|Active||June 1940 – March 1945|
06/40 Invasion of France|
06/41 Vilnius, Minsk, Smolensk
08/42 - 01/43 Rzhev salient
08/43 - 10/43 Defence of Smolensk, Orsha
11/43 - 05/44 Mogilev
06/44 Defense against Operation Bagration
07/44 - 08/44 Defence against Schaulyai offensive
10/44 Courland pocket 11/45 - 01/45 Defence of East Prussia
03/45 Silesia, Küstrin
|General Dietrich von Saucken|
The XXXIX Panzer Corps (German language: XXXIX.Panzerkorps, also previously designated the XXXIX.Armeekorps (mot)) was a German panzer corps which saw action on the Western and Eastern Fronts during World War II.
Wartime service[edit | edit source]
1940[edit | edit source]
The Corps (whose home station was Gotha in Wehrkreis IX ) was formed (as the XXXIX. Armeekorps) in 1940 for the German invasion of France, in which it was successively part of Gruppe Guderian, the Second and First Armies.
1941[edit | edit source]
In June 1941 the Corps was assigned to Army Group Centre for Operation Barbarossa, Nazi Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union. It initially attacked towards Vilnius and was then involved in the first Battle of Minsk. By August, it was assigned to Army Group North for the attack on Leningrad.
1942[edit | edit source]
Late in the year the Corps was reorganised as the XXXIX. Panzerkorps. It was shifted to the Rzhev salient, under the Ninth Army of Army Group Centre, where it was involved in extremely heavy fighting.
1943[edit | edit source]
Army Group Centre evacuated the Rzhev salient early in 1943. During the autumn, the Corps took part in the defence against Operation Suvorov, withdrawing to positions east of Mogilev.
1944[edit | edit source]
During June 1944 the XXXIX Panzer Corps took part in the defence against the Soviet summer offensive, Operation Bagration; covering the strategically important highway through Mogilev, it was one of the strongest corps in the Army Group at the time, with four high-quality divisions. Soviet breakthroughs to the north and south saw the Corps threatened with encirclement within a matter of days, while the 12th Infantry Division was trapped in Mogilev and lost. The corps commander, General Robert Martinek was killed on 28 June and his replacement Otto Schünemann, was killed the following day. The Corps disintegrated at the Berezina crossings as its columns attempted to cross the river under heavy air attack; nearly all its units were destroyed by the 2nd Belorussian Front in the subsequent encirclement east of Minsk. The commanders of the 110th, 12th, 31st and Feldherrnhalle Divisions, von Kurowski, Bamler, Ochsner, and von Steinkeller, were all captured.
Remnants of the Corps were amalgamated with an ad hoc battle group based on the 5th Panzer Division and commanded by Dietrich von Saucken. Renamed XXXIX. Panzerkorps, it defended Minsk and then conducted a fighting withdrawal against subsequent stages of the Soviet strategic offensive through Belarus, Poland and Lithuania, ending up in the Courland Pocket. During this period, the rebuilt Corps was reinforced with the 4th and 12th Panzer Divisions as well as the Panzergrenadier Division Großdeutschland, taking part in Operation Doppelkopf.
Late in the year it was redeployed to East Prussia before being reorganised and withdrawn for use in Operation Wacht am Rhein, the German offensive through the Ardennes. It was assigned to Hasso von Manteuffel's Fifth Panzer Army.
1945[edit | edit source]
After the defeat of the Ardennes offensive in the Battle of the Bulge, the Corps was redeployed against the Soviet offensives in Pomerania as part of the newly-organised Eleventh SS Panzer Army, Army Group Vistula. It was employed in Operation Solstice, the failed counter-offensive at Stargard against the spearheads of the 1st Belorussian Front.
On 27 March the Corps was thrown into a disastrous counter-attack to relieve the fortress of Küstrin, and was almost entirely destroyed.
Commanders[edit | edit source]
- Generaloberst Rudolf Schmidt (1 February 1940 – 10 November 1941)
- Generaloberst Hans-Jürgen von Arnim (11 November 1941 – 30 November 1942)
- General der Artillerie Robert Martinek (1 December 1942 – 13 November 1943)
- General der Infanterie Carl Püchler (13 November 1943 – 18 April 1944)
- General der Artillerie Robert Martinek (18 April 1944 – 28 June 1944)
- Generalleutnant Otto Schünemann (28 June 1944 – 29 June 1944)
- General der Panzertruppen Dietrich von Saucken (29 June 1944 – 15 October 1944)
- General der Panzertruppen Karl Decker (15 October 1944 – 21 April 1945)
- Generalleutnant Karl Arndt (21 April 1945 – 8 May 1945)
Orders of Battle[edit | edit source]
27 March 1945 – Küstrin Counterattack[edit | edit source]
- Korps Stab
- Panzer-Division Müncheberg
See also[edit | edit source]
- Panzer, Panzer Division
- Corps, Military unit
- Wehrmacht, List of German military units of World War II
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