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.


9th SS-Panzer-Division Hohenstaufen

Infantry of the 2nd SS-Panzer corps

Creation and Campaigns of the 9th SS-Panzer-Division Hohenstaufen. Designations, commanders, formation in 1943, first action Russia in spring 1944 and in Normandy from June. Designations 9th SS-Panzergrenadier-Division (February 1943) SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Hohenstaufen (March 1943) 9th SS-Panzer-Division Hohenstaufen (October 1943) Commanders SS-Gruppenführer… learn more

Dutch Armed Forces

Dutch mortat team in action

Strength and organization of the Army, Air Force and Navy of the Netherlands in Europe at the time of the German invasion in May 1940. Dutch Army During World War One Holland’s neutrality had been respected and during the inter-war… learn more

Norwegian Armed Forces 1940

Lieutenant (left) and Corporal, Norwegian Army

Strength and organization of the Army, Air Force and Navy of Norway at the time of the German invasion in April 1940. In 1939, after more than a hundred years of peace, Norway did not possess a large standing army… learn more

Japanese Army 1941-42

Japanese patrol on Guam

Strength and organization of the Imperial Army. The Japanese Army in the time of victories in the Pacific War from 1941 to 1942. The focus of the war moved away from China to the Pacific when Japan attacked American and… learn more

Luftwaffe and German Airborne Forces May 1940

German Paratroopers during the air landings in Holland

German Air Force (Luftwaffe) and Airborne Forces for the campaign in the West (May 1940) and Norway. German Air Force For the campaign in the West the Luftwaffe deployed 3,902 aircraft (1,482 bombers and dive-bombers, 42 ground-attack planes, 1,016 fighter… learn more

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

A Panzer I leads Panzer 38(t)

German Orders of Battle for the campaign in the West, 10 May 1940. Deployment, army groups, armies, corps, divisions, organization and equipment, tanks. By May 1940, the number of divisions in the German army was as follows: 129 infantry divisions;… learn more

US Forces Pacific

Flag rising Mt. Suribachi

The US forces in the Pacific War. The US Army and the US Marine Corps in the Pacific from December 1941 to September 1945. US Army The rapid advance of the Japanese across Southeast Asia and the Pacific after their… learn more

Germany Army Unit Organisation 1942-45

heavily loaded German infantry unit

Organization of the formations and units of the German Army after the start of the Russian campaign until 1945. Here to Germany Army Unit Organisation 1939-41. When the German armed forces began their invasion of Soviet Union in June 1941… learn more

Germany Army Unit Organisation 1939-41

German infantry 1940 in street combat

Organization of the formations and units of the German Army from the Polish campaign til Operation Barbarossa 1941. Top Organization In March 1939, the Wehrmacht Supreme Command Oberkommando der Wehrmacht – or OKW for short – was founded to control… learn more

Waffen-SS divisions 7-12

7.5cm AT gun of 12 SS 'Hitlerjugend' in Normandy

Order of Battle Waffen-SS divisions 7 (Prinz Eugen) – 12 (Hitlerjugend) The Waffen-SS divisions from this and the previous page were Germany’s most effective troops of WW2. Waffen-SS divisions 4-6. 7 SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division Prinz Eugen Raised (as division) March 1942 (operational… learn more

Wehrmacht vs US Army

Wehrmacht soldiers in training

Fighting power of the Wehrmacht, Part II. Training of soldiers, casualties, awards and death sentences of German and US Army during the Second World War. back to Fighting power Wehrmacht Part I Training of soldiers The duration of basic training… learn more

Finnish Armed Forces in the Winter War 1939-40

Finnish soldiers with reindeers

Armed Forces of Finland in the Winter War 1939-40. Finnish divisions, strength and equipment, tanks, air force and navy. Finish Army in the Winter War The Finnish army was one of the smallest in Europe and the Red Army expected… learn more

Red Air Force and Navy 1939

Polikarpov I-16 Rata

Soviet Air Force in 1939. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s the Soviet Government made enormous efforts to build up a large modern air force, but the difficulties in finding suitable designs and the machines and materials to mass produce aircraft… learn more

Red Army 1939

Russian infantry with BT-7 tank

Strength and organization of the Russian Armed Forces in 1939. Divisions, equipment, armored fighting vehicles and Red Army Order of Battle in the Winter War 1939-40. During 1939-40, the Red Army were undergoing a period of transition. New weapons and… learn more

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