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Oberkommando des Heeres

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The Oberkommando des Heeres (or OKH for short) was Germany's Army High Command from 1936 to 1945.

There also existed an OKM = Oberkommando der Marine[?] and an OKL = Oberkommando der Luftwaffe[?] for the navy and the air force respectively.

The Army commanders (Oberbefehlshaber des Heeres, or OBdH for short) of the Wehrmacht were:

1935 to 1938 - W. von Fritsch[?]
1938 to 19 Dec 1941 - Generalfeldmarschall Walther von Brauchitsch[?]
19 Dec 1941 to 30 Apr 1945 - Adolf Hitler
30 Apr 1945 to 8 May 1945 - Generalfeldmarschall Ferdinand Schörner[?]

Following German tradition the OBdH did not plan operations. This task was left to the General Staff, so actually the most important man in the Army (and the Navy, but less so in the Luftwaffe, which was commanded by Hermann Göring) was the chief of the general staff (Chef des Generalstabs des Heeres, or Chef GenStdH for short). It should be noted that (since Germany always has been a land-bound nation) the Heer (army) always has been the leading factor in planning campaigns. Thus there was no such thing as combined planning of the different services. The Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW), which was by definition superior to the OKH, was not intended for that, nor did it have the resources to do so.

Later in the war the OKH became responsible for fewer and fewer tasks. For example, the invasion of Norway[?] was entirely planned outside the OKH.

During World War II the Chiefs of General Staff were:

1 Sep 1939 to 24 Sep 1942 - Generaloberst Franz Halder[?]
24 Sep 1942 to 10 June 1944 - Generaloberst Kurt Zeitzler[?]
10 June 1944 to 21 July 1944 - Generalleutnant Adolf Heusinger[?]
21 July 1944 to 28 Mar 1945 - Generaloberst Heinz Guderian
1 Apr 1945 to 30 Apr 1945 - General der Infanterie Hans Krebs

When Hitler took command of the army on 19 Dec 1941, the importance of the GenStdH decreased, and Hitler was responsible more and more for operational planning.



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