He died injail in Nuremberg, where he was awaiting trial as a war criminal. Made a scapegoat after the disastrous winter campaign of , Brauchitsch was dismissed by Hitler and retired into obscurity. Keitel's deputy was Alfred JodI, Chief of the Operations Staff at the OKW and probably closer to Hitler than any other general, for he briefed the Fuhrer every day on progress in the several theatres of war.
Subordinate to JodI was Walther Warlimont, who initially accepted the concept of the OKW, but who eventually came to realize that there could be no unification because the services were divided among themselves. In the Army, for example, there stood on the one side those who supported the Army, and on the other those who believed in Hitler and the Nazi Party. Looking more deeply into the need for national unity of purpose in the military, economic, industrial and political areas, Warlimont soon realized that there was no established headquarters capable of under- taking the overall direction of the German war effort.
Certainly, no national strategic plan existed. No mass production of the weapons of war had begun, and none was to exist until Speer took over armaments production late in Hitler, von Brauchitsch head of OKH and Keitel head of OKW at a briefing conference. At the end of the war he organized the surrender of the German Armies. He was then imprisoned, tried and found guilty ofwar crimes, and was hanged in Nuremberg.
The German government had no master plan for the war economy, nor any intention of directing women to work in the armaments factories, and certainly no firm idea on how, or where, to allocate the finite material resources of the Reich. The problem of priorities was never resolved satisfactorily, and indeed, throughout the war large amounts of scarce raw materials and manpower resources were wasted on impractical projects dreamed up by Hitler and his Nazi Party comrades.
Thus the Field Army was dependent for its weapons and vehicles upon an armaments industry that was not geared to meet its demands and upon a leadership that had not planned the national economy. He was tried at Nuremberg on war crimes charges, found guilty and hanged. Hitler had seen no need for a vast reserve of strategic war materials because he had not anticipated that the war would be a long one. His master plan seems to have been that there would be a series of short, hard-fought campaigns, each followed by the looting of the occupied country, then the re-equipping and reorganization of the services before starting out on the next conquest.
In such a scenario, vast resources of raw materials would have been a luxury. Hitler was aided in his folly by the subservience of his senior military commanders. When war came, the generals considered him to be also a military genius, for some of his first forays in that field had proved his strategic decisions correct. Among other things, he had supported von Manstein's strategy for the campaign in France and Flanders in , which had won the war in the west within weeks. Late in , when the Soviet winter counter-offensive had caused the German Army to retreat.
Hitler discharged von Brauchitsch and took over personal command and stabilized the wavering front line. This was all a contrast to the first years of his leadership, when he had not interfered directly in military policy, although he had advanced ideas on tactics and strategy. Then, during the war, he became more independently minded and began to plan military operations. Guderian wrote in one of his post-war works that Hitler, who had been receptive to practical considerations, became increasingly autocratic, that his ministers did their work in accordance with the guidelines he had issued to each of them individually, and that there was no longer any collective examination of major policy.
Total responsibility for every aspect of the war was concentrated in the hands of Hitler, a politician to whom the Nazi Party, of which he was the Fuhrer, was more important than the armed services. He planned offensives without understanding the significance of his actions, and refused to accept responsibility when they did not succeed. As the war situation deteriorated, so Hitler's inter- ference in the conduct of military operations increased.
Manstein was relieved of his command in March , after his forces had suffered heavy losses in the Kursk Offensive of As Head of the OKH, he planned the summer offensive of which led directly to the debacle at Stalingrad. In the planning stage of the offensive which has become known as the Battle of the Bulge, he personally supervised the laying down of roads along which the Panzer columns were to advance, and forbade any deviation from his orders.
To summarize the structure and actions of the German High Command, the OKW was an intricate hierarchy of skilled staffs with the dilettante Hitler as its supreme commander. He controlled a staff system which dealt with, among other things, strategic policy at a national level. That chain of command then flowed down from the OKW to the high commands of each of the fighting forces - in this case, to the OKH, whose most senior It was from the supreme commander, Adolf Hitler, that a proposal would come to open a new war or to undertake a new offensive.
