LXXXIX ARMEEKORPS

 

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1. HISTORY

 

Originally, the Westerschelde formed the northern boundary between the 15 Armee and the LXXXVIII Armeekorps. The latter was not part of the 15 Armee, but rather of the territorial command in the Netherlands, the Wehrmachtsbefehlshaber in den Niederlanden, General der Flieger Christiansen.

However, von Rundstedt felt it was irresponsible to have such an important estuary form the boundary between two military commands. Hence, in the summer of 1942, his Einzelbefehl 26 ordered the islands of Walcheren, Noord-Beveland, and Zuid-Beveland; and the Belgian coast until south of Blankenberge to be established as one single command under the overall command of the 15 Armee. On 31 July 1942, it was ordered the name of this special command would be Generalkommando Y, changed on 9 August to Generalkommando Schelde. On 25 October the name was finally changed to that of the occupying corps, LXXXIX Armeekorps. Finally, its area was expanded to include the remaining part of the Belgian coast on 11 November 1942.

 The Corps participated in the security of the Belgian coast, both banks of the Schelde estuary and the Antwerp area until the Allied invasion of Normandy.

From July through September 1944 it defended German positions in Belgium and the Netherlands and in October 1944 it withdrew southward to defend Alsace, From December 1944 to February 1945 it took part in position defense along the West Wall in the Karlsruhe-Speyer area.

 

2. COMMANDING GENERALS AND GENERAL STAFF

 

The corps had the following commanders:

 

Generalleutnant Otto-Ernst Ottenbacher 02.08.42 - 14.08.42
General der Panzertruppen Alfred Ritter von Hubicki 14.08.42 - 11.08.43
General der Infanterie Werner Freiherr von und zu Gilsa 11.08.43 - 23.11.44
General der Infanterie Gustav Höhne 23.11.44 - 00.04.45

pictures from www.unithistories.com
Generalleutnant Otto-Ernst Ottenbacher General der Panzertruppen  von Hubicki General der Infanterie von und zu Gilsa General der Infanterie Gustav Höhne

The general staff was composed as follows:

Chef des Generalstabes Major iG Winkelbrandt 02.08.42 - 31.08.42
Oberstleiunant iG von Boeltzig 31.08.42 - 16.04.43
Oberst iG Ulrich 16.04.43 - 10.08.44
Major iG Karbe (in Vertretung) 10.08.44 - 29.08.44
Major iG Zetsche (in Vertretung) 29.08.44 - 22.09.44
Oberst iG Eckstein 22.09.44 - 22.10.44
Oberstleutnant iG Reschke 22.10.44 - 00.00.45

On 1 February 1944 the then Ia Hauptmann Erasmus was succeeded by Major Karbe.

3. ORGANISATION

On June 1 1944 the commanding general was General der Infanterie von und zu Gilsa. At the coasts he commanded three divisions which were permanently stationed there. Each division defended a predetermined sector, the so-called Küstenverteitigungsabschnit or KVA. On 1 June the corps had the following KVAs and divisions:

  • KVA A1:    Walcheren, Noord-Beveland, Zuid-Beveland                165 Reservedivision
  • KVA A2:    Terneuzen to Blankenberge                                         712 Infanteriedivision
  • KVA A3:    Blankenberge to the Belgian-French border                   48 Infanteriedivision

The general commanding each division was at the same time also the commander of the KVA. In the Flemish hinterland another defence sector was established around the second largest port in Europe, Antwerpen, the Abschnitt Antwerpen.

The following clickable map shows the various Küstenverteitigungsabschnitte. Clicking on them will lead you to further information on each division and photographs of its strongpoints and bunkers.

4. KORPSTRUPPEN and other officers

Korpsnachrichtenabteilung 489    
Korpsnachschubtruppen 489    
Festungsstammabteilung LXXXIX Oberst Otto Gajer  (also Stabsoffizier für Marschüberwachung)  
Feldgendarmerietrupp 437    
Artilleriekommandeur 189
(from November 1944: Arko 489)
Oberst Nieper
Oberst
Wolf Alexander Graf von Luckner
01.03.43 - 06.05.43
06.05.43 - 10.01-44
NS-Führungsoffizier Oberleutnant Dr Kirsch  
Stabsoffizier für Panzerbekämpfung Oberleutnant Klumpp  

5. HEADQUARTERS

The headquarters of the corps were established in the Nachtegalenpark in Wilrijk, close to Antwerpen.

On 11 June 1943 the LXXXIX issued order for the defence of its own headquarters in the Nachtegalenpark in Antwerp. The strongpoint commander was Major von Schenkendorff. Subordinated to him were various (alarm) units: the Sicherungskompanie, the two Alarmzüge of the headquarters staff and the Alarmeinheiten of the Korpsnachrichtenabteilung, Flakregimentsstab 95, Sicherheitsdienst, Feldgendarmerie and the Admiral der Seebefehlstellen.The mission of these forces was the defence of the corps headquarters in close cooperation with the nearby strongpoint of the Korpsnachrichtenabteilung. When Alarmstufe II was declared or by special order of the Chef des Generalstabes the following actions were planned:

  • The Sicherungskompanie was to man the outer security perimeter with two if its three platoons, while the third platoon was to be kept in reserve. The two guns (Pak?) were to be placed in position.

  • Both alarm platoons of the corps headquarters staff (55 men) were to assemble under Hauptmann Dieter at the two predifined Alarmplätzen: the first platoon at the park entrance opposite the Ia building and the second platoon at the Kasinoeingang (i.e. entrance close to the officers' mess). After assembly, and in the absence of specific orders, the two platoons were to be kept in reserve in the air-raid cellars of the Ia and Ic buildings.

  • The Alarmeinheiten of the Sicherheitsdienst, Feldgendarmerie and the Admiral der Seebefehlstellen were to be kept in reserve in their quarters. The unit of the Flakregimentsstab 95 was initially to be reserved for air force missions. In the absence of these, the unit was to take cover in the cellar of the headquarters building. As soon as the personnal bunkers in the park were completed, the various alarm units would take cover here.

  • In the event of an overwhelming attack it might become necessary to give up the outer defence perimeter and withdraw to the inner defence perimeter. The latter perimeter was to be kept at all cost.

  • The military personnel allocated the bunkers at the time of an attack were to defend their bunker, led by the Ia in the Führungsbunker  and the Quartiermeister in the Quartiermeisterbunker.

  • A medical post was to be established in the Quartiermeisterbunker and after completion of the sanitary bunker in the latter.

  • The Gefechtsstand of the strongpoint commander was to be located in the Führungsbunker.

A photo report of the bunkers of this headquarters can be found here.

   

 

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