The Heeresgruppe E as formed on 1 January 1943 by the restructuring of the 12. Armee. From 1 January 1943-26 August 1943, the commander of Heeresgruppe E served also as the Oberbefehlshaber Südost. It controlled the German occupation forces in Yugoslavia, Greece and the Aegean islands. In his capacity as Oberbefehlshaber Südost, the commander of Heeresgruppe E served as the supreme military authority in the Balkans.
From 26 August 1943-25 March 1945, Heeresgruppe E was subordinated to Heeresgruppe F, the commander of which assumed the role of Oberbefehlshaber Südost. As a result of this command shuffle, Heeresgruppe E occupied Greece and the Aegean islands while Heeresgruppe F controlled the occupation forces in Yugoslavia and Albania.
Effective 27 July 1943, Heeresgruppe E also assumed command of the Italian 11th Army in Greece. After the Italian armistice, Heeresgruppe E disarmed the Italian 11th Army. However, thousands of Italian troops of the 33a Divisione di Fanteria "Acqui" were murdered on the island of Cefalonia by German forces following a pitched battle. Italian troops on Rhodes likewise fought their erstwhile allies while the Italian garrisons of the Aegean islands of Kos and Leros, augmented by British forces, were defeated by German amphibious and airborne assault landings.
Following the Axis collapse in Romania in August 1944 and Bulgaria’s defection shortly thereafter, Heeresgruppe E, in danger of being cut off, began withdrawing from Greece. Although some 26,000 German troops were left stranded on Crete, Rhodes and other islands, Heeresgruppe E, having abandoned Athens on 13 October 1944, completed its successful evacuation of Greece by 2 November 1944. After blunting Soviet and Bulgarian advances on Kraljevo and Skoplje respectively, Heeresgruppe E finished withdrawing from Macedonia and formed a new line along the Drina River.
On 25 March 1945, Heeresgruppe F was dissolved leaving Heeresgruppe E in sole command in the Balkans. Concurrently, the commander of Heeresgruppe E again assumed the role of Oberbefehlshaber Südost.

Commanders

Generaloberst Alexander Löhr (31 Dec 1942 - 8 May 1945)

Chiefs of Staff

Generalleutnant Hermann Foertsch (1 Jan 1943 - 23 Aug 1943)
Generalmajor August Winter (23 Aug 1943 - 15 Mar 1944)
Generalmajor Erich Schmidt-Richberg (15 Mar 1944 - 8 May 1945)

Operations Officers (Ia)

Oberst Hans-Joachim Schipp von Branitz (1 Jan 1943 - 10 Dec 1943)
Oberstleutnant Maximilian Leyherr (10 Dec 1943 - 1 Sep 1944)
Oberstleutnant Helmut Siemoneit (1 Sep 1944 - 25 Sep 1944)
Oberstleutnant Oswald Resseguier (25 Sep 1944 - 8 May 1945)

Order of battle (9 Apr 1943)

At the disposal of Heeresgruppe E
- Grenadier-Regiment 440
- 1. Gebirgs-Division
Der Kommandant der Festung Kreta
- Festungs-Brigade Kreta
- 22. Infanterie-Division
- 11. Luftwaffen-Feld-Division (in transit)
- Italian 51a Divisione di Fanteria “Siena”
Kommandierender General und Befehlshaber Serbien
- 704. Infanterie-(104. Jäger-) Division
Bulgarian I Occupation Corps (subordinated to Kommandierender General und Befehlshaber Serbien)
- Bulgarian 7th Infantry Division
- Bulgarian 9th Infantry Division
- Bulgarian 21st Infantry Division
Befehlshaber der deutschen Truppen in Kroatien
- 714. Infanterie-(114. Jäger-) Division)
- 717. Infanterie-(117. Jäger-) Division
- 718. Infanterie-(118. Jäger-) Division
- SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division “Prinz Eugen”
- 369. Infanterie-Division (kroatische)
- 373. Infanterie-Division (kroatische) (forming)
- 187. Reserve-Division

Order of battle (7 July 1943)