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That basic concept would be passed to the Operations Branch of the OKW, which would produce a master plan and pass it to each of the high commands of the individual services. In theory, this was an excellent arrangement, but it did not work in practice because of inter- service rivalry and because the individual heads of the armed forces cultivated personal contacts with Hitler, thereby excluding the OKW from its discussions with him.
Among the Western Allies, it was a widely held but quite erroneous belief that the German military successes were due to the smooth running of the OKW. In truth, that body was neither as smooth-running as the Allies believed nor as efficient as it ought to have been. It was riven by inter-service rivalries and personal ambitions, as well as by Hitler's indolent attitude. On the positive side, when he took over the OKH he realized that there was duplication of duties In both high commands, and promptly altered their structures. The charts on pages 14 and 15 show the composition of both those bodies in the final years of the war.
The friction between the two high commands and the Nazi Party, which had been brought about by his policy of divide and rule, was made worse when, after the failed July bomb plot, he lost all faith in his military leaders and promoted his political comrades to very senior positions in the services. For example, Himmler, Head of the SS, was given command of the Replacement Army, and party leaders at state level Gauleiter were given authority to overrule decisions made by senior Army commanders within their Gau administrative district.
Towards the end of the war, a national levee en masse, the 22 Volkssturm, was organized and carried out without the Army being involved or even consulted. Hitler had managed to reduce the OKW to being his military office, and its authority was limited to co-ordinating the plans he had ordered and carrying out his wishes without question. That subservience conflicted with the long-established Army concept whereby its staff officers had a duty to raise objections to any order which they thought to be militarily unsound.
Worse was to come. Eventually, any objection to a Fuhrer Order was seen by him at best as mutiny and at worst as treason. This was a viewpoint shared by both Keitel and JodI, right up to the end of the war. Thus both the OKW and the OKH became rubber stamps for Hitler's orders, and the general staff structure, which had been built up over a period of a century and a half, was shattered within a handful of years. That statement begs the question: how was it that the German Army fought for so long and so aggressively that until December within six months of the end of the war it was still a potent force able to surprise the Allies and to gain victories both at tactical and strategic level?
The answer, quite simply, is that at intermediate and junior command levels, its officers had been trained in the pre-war years. In the Seeckt era, the rank and file had been trained to take over the posts of their immediate superiors. The officers who in those days had undergone staff training when they were subalterns or junior field officers were able to train and to instil general staff attitudes into the men who succeeded them.
Thus there was always a broad band of highly trained staff officers whose skills and abilities permeated the whole system. That the German Army was able to work so well until the end of the war was in no way thanks to the OKW. Rather, it worked despite the efforts of that body. A mounted officer rides at the head of his unit as it advances into the vastness of the Soviet Union, DOCTRINE For many years before, during and after the war, it was a widespread belief among the Allies that the German soldier was a rigid- minded clod, cowed by fear of the Gestapo or the SS, and conditioned to blind obedience in every aspect of military activity.
Those who fought against him in that war found that he was neither an unthinking automaton nor a crazed fanatic, but rather a skilful opponent who had been taught to use his initiative and who fought for his country without the need for terror to motivate him. It has been mentioned earlier that training was the key element in German military preparation for war, and I make no excuse for repeating it, for it was of paramount importance in the military 23 situation. Von Gneisenau, a Prussian military theorist, introduced the principle into the Prussian Army that an 'intention' should replace a direct order, and that the 'intention' had to be phrased in a completely clear and understandable manner.
It was also to be framed in such a way as to leave room for personal initiative and freedom of action. His philosophy on the way a mission should be carried out was expanded by the older von Moltke. He realized that the practical application of Gneisenau's doctrine would require that commanders at every level be rigorously and specially trained so that they could carry out the task which they had been set. Von Seeckt, who commanded the Army in the years of the Weimar Republic, made it a rule that each soldier was to be trained so that he He then went on to command an Army Group in the Netherlands.
