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.

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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


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

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

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

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


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


CinC Luftwaffe Hermann Göring

German Air Force of World War 2 Part I: The victorious years to 1942. Since this page is involved mainly with the Luftwaffe around 1939-1945, the assumption is that the visitor features a fundamental knowledge with Luftwaffe background just before… learn more

Luftwaffe in the second half of war

Me 110 night fighters returned from a misison

German Air Force of World War 2 Part II: The German Air Force in the second half of the war. here to Part I Luftwaffe Jeschonnek’s successor, General Günther Korten, began with the correct concept. He reorganised the Luftwaffe allowing… 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

Fleets 1939

battleship of the Nelson class

British Royal Navy, French Navy and German Kriegsmarine at the beginning of World War II in September 1939. The fleets in September 1939 with ship classes, ships under construction and deployment of the Royal Navy, French and German navies. ROYAL… learn more

German Kriegsmarine

Pocket-battleship 'Admiral Graf Spee'

German Kriegsmarine (Navy) at the beginning of World War II here to Part I: Fleets 1939 The Treaty of Versailles strictly limited the size of the German Navy and forbade the design or construction of submarines, aircraft carriers, naval aircraft… learn more

German Orders of Battle December 1943

German column of anti-tank guns, infantry and tanks

German Orders of Battle from December 26, 1943. The German Orders of Battle and distribution of the divisions of the Wehrmacht and subordinated units of allies at the end of the year 1943 and tank strength at the beginning of… learn more

German Orders of Battle – Operation Barbarossa

German infantry advances into Russia

German Orders of Battle shortly after the beginning of Operation Barbarossa on June 27, 1941 in the evening. German Orders of Battle five days after the beginning of Operation Barbarossa. The specified tank inventory in the divisions is the state… learn more

Red Army 1941

ussian OT-133 flame-tank lies abandoned next to a T-34 Model 1941

Strength and Organisation of the Red Army at Operation Barbarossa in June 1941. The Winter War against Finland had revealed many shortcomings in the Red Army and, in the following months, much work was done to improve the quality of… learn more

Deployment of Red Army 1942

KV-1A in the area of Kharkov

Deployment of the armed forces of the Red Army by theaters of war summer 1942. Deployment of the armed forces of the Red Army by theaters of war in summer 1942 according to nominal (paper) strengths. But the actual average… learn more

German Orders of Battle – Kursk July 1943

German tank has knocked-out and rolled over a Russian AT gun

German Orders of Battle at the time of the tank battle of Kursk and the Allied invasion of Sicily from July 7, 1943. The German Orders of Battle and distribution of the divisions of the German Wehrmacht and subordinates units… learn more