Armeeabteilung Spree and Armeegruppe Steiner

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Doug Batson
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Armeeabteilung Spree and Armeegruppe Steiner

Post by Doug Batson » Tue Jun 03, 2003 11:06 am

Hi,

I was wondering if anyone had any information on these units. I know that both were created in the last months of the war, were hastidly put together and didn't last very long. Can anyone add any more information. (e.g., order of battle, units assigned, etc).

The details that I have so far on both units are listed below.

Thanks,

Doug Batson


Armeeabteilung Spree:

On 23 April 1945, just as the Russians were at the very gates of the Berlin, GenLt Hellmuth Reymann was relieved of his post as Commander of Fortress Berlin and appointed commander of Army Detachment Spree, which for practical purposes consisted of one understrength division (Division Jahn, a unit still in process of being formed out of Labor Service components). This force was committed to action along a 40 kilometer front facing south on either side of Berlin. His removal from Berlin was obviously ordered at the insistance of Goebbels whose initially favorable attitude toward Reymann had radically altered. When Generaloberst Heinrici, to whom Berlin was at this time subordinate, learned of the change, he ordered Reymann to remain at his post because it seemed to him foolhardy to change commanders at a time when the danger was most acute. He was not able to make his orders prevail, however, and Reymann took over command of "Armeeabteilung Spree" and, with part of this force, he was driven back to Potsdam and surrounded.

Armeegruppe Steiner:

Established on January 26, 1945.

Established on January 26, 1945 in Pommerania, it marked one the last deperate attempts by the leaders of the Third Reich to turn the tide of the war. It was controlled by a headquarters (variously reported as Armeeoberkommando (AOK) Steiner, Stab z.b.V. Steiner and Panzer ArmeeOberkkommando 11) and named after its commander, Felix Steiner, and initially consisted of X SS Army Corps, III SS Panzer Corps, a weakened ad hoc Army corps and troops from Wehrkreis III together with whatever units were available, both SS and otherwise. In April of 1945, Steiner was instructed to make an attack to try and dislocate the the threatening Russian advance on Berlin. At the end of the war the Armeegruppe was located at Eberswalde, and having been virtually obliterated, consisted of hardly more than its headquarters staff. Almost to the very last moment, Hitler waited for Steiner to rescue Berlin from the Soviets and so prolong the war which in reality had been lost long before. The following divisions made up Army Group "Steiner": 4th Marine Division and those of the LVI Panzer Corps: 11 SS Panzer Division "Nordland", 18th SS Pz Gren Division, 20th Pz Gren Division "Muncheberg", Luftwaffen Ausb Division, and part of the 9th Fallsch. Jg Division.

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Post by maartenswarts » Wed Jun 11, 2003 2:12 pm

about armeegruppe Spree:

Reymann had a few more troops to his possession;
a Landesschutzen Bataillon and a Panzervernichtungstruppe of the
Hitlerjugend, but the last were under command of the division
Feldherrnhalle. On 25 april the troops of division Jahn arrived.
He was promised to get some units of the 20 pz gren div. but it`s
doubtful if they ever arrived.
Reymann`s orders were "defend the Sudring (souther ring) of
Berlin and hold open a corridor for the attacking 12th Army.
On 29 april Reymann got order to break out from Potsdam ( south
west of Berlin almost a suburb of Berlin). During that day and the
next he succeeded in fighting its way out Potsdam and reaching
the lines of the XXe Korps.( 12e Army; Wenck) some 10 miles away

Try to get "Die Armee Wenck, Hitler`s letzte Hoffnung
"Gunther W.Gellermann, Bernard & Graefe Verlag Koblenz
ISBN 3-7637-5870-4

Maarten Swarts

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Helmut
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Re: Armeeabteilung Spree and Armeegruppe Steiner

Post by Helmut » Fri Jun 13, 2003 6:37 am

[
The following divisions made up Army Group "Steiner": 4th Marine Division and those of the LVI Panzer Corps: 11 SS Panzer Division "Nordland", 18th SS Pz Gren Division, 20th Pz Gren Division "Muncheberg", Luftwaffen Ausb Division, and part of the 9th Fallsch. Jg Division.[/quote]

I thought the LVI PZK, 11 SS Pz Gren Div, 20 Pz Gren Div, Muencheberg Pz and Parts of the 9 FSJ Div were part of the city garrison , not part of AA Steiner.

Doug Batson
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Thanks

Post by Doug Batson » Fri Jun 13, 2003 8:47 am

That's just it. I've never seen any orders of battles, nor any operational maps (offical German ones that is) listing either Group Steiner or Spree. It is obviously due to the chaotic last days of the war. Yes, I also thought that the LVI Panzerkorps was part of the Berlin garrison (under Army Group Vistula).
They may well have been at the start of the Russian offensive, but could have switched to Group Steiner during the course of the battle. This is another unknown.

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