1st Mountain Division (Wehrmacht)
The 1st Mountain Division was an elite formation of the German Wehrmacht during World War II, is remembered for its involvement in multiple large-scale war crimes. It was created on 9 April 1938 in Garmisch Partenkirchen from the Mountain Brigade, itself formed on 1 June 1935; the division consisted of Bavarians and some Austrians. The 1st Mountain Division fought in the Invasion of Poland as a part of Army Group South and distinguished itself during fighting in the Carpathians and at Lwów, it subsequently took part in the Battle of France and was selected to take part in the planned operations against the United Kingdom and Gibraltar but both operations were cancelled. With Felix cancelled, the division took part in the Invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941 as part of the 2nd Army; the 1st Mountain Division participated in Operation Barbarossa. On 30 June, the division captured Lvov. There, the Germans discovered several thousand bodies of prisoners, executed by the NKVD, as they could not be evacuated.
The 1st Mountain Division continued its advance into the Soviet Union, participating in the breakthrough of the Stalin Line and the advance to the Dniepr and Mius rivers. In May 1942, the division fought in the Second Battle of Kharkov and participated in the offensive through southern Russia and into the Caucasus. In a symbolic propaganda move, the division sent a detachment to raise the German flag on Mount Elbrus on 21 August. Although the feat was publicized by Goebbels, Hitler was furious over what he called "these crazy mountain climbers," his rage lasting for hours. After the Caucasus campaign the division was posted to Yugoslavia, where it participated in the anti-Partisan offensive named Case Black, Greece where it took part in anti- partisan operations. In November 1943, the division returned to Yugoslavia, where it took part in operations Operation Kugelblitz and Waldrausch. In March 1944, the division was engaged in the Operation Margarethe. After Operation Rübezahl in Yugoslavia in August 1944, the division took part in defensive fighting against the Red Army in the Belgrade Offensive, suffered severe losses.
During the operation, the division commander, General Stettner, was killed in the battle on 17 October on Avala mountain near Belgrade. In late November, it was transferred to the most endangered spot of the German defense, it was renamed 1. Volks-Gebirgs-Division in March 1945, its final major operations were near Lake Balaton against the 3rd Ukrainian Front. Two months the division surrendered to the Americans in Austria. During the Invasion of Poland, soldiers from the division assisted in the round-up of Jewish civilians from Przemyśl for forced labour, photos of this were printed in newspapers. Photos 7 and 8 During the Case Black operation in Yugoslavia, the division and other units committed crimes against prisoners of war and civilians. In the after-battle report on 10 July, the division reported that it took 498 prisoners, 411 of whom were shot. On 6 July 1943 a unit from the division attacked the village of Borovë in Albania. All of the houses and buildings were burned or otherwise destroyed.
Among the 107 inhabitants killed were five entire families. The youngest victim was aged four months, the oldest 73. On 25 July 1943, soldiers from the division attacked the village of Mousiotitsa in Greece after a cache of weapons was found nearby, killing 153 civilians. On 16 August 1943, the village of Kommeno was attacked on the orders of Oberstleutnant Josef Salminger, the commander of GebirgsJäger Regiment 98. A total of 317 civilians were killed. Divisional soldiers took part in the murder of thousands of Italians from the 33 Acqui Infantry Division in September 1943 on the Greek island of Cefalonia after the Italian surrender. Divisional soldiers killed 32 officers and an estimated 100 soldiers from the Italian 151st Perugia Infantry Division in Albania after the Italian surrender. After the killing of Oberstleutnant Josef Salminger by Greek partisans, the commander of XXII Gebirgs-Armeekorps General der Gebirgstruppe Hubert Lanz ordered, on 1 October 1943, a “ruthless retaliatory action” in a 20 km area around the place where Salminger had been attacked.