Blaskowitz committed suicide before he could be sentenced by the Allies as a war criminal. As a result of the training officers had been given, particularly those in the general staff, they were able to evaluate a situation and to issue clear and concise orders. All officers underwent continuous training, being rotated between field commands and staff positions to ensure that they did not lose contact with the front-line soldiers, and so that they gained a theoretical and practical mastery of the problems they would one day have to face.
Training of that intensity and depth enabled a commander to evaluate a problem 24 Field-Marshal Fedor von Bock held a senior command post in the campaigns in Poland, France and Russia. He was dismissed by Hitler in , and was killed in an air raid at the end of the war. Thereby, on the battlefield there was flexibility in action because all ranks were aware of the intention of the mission.
When Allied and German soldiers clashed in battle, in place of the rigid-minded German automaton of popular imagination, the Allies found they were fighting against an enemy which had been trained to think a mission through, to bring it forward and to exploit its potential so as to gain a success. This was the essence of the Auftragstaktik the formulation of a mission and a clear The Auftragstaktik forced comm- anders to make decisions more or less on their own initiative.
They gained experience and confidence by being required to act in that way. Through their training, and as a result of military manoeuvres conducted at every level of command, officers learned to issue only the most essential orders for the execution of a given task. The commander of a mission was thus free to choose the weapons he would employ and to decide upon the tactics to be used. A comparison between the flexible German Auftragstaktik and the complicated American Befehlstaktik method of issuing detailed orders can be seen when one considers the landing at Anzio in The American commander was ordered to land and to defend himself against German counter-attacks.
The landing forces found no opposition to challenge them, but nevertheless halted and waited until, in time, they were counter-attacked. A German 25 commander in such a situation would have exploited the enemy's weaknesses and would have pushed on towards Rome. It was von Moltke who advanced the axiom that no battle plan survived the first encounter.
To overcome the imponderables of the battlefield, the commander was trained to be adaptable and to evaluate each problem as it arose. As a result of that training, when the German Army was forced onto the defensive, as it was after , it switched swiftly from the creation of Schwerpunkte strongholds in an attack situation to the creation of Schwerpunkte in defence.
It was to those Schwerpunkte that Panzer divisions could be moved to bolster the defence and through which the enemy could still be made subject to the German Army's will, even though that enemy had greater material resources. The success of the defensive Schwerpunkt tactic, as for that in the attack, depended in most cases upon the ability of the staff and the combat efficiency of the troops - all based on long and intensive training.
Also considered as part of the infantry arm of service were the para-military frontier protection detachments, the fortress formations and foreign volunteers, particularly the eastern peoples of the Soviet Union. The standard heavy infantry divisions were of the pattern common to every national army, while those units which were considered in Germany to be light infantry would have been known in the British Army as rifle regiments, and the Jager formations could be equated to the British light infantry.
Although in the British service the differences in unit organi- zation and battlefield role between the several types of infantry had long since been phased out, in the German Army those differences were retained because each type of infantry grouping was seen as having its specific role to play on the battlefield, and its establishment was tailored to enable it to carry out that role. The infantry of the German Army had always been considered the paramount arm of service, and had earned for itself the title 'Queen of Weapons'.
Certainly, of all the fighting services it contained the greatest number of men, and its combat ability had been the means through which Germany's earlier battles and wars had been won. In his waist belt he carries a stick hand grenade, the shaft of which is behind his rifle ammunition pouches.
On his back are the mess tins, and below them a shelter half which constituted his 'Sturmgepack' or battle order. Over his shoulders pass the pair of wide straps to which his equipment is attached. On his left hip is the combined bayonet and entrenching tool, and behind this the water bottle with drinking cap. The gas mask in its corrugated case can be seen at his back. Volksgrenadier Division. Its fighting ability enables it to close with the enemy and to destroy him.
Only the infantry was able to defeat the enemy on the field of battle and go on to hold the ground that had been won, for the factor which decided victory or defeat in a battle was which side was left in possession of the contested ground. According to Reibert: The infantry company is the lowest unit in the Army's chain of command which carries a distinctive name because of the weapon it uses, i. Machine Gun Company. Three rifle companies, one machine gun company, a signals detachment and an HQ group make up a battalion, whose commander is a field officer.