At the disposal of Heeresgruppe E
- Sturm-Division Rhodos (forming)
Befehlshaber der deutschen Truppen in Kroatien
- 100. Jäger-Division (forming)
- 114. Jäger-Division
- 118. Jäger-Division
- SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division “Prinz Eugen”
- 369. Infanterie-Division (kroatische)
- 373. Infanterie-Division (kroatische) (forming)
- 187. Reserve-Division
Kommandierender General und Befehlshaber Serbien
- 297. Infanterie-Division (forming)
Bulgarian I Occupation Corps (subordinated to Kommandierender General und Befehlshaber Serbien)
- Bulgarian 7th Infantry Division
- Bulgarian 9th Infantry Division
- Bulgarian 21st Infantry Division
Befehlshaber Südgrienchenland
- 11. Luftwaffen-Feld-Division
- 104. Jäger-Division
LXVIII. Armeekorps
- 1. Panzer-Division
- 117. Jäger-Division
Der Kommandant der Festung Kreta
- Festungs-Brigade Kreta
- 22. Infanterie-Division
- Italian 51a Divisione di Fanteria “Siena”

Order of battle (5 Sep 1943)

At the disposal of Heeresgruppe E
- XXII. Gebirgs-Armeekorps
- SS-Polizei-Panzergrenadier-Regimenter 1 & 2 (in transit)
- Sturm-Division Rhodos (forming/subordinated to the Italian General Headquarters Aegean)
Oberfeldkommandtur Saloniki
- Bulgarian 7th Infantry Division
Der Kommandant der Festung Kreta
- Festungs-Brigade Kreta
- 22. Infanterie-Division
- Italian 51a Divisione di Fanteria “Siena”

Italian 11th Army (subordinated to Heeresgruppe E)
At the disposal of the Italian 11th Army
- 11. Luftwaffen-Feld-Division
- SS-Polizei-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 18
- 1. Regiment “Brandenburg”
- 2. Regiment “Brandenburg”
LXVIII. Armeekorps
- 1. Panzer-Division
- 117. Jäger-Division
- Italian 29a Divisione di Fanteria “Piemonte”
- Italian 59a Divisione di Fanteria “Cagliari”
Italian VIII Corps
- 104. Jäger-Division
- Italian 56a Divisione di Fanteria “Casale”
- Italian 33a Divisione di Fanteria “Acqui”
Italian XXVI Corps
- 1. Gebirgs-Division
- Italian 37a Divisione di Fanteria “Modena”
Italian III Corps
- Italian 24a Divisione di Fanteria “Pinerolo”
- Italian 36a Divisione di Fanteria “Forli”

Order of battle (15 Sep 1943)

XXII. Gebirgs-Armeekorps
- 1. Gebirgs-Division
- 104. Jäger-Division
LXVIII. Armeekorps
- 1. Panzer-Division
- 117. Jäger-Division
Oberfeldkommandtur Saloniki
- Bulgarian 7th Infantry Division
Der Kommandant der Festung Kreta
- Festungs-Brigade Kreta
- 22. Infanterie-Division

Order of battle (20 Nov 1943)

At the disposal of Heeresgruppe E
- Sturm-Division Rhodos
- Festungs-Infanterie-Regiment 967
- SS-Polizei-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 18
XXII. Gebirgs-Armeekorps
- 104. Jäger-Division
- Festungs-Infanterie-Regiment 966
LXVIII. Armeekorps
- 117. Jäger-Division
- 11. Feld-Division (L)
- 1. Regiment “Brandenburg”
- Festungs-Infanterie-Regiment 965
Oberfeldkommandtur Saloniki-Ägäis
- Festungs-Infanterie-Regiment 963
- 4. SS-Polizei-Panzergrenadier-Division
Der Kommandant der Festung Kreta
- Festungs-Brigade Kreta
- 22. Infanterie-Division

Order of battle (26 Dec 1943)

At the disposal of Heeresgruppe E
- Sturm-Division Rhodos
- Festungs-Infanterie-Regiment 967
- SS-Polizei-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 18
XXII. Gebirgs-Armeekorps
- 104. Jäger-Division
- Festungs-Infanterie-Regiment 966
LXVIII. Armeekorps
- 117. Jäger-Division
- 11. Feld-Division (L)
- 1. Regiment “Brandenburg”
- Festungs-Infanterie-Regiment 965
Oberfeldkommandtur Saloniki-Ägäis
- Festungs-Infanterie-Regiment 963
- 4. SS-Polizei-Panzergrenadier-Division (forming)
Bulgarian Aegean Corps
- Bulgarian 7th Infantry Division
- Bulgarian 16th Infantry Division
- Bulgarian 28th Infantry Division
Der Kommandant der Festung Kreta
- Festungs-Brigade Kreta
- 22. Infanterie-Division