In the village of Lyngiades, 92 of its 96 residents were executed. The Division's war crimes are described in H. F. Meyer's book Bloodstained Edelweiss: The 1st Mountain Division in the Second World War. General der Gebirgstruppen Ludwig Kübler General der Gebirgstruppen Hubert Lanz Generalleutnant Walter Stettner Ritter von Grabenhofen Generalmajor August Wittmann Generalleutnant Josef Kübler Generalleutnant August Wittmann 98. Mountain Infantry Regiment 3 Battalions 99. Mountain Infantry Regiment 3 Battalions 100. Mountain Infantry Regiment 3 Battalions 4. Panzerabwehr Battalion 79. Mountain Artillery Regiment 4 Battalions 54. Signals Battalion 54. Pioneer Battalion 54. Supply Troops Service Troops 98. Mountain Infantry Regiment 3 Battalions 99. Mountain Infantry Regiment 3 Battalions 54. Field Medical Battalion 44. Panzerabwehr Battalion 79. Mountain Artillery Regiment 4 Battalions 54. Signals Battalion 54. Pioneer Battalion 54. Supply Troops Service Troops 98. Mountain Infantry Regiment 3 Battalions 99.
Mountain Infantry Regiment 3 Battalions 44. Panzerjäger Battalion 79. Mountain Artillery Regiment 4 Battalions 54. Mountain Jäger Battalion 54. Reconnaissance Battalion 54. Mountain Signals Battalion 79
United States Army
The United States Army is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution; as the oldest and most senior branch of the U. S. military in order of precedence, the modern U. S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, formed to fight the American Revolutionary War —before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army; the United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775. As a uniformed military service, the U. S. Army is part of the Department of the Army, one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense; the U. S. Army is headed by a civilian senior appointed civil servant, the Secretary of the Army and by a chief military officer, the Chief of Staff of the Army, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
It is the largest military branch, in the fiscal year 2017, the projected end strength for the Regular Army was 476,000 soldiers. S. Army was 1,018,000 soldiers; as a branch of the armed forces, the mission of the U. S. Army is "to fight and win our Nation's wars, by providing prompt, land dominance, across the full range of military operations and the spectrum of conflict, in support of combatant commanders"; the branch participates in conflicts worldwide and is the major ground-based offensive and defensive force of the United States. The United States Army serves as the land-based branch of the U. S. Armed Forces. Section 3062 of Title 10, U. S. Code defines the purpose of the army as: Preserving the peace and security and providing for the defense of the United States, the Commonwealths and possessions and any areas occupied by the United States Supporting the national policies Implementing the national objectives Overcoming any nations responsible for aggressive acts that imperil the peace and security of the United StatesIn 2018, the Army Strategy 2018 articulated an eight-point addendum to the Army Vision for 2028.
While the Army Mission remains constant, the Army Strategy builds upon the Army's Brigade Modernization by adding focus to Corps and Division-level echelons. Modernization, reform for high-intensity conflict, Joint multi-domain operations are added to the strategy, to be completed by 2028; the Continental Army was created on 14 June 1775 by the Second Continental Congress as a unified army for the colonies to fight Great Britain, with George Washington appointed as its commander. The army was led by men who had served in the British Army or colonial militias and who brought much of British military heritage with them; as the Revolutionary War progressed, French aid and military thinking helped shape the new army. A number of European soldiers came on their own to help, such as Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, who taught Prussian Army tactics and organizational skills; the army fought numerous pitched battles and in the South in 1780–1781, at times using the Fabian strategy and hit-and-run tactics, under the leadership of Major General Nathanael Greene, hit where the British were weakest to wear down their forces.
Washington led victories against the British at Trenton and Princeton, but lost a series of battles in the New York and New Jersey campaign in 1776 and the Philadelphia campaign in 1777. With a decisive victory at Yorktown and the help of the French, the Continental Army prevailed against the British. After the war, the Continental Army was given land certificates and disbanded in a reflection of the republican distrust of standing armies. State militias became the new nation's sole ground army, with the exception of a regiment to guard the Western Frontier and one battery of artillery guarding West Point's arsenal. However, because of continuing conflict with Native Americans, it was soon realized that it was necessary to field a trained standing army; the Regular Army was at first small and after General St. Clair's defeat at the Battle of the Wabash, the Regular Army was reorganized as the Legion of the United States, established in 1791 and renamed the United States Army in 1796; the War of 1812, the second and last war between the United States and Great Britain, had mixed results.
