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The current time is: 9/19/2018 11:23:03 PM
 (1914-1918) WWI Battles
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RiaindeVoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1393

'Operational Control' and HerresGruppe
Posted on: 5/20/2018 3:30:20 PM
Does anyone know the difference between 'Operational Control', where Bulow of 2nd Army had operational control of 1st Army as Senior General on the Right wing and 6th Army had operation control of 7th Army on the Left Wing, and an 'Army Group' (HeeresGruppe in German) where Mackensen has is own 11th Army and the Austro-Hungarian 4th Army?

I suspect the difference is pedantic, but therein lies its interest.
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Fact: The phrase "she'll be right mate" increases an Australian's healing process by 40%.

kaii
Tallinn, Estonia
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2339

Re: 'Operational Control' and HerresGruppe
Posted on: 5/20/2018 4:48:18 PM
To me it sounds like a German formality thing, i.e. Bulow had an Army HQ at his disposal and had operational control of another Army HQ. Mackensen probably had an actual Army Group HQ at his disposal, in addition to the two Army HQ's.

I would also guess that an Army Group also has administrative control of its subordinate armies, whereas Bulow propbably did not have administrative control of the other army - i.e. his directed operations but his HQ was not ultimately responsible for supply etc.

K
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I’m not worried about the Third World War. That’s the Third World’s problem.

Jim Cameron
North Bellmore, NY, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 764

Re: 'Operational Control' and HerresGruppe
Posted on: 5/20/2018 4:50:44 PM
Operational Control sounds more ad hoc, where Army Group sounds more formal. But that's just my offhand opinion. And either arrangement could change as required as armies transferred in or out.
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Jim Cameron

Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.

RiaindeVoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1393

Re: 'Operational Control' and HerresGruppe
Posted on: 5/20/2018 5:48:10 PM
Its difficult to untangle the language, particularly switching from Zuber as an academic to Wikipedia as background.

From what I can gather Mackensen had full control of the 4th AH Army and his own 11th Army, but he commanded from his 11th Army HQ, and could and did form ad-hoc Armee-Gruppe of Corps and Divisions for particular tasks, which would reduce his span of control to a somewhat more manageable level.

In contrast I believe that despite being under the operational control of 2nd Army Moltke still gave orders to 1st Army. I've also seen it written that Bulow 'requested' assistance from 1st and 3rd Armies, rather than 'ordered' them to do things, but this may be a siple language thing rather than a statement about who was in command.
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Fact: The phrase "she'll be right mate" increases an Australian's healing process by 40%.

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Posts: 2331

Re: 'Operational Control' and HerresGruppe
Posted on: 5/20/2018 7:43:10 PM
A bit of each I would say.Very complicated Riain and your right about the language making it difficult as there is really no direct translation.

Heeresgruppe, Armeeabteilung, or Generalkommando are interchangeable depending on the reason for their formation. The tendency to name them after their commander ( which changed as their commander changed ) or after their Headquarters makes it also complicated.ie. Heeresgruppe Mackensen which was based around Armeeoberkommand 11 becomes Heeresgruppe Linsingen which becomes Heeresgruppe Eichorn then Heeresgruppe Riga then Heeresgruppe Kiev.

I´ll try to sort it out better.

Trevor
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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

RiaindeVoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1393

Re: 'Operational Control' and HerresGruppe
Posted on: 5/21/2018 2:18:11 AM
That this operational control wasn't named like the 1915 and later Herresgruppes were is another factor that makes me think they were different.
---------------
Fact: The phrase "she'll be right mate" increases an Australian's healing process by 40%.

Jim Cameron
North Bellmore, NY, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 764

Re: 'Operational Control' and HerresGruppe
Posted on: 5/21/2018 11:58:50 AM

Quote:
That this operational control wasn't named like the 1915 and later Herresgruppes were is another factor that makes me think they were different.
--RiaindeVoy



Was the WW1 Herresgruppe an established headquarters in the way a WW2 U.S. Army Group was?
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Jim Cameron

Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Posts: 2331

Re: 'Operational Control' and HerresGruppe
Posted on: 5/21/2018 3:28:08 PM
To make it a bit easier.

In german there are two words for the english word "Army" - Heer and Armee. Heer is the older word from feudal times and Armee influenced by the French in the 18th century when the european aristocracy all spoke french. Heer would be more used in the sense of " THE military" and Armee in the sense of " the 11th Army".

Armee-Abteilung or Army Detachment in the sense of "something detached from an Army". It is not under the command of an Army so is in itself a small Army.
Armee-Gruppe or Army Group in the sense of a group within an Army and under its command, generally formed as a temporary measure for a specific task.
Heeresgruppe or Army Group in the sense of a number of armies under a single commander.