Order of battle (15 Apr 1944)

At the disposal of Heeresgruppe E
- Sturm-Division Rhodos
- SS-Polizei-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 18
Bulgarian II (Aegean) Corps
- Bulgarian 7th Infantry Division
- Bulgarian 16th Infantry Division
- Bulgarian 28th Infantry Division
Oberfeldkommandtur 395
- Festungs-Infanterie-Regiment 963
- 4. SS-Polizei-Panzergrenadier-Division (forming)
Korpsgruppe Joannina (XXII. Gebirgs-Armeekorps)
- 104. Jäger-Division
- Festungs-Infanterie-Regiment 966
LXVIII. Armeekorps
- 117. Jäger-Division
- 11. Feld-Division (L)
- 41. Festungs-Division
Der Kommandant der Festung Kreta
- 133. Festungs-Division
- 22. Infanterie-Division

Order of battle (15 May 1944, 15 June 1944)

At the disposal of Heeresgruppe E
Sturm-Division Rhodos
- SS-Polizei-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 18
Bulgarian II (Aegean) Corps
- Bulgarian 7th Infantry Division
- Bulgarian 16th Infantry Division
- Bulgarian 28th Infantry Division
Oberfeldkommandtur 395
- Festungs-Infanterie-Regiment 963
- 4. SS-Polizei-Panzergrenadier-Division (forming)
XXII. Gebirgs-Armeekorps
- 104. Jäger-Division
- Festungs-Infanterie-Regiment 966
LXVIII. Armeekorps
- 117. Jäger-Division
- 11. Feld-Division (L)
- 41. Festungs-Division
Der Kommandant der Festung Kreta
- 133. Festungs-Division
- 22. Infanterie-Division

Order of battle (15 July 1944)

At the disposal of Heeresgruppe E
- Oberfeldkommandtur 395 (Korpsgruppe Saloniki)
- Festungs-Infanterie-Regiment 963
- 4. SS-Polizei-Panzergrenadier-Division (forming)
- Sturm-Division Rhodos
- Festungs-Infanterie-Regiment 939
- Festungs-Infanterie-Regiment 967
- Festungs-Infanterie-Regiment 968
XXII. Gebirgs-Armeekorps
- 104. Jäger-Division
- Festungs-Infanterie-Regiment 966
- Festungs-Infanterie-Regiment 1017
- Festungs-Brigade 964 (in transit)
LXVIII. Armeekorps
- 117. Jäger-Division
- 11. Feld-Division (L)
- 41. Festungs-Division
- SS-Polizei-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 18
Der Kommandant der Festung Kreta
- 133. Festungs-Division
- 22. Infanterie-Division
Bulgarian II (Aegean) Corps
- Bulgarian 7th Infantry Division
- Bulgarian 16th Infantry Division
- Bulgarian 28th Infantry Division
- Bulgarian 2nd Cavalry Division (independent)

Order of battle (31 Aug 1944)

At the disposal of Heeresgruppe E
- Sturm-Division Rhodos
- Festungs-Brigaden 967, 968, & 939
- SS-Polizei-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 18
XXII. Gebirgs-Armeekorps
- 104. Jäger-Division
- 4. SS-Polizei-Panzergrenadier-Division
- Festungs-Brigade 966
- Festungs-Brigade 1017 (Korfu)
LXVII. Armeekorps
- 117. Jäger-Division
- 11. Feld-Division (L)
- 41. Festungs-Division
LXXXXI. Armeekorps z.b.V.
- Festungs-Brigade 963
Der Kommandant der Festung Kreta
- 133. Festungs-Division
- 22. Infanterie-Division

Order of battle (28 Sep 1944, 13 Oct 1944)

