The German Military System


I. Total War

The Germans have long devoted a large part of their national energies to both the study and the application of the science of war. The German Army which was built up under the Nazi regime and which challenged the world in 1939 was the final product of this study. It represented the fruition of decades of long-range planning, organization, experimentation, and mechanical development directed toward the sole end of creating a military instrument which would be a match for any foreseeable combination of adversaries. Supported by the entire economic, political, and psychological resources of a totalitarian government, it was destined to overrun almost the whole of Europe in a series of victorious campaigns unequalled since the days of Napoleon. The three greatest nations on earth were forced to muster all their human and material power to crush the German military machine by the only possible method--overwhelming superiority of force.

Total war is neither a modern invention nor a German monopoly. But total mobilization, in the sense of the complete and scientific control of all the efforts of the nation for the purposes of war, and total utilization of war as an instrument of national policy have been developed to their highest degree by the German militarists. Central control and careful coordination, by qualified experts, of a military machine which is built with all the best available materials and put together for the highest efficiency of operation have been the secret of such military victories as the Germans have achieved.

It is the purpose of this Handbook to describe this military machine in all its aspects. No one of the supporting pillars of the German Army--its personnel, its High Command, its administrative structure, its unit organization, its weapons, its tactical doctrines--can stand or fall alone. The various chapters and sections which follow must be studied together as various facets of a whole.

2. The German Army Today

When the German Panzer divisions struck out across the Polish frontier at dawn on 1 September 1939, no one could predict the scope, intensity, and duration of the armed conflict which they were precipitating. The German Army then was fresh, vigorous, expansive, and obviously superior to its contemporaries. Its weapons were new and shiny; its tactics and techniques--the old doctrines adapted to the new conditions--were untried; its officers and men were young and full of enthusiasm. A career of easy conquest seemed to open up before it.

After five and a half years of ever growing battle against ever-stronger enemies, the German Army in 1945 looks, at first glance, much the worse for wear. It is beset on all sides and is short of everything. It has suffered appalling casualties and must resort to old men, boys, invalids, and unreliable foreigners for its cannon fodder. Its weapons and tactics seem not to have kept pace with those of the armies opposing it; its supply system in the field frequently breaks down. Its position is obviously hopeless, and it can only be a question of time until the last German soldier is disarmed, and the once proud German Army of the great Frederick and of Scharnhorst, of Ludendorff and of Hitler, exists no more as a factor to be reckoned with.

Yet this shabby, war-weary machine has struggled on in a desperate effort to postpone its inevitable demise. At the end of 1944 it was still able to mount an offensive calculated to delay for months the definitive piercing of the western


bulwarks of Germany. Despite the supposed chronic disunity at the top, disaffection among the officer corps, and disloyalty in the rank and file, despite the acute lack of weapons, ammunition, fuel, transport, and human reserves, the German Army seems to function with its old precision and to overcome what appear to be insuperable difficulties with remarkable speed. Only by patient and incessant hammering from all sides can its collapse be brought about.

The cause of this toughness, even in defeat, is not generally appreciated. It goes much deeper than the quality of weapons, the excellence of training and leadership, the soundness of tactical and strategic doctrine, or the efficiency of control at all echelons. It is to be found in the military tradition which is so deeply ingrained in the whole character of the German nation and which alone makes possible the interplay of these various factors of strength to their full effectiveness.

The German Army of 1939 was a model of efficiency, the best product of the concentrated military genius of the most scientifically military of nations. A study of the German Army of 1945, however, older and wiser, hardened and battle-tested, cornered and desperate as it is, will show best how this military science and military genius operate in the practical exigencies of long-drawn-out total war.


1. Fanatic or Weakling?

The German soldier who faces the Allies on the home fronts in 1945 is a very different type from the members of the Army of 1939 which Hitler called "an Army such as the world has never seen". The German soldier is one of several different types depending on whether he is a veteran of 4 or 5 years, or a new recruit. The veteran of many fronts and many retreats is a prematurely aged, war weary cynic, either discouraged and disillusioned or too stupefied to have any thought of his own. Yet he is a seasoned campaigner, most likely a noncommissioned officer, and performs his duties with the highest degree of efficiency.

The new recruit, except in some crack SS units, is either too young or too old and often in poor health.

He has been poorly trained for lack of time but, if too young, he makes up for this by a fanaticism bordering on madness. If too old, he is driven by the fear of what his propagandists have told him will happen to the Fatherland in case of an Allied victory, and even more by the fear of what he has been told will happen to him and his family if he does not carry out orders exactly as given. Thus even the old and sick perform, to a certain point, with the courage of despair.

The German High Command has been particularly successful in placing the various types of men where they best fit, and in selecting those to serve as cannon fodder, who are told to hold out to the last man, while every effort is made to preserve the elite units, which now are almost entirely part of the Waffen-SS. The German soldier in these units is in a preferred category and is the backbone of the German Armed Forces. He is pledged never to surrender and has no moral code except allegiance to his organization. There is no limit to his ruthlessness.

The mentality of the German soldier of 1945 is the final result of that policy of militarism which, even in the 19th century, caused a famous German general to recommend that soldiers should be trained to ask of their superiors: "Master, order us where we may die."

2. Manpower Problems

a. ANNUAL CLASS SYSTEM. When Hitler reintroduced general conscription in 1935, the greatest possible care was taken to create a strong military force without disrupting the economic life of the nation. Men were registered by annual classes and during the years before the war those of the older classes were called only in small groups to attend training exercises of limited duration. Even for the younger classes, all feasible arrangements were made for the deferment of students and of those engaged in necessary occupations. Men accepted for active service were called to the colors by individual letter rather than by public announcement for their annual class. This system was continued in the gradual mobilization which preceded the outbreak of the war in such a way that the wartime Army could be built up organically and the normal course of life was not seriously upset.

b. WAR DEVELOPMENTS. As long as the war was conducted on a limited scale, the Armed Forces were very liberal in granting occupational and medical discharges. As the war progressed and grew in scope and casualties mounted, it became necessary to recall many of these men and eventually to reach increasingly into both the older and the younger age groups.


After Germany changed from the offensive to the defensive in 1943, it became both possible and necessary to transfer an increasing number of Air Force and naval personnel to the Army, to enforce "voluntary" enlistment in the Waffen-SS, and to commit line-of-communication units to regular combat not only against partisans but against regular enemy forces.

The increasingly heavy losses of the Russian campaign forced Hitler to cancel his order exempting "last sons" of decimated families and fathers of large families from front-line combat duty. Prisons and concentration camps were combed out for men who could be used in penal combat units with the inducement of possible later reinstatement of their civic rights.

Although a "total mobilization" was carried out in the spring of 1943, after Stalingrad, it became necessary by the end of that year to lower the physical classification standards drastically and to register men up to 60 years of age for military service. Even men with severe stomach ailments were drafted into special-diet battalions. During the summer of 1944, civilian occupations were reduced to an absolutely necessary minimum. Finally, the remaining male civilians from 16 to 60 were made liable for home defense combat service in the "Volkssturm" and even Hitler Youth boys and girls were called up as auxiliaries.

Along with these measures there went a continuous reorganization of combat as well as administrative units for the purpose of increasing efficiency and saving personnel.

The strength of divisions was lowered while their firepower was increased and their components were made more flexible. Severe comb-outs were made among rear-area personnel and technical specialists. The strongest possible measures were introduced against waste of manpower, inefficiency, and desertions, particularly after the Army was brought under the ever increasing control of the SS, in the summer and autumn of 1944.

After the Allied breakthrough in France, Himmler was appointed Commander of the Replacement Army and as such made the Waffen-SS the backbone of German national defense. Whole units of the Air Force and Navy were taken over and trained by the Waffen-SS and then distributed among depleted field units. The organization and employment of the Volkssturm is under Himmler's direct control.

The complicated record system of the Armed Forces was maintained in principle but streamlined for the sake of saving manpower.

c. FOREIGN ELEMENTS. (1) Original policy. In their attempts to solve their ever acute manpower problems, the Germans have not neglected to make the fullest possible use of foreign elements for almost every conceivable purpose and by almost every conceivable method. Originally, great stress was laid on keeping the Armed Forces nationally "pure". Jews and Gypsies were excluded from military service. Foreign volunteers were not welcomed. Germans residing abroad and possessing either German or dual citizenship were rounded up through the German consulates from 1937 on. When Germany set out to invade other countries, beginning with Austria, only the inhabitants of these countries who were held to be of German or related blood became liable to German military service; the Czech minority in Austria, for example, was exempted.

(2) Recruiting of foreigners. With the invasion of Russia in June 1941, German propagandists set themselves to the task of changing the whole aspect of the war from a national German affair to a "European war of liberation from Communism". In this way the Nazis were able to obtain a considerable number of volunteers from occupied and even neutral countries, who were organized in combat units of their own in German uniforms and under German training. The original policy was to incorporate racially related "Germanic" people, such as the Dutch and Scandinavians, into the Waffen-SS and non-Germanic people such as the Croats into the Army. When the failures in Russia and other increasing difficulties began to affect the morale of the foreigners, their "voluntary recruitment" became more and more a matter of compulsion and their service in separate national units had to be brought under more rigid supervision. The organization of such units, therefore, was turned over in increasing measure to the Waffen-SS, even in the case of racially non-Germanic elements.

At the same time, it became necessary for the Army to fill its own depleted German units by adding a certain percentage of foreign recruits. This was done partly by declaring the inhabitants of annexed territories, such as the Polish Corridor, to be "racial Germans" (Volksdeutsche),


making them provisional German citizens subject to induction into the Armed Forces. A considerable source of manpower was Soviet prisoners of war of different national origins. Some of these were put into regular German units as "racial" Germans; others were employed in such units as "auxiliary volunteers". Separate national units also were created from Cossacks and from the numerous peoples who inhabit the Caucasus and Turkestan and are collectively referred to by the Germans as "Eastern Peoples" (Ostvölker). Every possible inducement has been used for the recruiting of foreigners, including their religion, as in the case of the Mohammedans in the Balkans. Only in the case of Jews and Gypsies was the original policy of exclusion not only upheld but extended during the war to include those of 50 per cent Jewish descent.

3. Duties and Rights of the Soldier

a. THE OATH. Every German soldier, upon induction, is compelled to affirm his legally established military obligation by means of the following oath (vow, for atheists): "I swear by God this holy oath (I vow) that I will render unconditional obedience to the Fuhrer of Germany and of her people, Adolf Hitler, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and that, as a brave soldier, I will be prepared to stake my life for this oath (vow) at any time." If, because of an oversight, the oath has not been administered to a soldier, he is held to be in the same position as though he had sworn it; the oath is regarded only as the affirmation of an inherent legal duty.

b. MILITARY DISCIPLINE. The German system of military discipline is rigorous, and excesses are severely punished. In principle, absolute and unquestioning obedience towards superiors is required. However, since the summer of 1944, when the Army came under the political influence of the Nazi Party, new orders were issued providing that disloyal superiors not only need not be obeyed but in emergencies may be liquidated by their own men. Officers who do not lead their men into combat or show other signs of cowardice or who, for any reason, mutilate themselves, are normally condemned to death. Divisional commanders and other high-ranking combat officers are specifically ordered to set an example of leadership in the front lines; this explains the high casualty rate among German generals.

Traditionally, German superior officers were addressed only indirectly, in the third person, as "Herr Major is absolutely right." Hitler, however, is addressed directly as "My Leader". Therefore, the Nazis made use of the direct form of address toward superior officers at first optional, then compulsory. Superior officers and noncommissioned officers are addressed as "Mr." (Herr) followed by their rank; in the Waffen-SS, however, only by their rank: "Herr Leutnant!", but "Untersturmfuhrer!"

Originally, a distinction was made between the regular military salute and the "German salutation" (Deutscher Gruss) which consists of saying "Heil Hitler!" with the right arm outstretched. In August 1944 the latter type of salute was made compulsory throughout. Everyone salutes his own superiors as well as others entitled to a salute according to the following general rules: Every officer is the superior of all lower-ranking officers and all enlisted men; every noncommissioned officer is the superior of all privates; every noncommissioned officer in one of the first three grades is the superior of lower-grade noncommissioned officers in his own unit. There is no general rank superiority otherwise among noncommissioned officers or among the various grades of privates; however, all members of the Armed Forces are obligated to "greet" one another as a matter of military etiquette.

Members of the Armed Forces are forbidden to associate with foreigners even if they are racially related; marriages between soldiers and non-German women are subject to approval, which is given only after a very thorough investigation; the offspring of such marriages are considered to be German. In the Waffen-SS, such marriages are entirely prohibited for German personnel.

Men who severely and repeatedly violate military discipline, but not to an extent that warrants a death sentence, are transferred to correction battalions for a probationary period and given arduous and dangerous assignments; if incorrigible, they are then turned over to the police for extreme punishment.

c. PRESERVATION OF HONOR. Honor is considered the soldier's highest possession. Except in extreme cases, he may be given the opportunity to redeem himself for a dishonorable action by a heroic death in battle or, in milder cases, by exceptionally brave and meritorious service in the lowest grade of private to which he is reduced from his former rank. However, there also exists a rigid personal honor code for officers. Under


its provisions, they are obligated to defend their own personal honor as well as the good name of their wives by every possible means and are held to account for violations committed by themselves or their wives. According to the German conception, special honor rules apply to officers and those civilians who are socially their equals. These rules provide in extreme cases for settlement by duel with pistols until one of the two parties is fully incapacitated. This is a leftover from feudal times; before Hitler's assumption of power, a half-hearted attempt was made to outlaw duelling by officers, but the penalties provided were light and did not carry moral stigma. It is significant that under Hitler, duelling of officers was legalized in cases where all efforts at settlement by an officers' court of honor (appointed by a regimental or higher commander) fail; however, for duels between two officers, but not between an officer and a civilian, a decision must first be obtained from the Commander-in-Chief of the Army. Their medieval conception of honor has a strong influence on the mentality and actions of many German officers. An officer is obligated to react to deliberate insults instantaneously, in a positive and masterly fashion, and to protect other officers from becoming the object of public disgrace.

In the SS, "qualified" enlisted men (i.e. those who carry the dagger) are subject to the same honor rules as officers, being obligated to "defend their honor by force of arms".

4. Morale Factors

a. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN OFFICERS AND MEN. The opening of the officer's career to the common German man of the people was a revolutionary change in the German social system brought about by Hitler. It has created an entirely different type of relationship among the ranks than existed in the armies of Imperial Germany.

No one can become an officer without being a certified Nazi, even if not a member of the Party, and without being considered capable of imbuing his men with the Nazi spirit. Thus, the social mingling between officers and men in off-duty hours, which has been encouraged by the Nazis to some extent, appears to have a strong propagandist purpose. A sincere personal interest of the officer in his men is encouraged, the all-important requirement being that he must have their confidence. In case of death, the soldier's next of kin receive their firstnotification through a personal letter from hiscompany commander, which is handed to themby the local leader of the Nazi Party.

b. POLITICS IN THE ARMED FORCES. Traditionally, all German military personnel is barred from all political activities including the right to vote. Hitler, when introducing general conscription, maintained this tradition in order to obtain the full support of the military and decreed that membership in the Nazi Party and all political activities would be dormant during the period of any man's active service. In the later stages of the war, however, serious reverses and the increasing danger of sagging morale caused the official introduction of politics into the German Armed Forces. This occurred progressively from the latter part of 1943 on, by appointment of National-Socialist guidance officers (NS-Führungsoffiziere) on all staffs, the organization of political meetings, and other efforts at raising morale, as well as through the merciless terrorization of wavering officers and soldiers by the "strong men" of the Waffen-SS.

c. AWARDS. A very extended and clever use has been made of honorary titles for units, medals and awards for individual achievements, and commemorative decorations for participation in outstanding combat engagements. It is significant, for instance, that because the German is basically averse to hand-to-hand combat, the golden close-combat bar was created in 1944, which is bestowed by Hitler personally at his headquarters, as the highest honor offered the German soldier. Himmler shortly thereafter created the golden partisan-combat bar which he bestows personally at his headquarters. The requirements for winning either bar are extremely severe so that soldiers will do their utmost. Awards and decorations may be held to have acted as very important morale-builders for the German Armed Forces.

5. Ranks

a. RANK GROUPS AND CLASSES. German soldiers are divided into the following four rank-groups:

  1. Officers (Offiziere):
    1st rank class: general officers (Generale).
    2nd rank class: field officers (Stabsoffiziere).
    3rd rank class: captains (Hauptleute und Rittmeister).
    4th rank class: lieutenants (Leutnante).

  2. Musicians (activities suspended in November 1944).


  1. Noncommissioned Officers (Unteroffiziere):
    1st rank class: fortress shop-foremen and horseshoeing instructors (see table).
    2d rank class: noncommissioned officers of the 1st, 2d, and 3d grades. (Unteroffiziere mit Portepee)
    3d rank class: officer candidates and noncommissioned officers of the 4th and 5th grades. (Fähnriche und Unteroffiziere ohne Portepee)

  2. Privates (Mannschaften).

    Figures 1 and 2 show tables of U.S. and German equivalent ranks.

b. OFFICERS. Nearly all German officer ranks correspond to U.S. Army rank, although their terminology differs for general officers, a Generalmajor being the equivalent of a brigadier general. The functions, however, do not always correspond. This is partly due to the fact that German wartime ranks are permanent, which makes it often impossible for German officers to be promoted to the higher rank which their wartime appointment actually would warrant.

c. NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICERS. The noncommissioned officer ranks are divided into two groups: the first group corresponds to the first three grades in the U.S. Army. There is no rank of first sergeant; rather, this is a position usually held by a master sergeant or technical sergeant. A corporal in the German Army functions as acting sergeant and normally is promoted to the rank of staff sergeant rather than sergeant; as to the latter rank, see paragraph e.

d. PRIVATES. There are three grades in the group which correspond to U.S. privates first class, and a soldier may be promoted from any of them to become a corporal. They may be described as chief private first class in administrative position (Stabsgefreiter), senior private first class who functions as acting corporal (Obergefreiter), and ordinary private first class (Gefreiter). A soldier cannot become chief private first class without having been a senior private first class. In most branches there are senior privates first class (Obergrenadiere in infantry, Oberkanoniere in artillery; the Oberjäger, however, in the light, mountain, and parachute divisions, is a corporal) and ordinary privates (Grenadiere, Kanoniere, etc.).

e. PROMOTION OF ENLISTED MEN. In most branches, a soldier cannot become a private first class without having been a senior private and he cannot become a corporal without having been

U.S. Army Equivalent German Basic Rank Special Designation Type of Personnel
General of the Army Generalfeldmarschall    
General Generaloberst    
Lieutenant General   General der Infanterie, etc.
Infantry, etc.
Major General Generalleutnant Generalstabs-
etc. as above
Medical, etc. as above
Brigadier General Generalmajor General-
etc. as above
Medical, etc. as above
Colonel Oberst Oberst-
etc. as above
Medical, etc. as above
Lieutenant Colonel Oberstleutnant Oberfeld-
etc. as above
Medical, etc. as above
Major Major Oberstabs-
etc. as above
Medical, etc. as above
Captain Hauptmänn Rittmeister (cav) Stabs-
etc. as above
Medical, etc. as above
First Lieutenant Oberleutnant Ober-
Second Lieutenant Leutnant Assistenz-

Figure 1.--Table of officer ranks.


U.S. Army Equivalent German Basic Rank Special Designation Type of Personnel
none   Festungsober-Werkmeister Fortress Chief Shop man
Oberhufbeschlags-Lehrmeister Chief Horseshoeing Instructor
none   Festungs-Werkmeister Fortress Shop-Foreman
Hufbeschlags-Lehrmeister Horseshoeing Instructor
Master Sergeant Stabsfeldwebel Stabs--  
      Wachtmeister Arty, Cav, AA
      Beschlagmeister Horseshoeing
      Feuerwerker Ordnance
      Schirrmeister Supply
      Funkmeister Signal
      Brieftaubenmeister Pigeoneer
Technical Sergeant Oberfeldwebel Ober--  
      Wachtmeister etc., as above Arty, Cav, AA as above
      Oberfähnrich Senior Officer Candidate
      Arzt Medical
      Veterinär Veterinary
Staff Sergeant Feldwebel Wachtmeister etc., as above Arty, Cav, AA as above
    Fahnenjunker-Feldwebel Advanced Officer Candidate
Sergeant Unterfeldwebel Unterwachtmeister Arty, Cav, AA
    Fahnenjunker Officer Candidate
Corporal Unteroffizier Oberjäger Light and Mt Inf.
Private First Class      
(administrative) Stabsgefreiter Hauptgefreiter Air Force
(acting corporal) Obergefreiter    
(ordinary) Gefreiter    
  (Senior) Obersoldat
  (collective term)
Armored Infantry
      Oberschütze Tanks, Antitank
      Kanonier Artillery
      Pionier Engineers
      Funker Signal
      Fahrer Transport (horse-drawn)
      Kraftfahrer Motor Transport
      Sanitätssoldat Medical
  (ordinary) Soldat
  (collective term)
    Panzer-Grenadier (Schutze) Armored Infantry
    Jager Light Mountain Infantry
    Flieger Air Force
    Reiter, etc., as above Cavalry, etc., as above

Figure 2.--Table of enlisted ranks.


Promotions to all noncommissioned officer ranks except sergeant and master sergeant normally are dependent upon tables of organization, in addition to the following specifications:

From To After 4 months service in  
combat unit other field unit
Private First Class (Ordinary, Senior, Chief) Corporal 2 years total service no limitation  
Corporal or Sergeant Staff Sergeant 1 year in grade 2 years in grade  
Corporal or Sergeant or Staff Sergeant Technical Sergeant in First Sergeant position 1 year in grade 2 years in grade  
Staff Sergeant Technical Sergeant 1 year in grade 2 years in grade  
From To After 4 months service in  
combat unit other field unit Otherwise
after a total active service period of: after
Senior Private Private First Class (Ordinary) 6 months 1 year 2 years
Private First Class (Ordinary) Senior Private First Class 2 years 2 years 3 years
Senior Private First Class Chief Private First Class 5 years (2 in grade) 5 years (2 in grade) 6 years (2 in grade)

at least an ordinary private first class (Gefreiter). Parachutists (Fallschirmjäger) may be privates to begin with, but the lowest rank provided for in their table of organization is corporal (Oberjäger), in lieu of a pay bonus. Otherwise, the designation (Ernennung) as senior private, which does not involve an increase in pay, is now automatic in principle upon completion of the basic training period. Promotions to any grade of private first class are dependent on time limits and merit, but not on tables of organization, as shown in the table above.

Promotions to the ranks of sergeant and master sergeant are not dependent on tables of organization; a corporal who has served the maximum time in grade without having been promoted to staff sergeant may be promoted to sergeant; having served the maximum time in that grade without having been promoted to technical sergeant, he may be promoted to master sergeant, as shown in table below.

After 4 months of service in a combat unit, privates of any rank who are squad leaders may be promoted to corporals and corporals who are platoon leaders may be promoted to staff sergeants, regardless of length of total service or service in grade.

Honorary promotions may be awarded for distinguished conduct in battle (posthumously to those killed in action).

From To After 4 months service in  
combat unit other field unit Otherwise
after a total active service period of: after
Corporal Sergeant 6 years (3 in grade) 6 years (3 in grade) 6 years (4 in grade)
Sergeant or Technical Sergeant Master Sergeant 12 years 12 years 12 years


6. Compensation

a. TABLE OF BASE PAY. Every member of the German Armed Forces in active wartime service (except when a prisoner of war) receives tax-free war service pay (Wehrsold), paid to him in advance, monthly or at shorter intervals of not less than 10 days, by his unit paymaster. If he has dependents, he receives (also when a prisoner of war) family support payable direct to his dependents through the civilian authorities.

A professional soldier receives, in addition to war service pay (but also when a prisoner of war) the equivalent of his regular peacetime pay (Friedensbesoldung) consisting of base pay (Grundgehalt), quarters allowance (Wohnungssuschlag), and allowance for children (Kinderzuschlag), less a wartime deduction (Ausgleichsbetrag) which in the ranks from major upward cancels out the war service pay and in the lower ranks offsets it in part according to a sliding scale. This compensation is known as Armed Forces regular pay (Wehrmachtbesoldung); its recipients are not entitled to civilian family support. Payments, usually by check, are made by a local garrison administration in Germany (usually near the man's home) for two months in advance (until 1 January 1945 it was one month in advance) to the soldier's bank account or to his dependents, if any. These payments are subject to an income-tax deduction at the source according to a sliding scale based on the amount of pay and the number as well as category of dependents.

Rank Column 1
Armed Forces
(or Wartime) Regular Pay
  Column 2
War Service Pay
  Pay Group Dollars (Less Tax) Pay Group Dollars
General of the Army W 1 [1]1,120 (438) 1a 120
    (with official quarters)   [1]1,008 (394)   120
General W 2 771 (295) 1b 108
Lieutenant General W 3 708 (264) 2 96
Major General W 4 560 (203) 3 84
Brigadier General W 5 467 (164) 4 72
Colonel W 6 372 (125) 5 60
Lieutenant Colonel W 7 284 (87) 6 48
Major W 8 237 (68) 7 43
Captain W 9 171 (39) 8 38
First Lieutenant W 10 109 (16) 9 32
Second Lieutenant W 11[2] 80 (7) 10 28
Master Sergeant W 19 70 (6) 11 24
Technical Sergeant W 20 68 (5) 11 24
    less than 12 yrs[2] W 21 62 (4)   24
Staff Sergeant W 22 64 (4) 12 21
    less than 12 yrs[3] W 23 60 (4)   21
Sergeant W 24 63 (4) 13 18
    less than 12 yrs[3] W 25 55 (3)   18
Corporal W 26 56 (3) 14 16
    less than 12 yrs[3] W 27[2] 46 (2)   16
Chief Private First Class W 30 36 (1/2) 15 14
Senior Private First Class W 31 31 (--) 15 14
Private First Class       15 14
Senior Private, or Private with       15 14
    less than 2 yrs[3]       16 12
[1] Regardless of rank: Commander in Chief of a branch of the Armed Forces (Army, etc.); Chief of the Armed Forces High Command.

[2] Pay Groups W 12-W 16: Musicians; activities suspended in Nov. 44.
W 17-W 18: Fortress Shop-Foremen and Horseshoeing Instructors.
W 28-W 29: Navy only.

[3] Total length of active service.

Figure 3.--Table of base pay (per month).


Professional Armed Forces officials (Wehrmachtbeamte) receive, in addition to war service pay, their peacetime, salaries and allowances (Friedensgebührnisse), less a wartime deduction offsetting their war service pay as a whole or in part in the same manner as for professional soldiers who receive Armed Forces regular pay.

Non-professional soldiers from the rank of senior private first class (Obergefreiter) upward may apply for wartime regular pay (Kriegsbesoldung). They are then paid exactly like professional soldiers and consequently are not entitled to civilian family support. Therefore, soldiers with dependents will not make this application if the amount of their civilian family support is higher than their wartime pay would be.

Armed Forces officials who have no peace time salary receive war time regular pay without having to apply for it.

In the foregoing table, column 1 shows the Armed Forces regular pay (Wehrmachtbesoldung) for professional soldiers or wartime regular pay (Kriegsbesoldung) for non-professional soldiers in ranks from senior private first class (Obergefreiter) upward and for wartime officials. The amounts quoted represent the minimum base pay for single men without dependents before deduction of the income tax, which is shown in parenthesis at the minimum rate applying when the soldier has no additional income. All figures are quoted according to the most recent revision, on 9 November 1944, of the Military War Compensation Law of 1939. The pay rises for men with dependents according to a scale which provides for additional amounts up to 10 children. Column 2 shows the war service pay (Wehrsold) for all members of the Armed Forces, including officials, regardless of whether they are also paid under column 1 or not. The amounts are shown in U.S. dollars at the basic rate of exchange (1 Reichsmark equal to $0.40).

b. ALLOWANCES. All soldiers in ranks from general to private receive $0.40 daily as combat area service compensation (Frontzulage). This is granted not because of the danger to life and limb but for the "more difficult living conditions". On trips taken in the line of duty, the soldier, regardless of rank, receives an allowance for overnight quarters and $2.40 per diem additional.

Every member of the Armed Forces is entitled to free rations, quarters, and clothing; those who must or are allowed to take their meals outside receive $1.20 per diem as ration money. No additional allowance is paid for living quarters in view of the fact that this is already included in the regular pay, whereas soldiers who receive only war service pay are entitled to civilian family support. Clothing is free except for officers, who receive a one-time clothing allowance of $180.00 ($280.00 for those wearing the blue naval uniform) and a monthly upkeep allowance of $12.00. Soldiers contracting for professional service receive a cash bonus, known as Kapitulantenhandgeld, of $120.00 (12-year contract) or $40.00 (41/2-year contract).

c. PENSIONS. Regular officers and professional soldiers are entitled to various benefits upon their discharge; the extent of these depends on length of service. They include lump-sum compensations, unemployment assistance, and, in some cases, pensions. Discharged professional noncommissioned officers are encouraged to go into civil service or agriculture; particularly in the latter case they receive substantial cash sums for the purchase or lease of l,and. All honorably discharged soldiers receive a mustering-out pay of $20.00.

d. LEAVES, ETC. Leaves and furloughs are classified according to their purpose such as recreation, convalescence, occupational, bombing, or emergency. Transportation is free, in principle. The considerable liberality regarding leaves that was practiced in the early stages of the war was radically curtailed under the strain of the later emergencies, which in 1944 led to their complete freezing, except, possibly, in the case of convalescents.

7. Categories of Officers and Other Personnel

a. REGULAR OFFICERS (aktive Offiziere). The small corps of regular officers inherited by the Nazi regime from the pre-1935 German Reichswehr was substantially increased, before the war, by the recall of all suitable retired officers, the absorption of many police officers, and the creation of new officers from volunteer officer candidates and suitable noncommissioned officers and privates from the regular ranks. At the beginning of the war, suitable professional noncommissioned officers were given temporary officer ranks (as "Kriegsoffiziere"), which were made permanent in 1942.

Special categories of regular officers are medical officers (Sanitätsoffiziere), veterinary officers (Veterinäroffiziere), and ordnance officers (Waffenoffiziere,


commonly designated as Offiziere (W)).

After 1934, a number of First World War officers were recalled, mostly in administrative positions, as supplementary officers (Ergänzungsoffiziere) and designated as aktive Offiziere (E); the (E) has since been dropped and those who were qualified have been taken into the regular officer corps. Many officers who had been retired as "officers not in service" (Offiziere ausser Dienst--a.D.) as well as many regular officers eligible for retirement were designated as subject to active service in recalled status "at the disposal of a branch of the Armed Forces (Army, Air Force, or Navy)" (Offiziere zur Verfugung eines Wehrmachtteiles--z.V.). Retired officers designated z.V. were normally not recalled to active service before mobilization, but a number of them were appointed in peacetime to fill certain open officer positions as "officers recalled to service" (Offiziere zur Dienstleistung--z.D.). During the war, the designation z.D. has been used for certain officers whose qualifications are in doubt and whose final status (regular or reserve) is not determined. The designation of regular officers subject to retirement as z.V. continues in wartime, which means that such officers, immediately upon their discharge as regular officers, are retained in active service in recalled status in any position in which they may be needed.

b. GENERAL STAFF CORPS OFFICERS (Generalstabsoffiziere, Offz.i.G.). General Staff Corps officers are carefully selected and trained to represent the German General Staff Corps in both command and staff functions. On division staffs, as "la", they hold the position of operational chiefs of staff, and as "Ib" they are chiefs of the rear echelon. In the higher echelons, the intelligence and training staff sections are likewise in the personal charge of General Staff Corps officers.

c. RESERVE OFFICERS (Reserveoffiziere).

The nucleus of the reserve officer corps consists of conscripts who because of their qualifications and performance during their first year of service were accepted in peacetime as reserve officer aspirants (Reserve-Offizier-Anwärter--R.O.A.), received special training in platoon-leadership during their second year, and were designated reserve officers after their discharge and subsequent recall for a four-week exercise period with their old unit. Suitable professional noncommissioned officers were made reserve second lieutenants upon being discharged at the end of their contractual period.

In wartime, there cannot be any reserve officer candidates of the peacetime type, as conscripts are not being discharged upon completion of a compulsory two-year service period; instead, qualified volunteers and suitable conscripts from the ranks are designated as reserve officer applicants (Reserve-Offizier-Bewerber--R.O.B.).

Originally, there were two age groups of reserve officers, those of the reserve class under the age of 35, designated as Offiziere der Reserve --O.d.R., and those of the Landwehr reserve class above 35, designated as Offiziere der Landwehr--O.d.L. Both types of officers, collectively, were called "officers in inactive status" (Offiziere des Beurlaubtenstandes--O.d.B.). During the war, the designation O.d.L. has been eliminated, so that all reserve officers are O.d.R. as well as O.d.B.

d. ARMED FORCES OFFICIALS (Wehrmachtbeamte). Officials in administrative, legal, and technical service positions are a category peculiar to the German Armed Forces. They consist of civil service personnel performing functions within the Armed Forces and are recruited, in part, from former professional noncommissioned officers who became military candidates for civil service (Militäranwärter) at the end of their 12-year contractual period of active military service. Until 1944, none of these officials were classified as soldiers, but certain groups have now been converted into officers in the Special Troop Service (Truppensonderdienst--TDS). These are the higher administrative officers (Intendanten) in ranks from captain to lieutenant general; the lower administrative officers (Zahlmeister) in the ranks of first and second lieutenant, and the judge advocates (Richter) in ranks from captain to lieutenant general. It was also made possible for reserve technical service officials to become reserve officers of the motor maintenance troops if qualified.

