logo-hgr-mitte 


The Heeresgruppe Mitte was formed in 1941 from Heeresgruppe B. It was redesiganted Heeresgruppe Nord in January 1945.

Rudolf-Christoph Freiherr von Gersdorff who served as Ic (Chief Intelligence Officer) of Heeresgruppe Mitte by chance discovered the mass graves from the Soviet massacre of Polish officers in the Katyn forest (the infamous Katyn massacre of April 1940) in April 1943. The propaganda ministry under Joseph Goebbels naturally immediately attempted to use this discovery to drive a wedge between the Allies. He wrote in his diary:

We are now using the discovery of 12,000 Polish officers, murdered by the GPU, for anti-Bolshevik propaganda on a grand style. We sent neutral journalists and Polish intellectuals to the spot where they were found. Their reports now reaching us from ahead are gruesome. The Führer has also given permission for us to hand out a drastic news item to the German press. I gave instructions to make the widest possible use of the propaganda material. We shall be able to live on it for a couple weeks. (1)

 

Commanders

Generalfeldmarschall Fedor von Bock (1 Apr 1941 - 19 Dec 1941)
Generalfeldmarschall Günther von Kluge (19 Dec 1941 - 28 Oct 1943)
Generalfeldmarschall Ernst Busch (28 Oct 1943 - 27 June 1944)
Generalfeldmarschall Walter Model (27 June 1944 - 17 Aug 1944)
Generaloberst Georg-Hans Reinhardt (17 Aug 1944 - 25 Jan 1945)

Osttruppen attached to Heeresgruppe Mitte (8 Dec 1942)

Kommandeur der Osttruppen z.b.V. 700
- Ost-Bataillon 633 (Stabskompanie und 3 x Infanterie-Kompanien)
- Ost-Bataillon 634 (Stabskompanie und 3 x Infanterie-Kompanien)
- Ost-Bataillon 635 (Stabskompanie und 3 x Infanterie-Kompanien)
- Ost-Bataillon 636 (Stabskompanie und 3 x Infanterie-Kompanien)
- Ost-Bataillon 637 (Stabskompanie und 3 x Infanterie-Kompanien)
Abschnitte Versorgungsbasis Mitte
- Ost-Wach-Kompanie 606 (Brjansk)
- Ost-Bataillon 607 (Gomel) (2 x Kompanien; [3. Kompanie added by 15 January 1943])
- Ost-Wach-Kompanie 608 (Smolensk)
- Ost-Wach-Kompanie 609 (Wjasma)
- Ost-Bataillon 610 (Witebsk) (2 x Kompanien; [3. Kompanie added by 15 January 1943])
- Ost-Wach-Kompanie 611 (Orscha)

Osttruppen attached to Heeresgruppe Mitte (5 May 1943)

Ost-Bataillon 82 (2 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon 308 (3 Kompanien)
1. Ost-Fernsprecher-Kompanie/515
2. Ost-Fernsprecher-Kompanie/515
Turkestanisches Träger-Bau-Bataillon 1001 (3 Kompanien)
Ost-Kompanie 606
4. Turkestanische Nachschub-Kompanie/544 [Brjansk)
1. Ost-Kompanie/607
2. Ost-Kompanie/607 (Gomel)
3. Ost-Kompanie/607 (Gomel)
4. Aserbeidschanische Nachschub-Kompanie/548 (Gomel)
5. Turkestanische Wach-Kompanie/B99 (Orscha)
Turkestanische Infanterie-Kompanie 493 (Orscha)
Ost-Kompanie 608 (Orscha)
Ost-Kompanie 611 (Orscha)
Ost-Kompanie 609 (Minsk)
1. Ost-Kompanie/610 (Minsk)
2. Ost-Kompanie/610 (Minsk)
3. Ost-Kompanie/610 (Minsk)
4. Georgische Nachschub-Kompanie/B147 (Bobruisk)
5. Turkestanische Infanterie-(K)Kompanie/51B (Witebsk)
5. Turkestanische Nachschub-Kompanie/B107 (Witebsk)
5. Turkestanische Nachschub-Kompanie/B23 (Smolensk)

Osttruppen attached to Heeresgruppe Mitte (5 Sep 1943)