Wehrmachtbefehlshaber Mazedonien
- 11. Feld-Division (L)
- 22. Infanterie-Division
XXI. Gebirgs-Armeekorps
- 297. Infanterie-Division
- 181. Infanterie-Division
- 21. Waffen-Gebirgs-Division der SS “Skanderbeg” (albanische Nr. 1) (refitting)
LXXXXI. Armeekorps z.b.V.
- Festungs-Brigade 968
XXII. Gebirgs-Armeekorps
- 104. Jäger-Division
- Festungs-Brigade 966
- Festungs-Brigade 1017 (Korfu)
LXVIII. Armeekorps
- 41. Festungs-Division
- 133. Festungs-Division (in transit)
Kommandant Ost-Ägäis
- Sturm-Division Rhodos (in transit to Serbia)
- Festungs-Brigade 939 (Rhodos)
- Festungs-Brigade 967
- Festungs-Brigade 938

Order of battle (26 Nov 1944)

Kommandant Ost-Ägäis
- Festungs-Brigade 939 (Rhodos)
- Festungs-Brigade 968
Festung Kreta
- 133. Festungs-Division
V. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Korps
- 369. Infanterie-Division (kroatische) + 1 Regiment 118. Jäger-Division
- SS-Regimentsgruppe “Skanderbeg”
XXI. Gebirgs-Armeekorps
- 181. Infanterie-Division
- 297. Infanterie-Division
- Festungs-Brigade 1017
- Festungs-Brigade 964
LXXXXI. Armeekorps z.b.V.
- 22. Infanterie-Division
- 41. Festungs-Division
- Festungs-Brigade 963
- Festungs-Brigade 966
- Festungs-Brigade 967
- Festungs-Brigade 969
XXXIV. Armeekorps z.b.V.
- 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division “Prinz Eugen”
- 104. Jäger-Division
- 11. Feld-Division (L) (enroute)

Order of battle (31 Dec 1944)

At the disposal of Heeresgruppe E
- V. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Korps
LXXXXI. Armeekorps z.b.V.
- 181. Infanterie-Division
- 297. Infanterie-Division (less 1 Regiment)
- Festungs-Brigade 1077
- Festungs-Brigade 963
- Festungs-Brigade 964
- Festungs-Brigade 966
- 369. Infanterie-Division (kroatische)
- 22. Infanterie-Division
XXI. Gebirgs-Armeekorps
- 297. Infanterie-Division (part)
- 41. Festungs-Division
- Festungs-Brigade 967
- Festungs-Brigade 969
- 104. Jäger-Division
XXXIV. Armeekorps z.b.V.
- 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division “Prinz Eugen”
- SS-Regimentsgruppe “Skanderbeg”
- 11. Feld-Division (L) + 117. Jäger-Division
- Kampfgruppe 1. Gebirgs-Division
- 264. Infanterie-Division (part)
- Korück z.b.V. Stephan
- SS-Polizei-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 18
- SS-Polizei-Regiment 5
XV. Armeekorps
- 264. Infanterie-Division (less 1 Regiment)
- 373. Infanterie-Division (kroatische)
- 392. Infanterie-Division (kroatische)
Kommandant Ost-Ägäis
- Festungs-Brigade 939 (Rhodos)
- Festungs-Brigade 968
Festung Kreta
- 133. Festungs-Division (part)

Order of battle (26 Jan 1945)

At the disposal of Heeresgruppe E
- 297. Infanterie-Division
- LXXXXI. Armeekorps z.b.V.
XV. Gebirgs-Armeekorps
- 392. Infanterie-Division (kroatische)
- 373. Infanterie-Division (kroatische)
XXI. Gebirgs-Armeekorps
- 104. Jäger-Division
- Festungs-Brigade 964
- 369. Infanterie-Division (kroatische)
- 181. Infanterie-Division
- 22. Infanterie-Division + Festungs-Brigade 963
- Festungs-Brigade 966
- Festungs-Brigade 969
- Festungs-Brigade 1017
XXXIV. Armeekorps z.b.V.
- 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division “Prinz Eugen”
- 41. Infanterie-Division
- 117. Jäger-Division
- 11. Feld-Division (L)
- Division z.b.V. Fischer (SS-Polizei-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 18, SS-Polizei-Regiment 5)
- Festungs-Brigade 967
LXIX. Armeekorps z.b.V.
- 1. Kosaken-Division
- Jäger-Reserve-Regiment 1
Kommandant Ost-Ägäis
- Panzer-Grenadier-Brigade 939 (Rhodos)
- Festungs-Brigade 968
Festung Kreta
- Festungs-Division Kreta