In addition to regular Armed Forces officials, there are the categories of reserve officials (Beamte des Beurlaubtenstandes--B.d.B., also referred to as B.d.R.), officials in recalled status "at the disposal of the Army, etc." (Beamte zur Verfugung--B.z.V.), and officials appointed for the duration (Beamte auf Kriegsdauer--B.a.K.). These three categories are collectively referred to as supplementary Armed Forces officials (Ergänzungswehrmachtbeamte).


Functionaries of the military administration in occupied areas (Militärverwaltungsbeamte) who are not civil service officials in peacetime are treated in the same manner as these three categories in matters of compensation.

e. SPECIALIST LEADERS. Certain positions in ranks from major to lieutenant and in all noncommissioned officer ranks except sergeant may be filled by specialists in foreign languages, propaganda work, and similar matters, who have been trained to fill such positions as "Specialist leader" (Sonderführer). They receive the pay applicable to the position they are holding, but only by virtue of their appointment to the temporary position and without the disciplinary powers vested in the rank.

f. NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICERS (Unteroffiziere). Professional noncommissioned officers are under either a 12-year or a 41/2-year service contract, except officer applicants, who are under contract for an indefinite period of service. Nonprofessionals are designated as reserve corporals, etc. (Unteroffiziere, etc., d.R.); the same applies if they are reserve officer candidates (Fahnenjunker, etc., d.R.).

g. WOMEN AUXILIARIES (Helferinnen). There are several women's auxiliary corps in the German Armed Forces, known as the corps of the headquarters auxiliaries (Stabshelferinnen); signal corps auxiliaries (Nachrichtenhelferinnen) of the Army, Air Force, Waffen-SS, and Navy; and antiaircraft auxiliaries (Flakwaffenhelferinnen) of the Air Force. All wear uniforms and are under military discipline, receiving free rations, quarters, and clothing. However, they are paid according to civil service rates and are not considered members of the Armed Forces. The ranks of their female leaders (Führerinnen) do not correspond to officer ranks. It is possible that they have been upgraded in status under recent total mobilization measures.

h. "CIVILIAN" SOLDIERS (Volkssturm). In October 1944, all German male civilians from 16 to 60 were made liable to emergency defense service under the Armed Forces in a national militia known as the "Volkssturm". They are distinguished by armbands and are stated to have military status. It is believed that they do not receive any service pay while in training but that they may be compensated when mobilized for combat away from their home area.

i. OTHER ARMED FORCES PERSONNEL (Wehrmachtgefolge). A distinction must be made between members of the Armed Forces (Wehrmachtangehörige) who may be either soldiers or officials (Beamte), and persons employed by or attached to the Armed Forces (Zugehörige zur Wehrmacht), who are collectively referred to as Armed Forces auxiliaries (Wehrmachtgefolge). The women auxiliaries described above, as well as the numerous Party organizations when they operate with the Armed Forces, are in this general category.

8. Personal Documentation

a. SERVICE RECORD (Wehrpass). The basic personal record of the members of the Armed Forces is their service record. This is a book of passport size issued to them at the time of their first physical examination for military service. It contains a complete record of their pre-military service in the German Labor Service (Reichsarbeitsdienst), their military status at all times, and all their military activities until the expiration of their liability to military service. This book is in their personal possession only while they are in inactive status, and is retained at their company headquarters as long as they are on active service. In exchange for it, as soldiers, they carry on their person a pay and identification book issued to them at the time of their first induction.

b. PAYBOOK (Soldbuch). The paybook of the German soldier is his official means of identification and contains, in addition to personal data, a record of all units in which he has served and their replacement affiliations; his clothing and equipment record, inoculations, hospitalization; his promotions, pay rate group, payments received from units other than his own, decorations, furloughs, and other data pertaining to his person or his active service. The paybook contains both the soldier's military registration number (Wehrnummer), under which his service record was issued to him before his actual induction, and the inscription and number on his identification disc (Beschriftung und Nummer der Erkennungsmarke).

c. IDENTIFICATION DISC (Erkennungsmarke). The identification disc which the German soldier wears around his neck consists of two halves, both with identical inscriptions. It is issued to him by the unit (normally at company level) into which he is first inducted; both the name of that unit and the serial number under which the disc was issued to him are inscribed on it, as well as


his blood type. Any unit, however, may issue a disc to a member who has lost his original one, with its own name and a new serial number.

d. UNIT ROSTER SHEET (Kriegsstammrollenblatt). Every Field Army unit and those units of the Replacement Army which are of Field Army or training type keep an individual roster sheet on every one of their members, containing the record of the individual's service in the unit. This sheet is to be closed upon the termination of that service and then forwarded direct to the soldier's home recruiting station (Wehrersatzdienststelle), where his basic military records are kept. There are two different forms: one for officers and officials of all ranks, the other for enlisted men.

e. BASIC MILITARY RECORDS. At the time of the first physical examination when the service record (Wehrpass) is issued to the soldier by his recruiting sub-area headquarters (Wehrbezirkskommando), the latter opens a corresponding basic military record book (Wehrstammbuch) for him, together with an accompanying health record book (Gesundheitsbuch) and a classification card (Verwendungskarte). His military registration card (Wehrstammkarte), which was made out by the police authorities as part of his military registration record (Wehrstammblatt), is pasted inside the front cover of the Wehrstammbuch. Actually, this card is an open envelope with the soldier's registration record on its face and containing a police report (Polizeibericht) on his conduct prior to registration.

f. MILITARY REGISTRATION NUMBER (Wehrnummer). This is determined at the time the Wehrpass is issued to the soldier; in other words, while he is still a civilian. He retains it permanently, regardless of whether he is in active service or not, as his identifying number with the authorities which administer the conscription laws. It normally consists of the following five elements (although there are some variations):

g. UPKEEP OF MILITARY RECORDS. The basic military records accompany the soldier to his first induction unit, but upon his transfer from it are returned to and kept at his home recruiting station (Wehrersatzdienststelle), which normally is a recruiting sub-area headquarters (Wehrbezirkskommando) for officers or a subordinate military reporting office (Wehrmeldeamt) for enlisted men. The soldier's unit roster sheets, which are closed and forwarded to his home recruiting station upon his transfer from one unit to another, are filed in the inside rear cover pocket of his Wehrstammbuch. Since the autumn of 1944, the transfer into the Wehrstammbuch of entries from these or other documents that are received for filing in the pocket has been suspended until after the war; it is planned that the entries then be made from the Wehrpass, which is kept up at all times by the unit in which the soldier is serving.

The Wehrersatzdienststelle is the home recruiting station of all Germans who are subject to conscription and therefore is responsible for all members of the German Armed Forces, including volunteers, regardless of whether they serve in the Army, Air Force, Navy, or Waffen-SS. The Wehrstammbuch of naval personnel, however, is kept by their own home base replacement units. It does not contain any unit roster sheets (Kriegsstammrollenblatter), as these are replaced, in the Navy, by a conduct book (Führungsbuch) for enlisted men which follows them from unit to unit, as does their Wehrpass. The health record book (Gesundheitsbuch), which otherwise is kept at the Wehrersatzdienststelle together with the Wehrstammbuch, is in the personal possession of naval personnel as is, of course, their paybook.

Before 1944, the classification card (Verwendungskarte) was used for entering the soldier's training record and was forwarded to his first field unit for inspection, to be returned within 3 days to the home recruiting station. Since the autumn of 1944, the card has not been sent to the field; but the same purpose is served by the detailed training record sheet (Ausbildungsnachweis). introduced in 1943, which the soldier, upon his transfer to the field, carries in the pocket of his paybook; it is supposed to be destroyed by the field unit, but this is not always done.

Records peculiar to the Waffen-SS are the SS basic record card (SS-Stammkarte), which follows the soldier from unit to unit as does his Wehrpass, and the SS control card (SS-Uberwachungskarte), which is kept by his replacement unit and never follows him into the field.


h. OFFICER RECORDS. Officers, in addition to the basic records described above have a personal record folder (Personalnachweis). In the Navy, which has no unit roster sheets for either officers or enlisted men, the officer's Personalnachweis takes the place of the enlisted men's Führungsbuch. Otherwise, the officer's Personalnachweis normally is kept in several copies, which may be found at the replacement unit of his peacetime unit; at the corps area headquarters (Wehrkreiskommando); at the Army Personnel Office (Heerespersonalamt); or in the case of reserve officers at their recruiting sub-area headquarters (Wehrbezirkskommando).

Tn case of discharge or death, one copy is in all cases forwarded to the Armed Forces Welfare and Pension Office (Wehrmachtfürsorgeund Versorgungsamt) accompanied by the officer's medical record papers (Krankenpapiere).

i. PUNISHMENT RECORDS. An individual excerpt from the unit punishment book (Auszug aus dem Strafbuch) is forwarded upon the transfer of an enlisted man, together with his Wehrpass, whereas the punishment record of an officer appears in his character and efficiency report (Beurteilungsnotiz). In the event of a disciplinary reduction in rank, the soldier's Soldbuch, Wehrpass, and Kriegsstammrollenblatt are closed by his unit and forwarded, for filing in the Wehrstammbuch pocket, to his home recruiting station, which issues a new Wehrpass. The unit itself issues a new Soldbuch at once, and a new Kriegsstammrollenblatt is opened which, in the case of a former officer, must be of the enlisted man type. The reduction is entered only on the closed Kriegsstammrollenblatt. The records of a degraded regular Air Force officer must be requested from the Air Force Personnel Office. In the Navy, the Personalnachweis of a degraded officer is closed, the reduction having been entered on it, is sent to his home recruiting station, and is replaced by an enlisted man's Führungsbuch; whereas the Führungsbuch of a degraded noncommissioned officer is continued after the reduction has been entered. In no case is the reduction entered in either the old or the new Soldbuch or Wehrpass.

j. TERMINATION OF SERVICE. The Wehrpass is given to the soldier upon his honorable discharge from active service, even when such a discharge is temporary (e.g. for occupational reasons). In the latter case, his Soldbuch is returned to him in exchange for the Wehrpass when he is recalled to active duty. Otherwise, the Soldbuch and all other basic military records remain on file at his home recruiting station. Discharged soldiers are given a discharge certificate (Entlassungsschein).

In case of death, all basic military records of the soldier are filed by the home recruiting station except his Wehrpass, which is given to the next of kin. A report on his death and burial, together with the broken-off lower half of his identification disc and a description of the grave, is sent to the Armed Forces Information Bureau for War Casualties and Prisoners of War, which is the only agency authorized to handle inquiries. However, the Waffen-SS had its own information bureau.



I. Introduction

The basic principle under the German military system is unity of command. This principle is exemplified in the highest as well as the lower echelons. Under this system the Army, Navy, and Air Force are regarded as branches of a single service (Die Wehrmacht), headed by the Armed Forces High Command (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht or OKW)(1) [See Section IV for an explanation of the use of these numbers]. The OKW controls all matters of inter-service policy in both peace and war. It is responsible for all preparation for national defense in time of peace, and for the conduct of operations in time of war. The head of the OKW is a cabinet member and represents the joint interest of the three branches with respect to other departments of the Government.

In effect, therefore, the German High Command is divided into four parts, as follows: Armed Forces High Command--Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW)(2); Army High Command--Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH)(3); Navy High Command--Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine (OKM)(3); Air Force High Command--Oberkommando der Luftwaffe (OKL)(4).

Under this system it is not unusual in a task force for units of one branch of the Armed Forces to come under the immediate command of another branch. All personnel may be transferred from one branch to another in the same or equivalent rank. This, in fact, has been done on a very considerable scale in 1943 and 1944, with a transfer of thousands of members of the Air Force and Navy to the Army.

The OKW is supreme and responsible for the coordination of the active war effort by the three subordinate branches, while the OKH is responsible for all purely Army matters, just as each of the other two High Commands is responsible for the application of general policies within its own sphere.

In wartime, each High Command has a forward echelon (1. Staffel)(5) and a rear echelon (2. Staffel). The forward echelon moves to a location appropriate to the theater of main operations, while the rear echelon remains in Berlin. (Almost all elements of the rear echelon were evacuated from Berlin beginning in October 1943.) The object of this division is to insure that all purely routine and administrative matters will be handled in the rear and not obtrude themselves into the actual conduct of operations by the forward headquarters.

There is a fairly standardized method of indicating the relative size and importance of the various subdivisions within a high command. In descending order, these units with the accepted translations used in this book are:

In general (with some exceptions) an Amt or Amtsgruppe is headed by a general officer and an Abteilung by a field officer.

However, these subdivisions are not necessarily subordinate to one another schematically; i.e., the channel downward from an Amt may skip Amtsgruppe and go direct to Abteilung or even to Referat.

The following description gives the nomenclature and function of only the more important subdivisions of the Armed Forces High Command (OKW) and the Army High Command (OKH). All the German abbreviations used are explained in a glossary at the end of the section. It should be noted that this is the organization existing at the beginning of 1945, and that under present circumstances the High Command, like all other aspects of the German Armed Forces, is subject to rapid and unforeseen changes.

2. The OKW (11)

Hitler himself is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces (Oberster Befehlshaber der Wehrmacht) (12). Under him, Keitel is the Chief of the Armed Forces High Command (Chef des OKW) (13) and as such serves as Hitler's chief executive officer in the administration of the Armed Forces and the application of his policies and plans.

The operational part of the OKW is the Armed Forces Operations Staff (Wehrmachtführungsstab). which constitutes the main advisory body to Hitler on strategy and planning. It is located at the field headquarters of the OKW, which is known as the Führerhauptquartier (14). The other subdivisions of the OKW are mostly


Figure 4.--Armed Forces High Command
Figure 4.--Armed Forces High Command


with the rear echelon and deal with numerous administrative matters of joint interest to the three branches of the Armed Forces.

The accompanying chart (Figure 4) shows the principal branches of the OKW and their subordination. Their functions are discussed in the following paragraphs.

a. ARMED FORCES CENTRAL OFFICE (Wehrmachtzentralamt--WZA) (15). The officer in charge of this agency is responsible for central organizational matters, such as increasing or reducing the personnel of branches of the High Command. The office also includes the Armed Forces Central Group (Ag WZ) (16).

b. CHIEF OF ARMED FORCES MOTOR TRANSPORTATION (Chef des Wehrmachtkraftfahrwesens --Chef WKW) (17). This officer is administrative head of all matters concerning motor transportation. At the same time he holds the position of Chief Motor Transport Officer in the Army General Staff (Gen St d H/Gen Qu/Gen d Kfw) and controls the Inspectorate of Motor Transport in the General Army Office (AHA/Gen d Kfw/Jn 12). His activities are subject to the close supervision of Hitler's personal appointee, the Inspector General of Motor Transport (Gen Insp Kfw).

c. CHIEF OF ARMED FORCES TRANSPORTATION (RAIL AND WATER) (Chef des Transportwesens der Wehrmacht--Chef Trspw d W) (18). This officer is administrative head of all rail and water transportation and also is believed to be the Chief Army Transportation Officer in the Army General Staff (Gen St d H/Chef d Trspw). Subordinate to him are the Field Transportation Branch (F Abt) (19), the Central Armed Forces Transportation Command (W Trsp Ltg Mitte) (20), and the Traffic Branch (Verk Abt) (21).

d. CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES PATROL SERVICE (Chef des Wehrmachtstreifendienstes--Chef W Str D) (22). This officer, appointed in March 1944, is head of all Armed Forces patrols and all welfare matters concerning troops away from their field units. The welfare function concerning troops in transit was formerly the responsibility of the General for Special Employment IV (Gen.z.b.V. IV) (23) in the OKH, an office which apparently was superseded by that of the Chief of the Armed Forces Patrol Service.

e. ARMED FORCES SURGEON GENERAL (Chef des Wehrmachtsanitätswesens--Chef W San) (24). Subordinate to the Chief of the OKW and, in medical matters, to the Commissioner General of Medicine and Sanitation (General-Kommissar des Fuhrers für das Sanitäts- und Gesundheitswesen). The Armed Forces Surgeon General formerly also held the positions of Chief Army Medical Inspector (H San Insp) and Army Surgeon (H Arzt). In August 1944, the personal union was dissolved, but the latter two positions, as well as the equivalent positions in the Navy and Air Force, are all subject to the supervision and control of the Armed Forces Surgeon General in medical matters.

f. CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF WITH CHIEF OKW (Chef des Heeresstäbes beim Chef OKW--Chef H St b Chef OKW) (25). Chief Liaison Officer of the Army at Keitel's field headquarters.

g. BUREAU OF ECONOMIC WARFARE (Sonderstab für Handelskrieg und wirtschaftliche Kampfmassnahmen--Sd St HWK) (26). This is a small agency to represent the interests of the Armed Forces with other government agencies concerned with economic warfare and to coordinate global economic policies with Japan.

h. INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR PRISONER OF WAR AFFAIRS (Generalinspekteur für das Kriegsgefangenenwesen der Wehrmacht--Gen Insp Kriegsgef) (27). This personal appointee of Hitler is responsible for insuring the security of prisoner of war installations in Germany and the most effective employment of prisoner-of-war labor. He may issue orders to other OKW and OKH agencies concerned with prisoners of war.

i. ARMED FORCES BUDGET BRANCH (Wehrmachthaushaltsabteilung--WH) (28). This is concerned only with the budget of the OKW and not with those of the other high commands.

j. ARMED FORCES JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL (Wehrmachtrechtsabteilung--WR) (29).

k. ARMED FORCES OPERATIONS STAFF (Wehrmachtführungsstab--WFSt) (30). This is a joint general staff containing officers from all three branches. It is responsible for over-all planning and strategy and advises and assists Hitler in the planning and execution of military operations. It includes:

(1) Deputy Chief of the Armed Forces Operations Staff (Stellvertretender Chef des Wehrmachtfuhrungsstäbes--Stellv Chef WFSt) (31). This officer controls the staff proper, which consists of sections concerned with operations, organization, intelligence, and supply. Each


of these sections includes officers representing all three branches of the Armed Forces. (The intelligence section now embodies elements of the former counterintelligence branch and other operational portions of the old Foreign and Counterintelligence Office of the OKW, the bulk of which was taken over by the SS in the middle of 1944.)

(2) Foreign Group (Amtsgruppe Ausland--Ag Ausl) (32). This includes the Branch for Military Attachés of the OKH (Att Abt d OKH) (33). It also is concerned with acquisition of foreign newspapers, rules on travel to foreign countries, and relations of German military personnel with foreigners.

(3) Armed Forces Signal Communications Group (Amtsgruppe Wehrmachtnachrichtenverbindungen--Ag WNV) (34). This group maintains the trunk communications between the high commands and is the nerve center of the top command echelons. It has at least two signal regiments of the Army at its disposal to maintain a special network of land cables and radio channels linking the OKW, OKH, OKL, and OKM and the principal subordinate headquarters. It contains a radio communications branch (Ag WNV/ Fu) (35) and a wire communications branch (Ag WNV/KF) (36).

(4) Cryptographic Branch (Chiffrier-Abteilung--Chi) (37).

(5) Armed Forces Historical Branch (Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung der Wehrmacht--W Kr Gesch) (38). Headed by the Fuhrer's Official Military Historian (Der Beauftr d Führers für die mil Geschichtsschr. This officer also heads the Army Historical Branch (Kr Gesch Heer) and other historical agencies in the OKH. This branch records all military history which concerns the three branches of the Armed Forces as a whole.

(6) Armed Forces Propaganda Branch (Abteilung für Wehrmachtpropaganda--W Pr) (39). Headed by the Chief of the Propaganda Troops (Chef Pr Tr) (40), this branch is responsible for all types of military propaganda except that which is fed to the troops by the National-Socialist Guidance Staffs (NSFSt) of the various high commands. It includes sections for the administration of the propaganda troops, propaganda to the home front, military censorship, propaganda to foreign countries, and counter-propaganda.

l. GENERAL ARMED FORCES OFFICE (Allgemeines Wehrmachtamt--AW A) (41). This office is composed of independent branches in the OKW, grouped together for administrative purposes. It contains:

(1) General Armed Forces Branch (Allgemeine Abteilung--W Allg) (42).

(2) Armed Forces Administration Group (Amtsgruppe Wehrmachtverwaltung--Ag WV) (43). Responsible for the administration of all OKW agencies and OKW personnel and for certain fiscal matters.

(3) Chief of Prisoners of War (Chef des Kriegsgefangenenwesens--Chef Kriegsgef) (44). The administrative head of all matters relating both to German and to Allied prisoners of war, he also performs the function of inspector of prisoner-of-war installations. In this latter capacity he acts under the directives of the Inspector General for Prisoner-of-War Affairs (Gen Insp Kriegsgef), who comes directly under the Chief of the OKW. The agency is divided into a General Branch (Kriegsgef Allg.) (45) which deals with treatment, exchange, and release of prisoners; administrative and punitive matters; and relations with the protective powers and with the International Red Cross; and an Organization Branch (Kriegsgef. Org.) (46), which deals with the employment and living conditions of prisoners of war in German hands.

(4) Inspectorate for Welfare and Pensions Agencies (Inspektion der Fürsorge und Versorgungsdienststellen im OKW--Jn FV) (47). Welfare and pension matters for all branches of the Armed Forces are controlled by this agency. Subordinate to it are the Armed Forces Welfare and Pensions Branch (W Vers) (48), the Civilian Pensions Branch (Abt. Reichsvers.) (49), and the Armed Forces Education Branch (WU) (50). Until 1944 the Armed Forces Education Branch was a separate branch of the AW A.

(5) Armed Forces Casualty Branch (Abteilung Wehrmachtverlustwesen--WVW) (51).

(6) Armed Forces Plenipotentiary For Settlement (Bevollmachtigter des OKW für Siedlungsfragen--BW Sied) (52). Arranges for resettlement of Germans in annexed territory.

(7) Hitler Youth Liaison (Vertreter der Wehrmacht beim Jugendfuhrer des Deutschen Reichs--AW A/HJ) (53). Represents the interests of the Armed Forces in the Hitler Youth organization.

(8) Military Science Branch (Abteilung Wissenschaft--W Wiss) (54). Studies developments


of the physical sciences which affect the military.

m. ARMED FORCES ECONOMIC OFFICE (Wehrwirtschaftsamt--Wi A) (55). This office is responsible for long-range military-economic planning, the economic exploitation of occupied areas, and representing the interests of the Armed Forces with other government departments concerned with production, raw materials, labor, agriculture; and foreign trade. It contains:

(1) Armed Forces Economic Branch (Wehrwirtschaftliche Abteilung--Wi) (56). Concerned with general planning matters and control of the subordinate regional agencies of the office.

(2) Raw Materials Branch (Rohstoffabteilung --Ro) (57). This agency has been transferred to the control of the Ministry of Armament and War Production for the duration of the war. It included or cooperated with the Central Raw Materials Branch (Ro St A) (58), the Armed Forces Tire Center (W R St) (59) (still under the Armed Forces Economic Office), the Central Petroleum Branch (Min St A) (60), and the Economic Experts Personnel Section (Stab W Each) (61) (still under the Armed Forces Economic Office).

(3) Contracts and Price Control Branch (Vertrags- und Preisprufwesen--Preispr) (62). The fixing of prices for Armed Forces Contracts is supervised by this branch. It is now under the Ministry of Armament and War Production.

n. CONSCRIPTION AND RECRUITING OFFICE (Wehrersatzamt--WEA) (63). This office was created in the summer of 1943, when the function of controlling recruiting and conscription for the three branches of the Armed Forces was transferred from the Army High Command to the OKW. It controls the Replacement Branch (Abt. E) (64), which was formerly part of the Group for Replacement and General Troop Matters (Ag E Tr) in the OKH.

o. NATIONAL-SOCIALIST GUIDANCE STAFF OF THE OKW (Nationalsozialistischer Führungsstab des OKW--NSF/OKW) (65). Established in December 1943, this agency is to ensure uniform political indoctrination in the Armed Forces, in cooperation with the Party chancellery. It includes:

(1) Interior Group (Amtsgruppe Inland--Ag J) (66). Formerly a branch (Abt.) of the General Armed Forces Office (AWA), this was upgraded to a group (Ag.) and transferred to the National-Socialist Guidance Staff of the OKW during February 1944. It maintains liaison between the OKW and civilian agencies in Germany. It contains a domestic security branch (Ag J/1) (67), and an ideological guidance branch (Ag J/2) (68).

(2) Party Liaison (Gruppe z.b.V.--Gr.z.b. V.) (69). Formerly part of the General Armed Forces Office (AW A), this section was transferred to the control of the National-Socialist Guidance Staff of the OKW in 1944. It is believed to maintain the liaison with the National-Socialist Party and to control such matters as collections for charitable or Party purposes within the Armed Forces.

p. INSPECTOR GENERAL OF MOTOR TRANSPORT (Generalinspekteur für das Kraftfahrwesen--Gen Insp Kfw) (70). He is immediately subordinate to Hitler and coordinates all matters regarding motor transport. He may issue orders to other OKW and OKH offices concerned with motor transport.

3. The Army High Command (OKH)

a. GENERAL. Since the Army is by far the largest and most important of the three branches of the German Armed Forces, it was, from the outbreak of the war, the branch which Hitler was most anxious to control directly. Its headquarters in the field always has been located in the immediate vicinity of the Führerhauptquartier. In December 1941, after the failure of the Moscow offensive, Hitler removed Brauchitsch as Commander-in-Chief of the Army (Oberbefehlshaber des Heeres (70a) ) and took over personal command himself. He has exercised this command ever since, and the result has been a partial merging or overlapping of the functions of the OKW and of the OKH. Keitel, while still Chief of the OKW, nevertheless also acts as Hitler's executive officer in matters pertaining to the Army alone. Similarly, it is often difficult to draw the line between the de facto authority and functions of the Army General Staff and those of the Armed Forces Operations Staff.

The accompanying chart (Figure 5) shows the principal branches of the OKH and their subordination. Their functions are discussed in the following paragraphs.

b. ARMY GENERAL STAFF (Generalstab des Heeres--Gen St d H) (71). This organization, which is a functional part of the Army High Command, must not be confused with the General Staff Corps. The latter, called in German


Figure 5.--Army High Command
Figure 5.--Army High Command.


simply Generalstab, is a category of specially selected and carefully trained officers who fill almost all the important command as well as staff positions throughout the Army. The Army General Staff, on the other hand, occupies a position analogous to that of the War Department General Staff; it is the main advisory body to the Commander-in-Chief on operations, intelligence, organization, supply, and general matters of Army policy.

Both the Army General Staff and the General Staff Corps are headed by the Chief of the Army General Staff (Chef des Generalstabs des Heeres (72), also referred to simply as Chef des Generalstabs).

In time of war the Army General Staff is stationed at field headquarters, leaving only a small rear echelon in Berlin.

The Army General Staff basically consists of 12 branches which cover all the proper staff and planning functions and which are grouped under five senior officers known as Oberquartiermeister I--V (73). In wartime, a number of additional high-ranking officers are appointed as chief advisers on the employment of the various arms and services in the field and on certain other technical matters; some of these officers and the sections which they control are absorbed organically into the Army General Staff for the duration of the war, while others are regarded as attached to it. By far the most important of them is the Chief Supply and Administration Officer (Generalquartiermeister) (74), who is responsible for the whole supply and administrative structure of the Field Army. Since he and the other wartime appointees perform the functions of some of the regular branches of the General Staff, it is believed that the separate functioning of these particular branches is largely suspended in wartime. Moreover, with the partial merging of the field headquarters of the OKW and the OKH under Hitler's personal command at the end of 1941, some of the other normal functions of branches of the Army General Staff have been wholly or partly taken over by the Armed Forces Operations Staff (WFSt). Thus the grouping under Oberquartiermeister seems to have become largely meaningless, and it is even doubtful whether these positions are actually filled at the present time. Since, however, they are a part of the permanent organization of the Army General Staff, they are given here and on the accompanying chart with their appropriate functions and subordinate branches. It is indicated in each case below wherever the functions of a particular branch are believed to have been largely or wholly suspended or transferred to some other agency:

Central Branch (Zentralabteilung--GZ) (75). This branch is concerned principally with central administrative matters pertaining to the General Staff Corps rather than with the functions of the Army General Staff. Until 1943 it made all appointments and promotions of General Staff Corps officers at all echelons; this responsibility then was transferred to Branch 3 of the Army Personnel Office (PA/P 3).

FIRST SENIOR GENERAL STAFF OFFICER (Oberquartiermeister I--O Qu I) (76). This office which deals with operations and related matters is reported to have been vacant for some time, its function being performed largely by the operations sections of the Armed Forces Operations Staff (WFSt). The grouping O Qu I includes:

Branch 1 (1. Abteilung or Op Abt) (77). This branch, concerned with operations, develops and disseminates basic tactical rules and methods of conducting warfare. Its function of advising the Chief of Staff and Commander-in-Chief on actual operations and strategy has largely lapsed.

Branch 5 (5. Abteilung) (78). The function of this branch which deals with transport, has been handled since the beginning of the war by the Chief Transportation Officer attached to the General Staff (Gen St d H/Chef Trspw).

Branch 6 (6. Abteilung) (79). Functions of this branch which is concerned with rear echelons have been handled since the beginning of the war by the Chief Supply and Administration Officer (Gen St d H/Gen Qu).

Branch 9 (9. Abteilung) (80). Topography, specific responsibility of this branch, has been handled since 1941 by the Chief of Mapping and Survey in the General Staff (Gen St d II/Kr Kart Verm Chef).

Branch 10 (10. Abteilung) (81). Maneuvers and operational planning, now for the most part are divided among a number of other agencies of the OKW and OKH, both at field headquarters and at the rear echelon.

SECOND SENIOR GENERAL STAFF OFFICER (Oberquartiermeister II--O Qu II) (82). The training functions of this grouping largely are taken over in wartime by the Home Command; it includes:

Branch 4 (4. Abteilung or Ausb. Abt.) (83). This branch is responsible in wartime only for


training within the Theater of Operations; all training in the Zone of the Interior is under the Chief of Training in the Replacement Army (Chef Ausb).

Branch 11 (11. Abteilung) (84). Military schools and officer training which are the functions of this branch are now entirely under the Home Command, especially the Inspector General for Potential Officers NCOs (GJF).

THIRD SENIOR GENERAL STAFF OFFICER (Oberquartiermeister III--O Qu III) (85). This grouping, responsible for organization includes:

Branch 2 (2. Abteilung or Org. Abt.) (86). This branch is responsible for laying down rules relating to various aspects of organization in the field and, in conjunction with the chiefs of arms and services attached to the General Staff, recommending to the General Army Office (AHA) the issuance of changes in the existing Tables of Organization.

Branch 8 (8. Abteilung) (87). The function of this branch which was concerned with technical services is now probably handled by other agencies such as the Chief of Technical Troops under the Chief Supply and Administration Officer (Gen Qu/Gen d Techn Tr).

FOURTH SENIOR GENERAL STAFF OFFICEr (Oberquartiermeister IV--O Qu IV) (88). The intelligence branch is probably the only one of the five major groupings in the Army General Staff which is still fully operative. Its two geographical branches are subdivided into various geographical sections which collect and evaluate information and disseminate intelligence regarding the armies of the various countries in the form of printed manuals and periodic reports. The grouping includes:

Branch 3, Eastern Armies (3. Abteilung, Frd Heere Ost) (89). Deals with the armies of the Soviet Union, Scandinavia, the lower Balkans, Africa, and the Far East.

Branch 12, Western Armies (12. Abteilung, Frd Heere West) (90). Deals with the armies of Western Europe (Section II), Great Britain (Section III), the upper Balkans (Section IV), and the Western Hemisphere (Section V). The Western Hemisphere section was transferred from the Eastern Armies Branch to Western Armies Branch after Pearl Harbor.

FIFTH SENIOR GENERAL STAFF OFFICER (Oberquartiermeister V--O Qu V) (91). Deals with military history. This group formerly included special sections for historical research, Army libraries, and Army archives, all of which were transferred in 1942 to the Führer's Official Military Historian (D. Beauftr d Führers für die mil Geschichtsschr) (92). It still nominally includes Branch 7, Military Science Branch (7. Abteilung or Kr Wiss Abt) (93), but the functions of this branch are also believed to have been largely taken over by the new Army Historical Branch (Kr Gesch Heer) under the Führer's Official Military Historian.

CHIEF SUPPLY AND ADMINISTRATION OFFICER (Generalquartiermeister--Gen Qu) (94). This officer does not belong to the basic organization of the Army General Staff in peacetime but was appointed at the beginning of the war, in accordance with previous plans, to take charge of the whole supply and administrative structure of the Field Army. He was given an elaborate organization, described below, including a number of attached officers as chiefs of the various services for the Field Army; these officers bear the same relationship to the General Staff as the chiefs of arms except that they come under the Chief Supply and Administrative Officer instead of being attached directly to the Chief of General Staff.