Ost-Bataillon 441 (3 Kompanien)
Ost-Bataillon 453
Ost-Banden-Jagd-Kompanie (with LIII. Armeekorps) [No other designation]
1. - 3. Ost-Wach-Kompanie/610 [Minsk]
Ost-Wach-Kompanie 609 [Minsk]
Ost-Wach-Kompanie 611 [Orscha]
Ost-Wach-Kompanie 608 [Orscha]
1. - 3. Ost-Wach-Kompanie/607 [Gomel]
Ost-Wach-Kompanie 606 [Brjansk]
Turkestanisches Gebirgsjäger-Bataillon T1001 (3 Kompanien)
5. Turkestanische Nachschub-Kompanie/23
5. Turkestanische Nachschub-Kompanie/58
5. Turkestanische Nachschub-Kompanie/99
4. Aserbeidschanische Nachschub-Kompanie/593
3. - 6. Turkestanische Nachschub-Kompanie/102
4. Georgische Nachschub-Kompanie/544
5. Georgische Nachschub-Kompanie/544
4. Aserbeidschanische Nachschub-Kompanie/548
5. Georgische Nachschub-Kompanie/548
K-Sanitätszug 942 (S)
K-Sanitätszug 943 (S)
F-Sanitätszug 745 (S)
F-Sanitätszug 746 (S)
F-Sanitätszug 747 (S)
F-Sanitätszug 748 (S)

Osttruppen attached to Heeresgruppe Mitte (22 Nov 1943)

Ost-Bataillon 453
Ost-Banden-Jäger-Kompanie [No other designation]
1., 2. Ost-Wach-Kompanie/610
Ost-Wach-Kompanie 609
Ost-Wach-Kompanie 611
Ost-Wach-Kompanie 608
1., 2. Ost-Wach-Kompanie/607
Ost-Wach-Kompanie 606
Turkestanische Gebirgs-Nachschub-Abteilung 1001
5. Turkestanische Nachschub-Kompanie/23
5. Turkestanische Nachschub-Kompanie/58
5. Turkestanische Nachschub-Kompanie/99
4. Aserbeidschanische Nachschub-Kompanie/593
3. - 6. Turkestanische Nachschub-Kompanie/102
4. ,5. Georgische Nachschub-Kompanie/544
4. Aserbeidschanische Nachschub-Kompanie/548
5. Georgische Nachschub-Kompanie/548
3. Ost-Kompanie/607
 

Notable members

Philipp von Bismarck (Active in the resistance against Hitler)
Fedor von Bock (Reached the highest rank in the German Army, Generalfeldmarschall, in 1940, he was killed 4 May 1945 by a strafing British fighter-bomber, the only German Field Marshal to be killed during the war)
Eberhard von Breitenbuch (Active in the resistance against Hitler)
Rudolf-Christoph Freiherr von Gersdorff (Active in the resistance against Hitler and also the one who in 1943 discovered the mass graves from the Soviet massacre of Polish officers in the Katyn forest, the Bundeswehr barracks Generalmajor-Freiherr-von-Gersdorff-Kaserne in Euskirchen was named in his honour 1981)
Günther von Kluge (Active in the resistance against Hitler and took cyanide after the failure of the July 20 Plot)
Walter Model (Holder of the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds)
Hans-Ulrich von Oertzen (Active in the resistance against Hitler and committed suicide after the failure of the July 20 Plot)
Ferdinand Schörner (The last living German Field Marshal, holder of the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds)
Georg Schulze-Büttger (Active in the resistance against Hitler and executed after the failure of the July 20 Plot)
Hans-Alexander von Voss (Active in the resistance against Hitler and executed after the failure of the July 20 Plot)
Paul Graf Yorck von Wartenburg (Active in the resistance against Hitler and executed after the failure of the July 20 Plot)
Henning von Tresckow (Active in the resistance against Hitler and committed suicide after the failure of the July 20 Plot, the Bundeswehr barracks Henning-von-Tresckow-Kaserne in Oldenburg was named in his honour 1961 and the Henning-von-Tresckow-Kaserne in Geltow in 1992)

In fiction

The 1998 board game "Barbarossa: Army Group Center, 1941" designed by Tony Curtis & Vance von Borries and published by GMT Games focused on the fighting in the early stages of fighting on the Eastern Front.

The 2009 board game "Destruction of Army Group Center" designed by Ty Bomba and published by Decision Games covers Operation Bagration.


Generalfeldmarschall Fedor von Bock, Oberst Walther von Hünsdorff, Generaloberst Hermann Hoth and Generaloberst Wolfram von Richthofen in July 1941
heeresgruppe-mitte-bock-july1941
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Generalfeldmarschall Fedor von Bock during a visit to one of the divisions controlled by Heeresgruppe Mitte in October 1941
heeresgruppe-mitte-bock-1941
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Footnotes

1. "The Third Reich: Politics and Propaganda" by David Welch, page 143.

Sources used

Research by Jason von Zerneck
T-78-413, Frames 974 - 977, 979, 980, 983, 984
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945
David Welch - The Third Reich: Politics and Propaganda

Reference material on this unit

Paul Adair - Hitler's Greatest Defeat: The Collapse of Army Group Centre, June 1944
Werner Haupt - Army Group Center: The Wehrmacht in Russia 1941-1945
Rolf Hinze - To the Bitter End: The Final Battles of Army Groups A, North Ukraine, Centre, Eastern Front 1944-45
Rolf Hinze - Der Zusammenbruch der Heeresgruppe Mitte im Osten 1944

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