Three battalions, an infantry gun company, an anti-tank company, a signals platoon and a cavalry reconnaissance troop form a regiment This was, of course, the most basic organization, and one which underwent change and amendment during the course of the war. Above the level of the regiment were the infantry divisions, and these were the true foundations of the Army's hierarchy. That great infantry mass was made up of the types of divisions described above - line and Jager.
Divi,sions were grouped into manageable units, known as corps, which were usually but not invariably composed ofjust two divisions 30 of the same arm of service. There were occasions when a corps consisted of just a single division or, conversely, when it was made up of three or more. Above the level of a corps came that of an Army, usually a grouping of two corps, and the most senior level of military formation above that of Army was the combination of several armies into an army group.
However, that neat arrangement was complicated by the inclusion of a number of divisions which bore a name instead of a number, by deliberate gaps left in the sequence of numbers, and by other types of infantry units which had their own numbering system. Finally, the political move whereby certain divisions were renamed was introduced late in the war, when those selected were retitled Volksgrenadier.
They were given that description because the Nazi Party believed that bestowing so distinctive a name would imbue the soldiers of that division to fight with revolutionary fervour. The battle line of German divisions numbered well over formations, and lack of space makes it impossible to detail them all, but I have given a brief description of the first fifty divisions of the infantry line.
In addition, there are two formations which were unusual, and that pair I have selected to represent the many which space compels me to omit.click here
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Although neither of that pair was on the establishment of the Army, both are included The battle line thus included the standard infantry divisions, those which were given a name but no number, and the four divisions raised by the Reichsarbeitsdienst, which then placed them at the Army's disposal. The Jager and the Gebirgsjager formations were outside the numbering system of the standard divisions, as were the airborne and the SS formations. Consequently, infantry formations were raised from the ethnic peoples of Armenia, Georgia, North Caucasus and Turkestan - all countries which had been conquered by the Germans during their summer campaign.
In contrast to what had been the Army's rigid policy of excluding foreigners, the SS had accepted all those who volunteered for service with its regiments from the early war years. As stated in Chapter One, the soldiers of the German Army were conscripted in 'waves' or 'classes' of men. The infantry divisions which were numbered and were the first wave, and therefore regular divisions. The second wave was made up of divisions numbered , the third wave , and the fourth wave The divisional series was left unfilled so that the vacant numbers could be given to newly raised formations.
Late in the war, those vacant numbers were given to the Volksgrenadier formations. The wave of divisions numbered above was the last to be raised. The th Penal Division was an exceptional one, and also concluded the infantry divisional numbering system. The line infantry divisions were numbered, with gaps, as follows: 1, , , , , 38, 39, 41, , 52, , , ,98, , , , , , , , , , , , , , 31 , , , , , , , ,,,,,,,, , , Spanish , , , , , , , , , , ,,,,,,, , Croatian , , Croatian , , , , , Croatian , , , , , , , , , Russian , and The RAD divisions also carried names.
The roll of infantry divisions included the Jager light infantry divisions , which had begun life as standard infantry, but which had then been transferred to the Jager order of battle. These divisions were numbered: 5, 8,28,97,,,, and From the middle years of the war, the grenadier divisions were organized as Panzergrenadier or Panzerjager, and were therefore removed from the standard line infantry formations.
They were then placed on the roll of Panzergrenadier formations, and were numbered: 6, 19,31,36,44 'Hoch und Deutschmeister' , 45, and , the Training or Lehr Division, as well as the 1st and 2nd East Prussian Divisions. The Volksgrenadier 'People's Grenadier' divisions, which were on the line infantry establishment, were: 6, 9, 12, 16, 18, 19, 22, 26, 31, 36, 45, 47, 62, 78 Volkssturm Sturm Division , 79, , ,,,,, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and The 44th, an undistinguished first-wave infantry formation, was raised on 1 April , shortly after the annexation of Austria.
No mention of the Austrian connection was made until June , when the component infantry regiments of the 44th - the st, nd and th - took grenadier status. The division fought in Poland in and in France in before being posted to take up occupation duties in the General Government of Poland. During the fighting on the Eastern Front, the 44th was destroyed at Stalingrad at the beginning of Re- raised on 4 May , it then served in Italy and remained in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations until it was posted to western Hungary.