The organization given below is basically that which applied in the early stages of the war and takes into account only the more important of the temporary modifications which have occurred since. It should be noted that the first three sections, called supply sections (Quartiermcister-Gruppen 1, 2, 3) (95) are concerned with the planning, organization, and general operation of the services in the field; they are each headed by a General Staff Corps officer and may be regarded as constituting the G-4 division of the Army General Staff. All the other sections, which are numbered according to the standard German staff organization, deal with the actual functioning of the various services and are headed by the chiefs of these services for the Field Army.

Section Qu 1 (Gruppe Qu 1) (96). General planning and organization of supply in the field, establishment of communication lines and rear boundaries of the Theater of Operations, transport questions in conjunction with the Chief Army Transportation Officer (Chef Trspw), and control of those service troops not sub-allotted to army groups and armies.

Section Qu 2 (Gruppe Qu 2) (97). Civil affairs policies in the communications zone, especially the exploitation of the country for military


purposes; evacuation, booty, and prisoners of war.

Section Qu 3 (Gruppe Qu 3) (98). Action on supply requisitions from army groups and armies for ordnance, fuel, and engineer equipment. These requisitions are adjusted in accordance with over-all plans and policies and are then forwarded to the authorities in the Zone of the Interior.

Section II a (Gruppe II a, Adjutantur) (99). Personnel and security matters within the staff of the Chief Supply and Administration Officer.

Section III, Field Legal Administration (Gruppe III, Feldjustizverwaltung) (100). Headed by the chief of the Judge Advocate General's Department in the field, responsible for questions of military law and jurisprudence. This section was upgraded to a branch and transferred to the control of the General for Special Employment (Gen z b V) sometime after the beginning of the Russian campaign.

Section IV a, Chief Army Administrative Officer (Gruppe IVa, Heeresintendant) (101). Responsible for the general control of administrative matters and the personnel who deal with them throughout the Field Army. These matters include pay, clothing, personal equipment, rations, billeting, and fiscal matters.

Section IV b, Army Surgeon (Gruppe IV b, Heeresarzt--H Arzt) (102). Controls all medical matters and medical personnel throughout the Field Army, subject to the direction of the Chief Army Medical Inspector (H San Insp). (At present these two positions are believed to be united in one person.)

Section IV c, Army Veterinarian (Gruppe IV c, Heeresveterinär--H Vet) (103). Controls all veterinary matters and veterinary personnel in the Field Army, subject to the direction of the Chief Veterinary Inspector (Vet Insp).

Section V, Chief Motor Transport Officer (Gruppe V, General des Kraftfahrwesens--Gen d Kfw) (104). Controls the motor maintenance troops in the Field Army and is responsible for general questions of availability and utilization of motor transport. He is simultaneously in charge of a group in the General Army Office (AHA) responsible for the same matters in the Zone of the Interior, and holds concurrently the office of Chief of Armed Forces Motor Transportation (Chef WKW) under the OKW.

Section Z, Civil Commissioner (Gruppe Z, Zivilbeauftragter) (105). Resp6nsible for non-military matters in the civil administration of occupied areas in the Theater of Operations, including relations with the civil authorities and the discipline of the population; cooperates with Sections Qu 2 and III above. This section is believed to have been renamed Qu 5.

Chief of Supply Troops (General der Nachschubtruppen) (106). Controls all General Headquarters supply troops, working in cooperation with Section Qu 3 on questions of their employment. Known as Heeresnachschubführer until October 1942.

Section F. P., Army Postmaster (Gruppe F. P., Heeresfeldpostmeister) (107). Responsible for all questions relating to the Army Postal Service in the Field Army.

Chief of Technical Troops (General der Technisehen Truppen--Gen d Techn Tr) (108). Chief adviser on the organization and employment of the technical troops. These troops, while classified as a combat arm, perform a number of highly technical services requiring specialized equipment for the armies in the field.

Senior Military Police Officer (Höherer Feldgendarmerie-Offizier--Höh Feldgen Offz) (109). Responsible for all matters concerning the organization and employment of the military police in the Field Army.

c. CHIEFS OF BRANCHES ATTACHED TO THE GENERAL STAFF. The Commander-in-Chief of the Army and the Chief of the Army General Staff have at their disposal in wartime a group of general officers representing the various combat arms who serve as the principal advisers on the organization, training, equipment, and tactical employment of their respective arms in the field. They usually have no actual command authority but may issue instructions and suggestions to the troops based on the evaluation of experience in the field. For the publication of technical manuals and the like they collaborate with the inspectorates of their branches in the General Army Office. They may also recommend changes in the organization or equipment of the troops to the Organization Branch of the General Staff (Gen St d H/Org Abt) for forwarding to the inspectorates.

Three officers in this category, whose titles begin with Chef instead of General, are regarded as organically absorbed into the General Staff for the duration of the war instead of being attached to it like the others.

The chiefs of those branches of the German


Army which are classified as service troops are likewise attached to the General Staff in wartime but, as has been shown above, are placed under the Chief Supply and Administration Officer. (The Chief of Technical Troops, which are officially classified as a combat arm, is nevertheless under the Chief Supply and Administration Officer since these troops actually have the function of service troops.)

The absence of a representative of the Panzer troops from this group of senior officers is explained by the creation in 1943 of the Inspector General of Panzer Troops (Gen Insp d Pz Tr) to supersede the previous Chief of Mobile Troops, who had been attached to the General Staff like the other chiefs of branches. The Inspector General of Panzer Troops is represented in the General Staff by his Chief Antitank Officer for All Arms (Gen d Pz Abw aller Waffen).

(1) Chief Infantry Officer (General der Infanterie--Gen d Inf) (110). Responsible for regular infantry, light infantry, mountain infantry, cavalry, and reconnaissance matters.

(2) Chief of Armored Trains (Kommandeur der Eisenbahn-Panserzuge--Kdr d Eish Pz Züge) (111).

(3) Chief Artillery Officer (General der Artillerie--Gen d Art) (112). Controls the Chief Coast and Fortress Artillery Officer (Gen d H Kust u Fest Art) (113), the Chief Army Anti-aircraft Artillery Officer (Gen d H Flak Tr) (114), and the Chief Armored Artillery Officer (Höh Offz Pz Art) (115).

(4) Chief of Mapping and Survey (Chef des Kriegskarten- und Vermessungswesens--Kr Kart Verm Chef) (116). This officer is a part of the rear echelon of the General Staff (Gen St d H/2. Staffel) and is represented at field headquarters by the Commander of Mapping and Survey Troops (Kdr d Kart u Verm Tr) (117), who is his direct subordinate.

(5) Chief Signal Officer (Chef des Heeresnachrichtenwesens--Chef HNW) (118). Part of the General Staff in wartime, with offices at the rear echelon as well as at field headquarters.

(6) Chief Engineer and Fortifications Officer (General der Pioniere und Festungen----Gen d Pi u Fest) (119). Controls the Inspector of Fortifications (Insp Fest) (120) and shares with the General Army Office control of the Chief of Amphibious Engineers (Höh Ldgs Pi Fu) (121).

(7) Chief Chemical Warfare Officer (General der Nebeltruppen--Gen d Nbl Tr) (122).

(8) Chief of Volunteer Units (General der Freiwilligenverbande--Gen d Freiw Verb) (123). This post was created in January 1944 to replace that of the former General of Eastern Troops (Gen d Ost Tr) (124). It deals with the organization, equipment, training, and employment of units formed from impressed Soviet prisoners of war. The Chief of Volunteer Units is subordinate to the Chief of the Army General Staff in matters concerning the Field Army and to the Chief of Army Equipment and Commander of the Replacement Army (Chef H Rüst u. BdE) in matters affecting the Zone of the Interior. His permanent representative in the Replacement Army is the Commander of Volunteer Units (Kdr d Freiw Verb) (125).

(9) Chief Army Transportation Officer (Chef des Transportwesens--Chef Trspw) (126). Also believed to hold the post of Chief of Armed Forces Transportation (Chef Trspw dW). Part of the Army General Staff, responsible for rail and water transportation. He controls the Chief of Railway Troops (Gen d Eisb Tr) (127).

(10) General for Special Employment (Discipline) (General zu besonderer Verwendung--Gen z b V) (128). Responsible for the maintenance of discipline, counter-espionage, and legal matters in the Field Army. Controls the Branch for Army Matters (Heer Wes Abt), which is concerned with the maintenance of discipline; the Penal Section (Gr Str); and the Army Field Legal Branch (H Feld Just Abt), which was formerly the Field Legal Administration Section under the Chief Supply and Administration Officer.

d. MEDICAL AND VETERINARY INSPECTORS. The following chief inspectors are in charge of all medical and veterinary matters throughout the German Army and are directly under the Commander-in-Chief:

(1) Chief Army Medical Inspector (Heeres-Sanitätsinspekteur--H San Insp) (129). Instructs the Army Surgeon (H Arzt) on medical matters in the Field Army and controls medical matters in the Replacement Army, in the same manner as the inspectors of branches, through the Medical Inspectorate (S Jn) in the General Army Office. His activities are subject to the supervision and control of the Armed Forces Surgeon General (Chef W San). (At present the Chief Army Medical Inspector is believed to hold concurrently the office of Army Surgeon.)

(2) Chief Veterinary Inspector (Veterinärinspekteur--Vet Insp) (130).


Instructs the Army Veterinary (H Vet) on veterinary matters in the Field Army and controls veterinary matters in the Replacement Army, in the same manner as the inspectors of branches, through the Veterinary Inspectorate (V Jn) in the General Army Office.

e. ARMY PERSONNEL OFFICE (Heerespersonalamt--PA) (131). This office is independent of both the General Staff and the Home Command and comes under the direct control of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army. It is responsible for all appointments, transfers, promotions, and other matters concerning all types of officers in the German Army. It therefore has been a powerful instrument in exercising control over the officer corps.

The order for the promotion of an officer to the rank of colonel or above is issued by Hitler himself on the recommendation of the Personnel Office. In lower ranks it makes the promotions on its own responsibility.

The authority to transfer various types of specialist officers (medical, veterinary, ordnance, motor maintenance, and Special Troop Service) is delegated by the Personnel Office, so far as the lower ranks are concerned, to the technical branches which deal with these services; for the upper ranks, the Personnel Office orders the transfers on the recommendation of the technical branches.

The Personnel Office does not concern itself with Armed Forces officials, who are dealt with exclusively by the Army Administration Office (VA); it should be noted, however, that two important former categories of these officials are now classified as officers in the new Special Troop Service and are therefore handled by the Personnel Office.

The Personnel Office includes seven main subdivisions designated as P 1, P 2, etc. Three of these are now groups (Amtsgruppen) with several subordinate branches each, while the others are independent branches (Abteilungen). Group P 6 is a recent offshoot of the basic Group P 1, and for this reason its subordinate branches are numbered consecutively with those of P 1.

While the bulk of the Personnel Office is normally stationed in wartime with the rear echelon of the High Command, each of its branches also has a forward echelon at field headquarters, where the major decisions in personnel matters are made.

(1) Group P 1 (Amtsgruppe P 1--Ag P 1) (132). Responsible for all officers' records, appointments, transfers, and promotions as well as for basic directives regarding the handling of officer personnel matters. Its various branches deal with officers according to categories or branches of service. It includes:

(a) Branch 1, Central Branch (1. Zentral-Abteilung) (133). Handles basic policies and directives, including such general matters as the transfer of large groups of officers from other branches of the Armed Forces to the Army.

(b) Branch 2 (2. Abteilung) (134). Infantry and cavalry officers.

(c) Branch 3 (3. Abteilung) (135). Officers of the Panzer troops and of the supply troops.

(d) Branch 4 (4. Abteilung) (136). Artillery and chemical warfare officers.

(e) Branch 5 (5. Abteilung) (137). Engineer and signal officers.

(f) Branch 6 (6. Abteilung) (138). Reserve officers and officers in recalled status (Offiziere z. V.).

Branch 7, which deals with specialist officers (medical, veterinary, ordnance, motor maintenance), is believed to have formed the nucleus for the new Group P 6 formed in May 1944 (see below).

(2) Group P 2 (Amtsgruppe P 2--Ag P 2) (139). Responsible for officer education and welfare. It was expanded from a branch in August 1942 when "ideological training" for the officer corps was added to its functions. It includes:

(a) Policy Section, formerly Branch 1 (Chefgruppe, formerly 1. Abteilung) (140). Education, questions of honor among officers, political matters, special cases involving general officers and high staff officers.

(b) Branch 2 (2. Abteilung) (141). Final decisions in all individual cases involving honor, court-martial, and officer behavior.

(c) Branch 3 (3. Abteilung) (142). Complaints, questions of Aryan ancestry, marriage, welfare measures, and personal assistance for officers and their dependents.

(3) Branch P 3 (Heeres-Personalabteilung 3--P 3) (143). Responsible for all General Staff Corps officers, including their selection and training as well as their transfer and promotion. It took over full responsibility for these functions from the Central Branch of the Army General Staff (Gen St d H/GZ) in March 1943.

(4) Branch P 4 (Heeres-Personalabteilung 4--P 4) (144). Responsible for officer replacements. Lays down general directives for the Inspector


General for Potential Officers and Noncommissioned officers (GJF).

(5) Branch P 5 (Heeres-Personalabteilung 5--P 5) (145). Responsible for decorations and awards. Divided into several sections, each dealing with a different type of decoration or award.

(6) Group P 6 (Amtsgruppe P 6--Ag P 6) (146). Responsible for personnel matters of officers in the specialist careers (Sonderlaufbahnen) and of specialist leaders (Sonderführer). It was formed in May 1944 as an offshoot of Group P 1 as a result of the creation of the Special Troop Service (TSD), comprising the administrative officers (Intendanten) and the judge advocates (Wehrmachtrichter), who were formerly classified as Armed Forces officials and dealt with by the Army Administration Office. The numbers of the branches in this group follow those of Group P 1. It includes:

(a) Branch 7 (7. Abteilung) (147). Medical, veterinary, ordnance, and motor maintenance officers. In the lower ranks the authority to transfer these officers is delegated to the Chief Army Medical Inspector (H San Insp), the Chief Veterinary Inspector (Vet Insp), the Ordnance Inspectorate (Fz Jn), and the Chief Motor Transport Officer (Gen d Kfw); in the upper ranks, transfers are made on the recommendation of these agencies.

(b) Branch 8, General Branch (8. Allg.) Abteilung) (148). Handles basic policies and issues general directives regarding officers controlled by the group.

(c) Branch 9 (9. Abteilung) (149). Probably handles the officers in the Special Troop Service (TSD).

(d) Branch 10 (10. Abteilung (Sdf.)) (150). Responsible for personnel matters of specialist leaders (Sdf) (such as interpreters). They were formerly taken care of by Branch 7 when it was still part of Group 1.

(7) Branch P 7 (Heeres-Personalabteilung 7--P 7) (151). Responsible for personnel matters of all officers belonging to Field Army units under the control of Himmler, primarily Volks Grenadier divisions (VD). This branch was formed in October 1944.

(8) Special Section (Gruppe z b V) (152). This section contains the officers who are charged with the handling out of decorations and medals and the performance of other ceremonial functions. It was formerly called Section for Representation and Honors (Gruppe Rep/E).

(9) Courses for Senior Personnel Officers (Lehrgänge für höhere Adjutanten--Lehrg j höhere Adj) (153). This section deals with the administration of special six to eight-week courses given by the Army Personnel Office for Senior Personnel Officers. These consist mainly of lectures on the functioning and policies of the Army Personnel Office and affiliated agencies.

f. CHIEF OF ARMY EQUIPMENT AND COMMANDER OF THE REPLACEMENT ARMY (Chef der Heeresrustung und Befehlshaber des Ersatzheeres--Chef H Rüst u BdE) (154). This officer is the wartime deputy of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army charged with all the functions of the Zone of the Interior. These are primarily the conscription, training, and replacement of personnel; the procurement, storage, and issue of equipment; and territorial administration. He controls all the principal offices of the High Command which are left behind as the rear echelon on mobilization, with the exception of the Personnel Office. These are discussed in the following six lettered paragraphs.

g. GENERAL ARMY OFFICE (Allgemeines Heeresamt--AHA) (155). Similar in function to the General Armed Forces Office in the OKW (AWA), this office is composed of a number of important, but partly unrelated, branches in the OKH, grouped together for administrative purposes. Its chief is believed to act as the deputy to the Chief of Army Equipment and Commander of the Replacement Army. It is used by various agencies both in the Home Command and in the Field Army and does most of the paper work for the OKH. It contains:

(1) Staff (Stab AHA) (156). The staff of the General Army Office is a central agency which approves the publications written by subordinate units and issues tables of organization, tables of equipment, manuals, and other publications. It includes the Army Regulations Administration (Heeres-Druckvorschriftenverwaltung--HDvV) (157), a section which issues all directives on clothing and uniforms (Stab/Bkl) (158), and a section concerned with technical developments in weapons and equipment (Sonderstab A) (159).

(2) Inspectorates of Arms and Services. There are approximately 15 of these inspectorates, grouped under the General Army Office, which are the principal agencies for handling the paper work for their respective arms and services. They have no command functions themselves but keep records and publish orders, directives, training manuals, and other material on behalf of the two


types of chiefs of arms and services: the inspectors (Waffeninspekteure) in the Replacement Army and the chiefs of branches (Waffengenerale) attached to the General Staff in the Field Army. They are referred to either as inspectorates (Inspektionen--Jn) or as branches (Waffenabteilungen). Most of them have numbers, ranging between 2 and 13, but several have been upgraded to the status of a group (Amtsgruppe) and control two numbered branches. Jn 1, the Inspectorate of Cadet Schools (Inspektion der Kriegsschulen), was in peacetime directly subordinate to the Commander-in-Chief of the Army; its function has now been taken over by the Inspector General for Potential Officers and Noncommissioned officers (GJF). The present inspectorates of arms and services are as follows:

(a) Infantry Branch--Inspectorate 2 (Infanterieabteilung--Jn 2) (160). Attached to the Infantry Branch is the Senior Infantry Officer for Land Fortifications (Höh Inf Offz für die Landesbef) (161), who is directly subordinate to the Chief of the General Army Office. He assists the Chief Engineer and Fortifications Officer (Inspector of Fortifications) (Insp Fest) at the Army General Staff in fortification matters concerning the infantry. He is also responsible for the uniform training of officers charged with the defense of fortifications.

(b) Riding and Driving Branch--Inspectorate 3 (Abteilung Reit- und Fahrwesen--Jn 3) (162). Concerned with the training of men who handle horses as riders or drivers.

(c) Artillery Group (Amtsgruppe Artillerie--Ag Art) (163). Formed in July 1944 to control the following two inspectorates:

Artillery Branch--Inspectorate 4 (Artillerieabteilung--Jn 4) (164).

Army Antiaircraft Artillery Branch--Inspectorate 13 (Heeres-Flakartillerieabtetilung--Jn 13) (165).

(d) Engineer Branch--Inspectorate 5 (Pionierabteilung--Jn 5) (166).

(e) Inspectorate of Fortifications (Inspektion der Festungen--Jn Fest) (167). Concerned with the training of fortress engineers.

(f) Panzer Troop Branch--Inspectorate 6 [Abteilung Panzertruppe--Jn 6) (168). Believed transferred to the control of the Inspector General of Panzer Troops (Gen Insp d Pz Tr) when that office was created in 1943.

(g) Signal Group (Amtsgruppe Nachrichtenwesen) (169). Formed in December 1943 with the expansion of Inspectorate 7. May be controlled by the Chief of Training (Chef Ausb) as well as the General Army Office. It includes:

Signal Branch--Inspectorate 7 (Nachrichtentruppen-Abteilung--Jn 7) (170).

Signal Equipment Branch (Nachrichtengerat-Abteilung--N. Ger. Abt) (171).

Army Communications Branch (Heeresnachrichtenverbindungs-Abteilung--HNV). Similar in function to the Armed Forces Communications Group in the OKW (Ag WNV) (172).

(h) Supply Branch--Inspectorate 8 (Abteilung Nachschubtruppen--Jn 8) (173). Attached to this branch is the Senior Officer of Administrative Troops (Höh Off d Verw Tr) (174), responsible for the uniform training of the administrative troops in the Replacement Army under the directives of the Chief of Training.

(i) Chemical Warfare and Air Raid Protection Branch--Inspectorate 9 (Abteilung Nebeltruppe, Gasabwehr und Luftschutz--Jn 9) (175).

(j) Railway Engineer Branch-- Inspectorate 10 (Eisenbahnpionier-Abteilung--Jn 10) (176).

(k) Branch for Technical Troops--Inspectorate 11 (Abteilung Technische Truppen--Jn 11) (177).

(l) Group of the Chief Motor Transport Officer (General des Kraftfahrwesens--Gen d Kfw) (178). Formerly called Chief of Motorization (Gen d Mot) (179).The Chief Motor Transport Officer, in addition to being responsible for all motor transport in the field, also controls the following agencies in the General Army Office:

Motor Transport Branch--Inspectorate 12 (Abteilung Kraftfahrwesen--Jn 12) (180).

Chief of Motor Repair (Chef des Instandsetzungswesen--Chef Inst) (181).

Senior Motor Maintenance Troop Officer (Höherer Offizier der Kraftfahrparktruppe--Hdh Offz d Kf Pk Tr) (182). He supervises the training of motor maintenance troops in the Replacement Army and his position is equivalent to that of an inspector.

(m) Medical Inspectorate (Heeres-Sanitätsinspektion--S Jn) (183). This inspectorate also contains the staff of the Chief Army Medical Inspector (HSan Insp) and is equivalent to a group. It includes:

Personnel Branch (Personalabteilung--S Jn/ Pers) (184).


Organization Branch (Organisationsabteilung--S Jn/Org) (185).

Branch for Medical Science and Hygiene (Abteilung für Wissenschaft und Gesundheitsführung--S Jn/Wi G) (186).

(n) Veterinary Inspectorate (Veterinärinspektion--V Jn) (187). This inspectorate also contains the staff of the Chief Veterinary Inspector (Vet Insp).

(o) Ordnance Inspectorate (Feldzeuginspektion--Fz Jn) (188). The head of the inspectorate also holds the position of Chief Army Ordnance Officer (Heeresfeldzeugmeister) (189). As such he controls the entire system of ordnance depots in Germany.

(3) Group for Replacement and General Troop Matters (Amtsgruppe Ersatzwesen und Allgemeine Truppenangelegenheiten--Ag E Tr) (190). This group has generally the same responsibilities toward enlisted personnel as the Army Personnel Office (PA) has toward officers, except that it does not concern itself with individuals. It establishes policies and issues directives on all types of personnel matters. Until the summer of 1943 it included the Replacement Branch (Abt E), which has since been incorporated into the Conscription and Recruiting Office (WEA) in the OKW. It is believed that nevertheless the name of the group has thus far remained unchanged. It contains:

(a) Branch for General Troop Matters (Abteilung für Allgemeine Truppenangelegenheiten--Tr Abt) (191). This is the most important branch in the group, and probably of larger size than its name implies. It issues all types of orders to the troops, such as transfer regulations, promotion policies, and regulations regarding welfare and personal affairs. It includes a penal section, a section for noncommissioned officer affairs, and a section for German prisoners of war in Allied hands.

(b) Chaplains Section (Gruppe Seelsorge--Gr S) (192).

(c) Branch for Billets and Maneuver Areas (Abteilung Unterkunft und Truppenübungsplätze--Abt U) (193). Arranges for the requisition of premises needed for military purposes.

(4) Army Judge Advocate General's Group (Amtsgruppe Heeresrechtswesen--Ag HR Wes) (194). Contains a Judge Advocate's branch (HR) (195) and a legal section (Just).

(5) Unit Inactivation Staff (Abwicklungsstab--Abw St) (196). After Stalingrad an inactivation staff was set up to liquidate the affairs of units which were destroyed in the Sixth Army. It later was expanded to deal with those destroyed in Army Group Africa. In the summer of 1944 this staff was made a permanent part of the High Command structure, with the mission of inactivating all units destroyed on any front. It takes charge of any remaining funds which were the property of such units.

(6) Demobilization Branch (Abteilung Demobilmachung--Abt Demob) (197). Issues rules and directives for future demobilization.

(7) Chief of Army Museums (Chef der Heeresmuseen--Chef Heer Mus) (198).

h. CHIEF OF TRAINING IN THE REPLACEMENT ARMY (Chef des Ausbildungswesens im Ersatzheer--Chef Ausb) (199). Appointed in October 1942, this officer is immediately subordinate to the Chief of Army Equipment and Commander of the Replacement Army. He controls all training conducted within the Replacement Army, using as his representatives the inspectors of arms and services (Waffeninspekteure) (200) listed below. Through these inspectors he utilizes the facilities of the inspectorates of the corresponding arms and services in the General Army Office for working out the details of training programs and methods, the issuance of directives and manuals, and other paper work. The Chief of Training is not responsible for the specialized training of the medical, veterinary, ordnance, and motor maintenance troops, as this is handled by the inspectorates of these branches in the General Army Office operating under the direct control of their own independent inspectors.

The following are subordinate to the Chief of Training:

(1) Inspector of Infantry (Inspekteur der Infanterie--Insp d Inf) (201).

(2) Inspector of Riding and Driving (Inspekteur des Reit- und Fahrwesens) (202).

(3) Inspector of Artillery (Inspekteur der Artillerie--Insp d Art) (203).

(4) Inspector of Army Antiaircraft Troops (Inspekteur der Heeresflaktruppen--Insp H Flak) (204).

(5) Inspector of Engineers and Railway Engineers (Inspekteur der Pioniere und Eisenbahnpioniere--Insp d Pi u Eisb Pi) (205).

(6) Inspector of Construction Troops (Inspekteur der Bautruppen--Insp d Bau Tr) (206).

(7) Inspector of Signal Troops (Inspekteur


der Nachrichtentruppen--Insp d Nachr Tr) (207).

(8) Inspector of Supply Troops (Inspekteur der Nachschubtruppen--Insp d Nachsch Tr) (208).

(9) Inspector of Chemical Troops (Inspekteur der Nebeltruppen--Insp d Nbl Tr) (209).

(10) Training Film Branch (Abteilung Lehrfilm) (210). Controls the archives of the Army, the production and proper distribution of training films, and the training of film operators.

i. ARMY ORDNANCE OFFICE (Heereswaffenamt--Wa A) (211). This office is responsible for the design, testing, development, and acceptance of all ordnance equipment. It works in very close collaboration with the Ministry of Armament and War Production (Reichsministerium für Bewaffnung und Kriegsproduktion) some of whose branches are even located at the Army Ordnance Office. It is organized as follows:

(1) Central Group (Zentral-Amtsgruppe des Heereswaffenamts--Wa Z) (212). This group has no special ordnance functions but is only an administrative agency. It includes:

(a) Organization Branch (Organisationsabteilung--Wa Z 1) (213). Issues general directives on organization to subordinate ordnance agencies.

(b) Administrative Section (Gruppe für Allgemeine Verwaltungsangelegenheiten--Wa Z 2) (214). Responsible for general administrative matters.

(c) Branch for Plant Efficiency (Betriebswirtschaftliche Abteilung--Wa Z 3) (215).

(d) Regulations Branch (Vorschriftenabteilung--Wa Z 4) (216). Publishes all orders, manuals and directives originating in the Army Ordnance Office.

(e) Branch for Housing, Construction, and Guard Matters (Allgemeine Unterbringungs-, Ban- und Überwachungsangelegenheiten--Wa Z 6) (217). Responsible for the acquisition of premises and the construction and patrolling of Army Ordnance Office buildings.

(2) Development and Testing Group (Amtsgruppe für Entwicklung und Prüfung--Wa Prüf) (218). This group is responsible for the development and testing of ordnance equipment for all arms and services. Besides certain subdivisions which have special fields, there are those dealing with ordnance equipment of each combat arm; the numbers assigned to these branches correspond mostly to those of the inspectorates of the same arm in the General Army Office. This group is composed of:

(a) Ballistic and Ammunition Branch (Ballistische und Munitionsabteilung--Wa Prüf 1) (219). Responsible for the development and testing of all types of ammunition. Divided into various sections dealing with ammunition of the different arms, special types of ammunition, firing tables, explosives, and other special technical matters connected with projectiles.

(b) Infantry Branch (Infanterieabteilung--Wa Prüf 2) (220).

(c) Artillery Branch (Artillerieabteilung--Wa Prüf 4) (221).

(d) Engineer and Railway Engineer Branch (Pionier- und Eisenbahnpionier-Abteilung--Wa Prüf 5) (222). Composed of sections dealing with engineer combat equipment, bridging and other river-crossing materials, engineering machines, water supply equipment, work tools, engineer transport vehicles, special construction equipment, and equipment for railway and waterway operation.

(e) Fortress Engineer Branch (Festungspionierabteilung--Prüf Fest) (223).

(f) Panzer and Motorized Equipment Branch (Panzer- und Motorisierungsabteilung--Wa Prüf 6) (224). Divided into a separate section for the development and testing of tanks and motorized equipment.

(g) Signal Branch (Nachrichtenabteilung--Wa Prüf 7) (225).

(h) Branch for Optical, Survey, Meteorological, Artillery Fire Control, and Map-Printing Equipment (Abteilung für Optik, Messwesen, Heereswetterdienst, Feuerleitung und Kartendruck--Wa Prüf 8) (226).

(i) Gas Protection Branch (Gasschutzabteilung--Wa Prüf 9). Controls the Army Gas Protection laboratories at Spandau (Heeres-Gasschutzlaboratorien Spandau) (227).

(j) Special Equipment Branch (Abteilung für Sondergerut--Wa Prüf 11) (228). Possibly the branch responsible for the development of some of the V weapons.

(k) Branch for Proving Grounds (Abteilung für Versuchsplatze--Wa Prüf 12) (229). Controls the experimental stations which are located at most maneuver areas (Truppenübungsplätze).

(3) Group for Weapons and Equipment Manufacture (Amtsgruppe für Industrielle Rustling--Waffen und Gerat--Wa J Rü--W u G)


(230). This group is responsible for the procurement of all ordnance materiel except ammunition. Its main function is the placing of orders with industry. Here too the numbers of the branches mostly correspond to those of inspectorates of the same branch of service in the General Army Office. It includes:

(a) Branch for General Army Equipment (Allgemeines Heeresgerat--Wa J Rü--W u G 1) (231). Handles all types of equipment, including medical and veterinary.

(b) Weapons Branch (Waffenabteilung--Wa J Rü--W u G 2) (232). Divided into sections responsible for weapons of the various arms.

(c) Engineer, Railway Engineer, and Fortress Equipment Branch (Pionier-, Eisenbahnpionier-, und Festungs-Geräteabteilung--Wa J Rü--W u G 5) (233).

(d) Tanks and Tractors Branch (Panzerkampfwagen- und Zugkraftwagen-Abteilung--Wa J Rü--W u G 6) (234)

(e) Signal Equipment Branch (Nachrichtengerätabteilung--Wa J Rü--W u G 7) (235).

(f) Optical and Precision Instruments Branch (Abteilung für optisches und feinmechanisches Gerdt--Wa J Rü--W u G 8/ZO) (236). Composed of various sections responsible for general optical instruments for all three services, special army optical instruments, precision antiaircraft artillery parts, artillery fire control parts, and the like.

(g) Motor Vehicle Equipment Branch (Kraftwagengeratäbteilung--Wa J Rü--W u G 12) (237).

(4) Group for Ammunition Manufacture (Amtsgruppe für Industrielle Rüstung (Munition)--Wa J Rü Mun) (238). This group is responsible for all ordnance equipment. It includes:

(a) Ammunition Branch 1 (Munitionsabteilung 1--Wa J Rü Mun 1) (239).

(b) Ammunition Branch 2 (Munitionsabteilung 2--Wa J Rü Mun 2) (240).

(c) Ammunition Branch 3 (Munitionsabteilung 3--Wa J Rü Mun 3 uzbV) (241). Probably manufactures special types of munitions.

(d) Ammunition Branch 4 (Munitionsabteilung 4--Wa J Rü Mun 4) (242).

(e) Ammunition Branch 5 (Munitionsabteilung 5--Wa J Rü Mun 5) (243).

(5) Acceptance Group (Amstgruppe für Abnahme--Wa Abn) (244). This group is responsible for seeing that all ordnance materiel is manufactured according to specifications and for accepting it on behalf of the Army. It controls the Acceptance Inspectors (Abnahmeinspizienten) (245) located in each Wehrkreis. It is composed of a Central Branch and Branches 1 and 2.

(6) Chief Ordnance Engineer Group (Amtsgruppe Chefingenieur--Wa Chef Ing) (246). This group contains various technical branches which design and supervise the manufacture of certain ordnance parts. It includes:

(a) The Chief Designer's Branch (Chefkonstrukteur--Wa Chef Ing 1) (247) contains a section which maintains liaison with the Reich Patent Office (Reichspatentamt).

(b) Pig Iron Branch (Halbzeugstelle--Wa Chef Ing 3/Hz) (248).

(c) The Manufacture Branch (Fabrikalionsabteilung--Wa Chef Ing 4) (249) contains various sections for studying methods of manufacture of weapons, vehicles, and other equipment.