Order of battle (1 Mar 1945)

XV. Gebirgs-Armeekorps
- 392. Infanterie-Division (kroatische)
- 373. Infanterie-Division (kroatische)
XXI. Gebirgs-Armeekorps
- 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division “Prinz Eugen” (most)
- Festungs-Brigade 964
- Kampfgruppe 369. Infanterie-Division (kroatische)
- 181. Infanterie-Division
- Festungs-Brigade 966
- Festungs-Brigade 969
- Festungs-Brigade 1017
XXXIV. Armeekorps z.b.V.
- 22. Infanterie-Division + Festungs-Brigade 963
- 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division “Prinz Eugen” (part)
- 41. Infanterie-Division
- 117. Jäger-Division
LXXXXI. Armeekorps z.b.V.
- Festungs-Brigade 967
- 104. Jäger-Division
- 11. Feld-Division (L)
- Division z.b.V. Fischer (SS-Polizei-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 18, SS-Polizei-Regiment 5)

Order of battle (12 Apr 1945)

LXXXXVII. Armeekorps z.b.V.
- 188. Gebirgs-Division
- 237. Infanterie-Division
XV. Gebirgs-Armeekorps
- 392. Infanterie-Division (kroatische)
- 104. Jäger-Division
- 373. Infanterie-Division (kroatische)
XXI. Gebirgs-Armeekorps
- 181. Infanterie-Division + 392. Infanterie-Division (kroatische) (remnants)
- 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division “Prinz Eugen” (most)
- Festungs-Brigade 964
- Festungs-Brigade 966
- Festungs-Brigade 969
- Festungs-Brigade 1017
XXXIV. Armeekorps z.b.V.
- 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division “Prinz Eugen” (part)
- 22. Volks-Grenadier-Division
- 41. Infanterie-Division
- Festungs-Brigade 967
LXXXXI. Armeekorps z.b.V.
- 11. Feld-Division (L)
- Festungs-Brigade 967
XV. SS-Kosaken-Kavallerie-Korps
- 1. Kosaken-Division
- 2. Kosaken-Division
LXIX. Armeekorps z.b.V.
- Division z.b.V. Fischer (SS-Polizei-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 18, SS-Polizei-Regiment 5)
Kommandant Ost-Ägäis
- Panzer-Grenadier-Brigade 939 (Rhodos)
- Festungs-Brigade 968
Kommandant Kreta
- Festungs-Division Kreta

Order of battle (30 Apr 1945)

At the disposal of Heeresgruppe E
- XXXIV. Armeekorps (in transit)
LXIX. Armeekorps z.b.V.
- Sturm-Brigade Südost
XV. SS-Kosaken-Kavallerie-Korps
- 1. Kosaken-Division
- 2. Kosaken-Division
- 11. Feld-Division (L)
XXI. Gebirgs-Armeekorps
- 22. Volks-Grenadier-Division
- 369. Infanterie-Division (kroatische)
- 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division “Prinz Eugen”
- 181. Infanterie-Division
- 41. Infanterie-Division
XV. Gebirgs-Armeekorps
- 373. Infanterie-Division (kroatische)
- Sicherungs-Regiment 639
LXXXXI. Armeekorps z.b.V.
- 104. Jäger-Division
- Reserve-Jäger-Regiment 20
LXXXXVII. Armeekorps z.b.V.
- 237. Infanterie-Division
- 188. Gebirgs-Division
- 392. Infanterie-Division (kroatische)

Notable members

Alexander Löhr (Generalmajor in the Austrian Bundesheer before the Anschluss. He was executed for war crimes in Yugoslavia 1947)
Kurt Waldheim (Secretary-General of the United Nations 1972-1981, President of Austria 1986-1992)

Sources used

Research by Shawn Bohannon
Robert M. Kennedy - Hold the Balkans! German Antiguerrilla Operations in the Balkans (1941-1944)
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945
Earl F. Ziemke - Stalingrad to Berlin: The German Defeat in the East

Reference material on this unit

Erich Schmidt-Richberg - Das Ende auf dem Balkan: Die Operationen der heeresgruppe E von Griechenland bis zu den Alpen

Do you have any corrections or additions to the material presented on the site?
Please help us improve the site by sending them to us.