It fought there before being transferred to eastern Austria, where it passed into captivity at the end of the war. When the 44th was renamed the Reichs- grenadier Division 'Hoch und Deutsch- meister' in June , one of its formations was given the distinction, unique in the German Army, of carrying a standard of the type formerly issued to regiments of the Imperial Austro-Hungarian Army. A description of that flag is given in Chapter Twelve. The division's three infantry grenadier regiments had a combined strength of 9, SS grenadiers preparing to go out on an anti-partisan sweep, Note the drum magazine on the MG One method was to use branches of trees to give additional protection against the cold and snow.
In addition there was a reconnaissance battalion with men, an artillery formation of 3, all ranks, a pioneer battalion with all ranks, an anti- tank battalion with men, and a signals battalion with men. The total strength of the division was 17, all ranks. In the divisional armoury there were light machine guns, heavy machine guns, 93 mortars of 5 cm calibre, and 54 of 8 cm. Of infantry guns, there were 20 light and 6 heavy. The artillery component was 75 PAK guns of 3. The wheeled strength of the division included horse-drawn carts, 4, horses, AFVs, lorries and motorcycles, of which had sidecars.
From that date on it became the 78th Sturm Division, and was given a higher than normal establishment of weapons in order to increase the firepower of its three constituent infantry regiments, the 14th, th and th. Each had battalions made up of three infantry companies, a standard heavy weapons company plus another one equipped with infantry guns, a pioneer company, a troop of cavalry and a signals platoon.
During March and April , there was an increase in strength, and the artillery establishment of each regiment was then The assault division was created out of the former infantry division within the space of seven weeks, and in February , while still incompletely raised, was put back into action to seal a gap that had been torn in the German front. The division's losses in bayonet strength, and therefore firepower, were partly compensated for by a higher distribution of fast-firing automatic weapons, by the replacement of the 81 mm mortars by those of 12 em calibre, and by the issue of hand- held rocket launchers, such as the Panzerfaust.
The anti-tank unit was also equipped with the high-velocity 7. The westwards retreat of the German Army from the middle of took the 78th into Galicia and then into Moravia, where, at the war's end, its remaining units passed into captivity. The anti-tank battalion had two companies, each armed with heavy PAK on self-propelled SP artillery mountings. The heavy mortar battalion was motorized, and was made up of three companies, each fielding twelve mortars. The flak battalion was composed of three batteries, and had a strength in guns of 18 light and 8 heavy 88 mm pieces.
The total ofweapons in the divisional arsenal was: light machine guns, 76 heavy machine guns, 94 medium mortars, 40 heavy mortars, A propaganda picture of cheerful soldiers keeping themselves warm in the first winter of the war against Russia, A regular Army division, raised principally in East Prussia.
Fought in Poland, France and 34 Prussia and in Westphalia. Served with distinction in the Kursk Offensive, Composition Grenadier regiments Artillery regiment Services A division of the regular Army whose personnel were chiefly Bavarian. Fought in Poland in , in Flanders in , and on the Central Sector of the Eastern Front, where is served with distinction in the Kursk Offensive of The advance to contact stage of the attack is led by a grenadier carrying an MG 42 across his shoulders.
A division of the regular Army. Personnel mainly from Hessen-Nassau.
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Personnel recruited from Frankfurt and from Austria. Did not participate in the campaign in the west in , but was in Russia in , and served with Army Group Centre. Moved to France in , it returned to the Eastern Front during March Personnel mainly from the Rhineland and from Prussia. Served in Poland, and then in Russia, firstly on the Northern Sector, and then with distinction around Lake Lagoda during the summer fighting of A division of the regular Army which recruited in Bavaria. Fought well in both Poland and the west In Russia from the first days of the war against the Soviet Union.
Posted to France in , the division was returned to Russia a year later, and served with Army Group South. Composition Grenadier regiments Artillery regiment Services 27th, 48th, 89th 12th All numbered 12th Composition Grenadier regiments Artillery regiment Services 21st, 55th, 95th 17th All numbered 17th A division of the regular Army with Prussian personnel.