(d) The Machine Recording Branch (Maschinelles Berichtwesen--Wa Chef Ing 5 M B) (250) is responsible for punch-card machines and other mechanical office aids.

(e) Section for the Manufacture of Machine Tools, Gauges, and Tools (Fabrikationsgruppe Werkzeugmaschinen, Lehren und Werkzeuge--Wa Chef Ing 6) (251).

(f) Section for the Manufacture of Ammunition (Fabrikationsgruppe Munition--Wa Chef Ing 7) (252).

(7) Group for Antiaircraft Artillery Development (Amtsgruppe für Flakentwicklung--GL/ Flak-E) (253). Includes:

(a) Branch for Ballistics and Development of Antiaircraft Ammunition (Abteilung für Ballistik und Entwicklung der Flakmunition--GL/ Flak-E/1) (254).

(b) Branch for the Development of Antiaircraft Equipment (Abteilung für Gerätentwicklung--GL/Flak-E/2) (255).

(c) Branch for Technical and General Matters (Abteilung für technische und allgemeine Angelegenheiten--GL/Flak-E/3) (256).

(d) Branch for Weapons Development (Abteilung für Waffenentwicklung--GL/Flak-E/4) (257).

(e) Antiaircraft Armament Branch (Abteilung Flakrustung--GL/Flak-Rü) (258).


(8) Ordnance Research Branch (Forschungsabteilung--Wa F).

j. ARMY ADMINISTRATION OFFICE (Heeresverwaltungsamt--V A) (259). This office is responsible for what is defined by the Germans as Army Administration (Heeresvcrwaltung). Its responsibilities include mainly the procurement of rations, billets, pay, and clothing for the Army. Until May 1944 the personnel connected with Army Administration normally were Armed Forces officials (Wehrmachtbeamte), divided into a large number of technical and non-technical "careers" (Laufbahnen). At that time those in the important careers of the Administrative Service (Verwaltungsdienst) and of the judge Advocates (Wehrmachtrichter) were made into a new category of officers in the Special Troop Service (Truppensonderdienst--TSD) (260). Their activities still are controlled by the Army Administration Office, but their promotions and transfers are now the responsibility of the Army Personnel Office (PA). The Administration Office includes: (1) Group for Officials and Civilian Workers (Amtsgruppe Allgemeine Heeresbeamten-, Angestellten-, Arbeiter- und Kassenangelegenheiten --Ag V 1) (261). Responsible for personnel administration and pay for Armed Forces officials, salaried workers (Angestellte), and wage earners (Arbeiter). Consists of:

(a) Branch for Army Officials (Heeresbeamtenabteilung--V 1) (262).

(b) Branch for Civilian Workers (Abteilung für Gefolgschaftsangelegenheiten des Heeres--V 8) (263).

(c) Branch for Army Accounts and Pay of Officials (Heereskassen- und Beamtenbesoldungsabteilung--V 9) (264).

(d) Cashier of the OKH (Amtskasse des Oberkommandos des Heeres--AK (OKH)) (265) is responsible for paying personnel of the OKH. (e) Pay and Allowance Department of the OKH (Gebührnisstelle des Oberkommandos des Heeres--G St OKH) (266) handles pay and allowances of military personnel and Armed Forces officials in the OKH.

(f) Wage and Salary Office (Lohnstelle des Oberkommandos des Heeres--Lohnst OKH) (267) has sections concerned with salaried employees, wage earners, and various types of pay deductions.

(g) Accounting Offices of the Chief of Army Equipment and Commander of the Replacement Army (Zahlmeistereien des Ch H Rüst u. B d E) (268) have four accounting offices carrying the Roman numerals I to IV.

(2) Group for Real Estate, Agriculture, and Forests (Amtsgruppe Liegenschaften, Land- und Forstwirtschaft--Ag V II) (269). Includes:

(a) Branch for Real Estate of Garrisons and Procurement of Quarters (Abteilung für Liegenschaften der Standorte und Wohnungsfürsorge--V 2) (270).

(b) Branch for the Administration of Maneuver Areas (Abteilung für Verwaltung von Übungsplätzen--V 6) (271).

(c) Army Forestry Branch (Heeresforstabteilung--V 10) (272).

(3) Rations and Procurement Group (Amtsgruppe Heeresverpflegungs- und -Beschajfungswesen--Ag V III) (273). Responsible for the procurement and administration of rations. Includes:

(a) Army Rations Branch (Heeresverpflegungsabteilung--V 3) (274).

(b) Army Procurements Branch (Heeresbeschaffungsabteilung--V 5) (275).

(c) Rations Inspector in the OKH (Verpflegungsinspekteur im OKH--Verpfl Insp OKH) (276) is responsible for over-all planning of rations supplies in the whole Theater of War.

(4) Construction Group (Amtsgruppe Bau--Ag V IV) (277). Responsible for all army construction. Includes:

(a) Branch for Administration of Army Construction (Heeresbauverwaltungsabteilung--V 4) (278).

(b) Branch for Army Construction Activities (Heeresbauwirtschaftsabteilung--V 7) (279).

(5) Budget Group (Amstgruppe Haushaltsund Besoldungswesen--Ag Haushalt) (280). This group was formed in February 1944 by an amalgamation of four independent branches connected with budget and finance matters. Up to August 1944 it was immediately under the Chief of Army Equipment and Commander of the Replacement Army; it was placed under the control of the Chief of the Army Administration Office. It includes:

(a) Army Budget Branch (Heeres-Haushaltsabteilung--H Haush) (281).

(b) Central Branch in the OKH (Zentralabteilung im OKH (Chef H Rüst u, BdE)--Z) (282).


(c) Army Pay Branch (Heeresbesoldungsabteilung--H Bes Abt) (283).

(d) Army Finance Branch (Heeres-Finanzierungsabteilung) (284).

k. INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR POTENTIAL OFFICERS AND NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICERS (Generalinspekteur für den Führernachwuchs des Heeres--GJF) (285). Formerly the Inspector of Army (Training and Education (In EB) (286); renamed and broadened in scope and authority in March 1944. Subordinate to the Chief of Army Equipment and Commander of the Replacement Army (Chef H Rüst u BdE). He is responsible for the uniform recruiting, National-Socialist instruction and guidance, and uniform training of all potential officers and noncommissioned officers (Führernachwuchs). He is in charge of all officer candidate and noncommissioned officer schools and determines the subject-matter and methods of instruction, particularly the political aspects. He controls:

(1) Branch for the Procurement of Leaders (Abteilung Heeresnachwuchs--Abt. HN) (287). This branch was independent up to 1944 but became subordinate to the Inspector General for Potential Officers and Noncommissioned Officers when he was appointed. This branch represents the Army in dealing with other services and agencies in all questions concerning the procurement of leaders.

(2) Cadet School Branch (Abteilung Kriegsschulen--KS) (288). Previously called Inspectorate 1 (In 1) and directly under the Chief of Army Equipment and Commander of the Replacement Army. Administers all officer candidate schools.

(3) Noncommissioned Officer School Branch (Abteilung Unteroffizier-Vorschulen u. -Schulen --US) (289).

(4) Inspector of Army Officer Procurement Offices (Inspekteur der Annahmestellen für Offizierbewerber des Heeres--Insp d Annst) (290). Set up in 1943 as an independent agency in the Army Personnel Office; transferred to the control of the Inspector General for Potential Officer and noncommissioned officers in 1944. Controls the officer candidate acceptance centers located in each Wehrkreis.

l. MISCELLANEOUS AGENCIES. The following are independent agencies, all immediately subordinate to the Chief of Army Equipment and Commander of the Replacement Army (Chef H Rüst u. BdE):

(1) Signal Communications Branch of the Chief of Army Equipment and Commander of the Replacement Army (Nachrichten-Betriebs-Abteilung des Ch H Rüst u. BdE) (291). Contains a telephone operating company, a telegraph company, a signal exploitation company, and a radio transmission center.

(2) Army Raw Materials Branch (Heeres-Rohstoffabteilung--H Ro) (292). Charged with the procurement of raw materials for the OKH. Formerly a subordinate unit of the Army Ordnance Office (Rohstoffstelle OKH--Wa Chef Ing 2/Wa Ro) (293), it was made an independent branch in 1942.

(3) Army Map Service (Heeresplankammer--HPK) (294). Contains a foreign maps branch, and a map production branch.

(4) Army Technical Bureau (Hewrwstwchnisches Büro (HTB) (295). Believed to be a staff of engineers at the disposal of the OKH.

(5) Women's Auxiliary Corps (Nachrichtenhelferinnen-Einsatzabteilung--NH-Einsatzabteilung) (296). The women's auxiliary corps is believed to be subordinate to the Chief of Army Equipment and Commander of the Replacement Army. It is formed into special battalions (Einsatzabteilungen) and used throughout the Field and Replacement Armies for signal communications and office work at higher headquarters.

m. NATIONAL-SOCIALIST GUIDANCE STAFF OF THE ARMY (Nationalsozialistischer Führungsstab des Heeres--NSF St d H) (297). Established in March 1944 to control the uniform National-Socialist indoctrination and guidance in the Army. Directly subordinate to Hitler but attached to the Army High Command. Issues directives to the National-Socialist Guidance Officers (NSFO) in the field.

n. THE FÜHRER'S OFFICIAL MILITARY HISTORIAN (Der Beauftragte des Führers für die militärische Geschichtsschreibung--D Beauftr d Führers für die mil Geschichtsschr) (298). Appointed in 1942 to take charge of the writing of military history of World War II. Directly subordinate to Hitler but attached to the Army High Command. Upon his appointment, the agencies connected with military history in the Army were transferred from the jurisdiction of the Fifth Senior General Staff Officer (O Qu V) to his control but remained subordinate to the OKH. In addition, historical branches were set up at both the OKW and the OKH to record the war for the Armed Forces and for the Army respectively.


This obviated the need for the Military Science Branch still under the O Qu V, and it is believed that its existence is only nominal. The Führer's Official Military Historian controls within the OKH:

(1) Army Historical Branch (Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung des Heeres--Kr Gesch Heer) (299). Established in 1942. Probably took over all the functions of the Military Science Branch (Kr Wiss Abt.) in the Army General Staff. It includes the editorial staff of the magazine "Military Science Review" (Militärwissenschaftliche Rundschau).

(2) Military History Research Institute (Kriegswissenschaftliche Forschungs-Anstalt) (300). Originally under the control of the Army General Staff but believed to have been transferred to the control of the Führer's Official Military Historian, sometime after 1942.

(3) Chief of Army Archives (Chef der Heeresarchive--Chef H Arch) (301). Transferred from the Army General Staff in 1942. Army archives have been kept in Potsdam, with a branch office at Liegnitz.

(4) Chief of Army Libraries (Chef der Heeresbüchereien--Chef H Buch) (302). This position was created in 1942, first under the control of the Army General Staff and then transferred to Führer's Official Military Historian. Responsible for the administration of all military literature.

(5) Captured Documents Exploitation Center (Wehrmacht-Sichtungsstelle--We Sist) (303). Exploits captured documents (Beuteakten) for the whole of the Armed Forces.

o. INSPECTOR GENERAL OF PANZER TROOPS (Generalinspekteur der Panzertruppen--Gen Insp d Pz Tr) (304). Appointed in 1943 as a successor to the Chief of Mobile Troops (General der Schnellen Truppen) (305) who had been attached to the Army General Staff. Directly subordinate to Hitler but attached to the Army High Command. Controls the whole Panzer arm; responsible for its organization, training, and replacement system. His prerogative extend to the Air Force and Waffen-SS Panzer units. He controls:

(1) Chief Antitank Officer for All Arms (General der Panzer abwehr aller Waffen) (306). Appointed in November 1944 to coordinate antitank tactics throughout the Armed Forces. He also acts as liaison officer for the Panzer troops at the Army General Staff replacing the former Panzer Officer at the Army General Staff (Pz Offz b Gen St d H) (307).

(2) Inspector of Panzer Troops (Inspekteur der Panzertruppen--Insp d Pz Tr) (308). Has a function similar to that of the other inspectors in the OKH except that he is not controlled by the Chief of Training in the Replacement Army (Chef Ausb). He controls the Panzer Troop Branch, Inspectorate 6 (Jn 6) (309), although the latter may still be administratively under the General Army Office.

(3) Field Army Branch (Abteilung Feldheer) (310). This branch maintains liaison between the Inspector General of Panzer Troops and the Field Army. It is responsible for the proper evaluation and use of all combat experience and makes suggestions on the organization, training, and development of the Panzer arm.

(4) Training Branch (Ausbildungs-Abteilung--Ausb Abt) (311). Formed in 1944, this branch took over the administration of the training of Panzer troops from Inspectorate 6. It issues a regular monthly periodical dealing with the experience of Panzer troops in the field.


4. Glossary and Index of German Terms and Abbreviations

This glossary consists of German designations for all the principal agencies of the Armed Forces and Army High Commands, together with their usual abbreviations and approximate translations. The glossary is designed to assist the reader in finding an explanation of the function of each agency. The numbers following the terms serve as a cross-reference to paragraph 3. where the explanations are numbered serially.

Abnahmeinspizient (Acceptance Inspector) 245

Abt--Abteilung (Branch) 8

Abt Allgemeines Kriegsgefangenenwesen (General Branch for Prisoner of War Matters) 45

Abt Demobil--Abteilung Demobilmachung (Demobilization Branch) 197

Abt E--Abteilung Ersatzwesen (Replacement Branch) 64

Abteilung--See Abt

Abt Ersatzwesen (Replacement Branch) 64

Abt Feldheer (Field Army Branch) 310

Abt für Allgemeine Truppenangelegenheiten (Branch for General Troop Matters) 191

Abt für Wehrmachtfachschulunterricht (Armed Forces Educational Branch) 50

Abt für Wehrmachtpropaganda (Armed Forces Propaganda Branch) 39

Abt HN--Abteilung Heeresnachwuchs (Branch for the Procurement of Leaders) 787

Abt Kraftfahrwesen--Jn 12 (Motor Transport Branch--Inspectorate 12) 180

Abt Kriegsschulen (Cadet School Branch) 288

Abt Lehrfilm (Training Film Branch) 210

Abt Nachschubtruppen--Jn 8 (Supply Troops Branch Inspectorate 8) 173

Abt Nebeltruppe, Gasabwehr, und Luftschutz--Jn 9 (Chemical Warfare and Air Raid Protection Branch--Inspectorate 9) 175

Abt Organisation des Kriegsgefangenenwesens (Organization Branch for Prisoners of War) 46

Abt Reichsvers--Reichsversorgungsabteilung (Civilian Pensions Branch) 49

Abt Reit- und Fahrwesen--Jn 3 (Riding and Driving Branch--Inspectorate 3) 162

Abt Technische Truppen--Jn 11 (Branch for Technical Troops--Inspectorate 11) 177

Abt U--Unterkunft and Truppenübungsplätze (Branch for Billets and Maneuver Areas) 193

Abt Unterofizier-Vorschulen und -Schulen--(NCO Schools Branch) 289

Abt Wehrmachtnachrichtenverbindungen Funkwesen (Armed Forces Radio Communications Branch) 35

Abt Wehrmachtverlustwesen--(Armed Forces Casualty Branch) 51

Abt Wissenschaft--(Military Science Branch) 54

Abwicklungsstab (Unit Inactivation Staff) 196

Adjutantur (Personnel Section) 99

Ag--Amtsgruppe (Group) 7Ag Art--Amtsgruppe Artillerie (Artillery Group) 13

Ag Ausl--Amtsgruppe Ausland (Foreign Group) 32

Ag Chefingeuieur (Chief Ordnance Engineer Group) 246

Ag E Tr--Ersatzwesen und Allgemeine Truppen-Angelegenheiten (Group for Replacement and General Troop Matters) 190

Ag für Abnahme (Acceptance Group) 244

Ag für Industrielle Rüstung--Waffen und Gerat (Group for Weapons and Equipment Manufacture) 230, 138

Ag GL/Flak-E--Amtsgruppe für Flakentwicklung (Group for Antiaircraft Artillery Development) 253

Ag Haushalt--Amtsgruppe Haushalts- und Besoldungswesen (Budget Group) 280

Ag HR--Heeresrechtswesen (Army Judge Advocate General's Group) 194

Ag J--Ag Jnland (Interior Group) 66

Ag Nachrichtenwesen (Signal Group) 169

Ag P 1 (Group P 1, Officers' Records, Transfers and Promotions) 132

Ag P 2 (Group P 2, Officers' Education and Welfare) 139

Ag P 6--Amtsgruppe P 6 (Group P 6, Specialist Officers) 146

Ag V I--Allgemeine Heeresbeamten- Angestellten-, Arbeiter- und Kassenangelegenheiten (Group for Officials and Civilian Workers) 261

Ag V II--Amtsgruppe Liegenschaften, Land- und Forstwirtschaft (Group for Real Estate, Agriculture, and Forests) 269

Ag V III--Amtsgruppe Heeresverpflegungs- und Beschaffungswesen (Rations and Procurement Group) 273

Ag V IV--Amtsgruppe Bau (Construction Group) 277

Ag WNV--Amtsgruppe Wehrmachtnachrichten-Verbindungen (Armed Forces Communications Group) 34

Ag WNV/Fu--Amtsgruppe Wehrmachtnachrichten-Verbindungen, Abteilung Funkwesen (Armed Forces Radio Communications Branch) 35

Ag WNV/KF--Amtsgruppe Wehrmachtnachrichten - Verbindungen, Kriegsfernmelde - Abteilung (Armed Forces Wire Communications Branch) 36

Ag WV--Amtsgruppe Wehrmachtverwaltung (Armed Forces Administration Group) 43

AHA--Allgemeines Heeresamt (General Army Office) 155


AK (OKH)--Amtskasse des Oberkommandos des Heeres (Cashier of the OKH) 205

Allgemeine Abteilung (General Armed Forces Branch) 42

Allgemeines Heeresamt (General Army Office) 155

Amt (Office) 6 Amtsgruppe--see Ag Amtskasse des Oberkommandos des Heeres (Cashier of the OKH) 265

Artillerieabteilung--Jn 4 (Artillery Branch, Inspectorate 4) 164

Att Abt d OKH--Attacheabteilung des OKH (Branch for Military Attachés of the OKH) 33

Ausb. Abt--Ausbildungs-Abteilung (Training Branch) 83, 311

AWA--Allgemeines Wehrmachtamt (General Armed Forces Office) 41

AWA/HJ--Vertreter der Wehrmacht beim Jugendführer des Deutschen Reichs (Hitler Youth Liaison) 53

BW Sied--Bevollmachtigter des OKW für Siedlugsfragen (Armed Forces Plenipotentiary for Settlement) 52

Chef Ausb--Chef des Ausbildungswesen im Ersatzheer (Chief of Training in the Replacement Army) 199

Chef der Heeresarchive (Chief of Army Archives) 301

Chef der Heeresbüchereien (Chief of Army Libraries) 302

Chef der Heeresmuseen (Chief of Army Museums) 198

Chef der Propagandatruppen (Chief of the Propaganda Troops) 40

Wa J Rü--WuG 12--Kraftwagengeratabteihmg (Motor Vehicle Equipment Branch) 237

Chef des Ausbildungswesens im Ersatzheer (Chief of Training in the Replacement Army) 199

Chef Gen St d H--Chef des Generalstabs des Heeres (Chief of General Staff) 72

Chef des Heeresstäbes beim Chef OKW (Chief of Army Staff with Chief OKW) 25

Chef HNV--Chef des Heeresnachrichtenwesens (Chief Signal Officer) 118

Chef des Instandsetzungswesens (Chief of Motor Repair) 181

Chef des Kriegsgefangenenwesens (Chief of Prisoners of War) 44

Chef des Kriegskarten- und Vermessungswesens (Chief of Mapping and Survey) 116

Chef des OKW (Chief of the Armed Forces High Command) 13

Chef des Transportwesens (Chief Army Transportation Officer) 126

Chef des Wehrmachtkraftfahrwesens (Chief of Armed Forces Motor Transportation) 17

Chef des Transportwesens der Wehrmacht (Chief of Armed Forces Transportation (Rail and Water) 18

Chef des Wehrmachtsanitätswesens (Armed Forces Surgeon General) 24

Chef des Wehrmachtstreifendienstes (Chief of the Armed Forces Patrol Service) 22

Chefgruppe (Policy Section) 140

Chef H Arch--Chef der Heeresarchive (Chief of Army Archives) 301

Chef H Buch--Chef der Heeresbüchereien (Chief of Army Libraries) 302

Ch H Rüst u. BdE--Chef der Heeresrustung und Befehlshaber des Ersatzheeres (Chief of Army Equipment and Commander of the Replacement Army) 154

Chef H St b Chef OKW--Chef des Heeresstäbes beim Chef OKW (Chief of Army Staff with Chief OKW) 25

Chef Inst--Chef des Instandsetzungswesens (Chief of Motor Repair) 181

Chef Kriegsgef--Chef des Kriegsgefangenenwesens (Chief of Prisoners of War) 44

Chef Pr Tr--Chef der Propagandatruppen (Chief of the Propaganda Troops) 40

Chef Trspw--Chef des Transportwesens (Chief Army Transport Officer) 126

Chef Trspw d W--Chef des Transportwesens der Wehrmacht (Chief of Armed Forces Transportation (Rail and Water)) 18

Chef WKW--Chef des Wehrmachtkraftfahrwesens (Chief of Armed Forces Motor Transportation) 17

Chef W San--Chef des Wehrmachtsanitätswesens (Armed Forces Surgeon General) 24

Chef W Str D (Chief of the Armed Forces Patrol Service) 22

Chi--Chiffrier-Abteilung (Cryptographic Branch) 37

Der Beauftr d Führers für die mil Geschichtsschr--Der Beauftragte des Führers für die militärische Geschichtsschreibung (Führer's official military historian) 38, 92, 298

Eisenbahnpionierabteilung--Jn 10 (Railway Engineer Branch, Inspectorate 10) 176

F Abt--Feldtransportabteilung (Field Transportation Branch) 19

Feldzeuginspektion--Fz Jn (Ordnance Inspectorate) 188

Forschungsabteilung (Ordnance Research Branch) 258

Frd Heere Ost--Fremde Heere Ost (Eastern Armies Branch) 89

Frd Heere West--Fremde Heere West (Western Armies Branch) 90

Führerhauptquartier (Field Headquarters of the OKW) 14

Fz Jn--Feldzeuginspektion (Ordnance Inspectorate) 188

Gen--See GeneralGeneral der Artillerie (Chief Artillery Officer) 112

General der Eisenbahntruppen (Chief of Railway Troops) 127

General der Freiwilligenverbande (Chief of Volunteer Units) 123

General der Heeres-Flaktruppen (Chief Army Anti-Aircraft Artillery Officer) 114

General der Heereskusten- und Festungsartillerie (Chief Coast and Fortress Artillery Officer) 113

General der Motorisierung (changed to Gen d Kfw) 179


General der Nachschubtruppen (Chief of Supply Troops) 106

General der Nebeltruppen (Chief Chemical Warfare Officer) 122

General der Osttruppen (changed to Gen d Freiw Verb) 124

General der Pioniere und Festungen (Chief Engineer and Fortifications Officer) 120

General der Panzerabwehr aller Waffen (Chief Antitank Officer for All Arms) 306

General der Schnellen Truppen (changed to Gen Insp d Pz Tr) 10

General des Kraftfahrwesens (Chief Motor Transport Officer) 104

General des Kraftfahrwesens/AHA (Group of the Chief Motor Transport Officer in the General Army Office) 178

General zu besonderer Verwendung (General for Special Employment (Discipline)) 128

Generalinspekteur der Panzertruppen (Inspector General of Panzer Troops) 304

Generalinspekteur des Kraftfahrwesens (Inspector General of Motor Transport) 70

Generalinspekteur für das Kriegsgefangenwesen der Wehrmacht (Inspector General for Prisoner of War Affairs) 27

Generalinspekteur für den Führernachwuchs des Heeres (Inspector General for Potential Officers and NCOs) 285

Generalquartiermeister (Chief Supply and Administration Officer) 74, 94

Generalstab des Heeres (Army General Staff) 71

General z b V IV (General for Special Employment IV--now Chef W Str D) 23

Gen Insp d Pz Tr--Generalinspekteur der Panzertruppen (Inspector General of Panzer Troops) 304

Gen Insp Kfw--Generalinspekteur für das Kraftfahrwesen (Inspector General of Motor Transport) 70

Gen Insp Kriegsgef--Generalinspekteur für das Kriegsgefangenenwesen der Wehrmacht (Inspector General for Prisoner of War Affairs) 27

Gen Qu--Generalquartiermeister (Chief Supply and Administration Officer) 74, 94

Gen St d H--Generalstab des Heeres (Army General Staff) 71

GJF--Generalinspekteur für den Führernachwuchs des Heeres (Inspector General for Potential Officers and NCOs) 285

GL/Flak-E--Amtsgruppe für Flakentwicklung (Group for Antiaircraft Artillery Development) 253

GL/Flak-E/1--Abteilung für Ballistik und Entwicklung der Flakmunition (Branch for Ballistics and Development of Antiaircraft Equipment) 254

GL/Flak-E/2--Abteilung für Gerätentwicklung (Branch for the Development of Antiaircraft Equipment) 255

GL/Flak-E/3--Abteilung für technische und allgemeine Angelegenheiten (Branch for Technical and General Matters)

GL/Flak-E/4--Abteilung für Waffenentwicklung (Branch for the Development of AA Weapons) 257

GL/Flak-Rü--Abteilung Flakrustung (Antiaircraft Armament Branch) 258

G St OKH--Gebührnisstelle des OKH (Pay and Allowance Department of the OKH) 266

Gr--See Gruppe

Gr S--Gruppe Seelsorge (Chaplains' Section) 192

Gruppe (Section) 9

Gruppe IIa--Adjutantur (Personnel Section) 99

Gruppe III--Feldjustizverwaltung (Field Legal Administration Section) 100

Gruppe IVa--Heeres-Intendant (Chief Army Administration Officer) 101

Gruppe IVb--Heeresarzt (Army Surgeon) 102

Gruppe IVc--Heeresveterinär (Army Veterinarian) 103

Gruppe V--General des Kraftfahrwesens (Chief Motor Transport Officer) 104

Gruppe Z--Zivilbeauftragter (Civil Commissioner) 105

Gruppe FP--Heeresfeldpostmeister (Army Postmaster) 107

Gruppe z b V--Gruppe zur besonderen Verwendung (Party Liaison) 69

Gruppe z b V--Gruppe zur besonderen Verwendung (Ceremonial occasions) 152

G St OKH--Gebührnisstelle des OKH (Pay and Allowance Department of the OKH) 266

GZ--Zentralabteilung (Central Branch of Army General Staff) 75

H Arzt--Heeresarzt (Army Surgeon) 102

H Bes Abt--Heeresbesoldungsabteilung (Army Pay Branch) 283

Heeresbesoldungsabteilung (Army Pay Branch) 283

Heeresdruckvorschriftenverwaltung (Army Regulations administration) 157

Heeresfeldzeugmeister (Chief Army Ordnance Officer) 189

Heeres-Finanzierungstabteilung (Army Finance Branch) 284

Heeres-Flakartillerieabteilung--Jn 13 (Army Anti-aircraft Artillery Branch, Inspectorate 13) 165

Heeres-Haushaltsabteilung (Army Budget Branch) 281

Heeres-Intendant (Chief Army Administrative Officer) 101

Heeres - Nachrichtenverbindungs - Abteilung (Army Communication Branch) 172

Heeres-Personalabteilung 3--P 3 (Branch P 3 General Staff Officers) 143

Heeres-Personalabteilung 4--P 4 (Branch P 4, Officer Replacements) 144

Heeres-Personalabteilung 5--P 5 (Branch P 5, Decorations and Medals) 145

Heeres-Personalabteilung 7--P 7 (Branch P 7, Officers in Volksgrenadier Units) 151

Heerespersonalamt (Army Personnel Office) 131

Heeresplankammer (Army Map Service) 294

Heeres-Rohstoffabteilung (Army Raw Materials Branch) 292

Heeres-Sanitätsinspekteur (Chief Army Medical Inspector) 129


Heeres-Sanitätinspektion S Jn (Medical Inspectorate) 183

Heerestechnisches Büro (Army Technical Bureau) 295

Heeresverwaltungsamt (Army Administration Office) 259

Heereswaffenamt (Army Ordnance Office) 21

Heeresforstabteilung (Army Forestry Branch) 272

H Haush--Heereshaushaltsabteilung (Army Budget Branch) 281

HNV--Heeresnachrichtenverbindungsabteilung (Army Communication Branch) 172

Höherer Offizier der Kraftfahrparktruppe (Motor Maintenance Troops Officer) 182

Höh Inf Offz für die Landesbef--Höherer Infanterieoffizier für die Landesbefestigungen (Senior Infantry Officer for Land Fortifications) 161

Höh Ldgs Pi Fu--Höherer Landungspionier-Führer (Chief of Amphibious Engineers) 121

Höh Offz d Kf Pk Tr--Höherer Offizier der Kraftfahrparktruppe (Senior Motor Maintenance Troops Officer) 182

Höh Offz d Verw Tr--Höherer Offizier der Verwaltungstruppen (Senior Officer of Administrative Troops) 174

HPK--Heeresplankammer (Army Map Service) 294

HR--Heeresrechtsabteilung (Judge Advocate General's Branch) 195

H Ro--Heeres-Rohstoffabteilung (Army Raw Materials Branch) 292

H San Insp--Heeres-Sanitätsinspekteur (Chief Army Medical Inspector) 129

HTB--Heerestechnisches Büro (Army Technical Bureau) 295

H Vet--Heeresveterinär (Army Veterinarian) 103

Infanterieabteilung--Jn 2 (Infantry Branch--Inspectorate 2) 160

In FV--Inspekteur der Fürsorge- und Versorgungsdienststellen (Inspector for Welfare and Pensions Agencies) 47

Insp d Annst--Inspekteur der Annahmestellen für Offizierbewerber des Heeres (Inspector of Army Officer Procurement Offices) Insp d Pz Tr--Inspekteur der Panzertruppen (Inspector of Panzer Troops) 308

Inspekteur der Annahmestellen für Offizierbewerber des Heeres (Inspector of Army Officer Procurement Offices) 290

Inspekteur der Artillerie (Inspector of Artillery) 203

Inspekteur der Bautruppen (Inspector of Construction Troops) 206

Inspekteur der Festungen (Inspector of Fortifications) 120

Inspekteur der Heeresflaktruppen (Inspector of Army Antiaircraft Troops) 204

Inspekteur der Infanterie (Inspector of Infantry) 201

Inspekteur der Nachrichtentruppen (Inspector of Signal Troops) 207

Inspekteur der Nachschubtruppen (Inspector of Supply Troops) 208

Inspekteur der Nebeltruppen (Inspector of Chemical Troops) 209

Inspekteur der Panzertruppen (Inspector of Panzer Troops) 308

Inspekteur der Pioniere und Eisenbahnpioniere (Inspector of Engineers and Railway Engineers) 205

Inspekteur des Reit- und Fahrwesens (Inspector of Riding and Driving) 202

Inspektion der Fürsorge- und Versorgungsdienststellen im OKW (Inspectorate for Welfare and Pensions Agencies) 47

Insp Fest--Inspekteur der Festungen (Inspector of Fortifications) 120

Jn 1--Kriegsschulenabteilung (Cadet School Branch--Inspectorate 1) 288

Jn 2--Infanterieabteilung (Infantry Branch--Inspectorate 2) 160

Jn 3--Reit- und Fahrwesen (Riding and Driving Branch--Inspectorate 3) 162

Jn 4--Artillerieabteilung (Artillery Branch--Inspectorate 4) 164

Jn 5--Pionierabteilung (Engineer Branch--Inspectorate 5) 166

Jn 6--Panzertruppenabteilung (Panzer Troops Branch--Inspectorate 6) 168, 309

Jn 7--Nachrichtentruppenabteilung (Signal Branch--Inspectorate 7) 170

Jn 8--Abteilung Nachschubtruppen (Supply Branch--Inspectorate 8) 173

Jn 9--Abteilung Nebeltruppe, Gasabwehr, und Luftschutz (Chemical Warfare and Air Raid Protection Branch--Inspectorate 3) 175

Jn 10--Eisenbahnpionierabteilung (Railway Engineer Branch--Inspectorate 10) 176

Jn 11--Abteilung Technische Truppen (Branch for Technical Troops--Inspectorate 11) 177

Jn 12--Abteilung Kraftfahrwesen (Motor Transport Branch--Inspectorate 12) 180

Jn 13--Heeres-Flakartillerieabteilung (Army Antiaircraft Artillery Branch--Inspectorate 13) 165

Jn EB--Inspektion des Erziehungs- und Bildungswesens des Heeres (Inspectorate of Army Training and Education) 286

Jn Fest--Inspektion der Festungen (Inspectorate of Fortifications) 167

Jn FV--Inspektion der Fürsorge- und Versorgungsdienststellen im OKW (Inspectorate for Welfare and Pensions Agencies) 47

