26 December 2011

Operation Barbarossa

By the beginning of June, 129 German divisions had been moved to the East, and the last-minute deployment of the armored and motorized divisions began. When the alert signal "Dortmund" was flashed to the front commands on June 21, the German forces stood. From north to south along the main front, the German forces were divided into three army groups: Army Group North, under Field Marshal Ritter von Leeb, was to advance with two armies and one panzer group through the Baltic states and seize Leningrad; Army Group Center, under the command of Field Marshal von Bock, was ordered to attack with its two armies and two panzer groups through White Russia toward Moscow; Army Group South, commanded by Field Marshal von Rundstedt, was to send its three armies and one panzer group through Galicia to capture Kiev and secure a bridgehead across the Dnieper River.

Temporary lost in this massive array of military might were the formations of the Waffen SS: Leibstandarte SS "Adolf Hitler" and SS Division "Wiking" with Army Group South; SS Division "Reich" with Army Group Center; SS Totenkopf-division and SS Polizeidivision (in reserve) with Army Group North; and far north of the main front, in Finland, SS Kampf-gruppe "Nord" and SS Infantry Regiment 9 with Colonel General von Falkenhorst's Norwegian Army Command.

The strength of the Waffen SS at the beginning of the Russian campaign was as follows: (numbers in parentheses denote personnel)

SS Division LSSAH (10,796), SS Division "Wiking" (19,377), SS Totenkopf Division (18,754), SS Division "Nord" (10,573), SS Division "Reich" (19,021), SS Polizei Division (17,347), Kommandostab RFSS (18,438), Administrative Department (4,007), Reserve Units (29,809), Inspectorate of Concentration Camps (7,200), SS Guard Battalions (7,200), SS Garrison Posts (992), SS Officer and NCO Schools (1,028), and SS Volunteer Battalion "Nordost" (904).

Cited from George H. Stein's "The Waffen SS, Hitler's Elite Guard at War 1939-1945" published by Cornell University Press (1966).

other reference:
Jacobsen and Dollinger's "Der Zweite Weltkrieg"
Philippi and Heim's "Der Feldzug Gegen Sowjetrussland 1941 bis 1945"
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