OKW, OKH, and General Staff

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
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bruce
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OKW, OKH, and General Staff

Post by bruce » 02 Aug 2003 01:54

hi there

im confused: what are the differences of these oranizations and what was the responsibily of each?

thank you

Glenn A. Steinberg
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Post by Glenn A. Steinberg » 02 Aug 2003 03:41

OKW - Armed Forces High Command. It was supposed to be a united, joint command for all the German forces (army, air force, and navy), but it failed in this objective (because of the refusal of the army, air force, and navy commanders-in-chief to allow their forces to subordinated seriously to OKW). In the end, OKW became just a second high command for the army, controlling all theaters but the Eastern Front.

OKH - Army High Command. As Hitler gave over the other theaters to OKW, one by one, OKH ended up with control over only the Eastern Front.

General Staff - several things:

1.) The General Staff was an order of officers within the army who had special training to be operations, supply, and intelligence officers for army units of various levels (down to division). The Chief of the Army General Staff was their head until March 1943 (at which point their personnel matters were placed under the chief of the Army Personnel Office).

2.) The term "General Staff" was also sometimes used for the staff of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, which was, again, headed by the Chief of the Army General Staff (same as above) with officers in charge of operations, transportation, supply, etc. As long as Brauchitsch was Commander-in-Chief of the Army, he was head of OKH. Once Hitler took over personal command of the Army, the distinction between OKH and General Staff pretty much ceased to exist (since the Chief of the Army General Staff was now the highest army officer in the High Command).

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bruce
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Post by bruce » 02 Aug 2003 06:02

hi there, thank u for the explanations

lets see...heres an example

Guderian was made chief of staff in 1945, what was his job exactly?

thank u

Glenn A. Steinberg
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Post by Glenn A. Steinberg » 02 Aug 2003 15:02

bruce wrote:hi there, thank u for the explanations

lets see...heres an example

Guderian was made chief of staff in 1945, what was his job exactly?

thank u
He was Chief of the Army General Staff from July 1944 to March 1945.

lawnbowler
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Re: OKW, OKH, and General Staff

Post by lawnbowler » 04 Jun 2022 04:00

What are everyone's opinions as to when OKW took over operational command of ObWest from OKH.

I have seen a wide variety of opinions on this subject, from 15 March 41 (when HGrD became ObWest), to 9 Jun 41 (when ObSudost was formed subordinate to OKW) to 22 Jun 41 (start of attack on SU), to 20 Oct 41 (first direct command issued from OKW to units in the west - per Megargee) to Dec 41 (when Hitler took command of OKH).

Any thoughts from anyone, other then what possibly is the answer - that the command change happened gradually from March 41 to Dec 41.

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