KRIEGSMARINE

   

Besides units of the Heer the area of operations of the Armeeoberkommando 15 also included units of the Kriegsmarine. However, the Kriegsmarine had a chain of command that was rather different from that of the Heer. Between Walcheren in the Netherlands and Cabourg in France (the area of operations of the AOK 15) units of two different Marinegruppenkommandos were involved, namely the:

  • Marinegruppenkommando West, which was responsible (within the area of operations of AOK 15) for the Belgian coast (from Blankenberge to De Panne) and for the French coast. It was established in August 1939 and dissolved on 20 October 1944, when the Marineoberkommando West was put up.

  • Marinegruppenkommando Nord, responsible (within the area of operations of AOK 15) for the Dutch coast and the small remaining part of the Belgian coast (from Blankenberge to Knokke). This command came into existence on 10 August 1940 and was dissolved on 31 July 1944.

 A further difference must also be made between sea-going and land-based units of the Kriegsmarine. The sea-going units were commanded by a Befehlshaber der Sicherung, of which there were 2 in the area of operations of the AOK 15:

  • Befehlshaber der Sicherung West, who was responsible (within the area of operations of AOK 15) for the Belgian coast (from Blankenberge to De Panne) and for the French coast. It was established in August 1939 and dissolved on 20 October 1944, when the Marineoberkommando West was put up. Initially established in Trouville in October 1940, it was dissolved and then re-established in Paris in February 1941. The command was dissolved on 30 September 1944.

  • Befehlshaber der Sicherung Nord, responsible (within the area of operations of AOK 15) for the Dutch coast and the small remaining part of the Belgian coast (from Blankenberge to Knokke). It was established in October 1937 and dissolved in January 1945.

The land-based units of the Kriegsmarine were commanded by a Kommandant der Seeverteidigung or Seekommandant for short (themselves subordinated to an admiral), of whom there were again 2 in the area of operations of the AOK 15:

  • Seekommandant Pas-de-Calais, who was responsible (within the area of operations of AOK 15) for the area between the Somme and Blankenberge. It was established in December 1941 and dissolved in October 1944.

  • Seekommandant Süd-Holland, responsible (within the area of operations of AOK 15) for the Dutch coast and the small remaining part of the Belgian coast (from Blankenberge to Knokke)It was established in June 1940 and dissolved in November 1944.

In addition to the above, however, troops and ships were still held in readiness throughout the war to man the ships which were supposed to transport German troops across the Channel for the planned invasion of Britain. These were commanded by an Admiral der Seebefehlsstellen. This command was established in March 1941 and remained operational throughout the war until November 1944. The Admiral der Seebefehlsstellen was also the administrative superior of all Marinehafenabteilungen, Flottillenstammregimenter, Transportflottillen, Artillerieträgerflottillen and, of course, Landungsflottillen.

This complex situation is made clear in the following clickable schema (with commanders on 1 June 1944): 

Separate mention should be made of a unit which reported directly to the Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine, the Marinepeilabteilung Flandern. Full details on this unit can be found here.