Fought well in the campaign in Poland and in France Was active in the Polish campaign, and served in the war in the west. On the Eastern Front from the earliest days. Fought in Poland and in the west, and then on the Eastern Front from the first days. Transferred to France in Drafts were taken from 23rd Infantry Division to form 26th Panzer Division.
The division was re-formed and given the number 23 before being returned to the Northern Sector of the Russian Front. In slit trenches dug on the reverse slope of a hill, grenadiers prepare to go into action. The man in the foreground is cleaning his rifle. Eastern Front, A division of the regular Army raised in Saxony. Fought well in the campaign in Poland, and was active during the war in the west.
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Personnel mainly from the Rhineland, but with Prussian drafts. Engaged on the Eastern Front from Composition Grenadier regiments Artillery regiment Services 31st, 32nd, nd 24th All numbered 24th Composition Grenadier regiments Artillery regiment Services 39th, 77th, 78th 26th All numbered 26th 37 Note the variety of weapons and grenades on the parapet of the slit trench. Suffered severe losses in the Battle of Kursk in Recruited in north Germany, chiefly Schleswig-Holstein.
Fought well during the campaign in Poland and in the Low Countries. Service in the war in the east from the earliest days with Army Group North. Engaged only partially in the Polish campaign, but was more actively involved in Belgium and France. On the Eastern Front from the opening of the Served with Army Group North from the first days of the campaign in Russia. A division of the regular Army which recruited from the Rhineland.
Took part in the war in the west. Composition Grenadier regiments Artillery regiment Services A scene common in any army in any war: an infantryman gives his comrade a light for his cigarette. A division of the regular Army with personnel from Prussia and Pomerania. Composition Grenadier regiments Artillery regiment Services 4th, 94th, 96th 32nd All numbered 32nd, except the pioneer battalion, which was numbered 21st Composition Grenadier regiments Artillery regiment Services th, th th All numbered th 39 First saw service with Army Group South in Russia.
Personnel included Poles and other non-German nationals. Only two infantry regiments on establishment. A division of the regular Army, its personnel being mainly Austrian. Fought with distinction in Poland and in France. Served with Army Group Centre in Russia, where it suffered severe losses. Fought again with distinction during the Battle of Kursk.
It served in both the Polish and the French campaigns, but then had a much more distinctive role with Army Group South, first in the Crimea and then in the Caucasus. Composition 56th and 75thJager Regiments The rifle and Jager divisions of the German Army had a smaller table of establishment than standard infantry, and consisted of only two, not three, regiments.
It served in France during the campaign, and on the Eastern Front at the start of the war with Russia. As a consequence of the heavy losses it sustained, the division was withdrawn from the line and converted to Jager status before returning to the Russian front. There it suffered heavy losses, and was converted to become a Jager division. The 8th then returned to the Eastern Front. The division recruited in Bavaria and in Sudetenland.
Was not actively engaged before the war with Russia, but was then very active in the Southern Sector, chiefly in the Crimea and in the Caucasus. It returned to the Eastern Front in During the Battle of Stalingrad it was destroyed, but was re-raised in Jugoslavia, and remained in the Balkan Theatre of Operations.
It served in the Balkan Theatre of Operations. It served in the Balkan Theatre of Operations, chiefly in Greece. Composition th and thJager Regiments These were outside the standard divisional numbering system, and had their own series of numbers. In , the Gebirgs arm of service consisted of only individual battalions which were then amalgamated into a brigade.
Out of that formation evolved the 1st Gebirgs Division, which was followed in by the creation of two further divisions. A list of the nine or ten mountain divisions which were raised between and can Gebirgsjager fighting in the Norwegian campaign of , observing enemy movements and positions from a stone sangar. The uncertainty as to how many divisions were created arises because towards the end of hostilities, two newly raised Gebirgs formations were both given the same number.