The U. S. Army did not conquer Canada but it did destroy Native American resistance to expansion in the Old Northwest and it validated its independence by stopping two major British invasions in 1814 and 1815. After taking control of Lake Erie in 1813, the U. S. Army seized parts of western Upper Canada, burned York and defeated Tecumseh, which caused his Western Confederacy to collapse. Following U. S. victories in the Canadian province of Upper Canada, British troops who had dubbed the U. S. Army "Regulars, by God!", were able to capture and burn Washington, defended by militia, in 1814. The regular army, however proved they were professional and capable of defeating the British army during the invasions of Plattsburgh and Baltimore, prompting British agreement on the rejected terms of a status quo ante bellum. Two weeks after a treaty was signed, Andrew Jackson defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans and Siege of Fort St. Philip, became a national hero. U. S. troops and sailors captured HMS Cyane and Penguin in the final engagements of the war.
Per the treaty, both sides (the United S
88th Infantry Division (United States)
The 88th Infantry Division was an infantry division of the United States Army that saw service in both World War I and World War II. It was one of the first of the Organized Reserve divisions to be called into federal service, created nearly "from scratch" after the implementation of the draft in 1940. Previous divisions were composed of either Regular National Guard personnel. Much of the experience in reactivating it was used in the subsequent expansion of the U. S. Army. By the end of World War II the 88th Infantry fought its way to the northernmost extreme of Italy. In early May 1945 troops of its 349th Infantry Regiment joined the 103d Infantry Division of the VI Corps of the U. S. Seventh Army, part of the 6th Army Group, which had raced south through Bavaria into Innsbruck, Austria, in Vipiteno in the Italian Alps. Activated: 5 August 1917, Camp Dodge, Iowa Overseas: 7 September 1918 Major operations: Did not participate as a division Casualties: Total-78 Commanders: Maj. Gen. Edward H. Plummer Brig. Gen. Robert N. Getty Maj. Gen. Edward H. Plummer Brig. Gen. Robert N. Getty Brig. Gen. William D. Beach Maj. Gen. William Weigel Inactivated: 10 June 1919, Camp Dodge, Iowa The Division was composed of the following units: Headquarters, 88th Division 175th Infantry Brigade 349th Infantry Regiment 350th Infantry Regiment 338th Machine Gun Battalion 176th Infantry Brigade 351st Infantry Regiment 352nd Infantry Regiment 339th Machine Gun Battalion 163rd Field Artillery Brigade 337th Field Artillery Regiment 338th Field Artillery Regiment 339th Field Artillery Regiment 313th Trench Mortar Battery Headquarters Troop, 88th Division 337th Machine Gun Battalion 338th Engineer Regiment 313th Field Signal Battalion 313th Train Headquarters and Military Police 313th Ammunition Train 313th Supply Train 313th Engineer Train 313th Sanitary Train 349th, 350th, 351st, 352nd Ambulance Companies and Field Hospitals The division was reconstituted in the Organized Reserve on 24 June 1921 and assigned to the states of Minnesota and North Dakota.
The headquarters was organized on 2 September 1921. Ordered into active military service: 15 July 1942, Camp Gruber, Oklahoma Overseas: 6 December 1943 Distinguished Unit Citations: 3 Campaigns: Rome-Arno, North Apennines, Po Valley Days of combat: 344 Awards: Medal of Honor-3. Unit citations: Third Battalion, 351st Infantry Regiment. Second Battalion, 350th Infantry Regiment. Second Battalion, 351st Infantry Regiment. Commanders: Maj. Gen. John E. Sloan Maj. Gen. Paul W. Kendall Brig. Gen. James C. Fry Maj. Gen. Bryant Moore Inactivated: 24 October 1947 in Italy First Entered combat: Advance party on night of 3–4 January 1944 in support of Monte Cassino attacks. First Organization Committed to Line: 2nd Battalion, 351st Infantry Regiment plus attachments First combat fatality: 3 January 1944 Began post war POW Command: 7 June 1945. Responsible for guarding and repatriating 324,462 German POWs; the 88th Infantry Division was one of the first all-draftee divisions of the United States Army to enter the war.
