Wehrmacht Logo
The ensign is the straight-armed Balkenkreuz (also the logo of Wehrmacht).


15 October 1935


23 June 1946

Ministers responsible

Adolf Hitler (Führer)

The Heer (German pronunciation: [ˈheːɐ̯]) was the Army land forces component of the German armed forces (Wehrmacht) from 1935 to 1946, the latter also included the Navy (Kriegsmarine) and the Air Force (Luftwaffe). During the Second World War, a total of about 15 million soldiers served in the German Army, of whom about seven million became casualties.

During the period of its rebuilding by Hitler, the German Army continued to develop concepts pioneered during the First World War, combining ground (Heer) and air (Luftwaffe) assets into combined arms teams. Coupled with operational and tactical methods such as encirclements and the "battle of annihilation", the German military managed several quick victories in the two initial years of the Second World War, prompting foreign journalists to create a new word for what they witnessed, Blitzkrieg. The Wehrmacht entered the war with a majority of its Army infantry formations relying on the horse for transportation while the infantry remained foot soldiers throughout the war, artillery also remaining primarily horse-drawn.

The Wehrmacht's military strength was managed through mission-based tactics (Auftragstaktik), rather than order-based tactics and an almost proverbial discipline. In public opinion, the Wehrmacht was and is sometimes seen as a high-tech army, since new technologies that were introduced before and during World War II influenced its development of tactical doctrine.

Confronted with a huge number of German prisoners of war after VE Day, the Western Allies kept Feldjägerkommando III (a regimental-sized unit of German military police) active and armed to assist with the control of the POWs. Feldjägerkommando III remained armed and under Western Allied control until 23 June 1946, when it was finally deactivated.

In the parodies

The majority of military personnel from Downfall were members of the Heer. Soldiers appear in the battle scenes.

Each has appeared in various parodies.


Heer Generals and Officers

Heer Soldiers

Heer Vehicles/Weapons (also used by the SS)


  • The name Heer (Army) is also used for today's land German Army (Bundeswehr).
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