In addition to the Army mountain formations, there were also Waffen-SS Gebirgs formations, and these are listed on pages A Gebirgs division's usual structure in terms of its armament, equipment and training was a headquarters, two rifle or Gebirgsjager regiments, an artillery regiment and the usual divisional services, including a battalion each of signallers, reconnaissance troops, anti-tank gunners and engineers. The nominal strength of such a division was 13, officers and men. The divisional train was made up of strings of pack animals, 43 which were usually distributed down to battalion level, but which could be further sub-divided to equip individual companies.
The structure of a Gebirgs division had the built-in disadvantage that it was less flexible on military operations than a standard infantry division. This arose because so much of the Gebirgs transport was made up of mule trains that there were fewer motor vehicles on establishment. The cattle strength of a Gebirgs division was 3, beasts, and although the use of animals proved a satisfactory arrangement in mountain warfare, it was less so when the formation was operating in open country.
There, the Gebirgs division was slow-moving, because its pace was tied to that of its animals. A standard Jager regiment was composed of a headquarters unit and three battalions with a total strength of 3, all ranks. The regimental headquarters group included a signals platoon and a battery of heavy mountain guns. A Jager battalion fielded an HQ, three rifle companies and a machine gun company, as well as anti-tank and heavy weapons detachments. The strength of a Jager battalion was all ranks, which broke down to in each rifle company, and the remainder in battalion HQ, the machine gun company and the heavy weapons company.
The artillery regiment had a strength of 2, officers and men, and was equipped with 24 guns of 7. There were also 12 howitzers of 15 cm calibre and 10 howitzers of The number of anti-tank guns in Gebirgs formations was lower because it was 44 thought unlikely that the Jager would be opposed by enemy armour. Also, the weapons in the divisional arsenal had a shorter range than those fielded by a standard division, because operations in the mountains took place at closer range than on flat terrain.
Very specialist groups raised during the middle years of the war to support Gebirgs divisions which were undertaking special mission; these were high alpine Hochgebirgs battalions. Details of these are given on page When mobilization was ordered, that unit, being The box being carried by the half-standing figure is an explosive charge of the type used to destroy bunkers and pill boxes. The 1st fought on every European battle front. In March , shortly before the end of hostilities, it was retitled 1st Volksgebirgs Division.
It fought in Poland, 45 Norway and Lappland between and Following the German Army's retreat from northern Norway at the end of , the 2nd was posted to the Western Front, and at the end of the war its remnants were fighting in southern Germany. A headquarters company of Gebirgsjager advancing into the Caucasus during the summer offensive of When the Germans attacked Norway in the spring of , the 3rd was chosen to spearhead the seaborne invasion to take the iron ore port of Narvik.
The whole division could not be carried in one 'lift', and the men who were left behind were formed into a new Gebirgsjager regiment: the st. That unit was then posted to the 6th Gebirgs Division. At the end of the war it was operating in Silesia. The war in France ended so quickly that the creation of a new Gebirgs division seemed to be unnecessary. Then, on 23 October , a fresh effort was made to raise the 4th, and for this two new regiments were needed. The 13th and 91st regiments were posted away from their parent infantry divisions and taken onto the strength of the 4th.
The 4th served first in Jugoslavia, and was then posted to the Eastern Front, where it remained for the rest of the war. This photograph shows the party moving off at the start of the operation, carrying the unit flags which they placed in the snow of Elbrus's summit. Adolf Hitler described it as the most 'pointless mission' in the war. The second regiment, the 85th, was taken from the 10th Infantry division. The 5th fought in Greece, and was chosen to be the air-landing component of XI Airborne Corps for the attack upon Crete.
It remained on that island on occupation duties until it was sent to the Leningrad sector of the Eastern Front in October Late in , the division was sent to Italy, where it served with distinction to the end of the war. Later that year it was sent to Finland, and it fought around Murmansk as part of the 20th Gebirgs Army. It remained in Norway until the end of the war, and passed into British captivity.
From April , the 7th served on the establishment of the 20th Gebirgs Army in Lappland, and then moved into southern Norway, where it passed into British captivity at the end of the war. GER Mountain troops preparing to cross a river during the French campaign of Supplies to units manning positions in the high mountain peaks ofJugoslavia had to be man-portered. This photograph shows a group of porters carrying supplies.