Ordered into active military service at Camp Gruber, the division, commanded by Major General John E. Sloan, arrived at Casablanca, French Morocco on 15 December 1943, moved to Magenta, Algeria, on the 28 December for intensive training. Destined to spend the war fighting on the Italian Front, the 88th Division arrived at Naples, Italy on 6 February 1944, concentrated around Piedimonte d'Alife for combat training. An advance element went into the line before Monte Cassino on 27 February, the entire division relieved the battered British 46th Infantry Division along the Garigliano River in the Minturno area on 5 March. A period of defensive patrols and training followed; the 88th formed part of Major General Geoffrey Keyes' II Corps, part of the U. S. Fifth Army, under Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark. After being inspected by the Fifth Army commander on 5 May, the 88th Division, six days drove north to take Spigno, Mount Civita, Itri and Roccagorga, reached Anzio, 29 May, pursued the enemy into Rome, being the first unit of the Fifth Army into the city on 4 June, two days before the Normandy landings, after a stiff engagement on the outskirts of the city.
An element of the 88th is credited with being first to enter the Eternal City. After continuing across the Tiber to Bassanelio the 88th retired for 11 June; the division went into defensive positions near Pomerance on 5 July, launched an attack toward Volterra on the 8th, taking the town the next day. Laiatico fell on the 11th, Villamagna on the 13th, the Arno River was crossed on the 20th although the enemy resisted bitterly. After a period of rest and training, the 88th Division, now commanded by Major General Paul Wilkins Kendall, opened its assault on the Gothic Line on 21 September, advanced along the Firenzuola-Imola road, taking Mount Battaglia on the 28th; the enemy counterattacked savagely and heavy fighting continued on the line toward the Po Valley. The strategic positions of Mount Grande and Farnetto were taken on 22 October. From 26 October 1944 to 12 January 1945, the 88th entered a period of defensive patrolling in the Mount Grande-Mount Cerrere sector and the Mount Fano area. From 24 January to
15th Panzergrenadier Division (Wehrmacht)
15th Panzergrenadier Division was a mobile division of the German Army in World War II In July 1943 a new 15th Panzergrenadier Division, commanded by Generalleutnant Eberhard Rodt, was formed by redesignating the Sicily Division and incorporated remnants of the former 15th Panzer Division. It was not long; as the Germans retreated from western Sicily, they halted and began setting up defences in the vicinity of the town of Troina along Highway 120, perched high on the hilltops. This was to become a linchpin of the Etna Line. In pursuit was the US 1st Infantry Division, nicknamed "The Big Red One", commanded by Major General Terry Allen. A six-day battle ensued from August 1–6, 1943, at the end of which, fearing encirclement, the 15th Panzergrenadier retreated down Highway 120 toward Cesaro and Messina to be evacuated from the island. By August 17, 1943, the 15th Panzergrenadier along with the 29th Infantry, the 1st Parachute and the Hermann Göring Divisions would escape across the Strait of Messina to the mainland and participate in the Italian Campaign.
