Hello Indy and gang! What was the level of coordination between German army and others e.g. Romanian, Finnish or Slovak, did they just follow German orders or did they act somewhat independently?

Hello Indy and gang! What was the level of coordination between German army and others e.g. Romanian, Finnish or Slovak, did they just follow German orders or did they act somewhat independently?

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Speaking for Finland here… Finns and Germans had their own command structures and separate areas of operations. Some units were assigned to each others commend for various reasons however. For example most of the German 163rd Infantry Division was in 1941 under Finnish command (and failed to impress the Finns) mainly for the purposes of the intended ‘handshake at Svir’. While the Finnish III AK (3rd Army Corps with 3rd and 6th Infantry Divisions) on the other hand was in 1941 under the German command in the German area of operations in Finnish Lapland.

However commands were not unified which caused fair bit of operational issues as the Finnish units of the 3rd Army Corps also followed by the Finnish commands past the Germans which is often stated to have been the reason why the push towards the Murmansk line in autumn of 1941 failed. In essence Germans ordered advance but Finnish political and military leadership told the commander to not to do so. These lead to the majority of units being turned over to their own commands in 1942.

Beyond those it was actually fairly rare for the units (be their air, land or sea) to operate together let alone even under a temporary unified command. Even the Gulf of Finland was split into regions where either the Finnish or the German naval and aerial units operated but not both unless explicitly requested. This separation was part of the Finnish conditions to even take part to the fighting.

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With regards to Romania, there was significant coordination between the Heer (Germany Army) and the Royal Romanian Army. They fought often together on the Eastern front, and at Stalingrad, the flanks of the Heer were defended by both Romanian troops and Italian ones as well. Most of the heavy fighting by the Romanian army was done in the first part of the campaign, particularly around Odessa and less more afterwards as the High Command decided it wasn’t necessary to bring out the whole army now that the objective (main one at least) was achieved.

However, Marshal Antonescu (head of the Romanian Army) was fighting also a more personal battle, trying to get back Northern Transylvania by getting into Hitler’s good graces. This meant that although the objective was achieved and the Army was satisfied, Antonescu pressed onwards and hence why a lot of heavy fighting was done by the German Army after 1942.

Coordination was extensive and at some point, general Petre Dumitrescu (Royal Romanian Army General and second in command to Antonescu) was in fact leading German troops on the frontline far into the campaign in 1942. The troops operated together very frequently and Dumitrescu was a key figure in the German High Command even if he was from Romania.

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