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:
The general staff was composed as follows:
On 1 February 1944 the then Ia Hauptmann Erasmus was succeeded by Major Karbe.
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:
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
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:
A photo report of the bunkers of this headquarters can be found here.
|KVA A1 KVA A2 KVA A3 Abschnitt Antwerpen|