Beginning on September 9, 1943, the Allied invasion of mainland Italy, at Salerno and along the beaches to the southeast, found the 15th Panzergrenadiers among the principal defenders. On September 11, elements of the British 46th Infantry Division encountered stiff resistance from the 15th Panzergrenadier and Hermann Göring Divisions around Salerno itself and to the east. By mid-November 1943, the 15th Panzergrenadier Division had fallen back to help defend the Bernhardt Line in the vicinity of Mignano along Highway 6. On December 7, 1943, two battalions of the 15th Panzergrenadier, commanded by Captain Helmut Meitzel, held strong defensive positions in the town of San Pietro Infine and on the vitally important and strategic Monte Lungo to the southwest. Elements of the 71st Infantry Division, held the German left flank on the heights of Monte Sammucro to the north, while the 29th Panzergrenadier Division held the rear near the town of San Vittore, two miles to the northwest; the 36th Infantry Division, commanded by Major General Fred L. Walker, launched flanking attacks on their right, while the 1st Italian Motorized Group attacked the left up Monte Lungo.
The Battle of San Pietro Infine ensued. After ten days of intense attack and counter-attack, the Allies succeeded in gaining the high ground on both flanks. With the advantage lost, the 15th Panzergrenadier and its supporting units fell back to defensive positions in the vicinity of San Vittore in the early hours of December 17. Between January 20 and 22 1944, two battalions of the 15th Panzergrenadiers repulsed an ill-conceived assault by the US 36th Infantry Division, when the Allies were attempting to establish a bridgehead in the vicinity of the town of Sant' Angelo, to launch attacks on the Gustav Line near Monte Cassino. On May 11, 1944, the Allies launched Operation Diadem which resulted in the collapse of the Gustav Line and the capitulation of the German defences along the Winter Line. From May 15–19, the 15th Panzergrenadiers fought a retreating battle through the Aurunci Mountains against the 3rd Algerian Infantry and 4th Moroccan Mountain Divisions of the French Expeditionary Corps, commanded by General Alphonse Juin.
The 15th Panzergrenadiers fought the rest of the war on the Western Front. It fought in the Battle of the Bulge, where it participated in the Siege of Bastogne and in Operation Blockbuster, serving under the First Parachute Army, it surrendered to the British at war's end. 104. Panzergrenadier Regiment 115. Panzergrenadier Regiment 33. Artillery Regiment 115. Panzer Battalion 33. Panzerjäger Battalion 115. Panzer Aufklärung Battalion 33. Pioneer Battalion 315. Heer Flak Battalion Signal and Support Units The division has been implicated in the Bellona massacre, carried out between 6 and 7 October 1943, when 54 civilians were executed. Atkinson, Rick: The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944. New York: Henry Holt. ISBN 0-8050-6289-0
Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state that controlled nearly all aspects of life via the Gleichschaltung legal process; the official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire and the German Empire; the Nazi regime ended. Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by the President of the Weimar Republic, Paul von Hindenburg, on 30 January 1933; the NSDAP began to eliminate all political opposition and consolidate its power. Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934 and Hitler became dictator of Germany by merging the offices and powers of the Chancellery and Presidency. A national referendum held 19 August 1934 confirmed Hitler as sole Führer of Germany.
All power was centralised in Hitler's person and his word became the highest law. The government was not a coordinated, co-operating body, but a collection of factions struggling for power and Hitler's favour. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Nazis restored economic stability and ended mass unemployment using heavy military spending and a mixed economy. Extensive public works were undertaken, including the construction of Autobahnen; the return to economic stability boosted the regime's popularity. Racism antisemitism, was a central feature of the regime; the Germanic peoples were considered by the Nazis to be the master race, the purest branch of the Aryan race. Discrimination and persecution against Jews and Romani people began in earnest after the seizure of power; the first concentration camps were established in March 1933. Jews and others deemed undesirable were imprisoned, liberals and communists were killed, imprisoned, or exiled. Christian churches and citizens that opposed Hitler's rule were oppressed, many leaders imprisoned.