Just--Justiziare des OKH (Legal section in the OKH) 195

Kdr d Eisb Pz Züge--Kommandeur der Eisenbahn-Panzer-Züge (Chief of Armored Trains) 111

Kdr d Freiw Verb--Kommandeur der Freiwilligen Verbande (Commander of Volunteer Units) 125

KF--Kriegsfernmeldeabteilung (Armed Forces Wire Communications Branch) Kr Gesch Heer--Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung des Heeres (Army Historical Branch) 299

Kr Kart Verm Chef--Chef des Kriegskarten- und Vermessungswesens (Chief of Mapping and Survey) 116

Kriegsgef Allg--Allgemeine Abteilung des Kriegsgefangenenwesens (General PW Affairs Branch)


Kriegsgef Org--Organisationsahteilung des Kriegsgefangenenwesens (PW Affairs Organization Branch) 46

Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung des Heeres (Army Historical Branch) 299

Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung der Wehrmacht (Armed Forces Historical Branch) 38

Kriegswissenschaftliche Forschungs-Anstalt des Heeres (Military History Research Institute) 300

Kr Wiss Abt--Kriegswissenschaftliche Abteilung (Military Science Branch) 93

Kr Wiss Forsch Anst--Kriegswissenschaftliche Forschungsanstalt (Military History Research Institute) 300

KS--Abteilung Kriegsschulen (Cadet School Branch) 288

Lehrgänge für höhere Adjutanten (Courses for Senior Personnel Officers) 153

Lohnst OKH--Lohnstelle des Oberkommandos des Heeres (Wage and Salary Office of the OKH)

Militärwissenschaftliche Rundschau (Military Science Review) Min St A--Mineralölstammabteilung (Central Petroleum Branch) 60

Nachrichtenbetriebsabteilung des Ch H Rüst u. BdE (Signal communications branch of the Chief of Army Equipment and Commander of the Replacement Army) 292

Nachrichtengerätabteilung (Signal Equipment Branch) 171, 235

Nachrichtenhelferinnen-Einsatzabteilung (Female Auxiliary Corps) 296

Nachrichtentruppenabteilung--Jn 7 (Signal Branch, Inspectorate 7) 170

Nationalsozialistischer Führungsstab des Heeres (National Socialist Guidance Staff of the Army) 297

N Ger Abt--Nachrichtengerätabteilung (Signal Equipment Branch) 171, 235

NH--Einsatzabteilung--Nachrichtenhelferinnen-Einsatzabteilung (Female Auxiliary Corps) 296

NSF/OKW--Nationalsozialistischer Führungsstab des OKW (National-Socialist Guidance Staff of the OKW) 65

NSF St d H--Nationalsozialistischer Führungsstab des Heeres (National-Socialist Guidance Staff of the Army) 297

Ob d H--Oberbefehlshaber des Heeres (Commander-in-Chief of the Army) 70a

Oberkommando des Heeres (Army High Command) 3, 70a

Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine (Navy High Command) 3O

berkommando der Luftwaffe (Air Force High Command) 4

Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (Armed Forces High Command) 1, 2, 11

Oberquartiermeister--See O Qu

O Qu--Oberquartiermeister (Senior General Staff Officer) 73

Op Abt--Operationsabteilung (Operations Branch) 77

Oberster Befehlshaber der Wehrmacht (Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces) 12

Obst Bfh d Wm--Oberster Befehlshaber der Wehrmacht (Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces) 12OKH--Oberkommando des Heeres (Army High Command) 3

OKL--Oberkommando der Luftwaffe (Air Force High Command) 4

OKM--Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine (Navy High Command) 3

OKW--Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (Armed Forces High Command) 1, 2, 11

Org Abt--Organisationsabteilung (Organization Branch) 86

Qu--Quartiermeistergruppe (Supply section) 95

P 3--Heeres-Personalabteilung (Branch P 3, General Staff Officers) 143

P 4--Heeres-Personalabteilung (Branch P 4, Officer Replacements) 144

P 5--Heeres-Personalabteilung (Branch P 5, Decorations and Awards) 145

P 7--Heeres-Personalabteilung 7 (Branch P 7, Officers in Volksgrenadier units) 151

PA--Heerespersonalamt (Army Personnel Office) 131

Panzertruppenabteilung--Jn 6 (Panzer Troops Branch Inspectorate 6) 168, 309

Pionierabteilung--Jn 5 (Engineer Branch--Inspectorate 5) 166

Preispr--Vertrags- und Preisprufwesen (Contracts and Price Control Branch) 62

Pruf Fest--Festungspionierabteilung (Fortress Engineer Branch) 223

Pz Offz b Gen St d H--Panzeroffizier beim Generalstab des Heeres (Panzer Troops Liaison Officer at the Army General Staff) 307

Referat (Desk) 10

Reichsversorgungsabteilung (Civilian Pensions Branch) 49

Ro--Rohstoffabteilung (Raw Materials Branch) 57

Rohstoffstelle OKH (Army Raw Materials Center 293

Ro St A--Rohstoff-Stammabteilung (Central Raw Materials Branch) 58

Sdf--Sonderführer (Specialist Leaders) 150

Sd St HWK--Sonderstab für Handelskrieg und wirtschaftliche Kampfmassnahmen (Bureau of Economic Warfare) 26S

Jn--Heeres Sanitätsinspektion (Medical Inspectorate) 183

S Jn/Org--Organisationsabteilung (Organization Branch of the Medical Inspectorate) 185

S Jn/Pers--Personalabteilung (Personnel Branch of the Medical Inspectorate) 184

S Jn/Wi G--Abteilung für Wissenschaft und Gesundheitsführung (Branch for Science and Hygiene of the Medical Inspectorate) 186


Sonderstab A (Special Staff A) 159

Sonderstab für Handelskrieg und wirtschaftliche Kampfmassnahmen (Bureau of Economic Warfare) 26

St--See Staffel

Stab AHA--(Staff of the General Army Office) 156

Stab/Bk1--(Clothing Staff of the General Army Office) 158

Stab W Fach--Stab für wehrwirtschaftliche Fachkrafte (Economic Experts Personnel Section) 61

Staffel--(Echelon) 5

Stellv Chef WFSt--Stellvertretender Chef des Wehrmachtfuhrungsstäbes (Deputy Chief of the Armed Forces Operations Staff) 31

Tr Abt--Abteilung für Allgemeine Truppenangelegenheiten (Branch for General Troop Matters) 191

TSD--Truppensonderdienst (Special Troop Service) 260

US--Abteilung Unteroffizier-Vorschulen u. -Schulen (NCO School Branch) 289

V 1--Heeresbeamtenabteilung (Branch for Army Officials) 262

V 2--Abteilung der Liegenschaften der Standorte und Wohnungsfürsorge (Branch for Real Estate of Garrisons and procurement of Quarters) 270

V 3--Heeresverpflegungsabteilung (Army Rations Branch) 274

V 4--Heeresbauverwaltungsabteilung (Branch for the Administration of Army Construction) 278

V 5--Heeresbeschaffungsabteilung (Army Procurements Branch) 275

V 6--Abteilung für Verwaltung von Übungsplätzen (Branch for the Administration of Maneuver Areas) 271

V 7--Heeresbauwirtschaftsabteilung (Branch for Army Construction Activities) 279

V 8--Abteilung für Gefolgschaftsangelegenheiten des Heeres (Branch for Civilian Workers) 263

V 9--Heereskassen und Beamtenbesoldungsabteilung (Branch for Army Accounts and Pay of Officials) 264

V 10--Heeresforstabteilung (Army Forestry Branch) 272

V A--Heeresverwaltungsamt (Army Administration Office) 259

Verk Abt--Verkehrsabteilung (Traffic Branch) 21

Verpfl Insp OKH--Verpflegungsinspekteur im OKH (Rations Inspector of the OKH) 276

Vertrags- und Preisprufwesen (Contracts and Price Control Branch) 62

Vertreter der Wehrmacht beim Jugendführer des Deutschen Reichs (Hitler Youth Liaison) 53

Veterinärinspekteur (Chief Veterinary Inspector) 131

VJ--Veterinärinspektion (Veterinary inspectorate) 187

Wa A--Heereswaftenamt (Army Ordnance Office) 211

Wa Abn--Amtsgruppe für Abnahme (Acceptance group) 244

Wa Chef Ing--Amtsgruppe Chefingenieur (Chief Ordnance Engineer Group) 246

Wa Chef Ing 1--Chefkonstrukteur (Chief Designer's Branch) 247

Wa Chef Ing 2/Wa Ro--Rohstoffstelle OKH (Army Raw Materials Center) 293

Wa Chef Ing 3/Hz--Halbzeugstelle (Pig Iron Branch) 248

Wa Chef Ing 4--Fabrikationsabteilung (Wa Chef Ing 4) 249

Wa Chef Ing 5 M B--Maschinelles Berichtwesen (Machine Recording Branch) 250

Wa Chef Ing 6--Fabrikationsgruppe Werkzeugmaschinen, Lehren und Werkzeuge (Section for the Manufacture of Machine Tools, Patterns, and Tools) 251

Wa Chef Ing 7--Fabrikationsgruppe Munition (Section for the Manufacture of Munition) 252

Wa F--Forschungsabteilung (Ordnance Research Branch) 258

Waffengenerale--(Chiefs of arms and services) 110

Waffeninspekteure--(Inspectors of arms and services) 200

Wa J Rü-Mun--Amtsgruppe für Industrielle Rüstung (Munition) (Group for Ammunition Manufacture) 238

Wa J Rü-Mun 1--Munitionsabteilung 1 (Ammunition Branch 1) 239

Wa J Rü-Mun 2--Munitionsabteilung 2 (Ammunition Branch 2) 240

Wa J Rü-Mun 3 u zbV--Munitionsabteilung 3 u zbV (Special Purpose Ammunition Branch) 241

Wa J Rü-Mun 4--Munitionsabteilung 4 (Ammunition Branch 4) 242

Wa J Rü-Mun 5--Munitionsabteilung 5 (Ammunition Branch 5) 243

Wa J Rü-WuG--Amtsgruppe für Industrielle Rüstung--Waffen und Gerat (Group for Weapons and Equipment Manufacture) 230

Wa J Rü-WuG 1--Allgemeines Heeresgerat (Branch for General Army Equipment) 231

Wa J Rü-WuG 2--Waffenabteilung (Weapons Branch) 232

Wa J Rü-WuG 5--Pionier-, Eisenbahnpionier- und Festungs-Geräteabteilung (Engineer, Railway Engineer, and Fortress Equipment Branch) 233

Wa J Rü-WuG 6--Panzerkraftwagen und Zugkraftwagenabteilung (Tanks and Tractors Branch) 234

Wa J Rü-WuG 7--Nachrichtengerätabteilung (Signal Equipment Branch) 235

Wa J Rü-WuG 8/ZO--Abteilung für optisches und feinmechanisches Gerat (Optical and Precision Instruments Branch) 236

W Allg--Allgemeine Abteilung (General Armed Forces Branch) 42

Wa Prüf--Amtsgruppe für Entwicklung und Prüfung (Development and Testing Group) 218

Wa Prüf 1--Ballistische und Munitionsabteilung (Ballistical and Ammunition Branch) 219

Wa Prüf 2--Infanterieabteilung (Infantry Branch) 200

Wa Prüf 4--Artillerieabteilung (Artillery Branch) 221


Wa Prüf 5--Pionier- und Eisenbahnpionier-Abteilung (Engineer and Railway Engineer Branch) 222

Wa Prüf 6--Panzer- und Motorisierungs-Abteilung (Panzer and Motorized Equipment Branch) 224

Wa Prüf 7--Nachrichtenabteilung (Signal Branch) 22S

Wa Prüf 8--Abteilung für Optik, Messwesen, Heereswetterdienst, Feuerleitung und Kartendruck (Branch for Optical, Survey, Meteorological, Artillery Fire Control and Map Printing Equipment) 226

Wa Prüf 9--Gasschutzabteilung (Gas Protection Branch) 227

Wa Prüf 11--Abteilung für Sondergerat (Special Equipment Branch) 228

We Prüf 12--Abteilung für Versuchsplatze (Branch for Proving Grounds) 229

Wa Prüf Fest (See Prüf Fest)

Wa Z--Zentral-Amtsgruppe des Heereswaffenamts (Central Group of Army Ordnance Office) 212

Wa Z 1--Organisationsabteilung (Organization Branch) 213

Wa Z 2--Gruppe für Allgemeine Verwaltungsangelegenheiten (Administrative Section) 214

Wa Z 3--Betriebswirtschaftliche Abteilung (Branch for internal office management) 215

Wa Z 4--Vorschriftenabteilung (Directive Branch) 216

Wa Z 6--Allgemeine Unterbringungs-, Bau- und Oberwachungsangelegenheiten (Branch for Housing, Construction and Guard Matters) 217

WEA--Wehrersatzamt (Conscription and Recruiting Office) 63

Wehrmachtführungsstab (Armed Forces Operations Staff) 30

Wehrmacht-Haushaltsabteilung (Armed Forces Budget Branch) 28

Wehrmacht-Rechtsabteilung (Armed Forces Judge Advocate General) 29

Wehrmacht-Reifenstelle (Armed Forces Tire Center) 59

Wehrmacht-Sichtungsstelle (Captured Documents Exploitation) 303

Wehrmacht-Transportleitung Mitte (Central Armed Forces Transportation Command) 20

Wehrmacht-Versorgungsabteilung (Armed Forces Welfare and Pensions Branch) 48

Wehrmachtzentralamt (Armed Forces Central Office) 15

Wehrwirtschaftliche Abteilung (Armed Forces Economic Branch) 56

Wehrwirtschaftsamt (Armed Forces Economic Office) 55

We Sist--Wehrmacht-Sichtungstelle (Captured Documents Exploitation Center) 303

WFSt--Wehrmachtführungsstab (Armed Forces Operations Staff) 30

WH--Wehrmacht-Haushaltsabteilung (Armed Forces Budget Branch) 28

Wi--Wehrwirtschaftliche Abteilung (Armed Forces Economic Branch) 56

Wi A--Wehrwirtschaftsamt (Armed Forces Economic Office) 55

W Kr Gesch--Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung der Wehrmacht (Armed Forces Historical Branch) 38

W Pr--Abteilung für Wehrmachtpropaganda (Armed Forces Propaganda Branch) 39

WR--Wehrmachtrechtsabteilung (Armed Forces Judge Advocate General) 29

W R St--Wehrmachtreifenstelle (Armed Forces Tire Center) 59

W Trsp Ltg Mitte--Wehrmachttransporleitung Mitte (Central Armed Forces Transportation Command) 20

WU--Abteilung für Wehrmachtfachschulunterricht (Armed Forces Education Branch)

W Vers--Wehrmachtversorgungsabteilung (Armed Forces Welfare and Pensions Branch) 48

WVW--Abteilung Wehrmachtverlustwesen (Armed Forces Casualty Branch) 51

W Wiss--Abteilung Wissenschaft (Military Science Branch) 54

WZA--Wehrmachtzentralamt (Armed Forces Central Office) 15

Zahlmeisterei des Ch H Rüst u. BdE (Accounting Office of the Chief of Army Equipment and Commander of the Replacement Army) 268

1. Zentral-Abt (Branch 1, Central Branch) 133

Z--Zentralabteilung im OKH (Chief H Rüst u. BdE) (Central Branch in the OKH) 282

Zentral-Amtsgruppe des OKW (Armed Forces Central Group) 16

Zentral-Amtsgruppe des Heereswaffenamts (Central Group of the Army Ordance Office) 212



I. Territorial Basis

In peacetime the organization and administration of the German Army were based on the division of the national territory into fifteen corps areas (Wehrkreise). Each one of these contained the headquarters and component divisions of a corps and was as the same time the main territorial echelon for conscription, the administration of army property, local defense, and nearly all other military matters. The commander of the corps area was simultaneously the commanding general of the corps, which he was destined to lead into the field on the outbreak of war.

The corps areas as well as the corps were numbered with Roman numerals from I to XIII plus XVII and XVIII in Austria. Thus the I Corps was located in Corps Area I, and so on. The missing numbers--XIV, XV, and XVI-- were used for three non-territorial corps set up to control the motorized, light, and Panzer divisions respectively. After the annexation of Austria, another non-territorial corps, XIX, was set up to control Austrian Panzer and light divisions.

By 1939 the German Army had been expanded from the seven divisions of the old Reichswehr to a total of 51 divisions plus corps troops. These consisted of 36 infantry and motorized divisions, numbered from 1 to 36, in Germany proper; three infantry divisions in Austria and the Sudeten areas; five Panzer divisions; four light divisions; and three mountain divisions. They were organized as follows:

(corps area)
Headquarters Divisions
I Königsberg 1 11 21
II Stettin 12 32
III Berlin 3 23
IV Dresden 4 14 24
V Stuttgart 5 25 35
VI Münister 6 16 26
VII München 7 27 1 Mt
VIII Breslau 8 18 28
IX Kassel 9 15
X Hamburg 22 30
XI Hannover 19 31
XII Wiesbaden 33 34 36
XIII Nürnberg 10 17 46
XVII Wien 44 45
XVIII Salzburg 2 Mt 3 Mt
XIV Magdeburg 2 Mtz 13 Mtz
20 Mtz 29 Mtz
XV Jena 1L 2L 3L
XVI Berlin 1 Pz 3 Pz
4 Pz 5Pz
XIX Wien 2 Pz 4L

After the Polish campaign in 1939, two new corps areas, XX and XXI, were created in annexed territory in the east; subsequently Corps Areas Böhmen und Mähren and Generalgouvernement were added.

2. Mobilization Plan

The German mobilization for the present war was a gradual process lasting several months. The High Command was determined to avoid the mistakes of 1914, when millions of men were drawn into the Army almost overnight to form second-rate reserve and Landwehr divisions with serious disruption of the economic life of the country. This time the reservists were called up individually and deliberately were mixed with the personnel of regular divisions so that most of the new units formed during the summer of 1939 were fully as efficient and well organized as the original ones. Most of the regular regiments added one or more supplementary battalions, composed of men of the older age classes who had had only 8 or 12 weeks of training; these battalions exchanged personnel with the regular battalions and were then organized into new divisions just before the attack on Poland.

3. Creation of the Field Army

On 27 August 1939, in accordance with carefully laid plans which had been developing since the latter part of June, the entire German Army was split from top to bottom into two mutually exclusive parts, which were to perform two distinct functions for the duration of the war. One part was to be concerned only with military operations and was known as the Field Army (Feldheer); the other part was devoted to training, procurement, and administration in the Zone of the Interior and was called the Replacement Army (Ersatzheer). The operational parts of the High Command, including the Commander-in-Chief and the bulk of the General Staff, established a field headquarters away from Berlin to control the Field Army. The rest of the High Command was placed under a deputy of


Figure 6.--German corps areas
Figure 6.--German corps areas.


the Commander-in-Chief to be known as the Chief of Army Equipment and Commander of the Replacement Army (Chef der Heeresrustung und Befehlshaber des Ersatzheeres), responsible for maintaining the Field Army by the dispatch of replacements, the formation of new units, and the supply of materiel, as well as continuing the normal military functions at home.

At the same time each of the active corps took the field under its commanding general, and the corps areas were placed under deputy commands to control the Replacement Army, the permanent installations, and the conscription and training system. The new commander in each corps area was to be known by the dual title of Deputy Commanding General and Commander of the Corps Area (Stellvertretender Kommandierender General und Befehlshaber im Wehrkreis). In his capacity as Deputy Commanding General he was to be responsible for all matters having to do with troop units of the Army, particularly the operation of the replacement system; as Commander of the Corps Area he was to exercise all territorial functions, such as conscription, control of permanent installations, and local defense, on behalf of the entire Armed Forces.

The corps of the new Field Army were organized into armies (Armeen)--an administrative and tactical echelon which had not existed in peacetime. These, in turn, were placed under the tactical control of army groups (Heeresgruppen), which were directly responsible to field headquarters for the conduct of operations.

At the lower levels, each unit which took the field in 1939 left behind at its home station a rear echelon which was known as its replacement training unit (Ersatzeinheit). An infantry regiment, for example, left behind an infantry replacement training battalion, bearing the same number, which was thenceforth to induct and train recruits, dispatch them to the field regiment as needed, and receive personnel back from the field unit if they were to be discharged or when they came out of general hospitals.

4. Functions of the Home Command

The functions of the wartime command for the Zone of the Interior may be described as threefold:

a. PERSONNEL. Conscription, training and replacement of personnel include control of mobilization policies and the actual call-up and induction of men; all types of military training, including the selection and schooling of officers and noncommissioned officers; the dispatch of personnel replacements to field units in response to their requisitions; and the organization of new units.

b. EQUIPMENT. Design, procurement, acceptance, and storage of equipment of all kinds, and its dispatch to the Field Army, involve: assessment of the future needs of the field; planning of production; obtaining the necessary raw materials and labor; development and testing of new weapons; fiscal matters; maintenance of suitable storage and transport facilities, and of headquarters to control them; and organization of the channels for supply requisitions and deliveries.

c. ADMINISTRATION. Administration of the permanent military installations in the Zone of the Interior and emergency defense of the home territory also are responsibilities of the Home Command. The latter function (which would become operative, for example, in case of a surprise airborne invasion of the heart of Germany) would be exercised by the Home Command only until an adequate Field Army force could be assembled to take charge of the operations.

The above functions of the Home Command are discussed in detail in Sections V and VI, of this chapter and in Chapter VI below.

5. Organization of the Theater of War

On the outbreak of war, all the parts of Europe and its adjacent waters which might be the scene of operations became, from the German point of view, the Theater of War (Kriegsgebiet). Within this area the Germans distinguish between the Theater of Operations (Operationsgebiet) and the Zone of the Interior (Heimatkriegsgebiet). Since, in the German concept, wars should be conducted as far as possible beyond their own frontiers, the military nomenclature also provides for an intermediate area known as the Zone of Military Administration (Gebeit der Kreigsverwaltung) or Occupied Territory (Besetztes Gebiet); in fact, much of Europe was in this category during the years when the German armies were fighting in the distant steppes of Russia and in Africa.

The Theater of Operations itself is divided into the Combat Zone (Gefechtsgebiet) and the Communications Zone (Rückwärtiges Gebiet). The latter may be entirely taken up by the Army Rear Areas (Rückwärtige Armeegebiete) or,


if the line of communications is long, its rearward part may be the Army Group Rear Area (Rückwärtiges Heeresgebiet).

Each of the above subdivisions of the Theater of War is subject to a different type of administration by the military, mixed military and civil, or only the civil authorities. The arrangement is shown schematically in Figure 7.

The Zone of the Interior was extended in 1941 and 1942 to include Denmark, Alsace, Lorraine, Luxemburg, and those parts of Poland incorporated in the so-called Government General; it already included Bohemia and Moravia. By contrast, much of Germany itself was within the Theater of Operations and even within the Combat Zone by the end of 1944.

The Zone of the Interior is in general the area under the command of the Chief of Army Equipment and Commander of the Replacement Army. Special regulations provide for the division of authority whenever units or installations of the Replacement Army are stationed within the Theater of Operations, as has happened with the pushing back of the front lines into Germany. In such cases the field commander has no authority over the units or installations in question; he may not conscript German males found in the area or make requisitions of horses or motor vehicles, for example, since this would upset the long-range and nation-wide programs of the Home Command for the utilization of personnel and equipment. Only under absolute military necessity may a field commander assume control of units or installations of the Replacement Army, and he must then immediately notify the Commander of the Replacement Army. The latter, on the other hand, must consult the field commander on any matter of fundamental importance affecting the area of joint interest. This arrangement well illustrates the careful distinction which the Germans make between the functions and authority of the Field Army and those of the Home Command.

Within the Communications Zone, the Army Group Rear Area (when it exists) is placed under the authority of a Commander of Army Group Rear Area (Befehlshaber des rückwärtigen Heeresgebiets), who has the status of a corps commander and is responsible to the Commander of the Army Group. His main tasks are to provide for the military administration of the area and to protect the security of the lines of communication

Figure 7.--Organization of the Theater of War
Figure 7.--Organization of the Theater of War.


so that the army group commander can devote himself entirely to combat operations. Similarly, the Army Rear Area is controlled by a Commander of Army Rear Area (Kommandant des rückwärtigen Armeegebiets) with the status of a division commander. The rear area commanders have at their disposal security (Sicherungs) units and police troops and set up various types of administrative headquarters.

6. Administration of Occupied Territory

In occupied territory, or the Zone of Military Administration (which in some cases has been the "friendly" territory of nations allied to Germany), the administrative structure is distinct from the operational control of any German combat units stationed in it. In France before the Allied landing in 1944, for example, the Military Administration under General von Stulpnagel was responsible for local security and for dealing with the French authorities and the population, but had no direct connection with von Rundstedt's army group which was stationed there for operational purposes. Distinct from both these commands were the training units in reserve divisions stationed in France, which came under the control of the Commander of the Replacement Army in Berlin for training and replacement purposes.

Typical of the flexibility of the German system was the great variety shown in the forms of military administration in the different occupied countries. In each case the form of German military control was adapted to the strategic needs as well as to the political, economic, and psychological factors. In Denmark there was officially no control at all, since the country was regarded as "protected" and not occupied; the German troops stationed there came under a Commander of German Troops in Denmark, while the administration of the country was left to the constitutional Danish government, subject only (until 1944) to German diplomatic pressure. At the opposite extreme was Poland, where no remnant of the previous native administration remained and the Germans had to have tight military control and even do most of the local policing. In France and some other countries the Germans worked largely through the native authorities but also set up their own administrative area headquarters (Oberfeldkommandanturen) and sub-area headquarters (Feldkommandanturen) as the local garrison commands.



1. Introduction

As has been shown, the Home Command in wartime is responsible for the replacement of personnel, the procurement of equipment, and territorial administration and defense. Most of these functions are exercised through the regional corps areas, which are the permanent basis for the organization and administration of the German Army. It is these functions which are discussed in this section.

A few functions of the Home Command are performed on a basis other than the territorial one of corps areas and are not included here. By far the most important of these is the procurement, acceptance, storage, and issue of ordnance materiel, which is handled by the Army Ordnance Office and the Ordnance Inspectorate operating through their own regional organization; this function is discussed in detail in Chapter VI below. Other types of supplies, with the exception of gasoline and lubricants, are administered by the corps areas after procurement policies have been established by the High Command.

2. Corps Area Responsibilities

The functions of the corps area headquarters in wartime may be divided into those which it performs as a territorial command and those which accrue to it as the deputy headquarters of a peacetime army corps which is now in the field. As a territorial command it is responsible to the Armed Forces High Command and has responsibilities affecting all three branches of the Armed Forces; in this capacity it is officially referred to as Corps Area Headquarters  . . . (Wehrkreiskommando . . . ). In its other capacity it is under the Army High Command alone and is referred to as Deputy Headquarters of the . . . Army Corps (Stellvertretendes Generalkommando . . . Armeekorps); as such it is responsible for the replacement training system for all the field units which are affiliated with it.

The following are the principal responsibilities of this combined headquarters:

Conscription of manpower, carried out through a system of conscription offices. (See Section VI of this chapter below.) Training, conducted in training units which come under controlling staffs of regimental and


division status and in military schools. (See Section VI.) Replacement of personnel for the affiliated field units and formation of new units. (See Section VI.)

Local defense is provided for, in the first instance, by static units of various types, particularly the local defense battalions (Landesschützen-Bataillone), local construction units (Landesbaupioniere), and river guard units (Landespioniere). Such units are controlled by a special administrative division staff (Divisions-Kommando z.b.V.), of which one was set up in each corps area early in the war. They provide guards for vital installations and for prisoner of war camps and furnish personnel for local garrison battalions (Standortbataillone) and companies. In case of emergency the corps area commander has extraordinary powers over civilian agencies as well as the military units and installations in his territory; he may then, for example, issue orders to the provincial and local authorities, commandeer transport and supplies, and take any other steps necessary until outside help arrives.

Any General Headquarters units of the Field Army which are temporarily stationed in the corps area are controlled by the corps area headquarters through its special administrative division staff (Div. Kdo. z.b.V.) or other appropriate command channel.

Auditing of the accounts of all field units affiliated with the corps area is another responsibility.

All military personnel, regardless of their own unit affiliation, are subject to the curfews and other disciplinary regulations issued by the local garrison commander within the corps area. These regulations are enforced by a patrol service maintained by the corps area headquarters as well as by the garrison headquarters. In all territorial matters the corps area commander has a large degree of autonomy. He allots units to garrisons and determines the areas controlled by the garrison commanders. He also controls the Corps Area Administration (Wehrkreisverwaltung) and its subordinate administrative offices so far as their activity concerns the troops stationed in the corps area.

3. Corps Area Headquarters Organization

The various responsibilities of the corps area commander and the corps area headquarters are reflected in the composition and functions of his regular staff and attached special command staffs.

In principle, the staff is organized like any normal corps staff. The differences result from the fact that it has, not an operational, but a replacement mission; furthermore it is not a mobile, but a static organization. Thus, for example, Section 1 b, which in a field unit handles supply of equipment and ammunition, is in this case also responsible for the supply of manpower and for sending replacements to the Field Army; Section I c, normally intelligence, is not primarily concerned with obtaining information about the enemy but with counterintelligence and security; and Sections II, personnel, and IV a. administration, are expanded, Section II serving also as the depository for personnel records while Section IV a is incorporated into the large and semi-autonomous organization of the Corps Area Administration (Wehrkreisverwaltung).

The staff is headed by a Chief of Staff (Chef des Stabes) and includes the following sections:

Section I is responsible for such matters as training, quarters, air raid protection, gas defense, transportation, training films, surveying and mapping, engineer units, and technical supervision of utilities in military installations.

Signal matters are handled in the I a Section by the Commander of Signal Troops (Kommandeur der Nachrichtentruppen). He in turn has a staff of his own concerned with training, activation, and replacement of signal units, supervision of radio traffic, static telephone installations, signal equipment, and female auxiliaries.

Section I b handles the supply of ordnance equipment and ammunition for units stationed in the corps area. As an echelon in the control of manpower, this section supervises the conscription offices (Wehrersatzdienststellen) and is responsible for issuing the orders for the transfer of replacements to units of the Field Army in response to their requisitions.

Section I c handles counterintelligence and security to the limited extent that the corps area headquarters participates in these activities. It also is concerned with Armed Forces propaganda and press relations, as well as the training and employment of interpreters. Formerly this section also handled troop welfare, morale building, and recreational activities; later, these became the responsibility of the National-Socialist Guidance Officer (Nationalsozialistischer Führungsoffizier) who is an independent staff officer in charge of a newly created section of the staff.

Section II, the personnel section, is divided into


Subsections II a, dealing with officer personnel, and II b, concerned with enlisted personnel. Subsection II a keeps individual records for all professional officers regardless of where they are employed and handles the recruiting of officer candidates and awards of decorations. Subsection II b deals with transfers and detachment of individual enlisted men to schools or for other duty. It does not keep individual records for enlisted personnel, as these are kept by the conscription offices. It also handles the recruiting of potential officer and noncommissioned officer candidates (Annahmestellen für den Führernachwuchs), deferment of essential workers, and furloughs and discharges.

Section III is headed by the corps judge (Korpsrichter); however the corps area headquarters is not an important echelon for legal matters.

Section IV a, administration, is headed by the Korpsintendant who at the same time has charge of the Corps Area Administration (Wehrkreisverwaltung).

Section IV b is headed by the Deputy Corps Surgeon (Stellvertretender Korpsarzt, also called Wehrkreisarzt), who advises the commander on medical questions and has a staff of his own. Under him special medical officers (Truppenärzte) supervise discharges for medical reasons which are handled through army discharge bureaus (Heercsentlassungsstellen).

Section IV c is the Deputy Corps Veterinarian (Stellvertretender Korpsveterinär, also called Wehrkreisveterinär), who has his own separate staff.

Section IV d comprises the Protestant and Catholic corps area chaplains (Wehrkreispfarrer).

Motor transport (Heeres-Motorisierung) is handled by a separate staff section, sometimes called Section V or referred to as the Corps Area Motor Transport Officer (Wehrkreiskraftfahroffizier). It deals with the issue of licenses for military drivers and vehicles; allocation and distribution of military vehicles, tires, equipment, gasoline, and oil; traffic control; and the supply of vehicles.

Independently of this section there exists a Commander of Motor Maintenance Troops (Kommandeur der Kraftfahrparktruppe), who controls motor maintenance training units, motor maintenance and repair parks, and parks for spare parts and tires. This commander is sometimes, if not always, the same man as the Corps Area Motor Transport Officer.

On the staff of each corps area headquarters a Section F, Welfare (Fürsorge), controls the activities of welfare officers (Fürsorge-Offiziere) who give advice and assistance to professional soldiers who are discharged or about to be discharged. All discharged non-professional soldiers are taken care of by the Ministry of Labor.

This section represents that part of the German Welfare and Pensions (Fürsorge und Versorgung) organization which is administered by the corps area commander. The other part, Pensions (Versorgung), is handled on a different level, the chain of command going from the Armed Forces High Command to one of three regional Welfare Groups (Versorgungsgruppen) which are located at Berlin, Breslau, and Munich. These control the Welfare and Pension Offices (Fürsorge- und Versorgungsämter), of which there is one in each corps area. These offices, which do not form part of the corps area organization, grant pensions for discharged professional soldiers and their dependents. The reason for the separation of these offices from the control of the corps area commander is the desire to achieve uniformity in the administration of pensions throughout the entire Reich.

