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.

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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

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

Jews surrendering to SS troops

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

Waffen-SS divisions 20-25

Mufti of Jerusalem Mohammed Hadschi Amin Al Husseini

Order of Battle Waffen-SS divisions 20 (1st Estonian) – 25 (Hunyadi) In these numbers range of the Waffen-SS divisions there are also some lesser known and bizarre formations, in addition to some with high combat effectiveness. 20 Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS… learn more

Waffen-SS divisions 13-19

Soldiers of 13 SS division

Order of Battle Waffen-SS divisions 13 (Handschar) – 19 (2nd Latvian) Bizarre as some of these formations on this page were, however, it must be remembered that the elite SS Panzer and Panzer-Grenadier Divisions represented Germany’s most effective troops in… learn more

Pilot Training mid- and late-war

Arado 96 advanced trainers

Pilot Training of the German Air Force from 1942 to 1945 (Part II). Decline of the Luftwaffe Pilot Training The Battle of Britain had been the first major setback for the Luftwaffe, but in the main the losses in trained… learn more

Pilot Training of the Luftwaffe

Focke-Wulf Fw44C primary tandem training biplanes

Pilot Training of the German Air Force in World War 2 (Part I). Pilot Training of the Luftwaffe before 1942 The period of training given to new pilots of the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) was steadily shortened during the course… learn more

Finnish Armed Forces 1941-1944

Finnish Army on march

Strength and Organization of the Army, Air Force and Navy of Finland in the Continuation War Finnish Army Although the signing of the Moscow Treaty in March 1940, which ended the Winter War, guaranteed Finland her borders with the Soviet… learn more

US Navy in late 1941

Picture taken from a Japanese pilot during the attack on Pearl Harbor

Strength, Ships and Organization as the United States enters WW2 in December 1941 In late 1941, the US Navy consisted of: 17 battleships (+15 under construction): 1 Arkansas (1912), 2 New York class (1914), 2 Nevada class (1916), 2 Pennsylvania… learn more

US Army Air Force at the beginning of WW2

First B-24 in Great Britain

Strength and Organization of the USAAF in North America, Great Britain and Mediterranean theatre US Army Air Force In the 1930s there were dramatic strides in civil and commercial aviation, and by the eve of the war the United States… learn more

US Army at the beginning of WW2

GI's are landing

Strength and Organization of the US Army in North America, Great Britain and Mediterranean theatre in 1941-42. US Army Although it is true that the United States mobilised its vast resources in a remarkably short time, American soldiers had ample… learn more

Free French Army

Free French 'L' Force

Strength and organization of Free French Army Free French Army After the fall of France, various units of French troops in the Middle East preferred to join the Allies. Their position was difficult; many Frenchmen thought them a small group… learn more

German Orders of Battle at the armistice with France

destroyed French villages

German Orders of Battle from 25 June 1940 early, the day of the armistice with France By 10 June the Germans had crossed the Seine, and Mussolini took advantage of the situation by declaring war on France. Italian troops moved… learn more

Vichy France l’ Armee de l’ Armistice

Curtiss Hawks of the Vichy French Air Force

Strength and Organization of the l’ Armee de l’ Armistice of Vichy France Armed Forces of Vichy France The Franco-German Armistice of 22 June 1940 divided France into two parts. The northern and western area of the country was to… learn more

Italian Air Force and Navy

Fiat CR42 Falco

Strength and Organization of the Regia Aeronautica and Regia Navale when Italy enters Second World War in June 1940 Italian Air Force (Regia Aeronautica) On 24 January 1923 the Italian Royal Air Force (Regia Aeronautica) was formed as an independent… learn more

Italian Army 1940

Pith-helmeted infantrymen of Graziani's Italian desert army

Strength and organization of the Army, Colonial Troops and Fascist Milita as Italy entered WW2 Italian Army The Italian Army had suffered heavy losses for only limited gains during World War One and in common with the other combatant nations… learn more