However, it was not until February that the division was finally raised. It went into action in Italy during the last months of the war. Although both are shown by that number in the records of the Red Cross, neither is listed in the field post numbering system, which is the most reliable source of information on service units in the Third Reich. Nor is either 9th Division shown by that number on contemporary military situation maps.
The first of the two 9th Gebirgs Divisions was 'Nord', to which the name 'K', or Kraeutler, was given. That formation, the K or 9th Gebirgs Division, was later renamed and re-designated the th Division zbV 'for special purposes' , and served as part of the 'Narvik' Force in Norway.
The second 9th Gebirgs Division, 'East' Division, was built around Battle Group Semmering, a formation created out of a number of diverse units, such as the Mountain Artillery School in Dachstein, an SS Gebirgsjager replacement battalion and the ground crews of the disbanded Luftwaffe fighter squadron Boelcke. The raising of the 9th had come about because the 50 general commanding the 6th Army, fighting in eastern Austria, had asked for a divisional- sized unit to fill a gap in his battle line. The hastily assembled Battle Group Raithel was the result, and it was put into action on the Semmering Pass in eastern Austria.
The 9th passed into American and Russian captivity at the end of the war. In , experiments demonstrated that standard infantry could operate successfully in mountainous terrain, always provided they were 'stiffened' by Gebirgs units. Ness, Leland S. Publication Timeline. Most widely held works by Leland S Ness. Red Army handbook, by Steve Zaloga Book 6 editions published between and in English and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide "The narrative opens with a review of the historical background of the Red Army in the years leading up to the outbreak of war in , and follows with a discussion of the major themes in the development of Soviet forces during the 'Great Patriotic War' that ensued in The Red Army's organizational structures are examined, from high command down to divisional level and below, which helps Western readers to understand the differences between the terminology of the Soviet and common Western British, US and German armies.
Kangzhan : guide to Chinese ground forces by Leland S Ness 6 editions published between and in English and held by 69 WorldCat member libraries worldwide "Kangzhan: Guide to Chinese Ground Forces —45 is the first ready reference to the organization and armament of Chinese ground forces during the Sino-Japanese War of — The work integrates Chinese, Japanese and Western sources to examine the details of the structure and weapons of the period. Recent scholarship has contributed greatly to our understanding of China's role in the war, but this is the first book to deal with the bottom-level underpinnings of this massive army, crucial to an understanding of its tactical and operational utility.
An introductory chapter discusses the military operations in China, often given short shrift in World War II histories. The work then traces the evolution of the national army's organizational structure from the end of the Northern Expedition to the conclusion of World War II. Included are tables of organization and strength reports for the wartime period. The armament section illustrates and details not only the characteristics of the many and varied weapons used in China, many seen nowhere else, but also their acquisition and such local production as was undertaken.
This is complemented by a chapter on the arsenals and their evolution and production programs. The Chinese army was one of the largest of the war and it, and Japan's, fought longer than any other. It faced unique challenges, including fragmented loyalties, huge expanses of territory, poor logistics networks, inadequate arms supplies, and, often, incompetence and corruption. Nevertheless, they fought bravely in major battles through and were able to counterpunch effectively in important regions through the rest of the war.
Aimed at both military historians and wargamers, this work fills an important gap in our understanding of this, the most under-appreciated army of the war. Jane's World War II tanks and fighting vehicles : the complete guide by Leland S Ness Book 3 editions published in in English and held by 63 WorldCat member libraries worldwide A nation-by-nation overview of each country's development of tanks and their involvement in World War II. Providing an A-Z of each army's tanks and fighting vehicles including armoured cars, personnel carriers, amphibious craft and mortar carriers.
Rikugun : guide to Japanese ground forces, by Leland S Ness 3 editions published between and in English and held by 44 WorldCat member libraries worldwide. Rikugun: Guide to Japanese Ground Forces is the first nuts-and-bolts handbook to utilize both the voluminous raw allied intelligence documents and post-war Japanese documentation as primary sources. This first volume covers the tactical organization of Army and Navy ground forces during the war.