Attached to the staff of each corps area headquarters is a Commander of Prisoners of War (Kommandceur der Kriegsgefangenen im Wehrkreis . . .), who is in charge of all prisoner of war camps in the corps area. He controls camps for officers (Offizierslager or Oflag) and camps for enlisted personnel (Mannschafts-Stammlager or Stalag), both types being designated by the Roman numeral of the corps area and distinguished by letters, as XII A, B, etc.

The Commander of Military Police Patrols (Kommandeur des Streifendienstes) is the superior of all road and railway patrols. He is directly subordinate to the corps area commander and works in close liaison with the garrison commanders.

The Officer for Military Economic Affairs (Wehrwirtschaftsoffizier) handles, for the corps area commander, all questions of military economics having a territorial bearing; he is at the same time a direct representative of the Armed Forces Economic Office in the Armed Forces High Command and liaison officer to the regional armament inspectorates (Rüstungsinspektionen) of the Ministry for Armaments and War Production (Ministerium für Rüstung und Kriegsproduktion).


4. Garrison Headquarters

The local territorial responsibilities of the corps area commander are exercised through Armed Forces Senior Garrison Officers (Wehrmacht-Standortalteste). In garrisons with permanent headquarters (Kommandanturen), or on maneuver areas (Truppenübungsplätze), the commander (Kommandant) is automatically the senior garrison officer.

If the majority of the units or installations in a garrison belong to the Navy or Air Force, the senior garrison officer may be taken from these branches of the Armed Forces instead of from the Army, but he remains subordinate to the corps area commander.

The area of the garrison town and its immediate vicinity is designated as the garrison district (Standortbezirk), its boundaries fixed by the senior garrison officer with the approval of the corps area commander. Within this district the senior garrison officer is fully responsible for discipline, local defense, and related matters on behalf of the entire Armed Forces; enlisted personnel, for example, require a pass to leave the garrison district.

All parts of the corps area which are not included in garrison districts are allotted by the corps area commander to so-called garrison areas (Standortbereiche), which are placed under the control of existing senior garrison officers for the exercise of the same functions as within the districts.

If there is an airport (Fliegerhorst) within the garrison district, it is treated as an autonomous district and placed under the command of a German Air Force officer.

The senior garrison officer is authorized to commandeer soldiers and horse-drawn vehicles in his area to do work for the general purposes of the garrison. In case of emergency he may mobilize special detachments.

The senior garrison officer issues regulations for garrison guards and patrols and cooperates with units of the Armed Forces Patrol Service (Wehrmacht-Streifendienst). He is responsible for local defense measures, especially for the air raid protection of all installations belonging to the Armed Forces, and for the efficiency of the air raid protection services.

The senior garrison officer is responsible for the maintenance of military discipline among all members of the Armed Forces within his territory; all military personnel on leave have to report at the garrison headquarters within 48 hours, and the senior garrison officer may declare certain restaurants or streets off limits.

5. Corps Area Administration

a. GENERAL. All administrative matters in the German Army are controlled at the top by the Army Administration Office (Heeresverwaltungsamt) in the Army High Command. Under this office the administrative agencies within Germany are organized on a territorial basis, with the Corps Area Administration (Wehrkreisverwaltung) as the next lower echelon. Below this, these matters are handled by the local garrison administrations (Heeres-Standortverwaltungen) and other specialized types of local administrative agencies. This entire system operates independently of the tactical chain of command. The word "administration" (Verwaltung) in the German Army covers primarily pay, rations, clothing, and billeting.

b. DUAL POSITION OF THE CORPS AREA ADMINISTRATION. The degree of independent authority of the Corps Area Administration in carrying out its duties depends on the nature of the subject matter, which is divided into two basic categories: those in which the Corps Area Administration acts independently of the Corps Area Headquarters and is responsible only to the Army Administration Office, and those in which it acts on the orders of the corps area commander. In the latter type of subject, the Corps Area Administration functions as the IV a, or administrative section, of the corps area staff, and these subjects are usually referred to as "IV a matters". They are mostly matters connected with the administration of the corps area headquarters itself or of the units directly subordinate to it.

The matters in which the Corps Area Administration acts independently are those which derive from its status as a responsible echelon in the territorial administrative structure. In these matters it has its own direct administrative channels, upwards to the Army Administration Office and downwards to the local garrison administrations. They include the following categories:

Pay, accounting, social insurance, and allowances.

Procurement, storage, and issue of utensils and general equipment.

Supervision of the handling of food in processing plants and in the ration depots.

Billeting, so far as it is not determined by the military decision of the corps area commander.

Building and civilian contracts.


Personnel matters of all administrative officers in the Corps Area Administration, its subordinate agencies, and Field Army units maintained by the corps area.

Training of administrative officers. In principle this separation into "IV a matters" and independently handled administrative matters is carried down to the lowest administrative echelons, although the scope of their independent authority is less comprehensive than that of the Corps Area Administration. This basic division of the administrative authority is characteristic of the dual functions and responsibilities of the administrative service of the German Army.

The head of the Corps Area Administration is an administrative officer in the Special Troop Service (Truppensonderdienst) with the title Korpsintendant who is at the same time the head of Section IV a of the staff of the corps area commander. As head of the Corps Area Administration the Korpsintendant is directly subordinate to the Army Administration Office; as a staff officer he is subordinate to the commanding general.

c. FUNCTIONS OF THE CORPS AREA ADMINISTRATION. The principal function of the Corps Area Administration consists in supervising the various local offices in the corps area which constitute the executive organs of administration. The local administrative offices are:

Army garrison administrations (Heeres-Standortverwaltungen).

Army ration main depots (Heeres-Verpflegungshauptämter) and army ration depots (Heeres-Verpflegungsämter).

Hospital administrations (Lazarettverwaltungen).

Clothing offices (Bekleidungsämter).

Construction offices (Heeresbauämter).

Administrative offices of units of battalion or higher status located in the corps area (Zahlmeistereien).

An additional function of the Corps Area Administration is auditing the accounts of the battalion administrative officers (Truppenzahlmeister) of Field Army units affiliated with the corps area, wherever they are located. It may issue instructions to these officers, but they are technically subordinate not to it but to the Field

Figure 8.--Corps Area Administrationr
Figure 8.--Corps Area Administration.


Army administrative headquarters at higher echelons.

The Corps Area Administration is also responsible for personnel matters of administrative officers in units affiliated with the corps area and serves as their replacement unit. It also trains such officers.

d. ORGANIZATION OF THE CORPS AREA ADMINISTRATION. Corresponding to its responsibilities the Corps Area Administration is subdivided into the following sections (Sachgebicte):

Section A: Fiscal matters; interpretation of pay regulations; travel, moving, and transportation allowances; welfare and pensions; vocational schools of the Army; office equipment; libraries; general rules for cashiers, bookkeepers, and auditors; office regulations for paymasters.

Section B: For the duration of the war this section is known as the auditing office (Abrechnungsintendantur). It audits the accounts of unit paymasters in the field and of ordnance installations in the corps area.

Section C: Rations; procurement, administration, and issue of rations through the ration depots; procurement of forage for the remount depots; bakeries; troop-kitchens; ration supply for the troops while on maneuvers; auditing of the accounts of the ration depots and of those garrison administrations with a "rations" department; auditing of the accounts of the remount depots.

Section D: Supervision of the garrison administrations; auditing of their accounts; billeting; administration of real estate.

Section E: Administration of hospitals; auditing of their accounts; questions concerning civilian workers; legal matters so far as not dealt with in any of the other sections; clothing; supervision of clothing depots and auditing of their accounts.Section F: Construction matters; supervision of the construction offices; civilian contracts.

Section G: Procurement of living quarters for members of the staff of the Corps Area Administration.

Section P: (P I) Personnel matters of the administrative officers. (P II) Personnel matters of civilian workers.

e. SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE HEADQUARTERS. (Comparable with the Corps Area Administrations, but in a special position, is the Administration for Central Army Tasks (Verwaltung für Zentralaufgaben des Heeres). This office is organized in the name way as the Corps Area Administrations and carries out the administration for OKH-controlled establishments in Corps Area III such as demonstration units, army specialist schools, academies, and other institutions.

f. SUBORDINATE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES. Of the various local administrative agencies subordinate to the Corps Area Administration, those which deal with rations and clothing form part of the organization of supply and are therefore dealt with in detail in Chapter VI below.

The most important of the remaining local offices are the garrison administrations (Heeres-Standortverwaltungen).

As a rule there is a garrison administration in every garrison and on every maneuver area; it is always designated by the name of the garrison town. Large cities may have more than one garrison administration.

The head of the garrison administration is an administrative officer who is appointed by the Army High Command and who is directly subordinate to the Korpsintendant. The head of the garrison administration is not on the staff of the garrison commander, and there is no subordination of the garrison administration to the garrison commander. The two are expected to cooperate closely, but in practice this dual authority leads at times to difficulties which have to be adjusted by agreement between the Corps Area Administration and the corps area commander.

The garrison administration normally consists of the following departments:

Real estate management (Grundstücksverwaltung).

Garrison finance office (Heeresstandortkasse).

Pay records for civilian workers (Standortlohnstelle).

Pay records for soldiers (Standortgebührnisstelle).

Utensils and general equipment depot (Gerätclager).

The real estate department handles the main task of the garrison administration, which is the management and utilization of the real estate including training area, and the erection, maintenance, and administration of the buildings and other installations owned or rented by the Army. Excluded from these are the garrison hospitals (Standortlazarette) and the installations of the remount depots, which are taken care of by these organizations themselves.

The garrison finance office has the task of making payments and keeping books and accounts


for the garrison administration and the construction offices (Heeresbauämter). It also keeps the surplus cash for other local offices of the Army. Affiliated with a garrison finance office are all small unit pay offices (Zahlstellen) and branch pay offices (Nebenzahlstellen), which are only allowed to make cash payments and which therefore use the garrison finance office for other types of payment.

The pay office for civilian workers keeps the pay records for these groups and instructs the garrison finance office to make the corresponding payments.

The department handling pay records of soldiers in the field determines the regular service pay (Wehrmachtbesoldung for professional soldiers and Kriegsbesoldung for all other soldiers) and makes the corresponding payments through the garrison finance office to their accounts or dependents.

The utensils and general equipment depots store tools, utensils, and office equipment used in barracks and other installations. Such utensils and general equipment are procured by the Corps Area Administration, which orders one or several of the larger garrison administrations to effect the purchases for the entire area and store the goods.

Another type of local administrative agency is the hospital administration (Lazarettverwaltung). This is subordinate to the Corps Area Administration as well as to the medical officer in charge of the hospital. It deals independently, under the supervision of the Corps Area Administration, with payments, bookkeeping, and accounting for the hospital. In its concern for the medical personnel, officials, and hospitalized soldiers in matters of pay, rations, and clothing it occupies the same position as the administrative office (Zahlmeister) of a unit staff. With regard to the administration of the real estate and buildings belonging to the hospital it has the same responsibilities as the garrison administration has for other property.

Army construction offices (Heeresbauämter and Heeresneubauämter) are established by the Army High Command, which also appoints the head of the office and determines the size of his staff. The work of the construction offices is supervised by the Director of Construction (Section F) in the Corps Area Administration. Within their district Army construction offices deal with the technical side of the construction, repair, and maintenance of buildings owned or rented by the Army and give advice to the other administrative agencies.

6. Medical Service and Installations

a. MEDICAL SERVICE. Within the Armed Forces the administration of the medical services and the use of the medical installations and facilities in Germany have been centralized to a high degree. In considering the medical organization of the Replacement Army it should be borne in mind that these facilities, to a varying degree, are also at the disposal of the other branches of the Armed Forces and of the Waffen-SS.

The Chief Army Medical Inspector (Heeressanitätsinspekteur), whose activities are supervised by the Armed Forces Surgeon General (Chef des Wehrmachtsanitätswesens), is stationed at the headquarters of the Commander of the Replacement Army but does not form part of his staff. He works through his own staff, the Army Medical Inspectorate (Heeressantitätsinspektion), which is part of the General Army Office (Allgemeines Heeresamt). He is the head of the medical services of the Field Army as well as of the Replacement Army. The Chief Army Medical Inspector is the superior of the medical personnel of the Army in disciplinary matters and questions concerning medical work. He decides on the assignment and promotion of medical officers.

Within the limits of the directives issued by the Armed Forces Surgeon General he has the following responsibilities:

Training of medical personnel.

Direction of the medical service including hygienic and sanitary measures in the Army.

Evacuation and hospitalization of casualties and the administration of all military hospitals.

Supply of drugs and medical equipment for the Army.

The permanent medical installations in Germany comprise medical units, hospitals, and supply installations which are all organized on a strictly territorial basis.

b. CORPS AREA SURGEONS. In the Replacement Army the channels of command go through the chief medical officers of the corps areas. These officers have a dual title. They are called deputy corps surgeon (Stellvertretender Korpsarzt) for orders which concern the troops and emanate from the deputy corps headquarters (Stellvertretendes Generalkommando), and corps


area surgeon (Wehrkreisarzt) in all territorial matters which are handled under the authority of the corps area headquarters (Wehrkreiskommando). In this dual capacity they are on the staff of the corps area commander and head the IV b (medical) section of this staff. They are therefore subordinate to the commander of the corps area as well as to the Chief Army Medical Inspector. Within their territory the chief medical officers of the corps areas have the same functions and responsibilities as the Chief Army Medical Inspector.

c. MEDICAL UNITS. The corps area surgeons control the medical replacement battalions (Sanitäts-Ersatzabteilungen), one in each corps area, which train medical replacements for the Field Army. They also control the medical battalions (Sanitäts-Abteilungen), which during the war comprise all the medical personnel other than those in training, serving in the Replacement Army with units or in general hospitals. Each corps area usually has two or three medical battalions, which are designated by their headquarters town.

The medical battalions are composed of medical sections (Heeres-Sanitätsstaffeln) of varying size. The medical sections are the local sub-units of the medical battalions and generally can be found in every permanent garrison and every maneuver area. They are designated by the name of the garrison town.

The commander of the medical section is the local representative of the corps area surgeon and also serves as the garrison surgeon (Standortarzt) and head of the IV b section on the staff of the senior garrison officer. The garrison surgeon is therefore subordinate to the senior garrison officer as well as to the corps area surgeon. The garrison surgeon also controls the military hospitals in his area.

d. HOSPITALS. In peacetime all the larger garrisons had permanent garrison hospitals (Sandort-Lazarette). In addition there existed several Army tüberculosis hospitals (Lazarette für Lungenkranke des Heeres) and Army sanatoriums (Kurlazarette des Heeres).

In wartime all these hospitals are designated general hospitals (Reservelazarette). Thus the garrison hospitals became Reservelazarette, the tüberculosis hospitals Reserve-Lazarette für Lungenkranke, and the sanatoriums Reserve-Kurlazarrete. In addition Army convalescents' homes (Heeres-Genesungsheime), general hospitals for prisoners of war (Reservelazarette für Kriegsgefangene), and other types were created.

Since the peacetime facilities were entirely inadequate for the wartime needs, a large number of civilian institutions and suitable buildings such as civilian hospitals, hotels, and schools were taken over and converted into general hospitals. The general hospitals are designated by the name of the town, and Roman numerals if there is more than one general hospital in the town--for example Reservelazarett Kassel III. If a general hospital controls wards in separate buildings these usually are called part-hospitals (Teillazarette). The capacity of a general hospital may vary anywhere from 100 to 1,000 or more beds.

The medical personnel of a general hospital belong to the medical section (Heeressanitätsstaffel) which is stationed in that particular town or district. They therefore are affiliated permanently with one of the medical battalions (Sanitätsabteilungen) of the corps area.

For the purposes of medical supervision, general hospitals, with an aggregate of about 5,000 beds in a given area of the Wehrkreis, are grouped together into general hospital districts (Reservelazarett-Bezirke) which are under the supervision of senior medical officers.

The majority of the general hospitals are equipped and staffed to deal with a fairly wide range of casualties and diseases, but a few of them specialize, such as general hospitals for blind soldiers or for soldiers with brain injuries. In the military medical organization, the main types of casualties and diseases are indicated by a system of code numbers, running from 1 to 21, in order to facilitate the distribution of casualties to those hospitals which are best fitted for their treatment.

For the purposes of evacuation and distribution of casualties each general hospital in a given area is subordinate to a transportation headquarters (Transport-Kommandantur), where a medical liaison officer handles all these questions. The distribution itself is based on daily reports from the general hospitals to their local distributing centers (Kranken-Verteilungs-Stelle) giving the number of unoccupied beds.

All general hospitals form part of the Replacement Army and therefore, as a rule, all soldiers sent to a general hospital automatically are transferred from the Field Army to the Replacement Army. At times, when the Theater of Operations has extended into Germany proper, this rule has


been modified, so that soldiers who are sent to general hospitals in the corps areas near the combat zone are transferred to the Replacement Army only after having stayed in the general hospital for 8 weeks; this is the same period that applies to field hospitals.

7. Veterinary Service

a. CONTROL. At the head of the veterinary services of the Armed Forces is the Veterinary Inspector (Veterinärinspekteur), who is stationed at the heaquarters of the Commander of the Replacement Army. Although subordinate to the latter, he receives his instructions regarding questions concerning both the Field Army and the Replacement Army direct from the Commander-in-Chief of the Army.

The staff of the Veterinary Inspector is the Veterinary Inspectorate in the General Army Office (Allgemeines Heeresamt).

The Veterinary Inspector is the superior of all veterinary and horse-shoeing personnel in all matters concerning their professional or vocational activity. He makes suggestions to the Army Personnel Office for the appointment of the higher ranking veterinary officers of the Army and makes these appointments himself for the lower ranks.

He instructs the Army Veterinarian (Heeres-Veterinär) with regard to the veterinary service in the Field Army, the evacuation of horses, and the replacement of horses and veterinary equipment.

In the Replacement Army the Veterinary Inspector directs the veterinary service in accordance with instructions given by the Commander of the Replacement Army. He is responsible for the training of veterinary and horse-shoeing personnel and the replacement of veterinary equipment. He gives the instructions for the distribution of horses evacuated from the field and their allocation to home horse hospitals (Heimat-Pferde-Lazarette).

In the Zone of the Interior the authority of the Veterinary Inspector is exercised through the deputy corps veterinarian (Stellvertretender Korpsveterinär), who is on the staff of the deputy corps commander as his IVc. He holds the alternative title of Corps Area Veterinarian (Wehrkreisveterinär) for his territorial functions.

Under the deputy corps veterinarian are the veterinary personnel and the veterinary installations located in his territory.

b. VETERINARY INSTALLATIONS. Each corps area has home horse hospitals (Heimat-Pferdelazarette), to which are evacuated the horses which cannot be treated at the installations of the Field Army, and sick horses from the Replacement Army. The home horse hospitals are numbered with the Arabic number of the corps area, and if there is more than one horse hospital in a corps area they will be distinguished by adding 100, 200, etc., to the number.

Horses that have been cured go from the home horse hospital to a home horse park (Heimatpferdepark). Each corps area has one home horse park. The Corps Veterinarian orders which horses from the home horse park are to go to the Field Army and which to the Replacement Army.

8. Other Installations

a. REMOUNTS. Army remount purchasing commissions (Heeres-Remontierungskommissionen) procure young horses for the Army. These commissions are outside the corps area structure and directly subordinate to the Army High Command.

The young horses purchased for the Army are stabled and maintained by Army remount depots (Heeres-Remonteämter) until they have reached the age for training in corps area riding and driving schools or delivery to troop units. The remount depots are independent of the remount purchasing commissions. They are subordinate to the corps area commander, but in certain respects they are under direct control of the Inspector of Riding and Driving at the Army High Command (Inspekteur des Reit- und Fahrwesens) so as to assure uniformity throughout all corps areas.

b. FORESTRY. The Army Forest and Fisheries Control Offices (Heeres-Forstaufsichtsämter) supervise the administration and utilization of forests and fisheries connected with properties belonging to the Army, such as maneuver areas. In Germany proper there are two of these control offices, at Berlin and Wiesbaden, controlling the local offices in the Corps Areas I-XIII.

These local offices are called Army Forest Offices (Heeres-Forstämter); they in turn supervise forestry offices (Heeres-Oberförstereien and Heeres-Revierförstereien).

The Army forest and fisheries control offices act in conjunction with the respective corps area headquarters on matters concerning the troops and with the corps area administrations in fiscal and bookkeeping questions.

c. MILITARY PRISONS. Military prisons are inter-service institutions. They are not organized


on a territorial basis but generally have several corps areas allotted to them.

There are various kinds of military prisons, each kind receiving prisoners of a different category. These prisoners originate from the Replacement Army as well as from the Field Army.

Wehrmacht-Gefängnisse, which are responsible directly to the Armed Forces High Command, receive soldiers who are condemned to terms for more than 3 months. They are also used for prisoners of war who are sentenced to terms of imprisonment.

Wehrmacht-Untersuchungsgefängnisse accept prisoners with sentences of up to 3 months.

Wehrmacht-Haftanstalten are subordinate to garrison headquarters and take prisoners with sentences of up to 6 weeks.

There is one Wehrmacht-Festungshaftanstalt, which takes soldiers whose sentences specify that they are to be confined to a fortress, i.e., that their offense is not a dishonorable one.

d. ARMED FORCES SIGNAL HEADQUARTERS (Wehrmacht-Nachrichtenkommandanturen) are designated by the towns in which they are located. They are regional liaison offices between the Armed Forces and the German Postal Service (Deutsche Reichspost). In addition to their liaison functions they collect data on installations for long-distance communications which are of military importance.


I. Introduction

This section deals with the entire system of personnel replacement for the Field Army. The units of the Field Army do not procure their own replacements independently. Replacements for the field units are obtained only through the specified units of the Replacement Army, and those for the units of the Replacement Army in turn come only through the home recruiting stations. Thus, the following main divisions of the replacement system are obvious:

Conscription--the function of the home recruiting stations (Wehrersatzdienststellen) under the Armed Forces High Command (OKW).

Replacement and Training--the primary function of the Replacement Army (Ersatzheer).

The following pages describe the machinery for the registration and supervision of those liable to service, their induction and training in one of the numerous replacement and training units and schools of the Replacement Army, their dispatch to a field unit, and their return to a replacement unit. The principle of affiliation between field and replacement units, the fact that developments in the Field Army are often preceded by corresponding developments in the Replacement Army, and the presence of units of the Replacement Army on the fighting fronts show that, although the German Army was divided into two parts in 1939, the Field Army and Replacement Army are closely interlinked and cannot be fully understood except as complementary parts of a whole.

2. Conscription System

a. HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT. Systematic universal military training in modern times is an invention of the Germans and has been developed to its highest degree of refinement by them. It grew out of the mass armies which were necessary to overthrow Napoleon and was introduced by a Prussian law of 3 September 1814 as a part of the far-reaching army reforms initiated by Scharnhorst and his colleagues to cope with the new forms of warfare. Ever since then universal compulsory military service has existed in Germany, with the exception of the period from 1918 to 1935, when it was forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles.

b. BASIC LAWS. On 16 March 1935 the universal service system (allegemeine Wehrpflicht) was reintroduced by the Law Regarding the Structure of the Armed Forces (Gesetz über den Aufbau der Wehrmacht). This law stated in three short sentences that military service was to be based on the principle of universal liability, and that the Army was to be expanded (initially) to a strength of 36 divisions. This was followed on 21 May 1935 by the Military Service Law (Wehrgesetz), which established the purpose and scope of universal service, administrative control of civilian manpower, categories of manpower according to age and training status, rights and duties of military personnel, and methods of call-up and discharge. This law, and the decrees issued under it, still govern the German conscription system after 5 years of war.

c. CONTROLLING AGENCIES. The execution of the system for exercising military supervision of men liable to military service and for examining and conscripting them from civilian life into the Armed Forces is a joint responsibility of the German civilian and military authorities.


(1) Civilian. The Minister of the Interior, controlling all police authorities and the ordinary local registration of the civilian population, is responsible for the registration of men liable for military service. This occurs through the local and district police authorities.

(2) Civilian and military. The Minister of the Interior and the Minister of War jointly issued and jointly apply the Decree regarding Military Examination and Drafting (Verordnung über die Musterung und Aushebung), which involves collaboration of the civilian and military authorities during the phase between first registration and induction. They were also jointly responsible for dividing each corps area into suitable recruiting areas and sub-areas in such a way as both to meet the military needs and to fit, so far as possible, the existing civilian administrative subdivisions of the country.

(3) Military. The Armed Forces High Command controls the machinery for the call-up, induction, and discharge of personnel. This includes the recruiting area and sub-area headquarters which examine and draft recruits and represent the military interests in the administrative control of civilian manpower before and after service.

(4) Chain of military command. This being a matter which concerns all three branches of the Armed Forces, it is supervised by the Replacement Branch (Abteilung Ersatzwesen) of the Conscription and Recruiting Office (Wehrersatzamt) in the Armed Forces High Command (OKW). Emanating from this agency, orders are issued through the various Wehrkreis headquarters (Wehrkreiskommandos, Wkr.Kdo.) to the recruiting area inspectorates (Wehrersatzinspektionen, W.E.I.) and from there to the recruiting sub-area headquarters (Wehrbezirkskommandos, W.B.K.). These control the Military Reporting Offices (Wehrmeldeamter, W.M. A.) and set up from time to time in their districts the examining boards (Musterungsstäbe, Must. Stb.). Most Wehrkreise contain two or three recruiting areas, but Wehrkreis VI, comprising the populous Ruhr and Rhineland region, has four, while Wehrkreise VII, XX, XXI, Böhmen und Mähren, and Generalgouvernement consist of only one such area each. The number of recruiting sub-areas in each area varies between four and a dozen according to local needs. Each recruiting area is controlled by an Inspector of Recruiting Area (Wehrersatzinspekteur), who is a general officer with the status and disciplinary authority of a division commander. (In some cases he may be a naval or air officer, since the recruiting system operates jointly for all three branches.) Recruiting sub-areas are commanded by lieutenant colonels or colonels selected from the class of officers whose suitability for active service in the field has ceased. They have the status of regimental commanders.

There are two recruiting sub-area headquarters which do not come under any Wehrkreis headquarters but directly under the Armed Forces High Command. The Recruiting Sub-Area Headquarters "Ausland" (Wehrbesirkskommando Ausland in Berlin) deals with the registration, control, deferment, and call-up of German citizens in foreign countries (occupied or neutral). During the war it has established branches abroad in occupied countries; in neutral countries it is assisted in its mission by the German consulates. The Maritime Recruiting Sub-Area Headquarters (Wehrbezirkskommando See), with its seat at Hamburg, has the supervision of manpower of all Germans in the merchant marine.

d. CLASSIFICATION OF MANPOWER. (1) Basic concept. "Military service is honorary service to the German people. Every German is liable to military service. In time of war, in addition to liability to military service, every German man and every German women is liable to service to the Fatherland." These are the opening clauses of the Military Service Law of 21 May 1935.

(2) Extent of liability. In time of peace all German males were liable to military service from their 18th birthday until the 31 March following their 45th birthday. (31 March is the end of the German fiscal year.) In East Prussia (separated from the rest of Germany by the Polish corridor), liability was extended until the 31 March following the 55th birthday. The Minister of War was empowered to extend liability in either direction in time of war, and it now extends from 17 (the class born in 1928) to 61 (the 1884 class).

(3) Reserve status. All men not doing their active military service are classified into the following categories:

Reserve I: Those under 35 who have completed their regular period of active service and been discharged. There are only very few fit men in this group today.

Reserve II: Those under 35 who have been


through a period of short-term training. This applied before the war to some of the older classes.

Ersatzreserve I: Fit men under 35 who have not been trained.

Ersatzreserve II: Unfit and limited-service men under 35 who have not been trained.

Landwehr I: Trained men between 35 and 45 (actually from 31 March of the year in which the 35th birthday occurs until the 31 March following the 45th birthday).

Landwehr II: Untrained men between 35 and 45.

Landsturm I: Trained men between 45 and 55 (actually from the 31 March following the 45th birthday until the 31 March following the 55th birthday).

Landsturm II: Untrained men between 45 and 55. (The two categories of Landsturm applied in peacetime only to East Prussia; they now include men up to 61.)

(4) Exclusion. The following categories of men are described as "unworthy to bear arms" and therefore "excluded from military service":

Those sentenced to penal servitude (Zuchthaus). Those who do not possess the honorary civil rights.Those subjected to "security and improvement" measures (concentration camp for supposed habitual criminals).

Those deprived of their "worthiness to bear arms" by a court martial.

Those sentenced for activities inimical to the state.

Jews also are excluded from military service, but in wartime are required to do other types of service.

(5) Exemption. Completely unfit men are released from liability to military service. Roman Catholics who have taken holy orders (Subdiakonatsweihe) were not conscripted in time of peace. No other category of person is exempt.

(6) Deferment. No German can be deferred for military service in peace or war for purely personal reasons or by reason of his dependency status except in cases of extreme hardship. Deferment of indispensable employees in essential industries may be applied for by the employer, but it is granted only according to a very rigid quota system. No general class of men is deferred, and each case is judged on its merits. Application for deferment must be repeated at frequent intervals.

e. CONSCRIPTION PROCEDURE. (1) Registration. Usually in the spring of each year in peacetime, under directives issued by the High Command, the incoming class (normally those who were turning 20 during the year) was summoned by the district police authorities (Kreispolizeibehörde) by means of public notices to appear at the local police stations for military registration (polizeiliche Erfassung). It should be noted that under the German administration system the local police always have a complete roster of all residents of their precincts, based on the required registration of residents.

After the outbreak of the war the older classes who had not been covered by this system were registered in a similar manner, and by the end of 1940 all the classes back to those born in 1900 had been registered. The upper age limit was later extended to the 1897 class, then to 1894, and finally in 1944 to the 1884 class. The incoming classes have been registered systematically, each class being summoned at a slightly earlier age than the previous one.

(2) First examination. Shortly after the registration the recruiting sub-area headquarters (Wehrbezirkskommando) issues orders for the holding of the first examination (Musterung) of the registrants. This is carried out according to local registration districts by an examining board (Musterungsstab) which included representatives of the military authorities, the district and local police, the civilian administrative authorities (municipalities or rural district), and the German Labor Service, as well as medical officers. On this occasion the registrants are classified according to their physical fitness. Since December 1943 the categories used have been: fit for regular service (Kriegsverwendungsfähig--Kv.); fit for limited service in the field (bedingt kriegsverwendungsfähig); fit only for labor service (arbeitsverwendungsfähig--av.); totally unfit (wehruntauglich--wu.); and temporarily unfit (zeitlich untauglich). Medical standards have been lowered progressively since 1942.

Following their medical classification the registrants are placed in a reserve category (normally Ersatzreserve I).

(3) Drafting. In peacetime final action on the question of whether or not each individual was to be called up for regular service was taken at a second examination or drafting (Aushebung). This was conducted by the same authorities as the first examination and resulted


either in a deferment or in definite assignment to a branch of service. The registrant then was told to go home and await orders. In wartime the procedure has been accelerated, and the drafting is now combined with the call-up.

(4) Call-up. The actual call-up (Einberufung) is issued by mail by the recruiting sub-area headquarters in the form of an induction order (Gestellungsbefehl) directing the registrant to report at a specified time at the headquarters of a unit (in wartime a replacement unit).

(5) Induction. Recruits reporting at a battalion headquarters are first subjected to roll-call and then distributed to the subordinate companies, where the final medical examination and actual induction (Einstellung) takes place. Induction is followed by a mental and physical test to determine the most suitable employment of each man and the administration of the oath of allegiance.

(6) Volunteers. Volunteer applicants for the officer and noncommissioned officer careers apply at reception centers for potential officers and noncommissioned officers (Annahmestellen für den Führernachwuchs), which come under the Inspector General for Potential Officers and noncommissioned officers (GJF). Within limits, the volunteers are given the privilege of selecting their arm or branch of service.

In January 1945 these reception centers were combined with the recruiting centers for the Waffen-SS to form new "Combined Recruiting Centers of the Army and Waffen-SS" (Ergänzungsstellen des Heeres und der Waffen-SS). Under Himmler's orders, one of these was established in each Wehrkreis, with branch offices in all major cities. They also deal with volunteers to the ranks for Volks Grenadier divisions and thus facilitate the distribution of manpower under SS control.

Volunteers to the ranks have been numerous during the war, though much less so than in 1914-1918. At the beginning of the war the lower age limit was 17 (instead of 18 for conscripts); it later was lowered to 161/2 and then (in 1944) to 16. In the past 2 years a large proportion of the youngest age class has been induced by various kinds of pressure to volunteer, largely for the Waffen-SS.

