3rd Army (Germany)


3rd Army (Germany)

The 3rd Army ( _de. 3. Armee Oberkommando) was a German field army that fought during World War I and World War II.

World War I

Upon the mobilization Max von Hausen was given command of the 3rd Army which mainly consisted of Saxons. The army participated in the battle of the Frontiers, mainly in the battles of Dinant and Charleroi and the army were responsible for the destruction of Reims in September 1914. After the Second Army's retreat after the First Battle of the Marne, Von Hausen saw his own flank exposed and ordered a retreat. Upon the stabilization of the front on the river Aisne, Von Hausen was relieved of his command and replaced by General Karl von Einem

Successfully repulsing the French Champagne-Marne offensive from February-March and September-November 1915 respectively, the army would take part in all three Battles of the Aisne and would hold Gen. Anthoine's 4th Army (under Gen. Philippe Petain's Center Army Group) during the Second Battle of the Aisne as part of the Nivelle Offensive from April 16-May 15, 1917.

Einem's right wing units would also participate in Gen. Erich Ludendorff's Champagne-Marne offensive on July 15-17, 1918 supporting the east flank of the German 1st Army. After suffering severe casualties in battle with Gen. John J. Pershing's Allied Expeditionary Force from September 26-November 11 in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, the army was forced to retreat northward shortly before the war's end.

World War II

The 3rd Army was activated on September 1, 1939, the day German forces invaded Poland. It was put under the command of Colonel-General Georg von Küchler. Küchler later became commander of Army Group North in 1942 and also later became field marshal. At the start of the Polish Campaign the 3rd Army was part of Field Marshal Feodor von Bock's Army Group North, together with Field Marshal Günther von Kluge's 4th Army. The 4th Army was to capture the Polish Corridor and enter East Prussia, thus re-linking the two areas. The Third Army was to split into two and attack "from" East Prussia. One part of the 3rd Army was to advance southwards into Modlin, cross near the confluence of the Vistula and Bug rivers and take part in the attack on Warsaw. The other part of the 3rd Army was to attack near Narew, attack along the Bug River, and make a drive into Brest-Litovsk.

When the attack on Poland was launched, a part of the 3rd Army moved toward the Polish Corridor and met with Kluge's 4th Army. Both the 3rd and 4th Armies implemented their plans well, and the Polish Campaign ended in victorious triumph for the German Army. The Red Army had attacked Poland from the east with a million men and advanced westwards to meet with the German troops, despite casualties that numbered more than expected. In Brest-Litovsk, a joint German and Soviet victory parade was held.

On November 5, 1939, only about five weeks following the end of the Polish Campaign, the Third Army was disbanded. The Third Army became one of the first German armies of World War II to be disbanded. Immediately after the Third Army was disbanded Küchler became commander of the newly-formed 18th Army (German) and led it during the Western Campaign of 1940. He stayed in that position until 1942, when he became commander of Army Group North to lead the Siege on Leningrad. That year he became field marshal but was replaced in 1944 following the Soviet breakthrough against Army Group North.

Commanders

* Field Marshal Georg von Küchler (September 1, 1939 - November 5 1939)

References

* Barnett, Correlli. "Hitler's Generals". New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1989.
* .
* Wendel, Marcus. .


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