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.

German Orders of Battle Sep 1944

German troops near Arnheim

German Orders of Battle on 16 September 1944 at the time of the allied airborne operation ‘Market-Garden’ around Arnhem. The deployment and distribution of the divisions of the Wehrmacht and subordinate units of allies one day before the Allied air… learn more

Red Air Force and Navy 1941-1942

MiG-3 fighters over Leningrad

Soviet Red Air Force and Red Navy in the first years of the war 1941 to 1942. Organization, aircraft and warships. Russian Air Force 1942 The enforced lull in air operations during the winter period allowed the Red Air Force… learn more

Red Army 1942

Russian infantry assault winter 1941-42

Strength and Organization of the Soviet Armed Forces from Winter 1941 to Winter 1942. Divisions and formations, equipment and tanks. On 5 December 1941, in temperatures of minus 30 degrees centigrade, the Red Army launched its counter-offensive with 720,000 men,… learn more

Japanese Navy

Japanese battlecruiser Kirishima

Strength and organization of the Imperial Japanese Navy in December 1941 at the Pearl Harbor raid. Ships of the Combined Fleet and Japanese Naval Air Force. The Prime Minister presided over Imperial General Headquarters (GHQ) which was split in two… learn more

Japanese Army 1939-40

Japanese soldiers crossing a pontoon bridge in China

Strength and organization of the Imperial Army and Air Force 1939 and 1940, before the Japanese entry in the Second World War. The Japanese Army was a mirror of Japanese society before 1945. It contained a peculiar amalgam of medieval… learn more

Polish Armed Forces in Exile

Polish troops march through an English town during the summer of 1940

The Polish Armed Forces in Exile 1939-1945. Army units and equipment in France and Britain 1940, Air Force and Navy. Many Polish soldiers, singly or in small groups, had evaded capture or escaped internment after the defeat in 1939, and… learn more

3rd SS Panzer Division Totenkopf

Grenadiers of the Totenkopf Division

Campiagns of the 3rd SS tank division Totenkopf (Part II: from 1943 to 1945). Russia 1943 Kursk tank battle and the Donez Basin. The Totenkopf, which had expanded into a Panzergrenadier division in France – but now actually even had… learn more

Czech National Army in Exile

Czech soldier on exercise in Britain

Czechoslovak Exil Forces 1939 to 1945 during the Second World War. History, strength, organization and air force. Before 1938, the 1,500,000 strong Czech Army was one of the largest in Europe. After the Munich Agreement, Czech soldiers began to leave… learn more

French Armed Forces 1939

French soldiers moving a heavy artillery gun

Strength, organization, equipment and divisions of the French Army and aircraft of the l’Army de l’Air in September 1939. France emerged from World War One with considerable military prestige, but the French Forces and indeed the whole nation were exhausted.… learn more

Luftwaffe Orders of Battle September 2, 1939

Ju 87B dive-bomber

Strength and aircraft of the Luftflotten on the day after Germany invaded Poland and before the declaration of war by Britain and France. The Luftwaffe Orders of Battle gives the strength of the German air force operational units on the… learn more

German Orders of Battle for September 1, 1939

German Panzer Division after the first border fights in Poland

Orders of Battle, strength of the Army divisions and tank inventory of the Wehrmacht at time of campaign in Poland. The German Orders of Battle at the time of the campaign in Poland and the resulting outbreak of World War… learn more

Polish Armed Forces

Polish soldiers at a pre-war torchlit review.

Strength, organization, equipment and deployment of the army divisions, tank inventory, Air Force and Navy of Poland in September 1939. The Polish Forces came into existence after World War One, and, like all the armies of the newly independent states… learn more

RAF Squadrons in September 1939

Gloster Gladiator launching

Aircrafts and bases of the Royal Air Force at the beginning of World War II in September 1939. Number of squadrons, locations and aircraft equipment in Western Europe, Africa, Middle and Far East. By the outbreak of World War Two,… learn more

Royal Air Force on Eagle Day

Hurricane pilots 'scramble' on Eagle Day.

Aircrafts and bases of the RAF squadrons on 13 August 1940, the Eagle Day. Number of squadrons, locations and aircraft equipment in Britain, Africa, Middle and Far East. The first phase of the German plan for the invasion of England… learn more

RAF Squadrons 1942

Stirling bomber of the RAF Bomber Command

Aircraft and bases of the Royal Air Force in June 1942. Number of squadrons, locations and aircraft equipment in Britain, Africa, Middle and Far East. By July 1941 the strength of Bomber Command stood at 45 RAF squadrons with a… learn more

RAF Squadrons in May 1940

A trio of Bristol Blenheim IV bombers.

Planes and bases of the Royal Air Force on May 10, 1940. Number of squadrons, locations and aircraft types at the beginning of the Western campaign. In January 1940 it was decided to unite the Air Component and the Advanced… learn more

British and Empire Armies 1939

Troops of the 13/18th Royal Hussars

The British Army and Empire Armies at the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 with organization, divisions, equipment and tanks. On 2 September 1939, the day before England declared war on Germany, a small military advance party… learn more

British Army in the Mediterranean 1940

Exercise of light Vickers Mark IIA tanks

Strength and organization of British and Empire Armies in the Mediterranean Theater when Italy declared war in 1940. The Mediterranean theater was an area of prime importance to Britain. She had many interests there and the Suez canal was the… learn more

British Army in Western Europe 1940

Home Guard at coast

British Army, Home Guard and Canadian troops in Western Europe and Britain 1940. Strength and organization. For the first six months little military action took place at the Western Front except a minor, halfhearted French offensive in the Saar region.… learn more

SS-Totenkopf Division

SS-Unterscharfuehrer (Corporal) of the Totenkopf Division

Creation of the SS-Totenkopf (Death’s head) division (T) and the campaigns in the West 1940 and Russia 1941-42 (Part I). Designations SS-Totenkopf-Division (October 16, 1939) SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Totenkopf (November 9, 1942) 3rd SS-Panzer-Division Totenkopf (November 22, 1943) Commanders SS-Obergruppenführer Theodor Eicke… learn more