he German Army was divided into three army groups:
- Army Group A commanded by Gerd von Rundstedt, composed of 45½ divisions including seven armoured, was to execute the decisive movement, cutting a"Sichelschnitt" — not the official name of the operation but the translation in German of a phrase after the events coined by Winston Churchill as "Sickle Cut" (and even earlier "armoured scythe stroke") — through the Allied defenses in the Ardennes. It consisted of three armies: the Fourth, Twelfth and Sixteenth. It had three Panzer corps; one, XV Army Corps, had been allocated to the Fourth Army, but the other two — XXXXI Army Corps including the 2nd Motorised Infantry Division and XIX Army Corps — were united, together with XIV Army Corps of two motorised infantry divisions, on a special independent operational level in Panzergruppe Kleist. This was done to better coordinate the approach march to the Meuse river; once bridgeheads had been established they had again to be divided among Twelfth and Sixteenth Army andPanzergruppe Kleist abolished.