Swiss 3rd Army Corps - May 10, 1940

[Task and Position] [Order of Battle] [Gruppe Dietikon] [Fortresses]

The Position of the line along the Limmat river, the Limmatstellung is well documented in the book [Limmat]. Also the OB for the border defenses is well documented.

The Position of the divisions along the Limmatstellung is extremely well documented in the book mentioned above. The positions of the border brigade 6 (Gz Br 6) is also well documented.

Task and Position

The 3rd corps had the task to defend the line of Turgi (E of the Aare River) - Limmat River - Zurich - Lake of Zurich (up to Thalwil). For this task it was assigned 3 reinforced divisions and the city command of Zurich (probably with two or three regiments). The terrain chosen for the main line of defense was pretty strong. A potential enemy would have to break through the border defenses and the organize for the main attack in a less than favorable terrain North of the Limmat. The line was set into very strong terrain South of the Limmat river and the main towns South of the river were turned into small fortresses.

In addition the corps had to delay the enemy starting at the frontier at the Rhine river between Koblenz and Stein am Rhein. For this task it was assigned a border brigade and a light brigade.

Its task was defined in the Operationsbefehl No 4 as follows:

"3. A.K. hält den Mittelabschnitt der Armeestellung von Bendlikon bis Limmatmündung. Der linke Flügel zwischen Killwangen und Turgi/Windisch ist besonders stark zu machen."

"The 3rd Army Corps holds the middle sector of the Army position between Bendlikon up to the delta of the Limmat river. The left wing between Killwangen and Turgi/Windisch has to be made especially strong."

For this task the Swiss 3rd corps had one division and five brigades under its command:

Forward Positions

Main Position

Gruppe Dietikon

During the period of the "Drôle de Guerre" between September 1939 and May 1940 only the 8th and the 6th division were in their positions. Due to the neutral position of Switzerland the 1st division had to remain in the Western part of Switzerland.

Therefore a special task force called Gruppe Dietikon was formed with the task to prepare the positions between the 6th and the 8th division.

Order of Battle

(click on the units to get to more detailed OOBs)

The 3rd Army Corps fielded the following force:

Men*) ca 85'632
LMG 2'433
Laf LMG 693
sMG 964
81mm Mortar 220
47mm ATG**) 170
75mm Feldgeschütz 116
105mm sch mot Kan 56
120mm Feldhaubitze 36
150mm Feldhaubitze 16

*) Combatant units only.
**) Actually a field gun. Mostly used in ATG role.

Commanding Officer: Oberstkorpskommandant Miescher

Fortresses

One small fortress was built at Rüdlingen which had two 75mm guns in May 1940.

To support the main line of defense two additional fortresses were built at Bremgarten and at Bonstetten using obsolete 84mm cannons.

[Last Update 30.08.2010]