(7) Discharge. Discharge before completion of the normal period of service was possible in peacetime if a man became "unworthy to bear arms" (by reason of conviction for a major criminal offense) or totally unfit, or if it was discovered that he had been inducted by error. Both this type of discharge and the normal discharge after two years of service were carried out by the unit itself. In wartime this has been modified. In order to be discharged from active service members of the Field Army first must be transferred to the Replacement Army, either by their own unit or by a hospital. In order to relieve these units, however, and to reduce the distance which the infirm soldier must travel to his place of discharge, army discharge centers (Heeres-Entlassungs-Stellen) have been established to handle medical discharge cases. The Waffen-SS has its own corresponding medical discharge center. In the German Air Force, the physical examinations for reception and discharge are given in both combined reception and discharge centers (Annahme- und Entlassungsstellen), which handle either procedure all the way through.

(8) Foreigners. Foreigners and stateless persons, in case they are classified as "racial" Germans, may volunteer for service in the German Army. If they live within Germany, applications are handled by the competent recruiting sub-area headquarters; if they live in foreign countries, they are dealt with by the Recruiting Sub-area Headquarters Ausland in Berlin. Volunteers from the Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium) may be inducted without the acquisition of German citizenship. Applications are handled by the Recruiting Sub-area Headquarters Ausland in Berlin.

Since about 1943 virtually all "racial" Germans living in Balkan countries under German domination have been required to "volunteer". The concept of "racial" Germans (Volksdeutsche) has been interpreted very widely by the High Command with the growing stringency of the manpower situation. Especially in the annexed areas of Poland, people who knew scarcely a word of German were classified as belonging to Section 3 of the German Racial List (Abteilung 3 der Deutschen Volksliste); this meant that they were vested with German citizenship for a probationary period of 10 years and were liable to military service but could not rise above the rank of private first class.

Many thousands of genuine foreigners from other occupied countries have been persuaded to join the German Army, often through political or economic pressure. The procedure for their


enlistment has varied widely for different nationalities and at different times.

f. HANDLING OF CONSCRIPTS. The three branches of the Armed Forces submit to the Armed Forces High Command, their personnel requirements on the 15th of each month for the second month, following. According to the demands and the general replacement situation the various Wehrkreis headquarters then receive orders specifying how many men are to be inducted for each branch of the Armed Forces.

The Armed Forces High Command determines which age groups are to be drawn upon according to the type of service for which they are required. The Wehrkreis headquarters are bound by these arrangements but may accept volunteers of all age groups.

If men of a certain type are not available within the Wehrkreis where they are required, the Armed Forces High Command may order the transfer of recruits from one Wehrkreis to another.

Within the Wehrkreis, the Wehrkreis headquarters is responsible for distributing the replacement requisitions among the recruiting area and sub-area headquarters as rapidly as possible and with due regard to the varying characteristics of the population in different districts. City areas provide the best material for motorized units, country areas for cavalry and horse-drawn units. A mixing of rural and urban elements is to be aimed at in the interests of regional and national solidarity.

The Navy accepts volunteers from all parts of the Reich. For its seagoing personnel it has a priority on recruits who, by reason of their place of residence or previous experience, are classified as belonging to the "seafaring population" (seemännische Bevölkerung); to man its shore installations it takes conscripts from the Maritime Wehrkreise--I, II, X, and XX. The Air Force has a similar priority on conscripts (classified as part of the "aeronautical population" (fliegerische Bevölkerung), which includes those who have belonged to gliding clubs or who joined the aviation branch of the Hitler Youth.

The Army aims at assigning every individual conscript to the type of unit for which his physical condition, his civilian background, and his special abilities best fit him. With this in view, certain standing regulations have been introduced. Thus mountaineers called up in Wehrkreise that maintain no mountain units automatically are transferred to Wehrkreise which do--from Wehrkreise VI, XII, and XX to Wehrkreis VII and from Wehrkreise II, III, IV, VIII, IX, X, XI, XXI, and Böhmen und Mähren to Wehrkreis XVIII.

In general, transfers from one Wehrkreis to another are not made unless there is a cogent reason for them, and they were not frequent until growing man-power difficulties began to make it impossible for some Wehrkreise to meet their obligations from their own resources. In principle, a conscript trains and fights in the company of men from his own province. One significant deviation from this policy was in the treatment of conscripts from the annexed areas of Poland, France, and Yugoslavia. Alsatians generally were sent for training to northeastern Germany (Wehrkreis II) and Poles to the Berlin area (Wehrkreis III) or to the southwest (Wehrkreis V).

3. Replacement Training System

a. BASIC PRINCIPLE. Every unit in the Field Army is affiliated for personnel replacement purposes with a specific unit of the Replacement Training Army, located in its own original Wehrkreis and known as an Ersatz unit. The function of the latter is to induct recruits, to provide for their training, and to see that they are held in readiness to be sent off to the field unit in batches or individually as required.

The normal location of the Ersatz unit is the home station of the affiliated field unit, to which the soldiers expect ultimately to return for their discharge or for reassignment. For example, a soldier who is wounded and goes to a reserve hospital in the Zone of the Interior will be sent, on leaving the hospital, to his affiliated Ersatz unit before being returned to the field.

Whenever feasible, trained replacements are sent by an Ersatz unit to a field unit with which it is affiliated. If, however, a man for any reason is diverted to a different field unit, or if he subsequently is transferred from one field unit to another, the affiliated Ersatz unit of his new field unit must be entered on Page 4 of his paybook under the heading "present competent Ersatz unit" (jetzt zuständiger Ersatztruppenteil).

In order to understand the intricacies of the present Ersatz system it is well to trace the successive stages of its development.

b. ORIGINAL OPERATION OF THE SYSTEM. Each infantry regiment which took to the field at


Figure 9.--Control of replacement and training units
Figure 9.--Control of replacement and training units.


the beginning of the war left behind at its home station a battalion cadre bearing its own number and known as its Ersatz battalion. The primary purpose of this battalion was to receive recruits, train them, and dispatch them as replacements to the field regiment. At any given time it included one or more of each of the following types of companies:

Reception companies (Stammkompanien), consisting of new recruits and cadre personnel.

Training companies (Ausbildungskompanien), also known as Rekruteneinheiten. These companies provided for the training of the inducted untrained volunteers. After the training was finished the recruits joined the transfer company, if they were not transferred to the Field Army immediately.

Transfer companies (Marschkompanien) which were pools of trained replacements ready to depart for the field unit.

Convalescent companies (Genesendenkompanien), consisting of men released from reserve hospitals who were being prepared for return to the field. All other replacement training units are organized in a corresponding manner.

c. ORIGINAL AFFILIATION SYSTEM. The three replacement training battalions corresponding to the three infantry regiments of a field division were controlled by an infantry replacement training regimental staff (Grenadier-Ersatz-Regiment--Gr.Ers.Rgt.) bearing the number of the division. Thus, the 2d. 23d, and 44th Infantry Regiments, belonging to the 11th Infantry Division, were represented by the 2d, 23d, and 44th Infantry Replacement Training Battalions controlled by the 11th Infantry Replacement Training Regimental Staff at Allenstein in Wehrkreis I, the home station of the division. Replacement training regimental staffs usually were commanded by colonels.

The replacement training regimental staff also controlled from three to five infantry specialist replacement training companies which provided the personnel for the infantry howitzer companies, antitank companies, signal sub-units, engineer platoons, and mounted platoons of the three infantry field regiments.

The other components of the field division--the artillery regiment, reconnaissance battalion, antitank battalion, engineer battalion, and signal battalion, were affiliated in a similar way with replacement training units of their respective arms back in the Wehrkreis from which they came.

All the artillery replacement training battalions in any Wehrkreis were controlled by two or more artillery replacement training regimental staffs bearing the numbers of artillery field regiments originally raised in that Wehrkreis. The replacement training battalions for the smaller divisional components likewise bore the numbers of some of the corresponding field units from the Wehrkreis, but usually one such replacement training battalion would provide replacements for the corresponding field battalions of several divisions. Altogether over 50 types of regular replacement training units existed.

d. CHAIN OF COMMAND IN THE REPLACEMENT ARMY. The replacement training units are subordinate to the Wehrkreis Headquarters (Wehrkreiskommandos) in their capacity as Deputy Corps Headquarters (Stellvertretende Generalkommandos, Stv.Gen.Kdo.) through the following intermediate staffs:

One or more Replacement Division Staffs (Division Nummer ...., Div. Nr.....) controlling the replacement training units either directly, as in the case of independent units of the supporting arms and services (reconnaissance, engineer, supply troop replacement training battalions) or through several infantry and artillery replacement training regimental staffs (Grenadier-Ersatz-Regiment, Gr.Ers.Rgt. and Artillerie-Ersatz-Regiment, Art Ers. Rgt.).

Possibly one Panzer Replacement Division Staff (Panzer-Division Nummer...., Pz.Div.Nr....) or a Commander of Panzer Troops (Kommandeur der Panzertruppen, Kdr.d.Pz.Tr.) of either brigade or regimental status, controlling the replacement training units either directly, as in the case of the independent battalions (tank, antitank, and Panzer reconnaissance replacement training battalions) or through one or two motorized infantry or Panzer Grenadier replacement training regimental staffs.

The Commander of Motor Maintenance Units (Kommandeur der Kraftfahrparktruppe, Kdr.d. Kf.Pk.Tr.), controlling motor maintenance replacement training units.

The Commander of Signal Troops (Kommandeur der Nachrichtentruppe, Kdr.d.Nachr.Tr.), controlling signal replacement training battalions.

Wehrkreis Surgeon (Wehrkreisarzt in his capacity as Stellvertretender Korpsarzt), controlling medical replacement training units.

Wehrkreis Veterinarian (Wehrkreisveterinär in his capacity as Stellvertretender Korpsveterinär).

The Deputy Corps Commanders, who are not


only the commanders of the replacement training units but also commanders in the Wehrkreis, are subordinate to the Commander of the Replacement Army (Befehlshaber des Ersatzheeres). They have the right to shift the location of units of the Replacement Army within their areas but must notify the Commander of the Replacement Army.

The responsibility of the Commander of the Replacement Army and of his subordinate headquarters and offices for maintaining the Field Army on a wartime footing remains in effect when parts of the Replacement Army are located in the Theater of Operations.

The number of replacement division staffs in each Wehrkreis is regulated by the Army High Command. They are responsible for the uniformity of training in their subordinate replacement training units. They are to be kept free from all administrative duties. Regarding correspondence they are to participate only in what concerns the training, arming and equipment of replacement training units, as well as the maintenance of discipline (including proceedings of law) and the personal matters of their subordinate officers and officials. Should there be several replacement division staffs in one Wehrkreis, the deputy corps headquarters orders which replacement training units are subordinated to either one.

e. REQUISITIONING OF REPLACEMENTS. The field unit may request replacements if there is a deficiency of more than 10 per cent of their table of organization strength. Replacements for specialists, such as communication personnel or technicians, are to be requested as soon as their absence would hamper the efficiency of the field unit. Every independent field unit (regiment, independent battalion) sends its requests for replacements through channels to the division headquarters. The division forwards them direct to the competent deputy corps headquarters.

The deputy corps headquarters thereupon issues orders to the appropriate replacement units. The replacement division staffs usually are consulted only with regard to the state of training of the replacements before the deputy corps commander disposes of them. The commanders of the replacement training regimental staffs participate fully in this matter. If the records which every deputy corps headquarters has to keep show that the competent replacement training unit cannot provide all or any of the replacements, the deputy corps headquarters passes this order to another replacement training unit. If an adjustment is not possible within the competent area, the Commander of the Replacement Army is notified and orders another Wehrkreis to provide the replacements. The replacement training units have to notify the deputy corps headquarters at once on what date the replacements will be ready to leave.

Although the requisitions are strictly channelized, direct relations between the field unit and the competent training unit at home always were considered desirable, in order to strengthen the feeling of comradeship. This was achieved not only through the personal connections but also through circular letters and newspapers.

f. LATER MODIFICATIONS OF THE REPLACEMENT TRAINING SYSTEM, 1939-AUTUMN 1942. (1) Early change in the affiliation system. The system of numerical affiliation between replacement training units and field units, applying particularly to the infantry units, was valid in general for the four initial waves of divisions sent to the field by each Wehrkreis in the summer and autumn of 1939. These were the "active", or peacetime, divisions, numbered from 1 to 36, 44, 45 and 46; those raised from reservists, numbered 52 to 98; those raised from Landwehr personnel, from 205 to 246; and those formed from so-called Ergänzungs units (special "supplementary" peacetime units for short-term training of men in the intermediate classes 1901 to 1913), from 251 to 269.

The component units of divisions formed subsequent to the initial mobilization period, on the other hand, usually were not given new replacement training units of their own, but were assigned, through the corresponding Deputy Corps Headquarters, an affiliation with existing replacement training units of their respective arms. Thus each infantry replacement training battalion eventually had to feed replacements to several field regiments, only one of which bore its own number. Similarly, when the infantry component in the Panzer divisions was increased from one regiment to two in 1940, the second regiment usually was affiliated with the existing replacement training battalion of the original regiment. Some replacement training units were converted outright into field units; on the other hand some field units were later dissolved. These changes tended to upset the principle of numerical affiliation, which underwent further changes in the following years.

It was the practice from the very beginning to collect groups of trained replacements of the various


arms in the Wehrkreis and assemble them into loosely organized special personnel transfer battalions known later as Marschbataillone for the purpose of conducting them to the combat zone. Originally each such transfer unit normally was destined for a particular division, and often carried the number of that division, preceded by the Roman numeral of the Wehrkreis and followed by a serial number. Such battalions usually were attached to the rear echelon of the division in the field, and from there the personnel was filtered into the various divisional components as needed, or they filled up field replacement pools.

After the start of the Russian campaign, it was found expedient, in view of the long distances involved, to draw on these field replacement pools in some cases without regard to their Wehrkreis of origin or the division for which they originally were intended. Thus a division which had suffered particularly heavy losses might receive a large portion of the personnel which had been trained and dispatched to the field for a different division in an adjacent and less active sector. In other cases, all the divisions under a given corps or in a particular area would share a single field replacement battalion. In the African theater, for a time at least, there was only one field replacement battalion for all the divisions of the Africa Corps, although they came from different Wehrkreise. In the middle of 1941, moreover, all units in Africa were assigned affiliations with replacement training units in Wehrkreise III and XII, regardless of the location of their previous replacement training units; this was done in order to concentrate the specialized training which the men required for operations in the desert.

All such measures resulted in a further breaking down of the system of numerical affiliation and in some cases even a departure from the rule that the great majority of men in a given unit should come from the same Wehrkreis. It must be borne in mind, however, that all these, as well as all subsequent modifications up to the beginning of 1945 in the detailed operations of the replacement training systems, never have violated its basic principle: namely, that every field unit at all times must be affiliated with a specified replacement training unit to which all men leaving the Field Army are automatically sent.

(2) Early movements of replacement training units. Despite the fact that the original replacement training units were intended to remain at the home stations of their corresponding field units, acting more or less as the rear echelon of the latter, there have been numerous shifts of units in the Replacement Army from one part of Germany to another and from Germany into occupied countries and back again for varying reasons. From 1939 to 1941, when Germany still had neighbors to be attacked, the replacement training units were withdrawn from the border regions several months before an offensive was to commence in order to free the barrack space and other military facilities for the assembling of field forces. After the area was no longer being used for this purpose, the replacement training units generally returned to their home stations.

Replacement training units, with their controlling replacement division staffs temporarily thus transferred to another Wehrkreis, are subordinate to the deputy corps headquarters of this Wehrkreis for administrative purposes as well as for the general supervision of their training; the replacement division staffs, however, are the direct recipients of requisitions of replacements from the field units in this case, and at the same time the contact with the home Wehrkreis was not completely broken off. New conscripts, normally given orders by their local recruiting sub-area headquarters to report to a replacement training unit not far from their home town, were sent in these cases either individually, or in small groups, on long train journeys before induction or were assembled in special collecting points known as Wehrkreis Ersatz-Depots. The latter were also used for receiving men who returned from the field as convalescents or for any other reason. After the units returned to the Wehrkreis these depots were dissolved.

All these moves and a number of others, concurrent with or subsequent to them, served the additional purpose of garrisoning the annexed or conquered areas adjacent to Germany proper and thus relieved the field forces of this responsibility. At the same time barracks and training grounds in Germany were freed for the formation of new units for the constantly expanding German Army, and the recruits were given training away from home and under conditions more like those in the field. All these moves prior to the autumn of 1942 (except those whose primary motive was the evacuation of assembly areas) were by units in border Wehrkreise into adjacent occupied or annexed territory immediately across the border. The movements thus amounted to a


slight extension of the German Zone of the Interior in all directions.

g. REORGANIZATION OF THE REPLACEMENT ARMY IN THE AUTUMN OF 1942. (1) Principle. The most far reaching change in the replacement training system took place on or about 1 October 1942 when all basic replacement training units were broken up into their two elements--one to handle induction and replacement and the other to handle training. The induction and replacement unit retained the designation Ersatz. But henceforth it was concerned only with receipt of recruits from the conscription offices; issue of their personal equipment and their paybooks; short military indoctrination of recruits; forwarding of recruits as speedily as possible to its sister training unit; receipt of convalescents and sending them back to a field unit; and with the processing of men from its affiliated field units who for any reason were to be discharged. The newly created training unit (Ausbildungseinheit) bore the same number as the Ersatz unit and was to receive the men from the Ersatz unit, give them their training, and then dispatch them to an affiliated field unit.

(2) Movements following the reorganization. The purpose of this measure apparently was to facilitate a shift of most training activities farther into the occupied countries, particularly in the west, without seriously affecting the efficiency of the induction and replacement procedure back in the Wehrkreise.

The disadvantages of the earlier removal of the replacement training units from their home stations, from the administrative point of view, were almost sufficient to outweigh the advantages. For this reason, none of the earlier moves except those dictated by military necessity were very far from home, and the practice of garrisoning more distant occupied territories with replacement training units never was resorted to under the old system. It was probably these considerations, as much as it was the growing shortage of man-power, which caused the German authorities, in September 1942, to divide all the basic replacement training units into their two parts, even though in some cases they were reunited under a new name. This made it possible for the replacement units to occupy their home stations, and for the training units to enjoy complete freedom of movement. The latter henceforth were used in large numbers to occupy different parts of France, the Low Countries, Denmark, Poland, Lithuania, the Soviet Union, and northern Italy in the form of reserve divisions. Combined training thus could be carried on under more realistic conditions, and numerous fully organized field divisions were released for service on active fighting fronts. In most cases the units from a given Wehrkreis went to the country nearest them. In the case of the basic infantry training units, approximately two-thirds moved out in this way, and only one-third remained within greater Germany.

(3) Changes at battalion level. Under the original system each infantry replacement training battalion, as already indicated, normally contained a reception company, four training companies, and one or more convalescent and transfer companies. At the time of the reorganization the training companies were withdrawn under the battalion staff, and a new replacement battalion staff was created to control the remaining components having purely replacement functions. In some cases, apparently, the new training battalion established a transfer company of its own as a pool for trained men awaiting transfer to the Field Army, while in other cases it seemed to send them to the transfer company of the replacement battalion.

In practice, the change took place in either one or the other of the following ways: In the case of replacement training units which were already in newly acquired or occupied territories in the autumn of 1942, the replacement elements in some cases returned to their home stations to resume their normal induction and replacement functions and retained the name Grenadier-Ersatz-Bataillon, etc. The training elements then usually were incorporated into reserve divisions and moved farther afield, receiving the name reserve battalion (Reserve-Bataillon), etc.; if they remained in Greater Germany they were called training battalions (Ausbildungs Bataillone), etc. In other cases (both in Germany and in adjacent occupied or annexed territory) both elements remained in the same area and took the form of combined replacement and training battalions (Ersatz- und Ausbildungsbataillone).

The above remarks apply to the various other arms as well as to the infantry. Most of the service troops remained at their home stations as combined replacement and training battalions.

(4) Changes at regimental level. Many of their replacement training regimental staffs became staffs of reserve regiments (Reserve-Regiment) in occupied territory. The only regimental


staffs remaining in the Wehrkreise after the reorganization were combined replacement and training regimental staffs (Ersatz- und Ausbildungs-Regimenter). These controlled combined replacement and training battalions and specialists companies remaining in the Wehrkreise. In addition, new infantry replacement regimental staffs (Grenadier-Ersatz-Regimenter) were created to control replacement battalions and specialist replacement companies whose training elements had become reserve units. These new regimental staffs received new numbers mostly in the 500 series, and had no affiliation with a field division bearing the same number. However, some of the companies controlled by these new staffs retained their original numbers. Thus the original numerical affiliation system had almost disappeared at regimental level.

In the artillery the original regimental staffs that remained in the Wehrkreis took over the functions of those which went out to reserve divisions.

(5) Changes at division level. For occupational and defensive purposes, as well as for the conduct of combined training exercises, the reserve units in occupied territory were organized into a new type of training division known as a reserve division (Reservedivision) which still remained part of the Replacement Army. This was done in all cases except one by the conversion of one of the former replacement division staffs in the Wehrkreise. If not enough staffs remained in a Wehrkreis to supervise the induction and replacement activities of replacement units as well as the training of combined replacement and training units, a new staff was created, sometimes taking a number 300 higher than that of the departed reserve division. Other new replacement division staffs were created by conversions of special administrative division staffs (Divisionskommando z.b.V., Div. Kdo. z.b.V.) As a result the number of the replacement division staffs was only slightly diminished from 34 in September, 1942 to 29 in 1943. Each reserve division controlled a group of reserve regiments and supporting units from its own Wehrkreis, but the allotment of battalions within the regiment no longer followed the original pattern based on the subordination of infantry regiments to the field division of the same number. Sometimes the battalions took the numbers I, II, and III, and the regimental number, with or without addition of their own original numbers. In other respects, also, the reserve divisions took on the character of defensive field divisions. For instance, some of them received divisional rear service units, numbered 900 plus the reserve division number. These services were part of the Field Army. This system of reserve divisions was developed steadily throughout 1943. After the summer of 1943 new reserve divisions also were formed from Panzer and motorized training units (Reserve-Panzer-Divisionen) which until then had been stationed in the Zone of the Interior.

(6) Reserve corps. To control the replacement functions of reserve divisions (i.e., the dispatch of trained replacements to the Field Army) a number of reserve corps (Reservekorps) and one or more reserve Panzer corps (Reserve-Panzerkorps) were formed. Orders issued to deputy corps headquarters relating to these functions were now also addressed to the reserve corps, indicating that they acted as channels for replacement requisitions in the same manner as deputy corps headquarters. However, at least some reserve corps controlled one or more defensive infantry divisions of the Field Army as well as their reserve divisions.

h. THE ULTIMATE FATE OF THE RESERVE DIVISIONS. Altogether, the training units of the different Wehrkreise formed 26 reserve divisions in 1942 and 1943, four of which were reserve Panzer divisions. Thirteen were in the West, seven in the East, three in Denmark, two in Croatia, and one in Italy. From this large number it is evident that field divisions were relieved from defensive and occupational duties to an appreciable extent. In 1943, even before the last reserve divisions were formed, a number of them were converted into divisions of the Field Army. Two of them in the East became field training divisions (Feldausbildungsdivisionen, Feld-Ausb. Div.), which, although retaining training functions in addition to their line of communication duties, no longer formed part of the replacement and training structure of their Wehrkreise. A third reserve division in Croatia was converted into a light (Jäger) division, and three other reserve divisions received the designation static (bodenständige) divisions.

Thus by the end of 1943, 23 reserve divisions were in existence including the three static divisions. During 1943 several of these divisions were engaged against partisans while others became firmly established along the Channel coast.

During 1944 the reserve divisions rapidly disintegrated.


Of the five reserve divisions in the East, two were destroyed or disbanded, and three went into combat. The remaining reserve division in Croatia apparently was disbanded early in the year. All the 13 reserve divisions in the West disappeared. Three reserve Panzer divisions were merged with remnants of Panzer or Panzer Grenadier field divisions and lost their identity. Three reserve divisions on the Channel coast were converted to field divisions in February, 1944. Two others were disbanded in July and August, after giving up most of their personnel to divisions that had suffered heavy losses in the Invasion. The five reserve divisions in southern France and on the Biscay coast were engaged against the Allied landing in southern France and upgraded to field divisions. The reserve mountain division in Italy also may have been upgraded to a field division during the year. Of the three reserve divisions in Denmark, two appear to have remained intact during 1944, while the third was in the process of being converted. Thus by the end of 1944, a maximum of six to seven reserve divisions remained, of which perhaps only two were able to fulfill the functions for which they were originally created.

The reserve divisions had definite disadvantages as well as advantages. They were good for training and garrison functions during the winter of 1942-43 and for the greater part of 1943. But when they received definite defense assignments, especially on the Channel coast, they no longer could concern themselves with training. Neither could they afford to send trained replacements to field divisions and to replace them with untrained recruits and thereby imperil their combat effectiveness.

The seriousness of the situation was intensified by the fact that during 1942-43 two-thirds of the "training" had been moved out of Germany to take place in these reserve divisions. As a result, at a critical period the continuity of training had to be interrupted, and a new start made in the Wehrkreise within Germany.

i. RESUMPTION OF TRAINING WITHIN GERMANY. New training facilities had to be provided as one reserve division after another ceased its training functions. For a time, some of the reserve divisions had training battalions (Ausbildungs-Bataillone) which could train personnel without interfering with the new defense responsibilities of the reserve divisions. But following the Invasion in June 1944, recruits no longer were sent to the reserve divisions in the West.

Training gradually was resumed within Germany. At first some Wehrkreise dispatched recruits to existing training or combined replacement and training units of their own Wehrkreise within Greater Germany, and in one case even to the training units of a neighboring Wehrkreis. Subsequently first one and then other training companies were added within the different Wehrkreise, and replacement units were expanded into combined replacement and training units. By the late summer of 1944, virtually all replacement units in some Wehrkreise had regained their training functions and had become combined replacement and training units. This was especially the case with the replacement units of the former reserve Panzer divisions in the West. Other Wehrkreise did not start expanding their training facilities until late in 1944. In some cases the reforming of artillery training units preceded the reforming of infantry training units. In some instances, to help control combined replacement and training battalions in the infantry and facilitate their possible employment in the field, the old ratio of three replacement and training battalions to one staff was restored through a new wave of combined replacement and training regimental staffs.

The resumption of training was aided by the fact that pure replacement battalions had always maintained a skeleton force of instructors and cadre personnel to provide a minimum of training in the reception, transfer, and convalescent companies. Also many reserve divisions returned their instructors and cadres to their Wehrkreis when they were converted or disbanded.

j. DEVELOPMENTS DURING THE SUMMER AND AUTUMN OF 1944. In the summer of 1944, when the Reichsführer-SS took over the command of the Replacement Army, a number of trends became emphasized. Training hours were lengthened, and the training period was reduced to an average of 6 weeks. Air Force and Navy personnel were retained for the Army, and the Volkssturm was created. Paper work was simplified, and Wehrkreis borders were adjusted. Economy and simplification were achieved through:

(1) Changes in the affiliation system. A basic change of the affiliation system for infantry regiments occurred. A single infantry replacement battalion became the competent replacement unit


for all the infantry regiments of one infantry division or two static or security divisions. As a result, infantry regiments no longer had a replacement battalion carrying their own number, and the traditional relationship that originally existed between the old units of the Replacement Army and the Field Army thereby practically was abolished.

(2) Economy measures. Several infantry specialist replacement and training companies were combined, as were also some infantry specialist replacement and training battalions. A number of replacement and training battalions for service troops, especially for veterinary units, were disbanded.

(3) New methods of transferring replacements to the Field Army. New methods for requesting and transferring men from the Replacement Army to the Field Army were established in the first half of 1944. The manpower problem did not permit an even distribution of replacements (with the exception of specialists), but demanded a concentrated supply of men to units with the highest priority. To achieve this purpose army groups and independent army headquarters were charged with the allocation of replacements. The transfer of men from the units of the Replacement Army no longer took place by means of loosely organized groups but in one of the following principal ways: In combat transfer battalions (Kampfmarschbataillone) having a strength of about 900 men with better armament and larger cadre personnel than before; in transfer battalions of 700 to 1000 men; or in transfer companies of 100 to 250 men. The combat transfer battalion was newly created, whereas the transfer battalion for infantry and Panzer troops received the table of organization of the field replacement battalion. Convalescents were returned to the field in convalescent transfer companies (Genesenen-Marschkompanien) of 100 to 250 men. In general, however, the importance of the transfer battalion was diminished, in part because of the rapidly changing situation in the west. The name "combat transfer battalion" indicates that the battalion" as such is considered a fighting unit.

k. REPLACEMENT ARMY UNITS IN COMBAT. In the first years of the war, replacement and training units as such took part in combat only in isolated instances. Yet during the Allied advance through France and Belgium in August 1944, and at the time of the Allied airborne landing in Holland, five or more replacement division

Wehrkreis Inf Repl Bns
(Inf arm)
Inf Repl Bns (Panzer arm) Tk Repl
AT Repl Bns Arty Repl Bns CW
Repl Bns
Repl Bns
Sig Repl
Total of Repl Bns
for Combat Troops
Affiliated Fld Divs
(Inf arm) (Panzer arm)
I 25 2 1 1 7   3 1 40 11 1
II 16 1   1 8   3 1 30 16 1
III 23 10 1 2 6   8 1 51 15 8
IV 24 2 1 1 6   5 1 40 11 1
V 20 4 1 1 5   5 1 37 12 7
VI 29 5 2 1 8   6 2 53 20 4
VII 18 2   1 6   5 1 33 13 1
VIII 24 5 1 1 7   5 1 44 15 3
IX 18 7 2 1 5   4 4 41 17 4
X 18 2   1 6 6 3 2 38 16 1
XI 16 2   1 6 1 3 2 31 17 2
XII 25 2 1 1 7   6 1 43 13 1
XIII 21 3 1 1 7   3 1 37 11 2
XVII 19 2 2 1 6   4 1 35 11 2
XVIII 9     1 4   3 1 18 7  
Total: 305 49 13 16 94 7 66 21 571 205 33

Figure 10.--Distribution of combined replacement and training battalions for combat troops and affiliated field divisions by Wehrkreise at the end of 1944.


staffs from the four western Wehrkreise were transferred to the Western Front with the combat elements of their subordinate units.

The untrained recruits, unfit convalescents, and cadre personnel necessary for maintaining the replacement and training schedule remained behind. In some instances, a "reserve" staff probably stayed at the home station to control replacement elements and rebuild the training structure. These hastily collected divisions received a variety of names, of which "combat divisions" (Kampfdivision, also Div. Nr..... (K)) seems to have been the most common. Five such divisions were actually in line, and a sixth was in charge of fortification work. The subordinate units originally kept the numbers they had in the Replacement Army, but later were renumbered as organic field units. Four of the former replacement division staffs were upgraded to field divisions, and a fifth was dissolved. In addition, the border Wehrkreis furnished numerous independent battle groups, block units (Sperrverbände), and other units, which eventually were absorbed by various field units at the front. Local defense duties of the replacement and training units are fulfilled by alarm units (Alarmeinheiten).

l. STRENGTH AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE REPLACEMENT ARMY AT THE END OF 1944. The accompanying table (Figure 10) shows by Wehrkreise the distribution of replacement battalions for combat troops and affiliated field divisions at the end of 1944.

Each of the 15 Wehrkreise existing at the outbreak of the war has, in addition to the replacement battalions for combat troops, one to three replacement division staffs, and two to five infantry replacement regimental staffs. Most of the latter control three to four infantry specialist replacement companies. Each of these Wehrkreise (except I and XVIII) also has one to two Panzer Grenadier or motorized replacement regimental staffs, containing two or three specialist replacement companies and one to two artillery replacement regimental staffs. The infantry replacement battalions of both these arms contain reconnaissance battalions. In addition, there are two chemical warfare replacement regimental staffs in Wehrkreis X. The many other replacement units--mostly of service troops, such as supply troops, motor maintenance troops, and medical troops--are not represented in the table since there is generally only one in each Wehrkreis.

Also not represented are the four important replacement and training brigades for the Grossdeutschland, Feldherrnhalle, Croatian, and "999" units, which are outside the regular series of replacement units.

Wehrkreis XVIII has mostly mountain troops. Wehrkreis XX, XXI, Böhmen und Mähren, and Generalgouvernement are omitted, since they control only a very few units. Since units in Wehrkreise XX and XXI are connected with Wehrkreis II, and units in Wehrkreis Böhmen und Mähren properly belong to Wehrkreise XIII and XVII, they are listed under Wehrkreise II, XIII, and XVII, respectively. In general, units are listed under the Wehrkreis that controls them, and not necessarily under the Wehrkreis in which they are located. Although the units in the table have been designated simply as replacement units most of them are actually combined replacement and training units.

The strength of battalions will fluctuate greatly, depending upon whether they have just received new recruits or convalescents or depleted their organization by sending replacements to the field. Thus some battalions in the table may have a strength of 500 men and others over 1500.

Affiliated field divisions are given to permit a comparison between the replacement units and "their" field units. General Headquarters troops and disbanded or destroyed field divisions are not included, and converted field divisions could not be attributed to a specific Wehrkreis. The present affiliation is the controlling one, even though the division was mobilized in another Wehrkreis.

Demonstration regiments and battalions and the many military schools contain additional reserves of manpower. With the latter, however, attached "kommandiert" personnel is carried by the old unit and not by the school.