Education focused on racial biology, population policy, fitness for military service. Career and educational opportunities for women were curtailed. Recreation and tourism were organised via the Strength Through Joy program, the 1936 Summer Olympics showcased Germany on the international stage. Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels made effective use of film, mass rallies, Hitler's hypnotic oratory to influence public opinion; the government controlled artistic expression, promoting specific art forms and banning or discouraging others. The Nazi regime dominated neighbours through military threats in the years leading up to war. Nazi Germany made aggressive territorial demands, threatening war if these were not met, it seized Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939. Germany signed a non-aggression pact with the USSR, invaded Poland on 1 September 1939, launching World War II in Europe. By early 1941, Germany controlled much of Europe. Reichskommissariats took control of conquered areas and a German administration was established in the remainder of Poland.
Germany exploited labour of both its occupied territories and its allies. In the Holocaust, millions of Jews and other peoples deemed undesirable by the state were imprisoned, murdered in Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps, or shot. While the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 was successful, the Soviet resurgence and entry of the US into the war meant the Wehrmacht lost the initiative on the Eastern Front in 1943 and by late 1944 had been pushed back to the pre-1939 border. Large-scale aerial bombing of Germany escalated in 1944 and the Axis powers were driven back in Eastern and Southern Europe. After the Allied invasion of France, Germany was conquered by the Soviet Union from the east and the other Allies from the west, capitulated in May 1945. Hitler's refusal to admit defeat led to massive destruction of German infrastructure and additional war-related deaths in the closing months of the war; the victorious Allies initiated a policy of denazification and put many of the surviving Nazi leadership on trial for war crimes at the Nuremberg trials.
The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945, while common English terms are "Nazi Germany" and "Third Reich". The latter, adopted by Nazi propaganda as Drittes Reich, was first used in Das Dritte Reich, a 1923 book by Arthur Moeller van den Bruck; the book counted the Holy Roman Empire as the German Empire as the second. Germany was known as the Weimar Republic during the years 1919 to 1933, it was a republic with a semi-presidential system. The Weimar Republic faced numerous problems, including hyperinflation, political extremism, contentious relationships with the Allied victors of World War I, a series of failed attempts at coalition government by divided political parties. Severe setbacks to the German economy began after World War I ended because of reparations payments required under the 1919 Treaty of Versailles; the government printed money to make the payments and to repay the country's war debt, but the resulting hyperinflation led to inflated prices for consumer goods, economic chaos, food riots.
When the government defaulted on their reparations payments in January 1923, French troops occupied German industrial areas along the Ruhr and widespread civil unrest followed. The National Socialist German Workers' Party (National
Oberkommando der Wehrmacht
The Oberkommando der Wehrmacht was the High Command of the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany during World War II. Created in 1938, the OKW had nominal oversight over the Heer, the Kriegsmarine, the Luftwaffe. Rivalry with the armed services branch commands with the Oberkommando des Heeres, prevented the OKW from becoming a unified German General Staff in an effective chain of command, it did help coordinate operations between the three services. During the war, the OKW, subordinate to Adolf Hitler as Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht, acquired more and more operational powers. By 1942, OKW had responsibility for all theaters except for the Eastern Front against the Soviet Union. However, Hitler manipulated the system in order to prevent any one command from taking a dominant role in decision making; this "divide and conquer" method helped put most military decisions in Hitler's own hands, which at times included those affecting engagements at the battalion level. The OKW was established by decree of 4 February 1938 on the occasion of the Blomberg-Fritsch Affair, which had led to the dismissal of Reich War Minister and Commander-in-chief of the Wehrmacht, Generalfeldmarschall Werner von Blomberg.
Hitler took the chance to get rid of his critics within the armed forces. The Reich War Ministry was dissolved and replaced with the OKW led by devoted General Wilhelm Keitel in the rank of a Reich Minister, with Alfred Jodl as Chief of the Operations Staff. All Supreme Commanders of the armed service branches, like OKH Chief General Walther von Brauchitsch, had direct access to Hitler and were able to circumvent Keitel's command; the appointments made to the OKW and the motive behind the reorganization are thought to be Hitler's desire to consolidate power and authority around his position as Führer and Reich Chancellor, to the detriment of the military leadership of the Wehrmacht. Furthermore, did Hitler not want to create a tri-service joint command, or appointment of a single joint Chief of Staff, as he feared it would go break his image of having the "Midas touch" concerning military strategy. By June 1938, the OKW comprised four departments: Wehrmacht-Führungsamt – operational orders.