Trevor
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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Posts: 2331

Re: 'Operational Control' and HerresGruppe
Posted on: 5/21/2018 3:40:26 PM

Quote:

Quote:
That this operational control wasn't named like the 1915 and later Herresgruppes were is another factor that makes me think they were different.
--RiaindeVoy



Was the WW1 Herresgruppe an established headquarters in the way a WW2 U.S. Army Group was?
--Jim Cameron


The Heeresgruppe headquarters would be the headquarters of the Armeeoberkommand it was based around. For example, Heeresgruppe Deutscherkronprinz HQ was at Stenay, the HQ of Fifth Army . There was no seperate HQ above. It was more the expansion of 5th Army.

Trevor
---------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

RiaindeVoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1393

Re: 'Operational Control' and HerresGruppe
Posted on: 5/21/2018 4:29:05 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:
That this operational control wasn't named like the 1915 and later Herresgruppes were is another factor that makes me think they were different.
--RiaindeVoy



Was the WW1 Herresgruppe an established headquarters in the way a WW2 U.S. Army Group was?
--Jim Cameron


The Heeresgruppe headquarters would be the headquarters of the Armeeoberkommand it was based around. For example, Heeresgruppe Deutscherkronprinz HQ was at Stenay, the HQ of Fifth Army . There was no seperate HQ above. It was more the expansion of 5th Army.

Trevor

--scoucer


Yes, Mackensen commanded his own 11th Army as well as the 4th AH Army. I imagine his orders to be along the lines of: 2 German Corps go right, 4th AH Army go left, a German Corps holds and the centre and another German Corps is the HG reserve.

However I don't believe Bulow could do this with his 'operational control', I believe he was limited to being able to order or request 1st and 3rd Armies to conform to and support his movements but they could not do the same in return.

In August 1914 6th Army's Rupprect of Bavaria had operational control of the 7th Army as well as his 6th, and he took tactical control of one of the 7th's Corps for a temporary flank guarding task without taking administrative control of that corps from 7th Army. So I guess Bulow had the same ability over 1st and 3rd, but not Kluck and Hausen over 2nd Army.
---------------
Fact: The phrase "she'll be right mate" increases an Australian's healing process by 40%.

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Posts: 2331

Re: 'Operational Control' and HerresGruppe
Posted on: 5/21/2018 5:50:30 PM

Quote:
However I don't believe Bulow could do this with his 'operational control', I believe he was limited to being able to order or request 1st and 3rd Armies to conform to and support his movements but they could not do the same in return.

In August 1914 6th Army's Rupprect of Bavaria had operational control of the 7th Army as well as his 6th, and he took tactical control of one of the 7th's Corps for a temporary flank guarding task without taking administrative control of that corps from 7th Army. So I guess Bulow had the same ability over 1st and 3rd, but not Kluck and Hausen over 2nd Army.


Basically it Riain. A significant difference being that Bülow and Rupprecht were not "superiors" as such, but in an operational situation that required it, had the "Vollmacht - authorisation" from the General Staff/Military Cabinet to do so.

Trevor
---------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

RiaindeVoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1393

Re: 'Operational Control' and HerresGruppe
Posted on: 5/23/2018 3:29:56 AM
After some digging around I have found a couple of little gems of info from THE MARNE CAMPAIGN OF 1914, BY MAJ Robert C. Schuette.

OHL placed 1st Army under the command of 2nd Army on 17 August.

Kluck assumed that OHL could provide timely orders during the attack. In fact .....Reports from the separate armies needed to travel through multiple relay stations and up to 20 hours could pass before OHL received them. .....The same process occurred when OHL sent the orders from its location to the armies themselves.

Upon receiving the order placing 1st and 3rd Armies under his command, Bülow decided to remain the commander of 2nd Army....rather than....delegating command of 2nd Army to one of his subordinates.

Bülow began issuing orders directly to corps within 1st Army. For example, on 24 August, Bülow ordered, “The IX. Corps will advance immediately west of Maubeuge to outflank the enemy’s left wing; the III. Corps will move in echelon behing the IX. Corps and confirm its movements.”

Kluck clearly felt his army was the main effort with Bülow simply staying with his flank to form the continuous German line. Bülow, now in command of all three armies could easily see how he could be the main effort considering OHL put him in command. Without clarification from OHL on the purpose of each army, both army commanders could feel they were the main effort.

On the evening of 28 August, Kluck’s headquarters received directions from OHL, freeing 1st Army from Bulow's control.
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Fact: The phrase "she'll be right mate" increases an Australian's healing process by 40%.

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