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Oberkommando des Heeres

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The Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH) was Germany's Army High Command from 1936 to 1945. In theory the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) commanded the OKH. However, the de facto situation after 1941 was that the OKW directly commanded operations on the Western front while the OKH commanded the Russian front.

There also existed the Oberkommando der Marine (OKM) and the Oberkommando der Luftwaffe (OKL) for the navy and the air force respectively. These were theoretically subordinate to the OKW, but in actuality acted quite independently.

The Army commanders (Oberbefehlshaber des Heeres, or OBdH for short) of the Wehrmacht were,

Following German tradition the OBdH did not plan operations. This task was left to the General Staff, so actually the most important man in the Army (and the Navy, but less so in the Luftwaffe, which was commanded by Hermann Göring) was the chief of the general staff (Chef des Generalstabs des Heeres, or Chef GenStdH for short). It should be noted that the Heer (army) always has been the leading factor in planning campaigns. Thus there was no such thing as combined planning of the different services. The position of Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, which was by definition superior to the OKH, was not intended for that, nor did it have the resources to do so.

Later in the war, the OKH became responsible for fewer and fewer tasks. For example, the invasion of Norway was entirely planned outside the OKH.

During World War II, the Chiefs of General Staff were,

When Hitler took command of the army on 19 Dec 1941, the importance of the GenStdH decreased, and Hitler continued to become more and more responsible for operational planning.

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