Chief: Colonel-General Alfred Jodl, 1 September 1939 – 8 May 1945 Abteilung Landesverteidigungsführungsamt a subdepartment through which all details of operational planning were worked out, from which all operational orders were communicated to the OKW. Chief: Major General Walter Warlimont, 1 September 1939 – 6 September 1944. Chief: Major General Hasso von Wedel, 1 September 1939 – 8 May 1945 Heeresstab – army staff. Chief: General Walther Buhle, 15 February 1942 – 8 May 1945 Inspekteur der Wehrmachtnachrichtenverbände – Chief of Staff, Wehrmacht signal corps Amt Ausland/Abwehr – foreign intelligence. Chief of Staff Zentralabteilung – central department. Chief: Major General Hans Oster, 1 September 1939 – January 1944 Abteilung Ausland – foreign. Chief: Admiral Leopold Bürkner, 15 June 1938 - Abteilung I, Nachrichtenbeschaffung – intelligence. Chief: Colonel Hans Piepenbrock, 1 September 1939 – March 1943. Chief: Colonel Erwin von Lahousen, 1 September 1939 – July 1943. Wehrmachtauskunftstelle für Kriegerverluste und Kriegsgefangene – information centre for war casualties and prisoners of warThe WFA replaced the Wehrmachtsamt which had existed between 1935 and 1938 within the Reich War Ministry, headed by General Wilhelm Keitel.
Hitler promoted Keitel to Chief of the OKW, i.e. Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces; as head of the WFA, Keitel appointed Max von Viebahn although after two months he was removed from command, this post was not refilled until the promotion of Alfred Jodl. To replace Jodl at Abteilung Landesverteidigungsführungsamt, Walther Warlimont was appointed. In December 1941 further changes took place with Abteilung Landesverteidigungsführungsamt being merged into the Wehrmacht-Führungsamt and losing its role as a subordinate organization; these changes were cosmetic however as key staff remained in post and continued to fulfill the same duties. The OKW directed the operations of the German Armed Forces during World War II; the OKW was always represented at daily situation conferences by Jodl and the officer serving as Hitler's adjutant. During these conferences situation reports prepared by the head of WFA/L would be delivered to Hitler and discussed. Following these discussions, Hitler would issue further operational orders.
These orders were relayed back to WFA/L by Jodl along with the minutes of the meeting. These would be converted into orders for issuance to the appropriate commanders; the OKW served as the military general staff for the Third Reich, coordinating the efforts of the Army and Air Force. In practice, the OKW acted as Hitler's personal military staff, translating his ideas into military orders, issuing them to the three services while having little control over them. However, as the war progressed the OKW found itself exe
8th Mountain Division (Wehrmacht)
The 8th Mountain Division was formed on 27 February 1945 by the redesignation of the 157th Mountain Division, which itself had been formed from the 157th Infantry Division in September 1944, which had participated in operations against the maquis of Vercors. The division was stationed in France until the Italian surrender when it moved to Italy taking 5,772 prisoners in two days during the disarmament of the Italian Army; the division remained in Italy for the rest of the war and surrendered to the Americans in April, 1945. Generalleutnant Paul Schricker Gebirgsjäger Regiment 296 3 x Battalions Gebirgsjäger Regiment 297 3 x Battalions Gebirgs Artillery Regiment 1057 Feldersatz Battalion 1057 Panzerjäger Battalion 157 Reconnaissance Battalion 1057 Gebirgs Pionier Battalion 1057 Gebirgs Signals Battalion 1057 Division Supply troop 1057 James Lucas - Hitler's Mountain Troops: Fighting at the extremes Veit Scherzer - 8. Gebirgs-Division Gordon Williamson - German Mountain & Ski Troops 1939-45