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(German, Heeresgruppe), the highest operational-strategic unit of the ground forces in a theater of military action in the armed forces of some foreign states; it corresponds to the Soviet concept of the front.
The army group as a form of amalgamation of ground forces and as a level of control over them appeared at the end of 1914 and beginning of 1915 during World War I in the Anglo-French and German armies. During World War II (1939–45), the fascist German ground forces were consolidated into several army groups (there were three to four on the Soviet-German front), each of which included two to four field armies and reinforcements. After 1942 the fascist German army also had Armeegruppe, which were temporary amalgamations usually consisting of two armies which performed missions in a certain operational sector. The Anglo-American forces in the Western European theater of military operations during 1944—45 were joined into three army groups.
In the postwar period army groups in the US armed forces and in the NATO unified armed forces have included field armies, detached army corps, and other large units of the ground forces. The army group usually cooperates with a consolidated tactical air command or with a tactical air command.