At the end of 1943 there were possibly 2,000,000 men in the Replacement Army; at the end of 1944 there were probably considerably less. On the whole, units of the Replacement Army were remarkably stable during the 5 years of war, with regard to type, number, and in some cases also with regard to the location of the replacement elements.

However, major changes did occur in the replacement division staffs, regimental staffs, and specialist companies in the years 1942 to 1944. Most of the units dissolved were in the artillery battalion series. Additional units or new types


of units were created whenever necessary, often preceding developments in the Field Army, as witnessed by the formation of assault gun, and Panzer howitzer replacement and training battalions, mortar training companies, and replacement and training battalions for troops with stomach and ear ailments.

m. EXAMPLE OF AFFILIATION BETWEEN A FIELD DIVISION AND ITS REPLACEMENT AND TRAINING UNITS. The table above shows how the replacement training system, although greatly modified, is worked out to the smallest detail. The table was valid for a Folks Grenadier division as late as November 1944. The replacement units shown are mostly of the combined replacement and training type, even though they are designated as replacement units.

n. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS. After the Allied advance through France in August 1944, most of the replacement and training units from the outlying areas of the western Wehrkreise were withdrawn farther east within the Wehrkreise. Evidently

Headquarters Infantry Division  
Headquarters Infantry Division Infantry Replacement and Training Battalion
    Division Map Section 3d Battalion Motorized Artillery Demonstration Regiment
    Military Police Squad Military Police Replacement Regiment
Infantry Regiment
    (2d and 3d Regiments like the 1st Regiment)
Headquarters Company Infantry Replacement and Training Battalion
    Cyclist Platoon Reconnaissance Replacement and Training Battalion
    Engineer Platoon Infantry Engineer Replacement and Training Company
    Communication Platoon Infantry Signal Replacement and Training Company
Infantry Battalion
    (2d Battalion like the 1st Battalion)
Infantry Replacement and Training Battalion
Infantry Howitzer Company Infantry Howitzer Replacement and Training Company
Antitank Company Infantry Antitank Replacement and Training Company
Division Fusilier Company Reconnaissance Replacement and Training Battalion
Antitank Battalion  
Motorized Antitank Company Antitank Replacement and Training Battalion
Armored Tank Destroyer Company Antitank Replacement and Training Battalion
Antiaircraft Machine-gun Company Antiaircraft Machine-gun Replacement and Training Battalion
Artillery Regiment  
Headquarters Battery Light Artillery Replacement and Training Battalion
1st Antitank Artillery Battalion Light Motorized Artillery and Training Battalion
2d and 3d Artillery Battalions Light Artillery Replacement and Training Battalion
4th Artillery Battalion Medium Artillery Replacement and Training Battalion
Engineer Battalion Engineer Replacement and Training Battalion.
Signal Battalion Signal Replacement and Training Battalion
Field Replacement Battalion  
Cadre Personnel Infantry Replacement and Training Battalion
Supply Regiment  
Headquarters Troop Motor Transport Supply Troop Replacement and Training Battalion
    Motor Transport Supply Company Motor Transport Supply Troop Replacement and Training Battalion
    Supply Troop (Horse-Drawn) Supply Troop Replacement and Training Battalion
    Supply Platoon Supply Troop Replacement and Training Battalion (Horse-Drawn)
Ordnance Company Local Defense Replacement and Training Battalion
Workshop Company Motor Maintenance Replacement and Training Battalion
Administrative Company  
    Bakers and Butchers Administrative Training Replacement and Training Battalion
    Drivers Motor Transport Training Replacement and Training Battalion
    Other Personnel Local Defense Replacement and Training Battalion
Medical Company Medical Replacement and Training Battalion
Ambulance Platoon Medical Replacement and Training Battalion
Veterinary Company Veterinary Replacement and Training Battalion
Field Post Office Field Post Replacement and Training Battalion

Figure 11.--Replacement affiliation of a division, late 1944.


efforts were being made to preserve the replacement and training structure within the Wehrkreise, even though they were part of the Theater of Operations. A similar attempt was made in Wehrkreis I on the Eastern Front. In some instances, replacement units were moved to another Wehrkreis, but then only to locations just across the boundary.

Late in 1944, Wehrkreis XII, the middle one of the western Wehrkreise, moved some of its replacements far inland into the central Wehrkreise. These units, however, still remain at the disposal of Wehrkreis XII.

Early in 1945 affiliation between replacement units and field units was still valid as affiliation from the field unit to the replacement unit, but generally not in the other direction.

4. Training

a. INTRODUCTION. (1) Types of training establishments. The general military training of the German soldier takes place principally in the training units of the Replacement Army, although a certain amount of training also is given in its replacement units. Training units also are prepared to conduct special courses in order to provide some types of specialized personnel, as required by the Field Army, and to secure a pool of personnel trained with particular care as potential officers and noncommissioned officers. In addition to these general training units, numerous schools and courses have been established with the specific purpose of training potential officers and noncommissioned officers. Other schools, designated as special-service schools (Waffenschulen), have the function of providing specialized training for officers and enlisted men of their particular branch of service, developing its arms, equipment, and tactics with the help of their demonstration units, and furnishing instructors for the Army. In addition, specialist training schools are established to provide instruction for ordnance officers, technical officials, and particularly noncommissioned officer-technicians, or for officers and noncommissioned officers of all arms and services as specialists in certain particular functions, such as air raid and gas protection.

(2) Chain of command. The training in most types of replacement and training units, which are under the command of the Wehrkreis headquarters exercised through intermediate staffs, is coordinated by the Chief of Training in the Replacement Army. He exercises his authority through the Inspectors of Arms and Services, who issue directives regarding the particular training in their arms to the Wehrkreis headquarters. These directives are based on tactical doctrines worked out in detail by the Inspectorates of Arms and Services in the General Army Office, which, in turn, follow instructions from the Chief of Training and his Inspectors.

The directives for the training of Panzer troops are issued by the Inspector General of Panzer Troops, who is directly subordinate to Hitler. The training of medical troops is directed by the Chief Army Medical Inspector, who is directly subordinate to the Army High Command, and that of veterinary troops by the Chief Veterinary Inspector, immediately under the Armed Forces High Command.

The training of potential officers and noncommissioned officers wherever it occurs, takes place either under the command or under the supervision of the Inspector General for Potential Officers and noncommissioned officers. His authority is restricted to supervision when this type of training takes place in establishments under the command of the Chief of Training, the Inspector General of Panzer Troops, or any Wehrkreis headquarters. Special-service schools and specialist training schools are under the command of the Chief of Training with the exception of the Schools for Panzer Troops, which are commanded by the Inspector General of Panzer Troops.

(3) Supplementary training. The paragraphs below describe how the various types of training units and schools discharge their functions. It should be kept in mind that these functions are supplemented in many ways. A considerable part of the military training in Germany is given in the form of pre-Army training by other military and auxiliary organizations. Special abilities found in various civilian occupations are put to use by the Army, and only personnel with a certain professional background are trained for a number of technical employments within the Army. Civilian establishments sometimes are used for the training of Army personnel; for example, technical courses often are conducted in factories producing special types of equipment.

b. GENERAL TRAINING. (1) Organization of training units. In principle, the training unit is a true image of the field unit which it supplies with trained replacements. Thus, the infantry


Figure 12.--Control of training of potential officers and noncommissioned officers
Figure 12.--Control of training of potential officers and noncommissioned officers.


training battalion, just like any battalion of an infantry regiment, consists of the 1st, 2d, and 3d rifle training companies, and the 4th machine-gun training company. This principle has been somewhat modified, however, in order to take advantage of specialized training personnel and to expedite the training; thus, drivers of horse-drawn vehicles, for example, usually are not trained within each training company but combined into a special detachment within the battalion. The infantry training regimental staff, in accordance with the normal (pre-1944) composition of a regular infantry regiment, usually controls three infantry training battalions, a 13th infantry-howitzer training company, and a 14th infantry antitank training company; in addition, however, it often has controlled a 15th infantry signal training company, and every second or third staff a 16th infantry engineer training company to furnish trained personnel for the signal platoons in battalion headquarters and the signal and engineers platoons in the regimental headquarters company. Recently, a 17th mortar training company has been added to train crews for the heavy mortars, introduced into the 4th and 8th companies of the infantry regiments of regular infantry divisions. Only one training company for infantry mounted platoons in each Wehrkreis trained replacements for the mounted platoons of all the infantry regiments under its responsibility.

Recent developments, including the introduction of new weapons and the growing scarcity of training personnel in conjunction with the increasing pressure of time, have accentuated the tendency of concentration and specialization of training, and continuous reorganizations of the field divisions have made the similarity between field and training units less and less evident.

(2) Program in training units. The main responsibility for the training of recruits rests with the commander of the training unit of company size (company, battery, troop). The detailed training schedule is prepared within the framework of the company. The battalion commander supervises the progress of the training in the companies of his battalion and inspects the recruits at the end of their basic training. The commanders of higher echelons coordinate the training in the units under their command and supervise it. They arc also responsible for the education and training of officers and potential officers and noncommissioned officers within these units. The latter are often placed in special companies within the training battalions and regiments.

The basic training (Grundausbildung) in infantry training units normally is planned for 16 weeks; actually this period now is reduced to 8 weeks in most cases. This period may be followed by an indefinite period of advanced training (Erweiterungsausbildung), lasting up to the time of transfer of the recruits to a field unit. The basic training usually is divided into three parts, the first of which is devoted to individual training, the second to the training of the individual recruit within the framework of the squad, and the third to the training of the squad within the framework of the platoon. During the advanced training period, the scope of training is amplified to include exercises on reinforced company or, in artillery and chemical warfare troops, even battalion level. The basic training components, listed in order of the importance attributed to them, are: combat training, firing, lectures, drilling, sports. The drill for the modern German soldier is far from what is generally believed; drilling of the famous goose-step is not permitted, and "present arms" is not taught.

(3) Training in replacement units. Although according to their organization basically not equipped for training purposes, the replacement units nevertheless perform training functions on a reduced scale. This is done in three ways:

After their induction into a replacement unit which is not stationed in the same location as its corresponding training unit, the recruits immediately are combined into training groups to undergo a one to three-week period of preparatory training (Vor-Ausbildung) until they can be sent to a training unit.

Regular training functions are performed in the convalescent components of replacement units. Their purpose is to restore the health and physique of convalescents until they regain full fitness for field duty, and also to select and train instructors for the training units. For the latter purpose special courses are conducted by the convalescent units.

After regaining their fitness for field duty, the convalescents are sent to the transfer components (Marschkompanien, etc.) of their replacement units, where they are given advanced training until the time of their transfer to a field unit.

c. NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICER TRAINING. (1) General categories. The two basic categories of


noncommissioned officers are the ones enlisting for either 12 or 41/2 years, called active or professional noncommissioned officers, and the conscripts promoted to noncommissioned officer's rank, called reserve noncommissioned officers. The active noncommissioned officers may either serve in ordinary noncommissioned officers' functions in the various arms and services or they may receive specialized training as technicians. Typical training establishments for ordinary noncommissioned officers are the Army noncommissioned officers' schools (Heeres-Unteroffizier-Schulen), for technicians the specialist training schools and the special-service schools (Waffen-Schulen) of chemical warfare troops, engineers, and signal troops. In peacetime, noncommissioned officers serving 12 years were, at the end of their service, trained for civilian occupations in Army vocational schools (Heeresfachschulen) and Armed Forces vocational schools (Wehrmachtfachschulen); in wartime, this vocational training is restricted to the rehabilitation of men no longer fit for service. The reserve noncommissioned officers receive special training in noncommissioned officer courses (Unterführer-Lehrgänge), which may be conducted in the Field Army as well as in the Replacement Army at various echelons.

(2) Ordinary noncommissioned officers. (a) Selection. In peacetime and to an even larger degree, in wartime, the German High Command considers the possession of a highly qualified noncommissioned officer corps as of vital importance for the effectiveness of the Army and endeavors by all means of propaganda to fill its ranks. For the professional noncommissioned officer corps two sources are open:

Volunteers for the noncommissioned officer career may apply at the age of 161/2 years and, if accepted by a selection center for potential Army officers and noncommissioned officers, enter the Army at the age of 17 as noncommissioned officer applicants (Unteroffizier-Bewerber, usually abbreviated U.B.). Some of these may have had pre-Army training for this career as junior cadets (Jungschützen) in Army noncommissioned officer preparatory schools (Heeres-Unteroffizier-Vorschulen).

Conscripts already in service who wish to enlist for either 12 or 41/2 years must have a good record as leaders in combat, instructors, and disciplinarians. They can enlist only after one year's service and are finally accepted only after 2 years' service. Only those are accepted for a 12-year term who will be not over 38 years of age at the end of their service period; the age limit for men enlisting for 41/2 years is 28 years. If acceptable, these men are appointed noncommissioned officer applicants by their battalion commanders.

(b) Training of noncommissioned officer applicants. The noncommissioned officer applicants belonging to units of the Replacement Army are normally educated and trained at the Army noncommissioned officer schools. Up to February 1944, the training period of a noncommissioned officer applicant volunteer at an Army noncommissioned officer school was 10 months. The first 4 months were devoted to basic training, and during the remaining 6 months the applicant received training as a squad leader in his particular branch of service. In February 1944, the basic training was removed entirely from the Army noncommissioned officer schools, and the applicant volunteers thenceforth were to be sent to training units of their appropriate arms for basic training, together with the other recruits inducted at the same time. The advanced training period, for applicant volunteers and appointed applicants alike, was reduced to 5 months for branches having Army noncommissioned officer schools of their own, and to 3 months for some specialized branches, whose applicants are trained at schools of related branches. These periods may be supplemented by an additional period of 1 or 3 months, respectively, spent in training units, making a total advanced training period of 6 months before the applicants graduate from the Army noncommissioned officer school and are promoted to privates first class (Gefreite). They then are transferred to a field unit.

At present, there are about 22 Army noncommissioned officer schools for infantry, one for mountain infantry, seven for Panzer troops, two for artillery, two for engineers, and one for signal troops. These schools are usually organized like a battalion of their respective arms; the Army noncommissioned officer schools for Panzer troops are specialized in one of the main branches of this arm (Panzer Grenadiers, tank crews, antitank personnel, Panzer reconnaissance personnel).

Men enlisting for long-term service while serving in the Field Army (Kapitulanten des Feldheeres) may take part either in a noncommissioned officer applicant course conducted by a field headquarters, especially in a divisional combat school, or in a course at a field noncommissioned officer school (Feld-Unteroffizier-Schule). In


their training, these schools approach field conditions to a much larger degree than the Army noncommissioned officer schools; their training periods last only about months. There is one field noncommissioned officer school for each of the three most important arms: infantry, Panzer troops, and artillery. They originally were located in occupied territories, but now apparently have been removed to Germany proper. They are believed to be organized like a regiment of their respective arms, including some or all of its more important special branches.

(3) Noncommissioned officer technicians. (a) Selection. A number of careers as technicians (Sonderlaufbahnen) are open for active noncommissioned officers who, as a rule, must have enlisted for 12 years; exceptions are the medical technicians, blacksmith technicians, and musicians, who will also be accepted if they enlist for the 41/2-year period. For most of these careers, qualified professional backgrounds are required. Upon terminating their enlistment period, most of these technicians have the opportunity, after taking additional courses at the appropriate specialist training schools, to become advanced technical or administrative officials.

(b) Training. In addition to an apprenticeship in Army units or headquarters required for most of the technician careers, courses of varying length are conducted for the various types of technicians at the specialist training schools and some special-service schools. In many cases, short or wartime courses have been established to supply sufficient personnel for the wartime Army; the men participating in these courses, however, usually will not become full-fledged technicians upon graduating from these courses but only after taking additional courses at a later opportunity. These men are not necessarily active soldiers; if they did not enlist for long-term service, they are designated as reserve noncommissioned officer technicians.

NCO Technician German Designation Training School Length of Course
Peace War
(where known)
Supply Technician (H-Dr T) Schirrmeister (F) Army Riding and Driving School 12 months  
Supply Technician (MT) Schirrmeister (K) School for Army Motorization 4 months  
Supply Technician (Engr) Schirrmeister (P) Engineer School 2 3 months  
Supply Technician (Tech Engr) Schirrmeister (PT)      
Supply Technician (Ry Engr) Schirrmeister (EP) Railway Engineer School    
Supply Technician (CW) Schirrmeister (Ch) School for Chemical Warfare Troops 7 months 41/2 months
Supply Technician (SL) Schirrmeister (Sch) Spandau Army Equipment Depot 6 months  
Supply Technician (Ord) Schirrmeister (Fz)      
Ordnance Technician Feuerwerker Army Ordnance Technician Schools I and II 18 months 6 months
Weapon Technician Waffen-Unteroffizier Army Weapon Technician Schools I and II 12 months 3-5 months
Signal Supply Technician Funkmeister Army Signal School II 9 months 3 months
Pigeoneer Brieftaubenmeister School for Dog and Pigeon Service 7 months  
Fortress-Engineer Technician Festungspioneir-Unteroffizier Fortress Engineer School 3 years  
Fortress Maintenance Technician Wall-Unteroffizier Fortress Maintenance School 12 months  
Medical Technician Sanitäts-Unteroffizier Medical schools 9 months  
Blacksmith Technician Beschalgsmied-Unteroffizier Army Blacksmith schools 4 months 2 months
Musician Technician Musiker      


The table on page 73 shows the various types of technicians, the duration of their courses, and the schools conducting these courses.

(4) Training of reserve noncommissioned officer applicants. Conscripts who are acceptable as future noncommissioned officers and are considered for promotion, but who are not enlisting for a definite service period, are appointed reserve noncommissioned officer applicants (Reserve-Unteroffizier-Bewerber usually abbreviated R.U. B.) by their battalion commanders. The training of the reserve officer applicants normally takes place at Wehrkreis noncommissioned officer courses (Wehrkreis-Unterführer-Lehrgänge), although reserve officer applicants recently have also been trained at Army noncommissioned officer schools. Each of the original Wehrkreise has one Wehrkreis noncommissioned course, usually located at a maneuver area within the Wehrkreis itself or in a neighboring Wehrkreis. These courses are more or less organized like infantry regiments, but often include, in addition to regular infantry components, other types of specialist sub-units, such as a reconnaissance troop, a mortar training company, or a field howitzer battery. In some Wehrkreise, sub-units of the Wehrkreis noncommissioned officer course for arms other than infantry may be established with existing training units or Army noncommissioned officer schools of these arms. In Wehrkreis IX, in addition to its regular Wehrkreis noncommissioned officer course, such a course for Panzer troops has been identified.

(5) Training of noncommissioned officers for special functions. A number of noncommissioned officers are employed in functions requiring special training without being technicians. These may be trained within their own or other units or headquarters by practical experience and apprenticeship, or in special courses conducted by units or headquarters (in the field usually by the division combat schools, in the Replacement Army by the Wehrkreise), or at specialist training schools.

(a) Training by practical experience. First sergeants (Hauptfeldwebel), clothing supply sergeants (Bekleidungs-Unteroffiziere), and similar types of special function noncommissioned officers usually are trained in this manner.

(b) Training in special courses conducted by units and headquarters. This type of training usually applies to company clerks (Rechnungsführer) and to supply sergeants for weapons and equipment (Gerat-Unteroffiziere).

(c) Training at specialist training schools. Gas protection noncommissioned officers (Gasschutz-Unteroffiziere) take courses at Army Gas Protection Schools 1 and 2, or at the Wehrkreis gas protection courses. Other noncommissioned officers receive special training in fire fighting at the Army Air Raid Protection School or at the Wehrkreis air raid protection courses. Field cook noncommissioned officers (Feldkoch-Unteroffiziere), mess sergeants (Kuchen-Unteroffiziere), and mess clerks (Küchenbuchführer) are trained at Wehrkreis cook schools or by field cook instruction staffs.

(6) Training of intelligence personnel. Linguists who may be employed as interpreters (Dolmetscher) in all branches of the Army, but particularly as intelligence personnel, usually hold the position of specialist leaders (Sonder-führer) regardless of their actual noncommissioned officer or officer rank. They receive linguistic and intelligence training in the interpreter companies, of which there is one in each Wehrkreis, and in the Interpreter Demonstration Battalion. In addition, a Signal Interpreter Replacement and Training Battalion trains signal intelligence personnel.

d. THE TRAINING OF POTENTIAL OFFICERS. (1) General. The system for training German officer replacements in wartime normally extends over a period of between 16 and 20 months (including prescribed service in the field) and is divided into three main phases. These phases differ slightly for active and reserve officer replacements, but the duration and standard of training are identical. The only difference between active and reserve officers is that the former enroll for an unlimited period of service and have to meet slightly higher physical requirements. For both categories, the training during the three main phases takes place in schools and courses devoted to this particular purpose. In the first phase, these are either officer applicant courses or reserve officer applicant courses; in the second phase officer candidate schools or courses; and in the third phase advanced officer candidate courses.

In certain cases selected enlisted men who are over 30 years old and have served in the field in combat units may become officers without attending officer candidate schools or courses but


merely after a very few months of additional service in the field as officer candidates.

The following paragraphs outline the normal procedure for selecting and training active and reserve officer replacements.

(2) Potential active officers (aktiver Offizier-Nachwuchs). (a) Selection. Future active officers are selected in the following three ways:

Untrained volunteers, usually at the age of 16 or 17, after a preliminary selection by a selection center for future Army officers and noncommissioned officers (Annahmestelle für den Führernachwuchs des Heeres), enroll for an unlimited period and enter the Army as officer applicants (Offizier-Bewerber, usually abbreviated O.B.).

Conscripts already serving who are under 28 and decide to apply for the active officer career first are appointed reserve officer applicants (Reserve-Offizier-Bewerber, usually abbreviated R.O.B.), or if they have already attained noncommissioned officer grade, reserve officer candidates (Fahnenjunker der Reserve, usually abbreviated Fhj.d.R.), by their regimental (or independent battalion) commanders. A note is added to the record indicating that they intend to adopt the active officer career. They are accepted for this career upon graduating from the officer candidate course, but they must first attend a reserve officer applicant course if they have not already attained noncommissioned officer grade.

Professional noncommissioned officers may, after at least 2 months of service in the field, be appointed officer candidates (Fahnenjunker, usually abbreviated Fhj.) and be sent to an officer candidate course.

(b) Officer applicant training. This first phase of the training of future officers lasts 10 months and is designed for the untrained volunteer officer applicants. It is divided into the following two periods:

Four months of basic training in a training unit.

Six months of noncommissioned officer training in an officer applicant course (O.B.-Lehrgang). These courses usually lake place at Army noncommissioned officer schools, some of which are reserved exclusively to this type of course In some special branches, officer applicant courses are held at the special-service schools or at training units. Upon graduation from the course, in which they are especially trained as squad leaders, the applicants are usually promoted to noncommissioned officers.

(c) Officer candidate training. After completion of their training in the Replacement Army, the officer applicants are transferred to a field unit for a period of not longer than 3 months in order to demonstrate their leadership abilities in the field. The latest tendency has been to reduce this period as much as possible, even down to a very few days, in order to preserve the potential officers who, after completion of 10 months of training in the Replacement Army, represent a valuable investment of the Army. As soon as they have proved themselves in the field they are appointed officer candidates (Fahnenjunker) and sent to an officer candidate course (Fhj.-Lehrgang) of 3 to 4 months' duration. These courses are usually conducted at the special-service schools; the infantry, Panzer troops, and artillery, however, have separate officer candidate schools and courses. It should be noted that these courses are not only attended by personnel who have passed through the officer applicant training period but also by conscript and professional noncommissioned officers who have been appointed reserve officer candidates by their regimental (or independent battalion) commanders. Toward the middle of the course, the candidates are promoted to officer candidate-staff sergeants (Fahnenjunker-Feldwebel, usually abbreviated Fhj. Fw.); upon graduation they are promoted to advanced officer candidates (Oberfähnriche, usually abbreviated Obfähnr.).

(d) Advanced officer candidate training. After completing the officer candidate course, the candidates attend an advanced officer candidate course (Oberfähnr.Lehrgang) lasting 3 months. These courses usually are conducted at the special-service schools. For advanced officer candidates of the infantry they may be conducted at especially designated infantry officer candidate schools, and for those of the Panzer troops at the Panzer troop advanced officer candidate schools. Upon graduation from these courses, the candidates are promoted to second lieutenants (Leutnant, usually abbreviated Lt.) (The word "promote"--befördern is always used; German officers are not commissioned).

(3) Potential reserve officers (Reserve-Offizier-Nachwuchs). (a) Selection. Potential reserve officers are selected in the following ways:

Untrained volunteers may be accepted by the selection center for potential Army officers and noncommissioned officers as aspirants for the reserve officer career (Anwarter für die Reserve-Offizier-Laufbahn).


They are appointed reserve officer applicants by the regimental (or independent battalion) commander of their responsible replacement unit after 4 months' service.

During the conscription procedure suitable men may be selected by the commanders of recruiting sub-area headquarters. They have a similar career to that of the untrained volunteers described above.

Conscripts in basic training may be appointed reserve officer applicants by the regimental (or independent battalion) commander of their replacement or training unit.

Conscripts already serving for some time may be appointed reserve officer applicants, or, if they have already attained noncommissioned officer grade and, within 1 year previous to the date of their appointment, have proved themselves in a field unit, may be appointed reserve officer candidates, by the regimental (or independent battalion) commander of their field or replacement unit.

(b) Reserve officer applicant training. Untrained potential reserve officers first undergo 4 months of basic training, after which they are appointed reserve officer applicants. Reserve officer applicants who have had their basic training spend 6 months in a reserve officer applicant course (R.O.B.-Lehrgang). These courses usually are conducted by the headquarters of replacement and training units, and some infantry and artillery replacement regiments have special officer replacement companies and batteries (Offizier-Nachwuchs-Kompanien-Batterien) for this purpose. Recently, however, the ones for infantry officer applicants have been more and more concentrated on Wehrkreis level; the Wehrkreis headquarters may designate a particular infantry replacement battalion as an officer replacement battalion (Offizier-Nachwuchs-Bataillon), or conduct a special Wehrkreis reserve officer applicant course (Wkr. R.O.B.-Lehrgang). Upon conclusion of this course, in which they are primarily trained as squad leaders, the applicants are usually promoted to noncommissioned officers.

(c) Reserve officer candidate training. After completion of their training in the Replacement Army, the reserve officer applicants, just like the active officer applicants, are transferred to a field unit to prove themselves worthy, and then are appointed reserve officer candidates. Subsequently, they attend the same officer candidate schools or courses as the active officer candidates. During these courses, they are promoted to reserve officer candidate-staff sergeants (Fhj.Fw.d.R.), and upon their termination to advanced reserve officer candidates (Oberfähnrich der Reserve, usually abbreviated Oberfähnr.d.R.).

(d) Advanced reserve officer candidate training. The courses for advanced reserve officer candidates usually are conducted by the Wehrkreis headquarters. Upon graduation from these courses, the candidates are promoted to reserve second lieutenants (Leutnant der Reserve, usually abbreviated Lt.d.R.).

(4) Potential officer specialists. Slightly different rules apply for the training of potential officers in specialist careers who, in addition to their military education, require a certain type of professional training. These are the careers of medical officer, veterinary officer, ordnance officer, and officer of the motor maintenance troops. In addition, the administrative officer and judge advocate careers in the Special Troop Service require special rules regarding the replacement of their officers.

(a) Potential medical officers (Sanitäts-Offizier-Nachwuchs). Active medical officer applicants are selected from secondary school graduate volunteers by the Wehrkreis surgeon in connection with the recruiting sub-area commander. They take part in the officer applicant training conducted for potential infantry officers, and after its conclusion and a short assignment to a field unit are appointed officer candidates. At that time, they are assigned to the Medical Officer Academy and begin taking medical courses at the university. After a certain period of time they are promoted to medical technical sergeant (Feldunterarzt). Upon passing their medical examination, they become officers. Soldiers of the Field and Replacement Army may be accepted for this career if they fulfill the requirements. Doctors and medical students may become reserve medical officers. While taking medical courses at universities, the reserve medical officer candidates are assigned to medical officer feeder battalions (Sanitätsoffizier-Ergänzungs-Abteilungen).

(b) Potential veterinary officers (Veterinär-Offizier-Nachwuchs). Like the medical officer applicants, the active veterinary officer applicants are selected from young civilian volunteers and from soldiers of the Field and Replacement Armies. Their officer applicant training takes place in a mounted replacement and training unit. After their promotion to officer candidates they


are assigned to the Army Veterinary Academy. They become active officers upon passing their veterinarian examinations. Veterinarians and veterinary students may become reserve veterinary officers.

(c) Potential ordnance officers (Offizier (W) -Nachwuchs). Active ordnance officers are recruited from active ordnance technicians; reserve ordnance officers from ordnance technicians with wartime training who did not enlist for the 12-year period. They are selected by their regimental (or independent battalion) commander and sent to an ordnance officer candidate course (Fahnenjunker (W) -Lehrgang) at Army Ordnance School I. During this course, which lasts 3 months for active ordnance technicians, and 9 months for reserve ordnance technicians, they are appointed ordnance officer candidates (Fahnenjunker (W)) by the commander of the Army Ordnance School. Upon graduating from these courses, they are promoted to ordnance lieutenants (Leutnant (W)).

(d) Potential officers of the motor maintenance troops (Offizier-Nachwuchs der Kraftfahrparktruppe). Active motor maintenance officers are recruited from supply technicians (MT) who are appointed officer candidates by their regimental (or independent battalion) commander and sent to officer candidate courses at the Motor Maintenance Troop School. In addition, active or reserve advanced officer candidates of other arms may be taken over into the motor maintenance troops to receive 2 to 3 months of special training at the Motor Maintenance Troop School, provided they have the required technical background. Soldiers in motor maintenance units who are over 38 years old, after at least 18 months of service, may be sent to the officer candidate courses at the Motor Maintenance Troop School; younger men may be transferred to a tank or Panzer Grenadier regiment and sent to a Panzer troop officer candidate course, to become a reserve motor maintenance officers.

(e) Potential officers of the Special Troop Service (Offizier-Nachwuchs des Truppensonderdientes). The Special Troop Service includes the administrative career (Laufbahn des Verwaltungsdienstes) and the judge advocate career (Laufbahn der Wehrmachtrichter). The officers of the administrative career are recruited from soldiers acceptable as officers of the fighting troops. Officer candidates of this career in the lower brackets are trained at the Army Administration School; active officer candidates in the higher brackets are believed to be assigned to the Administrative Academy while taking law courses at the University of Berlin. The officers of the judge advocate career are recruited from soldiers who are acceptable as officers of the fighting troops and, at the same time, have the professional qualifications to become judge advocates.

(5) The training of officers for special functions. Officers employed in specialized functions within the scope of their particular branch of service are trained for these functions at the special-service schools of their arm. The most important ones of these are: Infantry School, Mountain Infantry School, Reconnaissance and Cavalry School, Bergen and Krampnitz Schools for Panzer Troops, Artillery Schools I and II, School for Chemical Warfare Troops, Engineer Schools 1 and 2, Army Signal Schools I and II, Army Supply Troop School, Motor Maintenance Troop School, Army Administration School.

Officers who are employed in special functions not in connection with their branch of service are trained in schools or courses established for this purpose which are described below.

General Staff Corps Officers (Generalstabs-Offiziere) belong to the General Staff Corps (Generalstab), and usually are appointed either to the Army General Staff (Generalstab des Heeres) or to one of the General Staff assignments (Generalstabsstellen) on lower staffs. These latter are believed to be the assignments as chief of staff, assistant chief of staff for operations--G-3 (I-a), assistant chief of staff for supply--G-4 (Quartiermeister, I-b), assistant chief of staff for intelligence--G-2 (I-c) of headquarters down to corps, and as G-3 in divisions. Active officers, usually with the rank of captain, who are not over 28 years old, have exceptional personalities, arc qualified for a leading position, and have shown exceptional performance in at least 6 months of service at the front may be recommended for General Staff Corps training by their commanding officers. If accepted, they are, according to to the regular training schedule, assigned to the War Academy for a period of 1 year.

The first month of this period is spent at a special school and the next 6 months at the War Academy itself. The aspirants then are attached to the General Staff Corps (Generalstab) for 5 months and are taken into it permanently if accepted.


(6) Senior personnel officers (Höhere Adjutanten). Courses for senior personnel officers are conducted by the Army Personnel Office. They are usually held at leading Army schools, such as the War Academy or a special-service school.

(7) Battalion commanders (Btl.- (Abt.-) Führer). Special courses for battalion commanders are conducted at an Army School for Battalion Commanders.

(8) Company commanders (Kompanieführer). Schools for company commanders may be established by armies or army groups in their rear areas.

(9) National-Socialist guidance officers (NS-Führungsoffiziere), usually abbreviated (NSFO). National-Socialist guidance officers for divisions and higher headquarters take part in courses conducted by an Instruction Staff for NS Indoctrination.

(10) Gas protection officers (Gasabwehr-Offiziere) usually abbreviated Gabo). Courses for gas protection officers are conducted at Army Gas Protection Schools 1 and 2.


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Transcribed and formatted by Patrick Clancey & Larry Jewell, HyperWar Foundation