1942

Romanian infantry in the battle of Sevastopol

Strength and Organization of the Army, Air Force and Navy of Romania in 1942. Romanian Army By the autumn of 1941 the Romanians had advanced – mostly on foot or on horseback – across the Ukraine and Bessarabia to the… learn more

Waffen-SS divisions 33-38

Some of Dirlewanger's men.

Order of Battle Waffen-SS divisions 33 (3rd Hungarian) – 38 (Nibelungen) Several of this last nominal ‘divisions’ of the Waffen-SS fielded no more than a few hundred ill-equipped men scrambled together from Volksdeutsche (ethnic Germans) and bewildered foreigners, perhaps stiffened… learn more

Waffen-SS divisions 26-32

SS brigade Langemarck

Order of Battle Waffen-SS divisions 26 (2nd Hungarian) – 32 (30 Januar) Many of the following listed divisions were purely fictitious, in the sense that orders for their formation and deployment seldom reflected their actual available strength or combat readiness.… learn more

Greek Armed Forces 1940-41

Soldiers of the Greek Army 1940-41

Strength and organization of the Armed Forces of Greece 1940-41. From 1938 until the German invasion, Greece was a constitutional monarchy under King George II, but the actual power was in the hands of her right-wing dictator-President General Metaxas. The… learn more