German OOBs

These are some rough OOBs for WWII Germans, mainly aimed at SpearHead.

Panzer Division 1941

Recon Battalion:

HQ Company: HQ 231 armoured car, recon squadron with 1 231 armoured car platoon and 3 221 or 222 armoured car platoons (roughly!)

Infantry company (maybe two or three) either riding motorbikes or VW Kubelwagens.

Heavy Company: AT gun platoon (37mm) , 75mm Infantry gun platoon (both with truck/tractor) and engineer platoon in truck.

Engineer Battalion: HQ platoon in car, two motorised companies each with three platoons in trucks, one bridging company with bridges, one armoured company with three platoons in halftracks and a platoon of those neat rail mounted rockets on a 251/1 chassis. Some of my sources say this lot also had a company of tanks (Pz I or Pz II).

Motorcycle Battalion: HQ platoon riding motorcycles, three motorcycle infantry companies (three platoons each), motorcycle heavy company with one HMG motorcycle platoon and one 81mm mortar platoon (truck), plus support company with AT gun platoon (37mm), Infantry Gun platoon (75mm) and engineer platoon in trucks.

AT Battalion: HQ platoon in car/truck. Three towed AT gun companies, each of three platoons (usually 2 37mm, 1 50mm). AA company with 2 platoons of SP 20mm Flak (SdkFz 10/4 or similar). One and later two companies replaced with Panzerjager (initially PzJag 1B, then Marders in 1942).

Artillery Regiment: HQ in car/truck.

Two light battalions each with three 105mm howitzer batteries.

One heavy battalion with three 150mm howitzer batteries. Some battalions may have had 105mm gun battery instead.

All weapons are towed at this stage.

Panzer Regiment:

RHQ: HQ tank (Pz I or III Command tank) platoon, recon Pz II platoon. Maybe a Flak platoon (37mm).

One - three Panzer Battalions:

BHQ: Command tank platoon, recon Pz II platoon. Maybe a Flak platoon (20mm) and engineer platoon in trucks.

Two light tank companies, each of three Pz III, one Pz II platoon. One heavy tank company with three platoons pf Pz IV. (See notes!)

Schutzen (Rifle) Brigade - these guys aren't PanzerGrenadiers yet.

Brigade HQ: HQ stand in car/truck.

Two Rifle Regiments:

RHQ: HQ stand in car/truck, motorcycle recon platoon, engineer platoon in trucks.

Heavy Infantry Gun Company: with 1 150mm Infantry Gun and truck/tractor or 1 Sig 33.

Armoured Engineer Company: Three platoons of assault engineers in 251/1 or 251/7 halftracks.

Two Rifle Battalions:

BHQ: HQ stand in car/truck, three rifle companies with three rifle platoons each (9 in total), weapons company with one HMG platoon and one 81mm mortar platoon, close support company with 37mm AT gun platoon (or PzJag 1B), 75mm Infantry gun platoon (or Stug IIID) and engineer platoon.

All platoons in trucks (see notes below).

Notes: The organisation of Panzer Regiments varied wildly depending on vehicle availability - the 'average' regiment had two battalions. The Germans would generally combine weak units to form fewer strong ones, so Panzer regiments were often reduced to a single battalion. In early '41, the Pz IVs would be D, E or maybe F1. The Pz IIIs would be half E (37mm) and half G/H (50L42), by late summer most Pz IIIs would have been rearmed with 50L42 and a rising proportion would have 50L60 (Pz IIIJ and up), by the end of the year, most would be 50L60. Also by the end of the year, Pz IV F2s would start to appear. Some divisions used Czech tanks, either Pz 35 or Pz 38 - in this case they had two companies of 3 Pz38 platoons and one company of 3 PzIV platoons. All 'standard' Panzer companies notionally had four platoons, but in practice three rapidly became the norm, and the Pz IIs were quickly relegated to battalion or regimental recon.

The Rifle troops all rode in trucks apart from a very small number in APCs. Generally only 1 company in the first battalion of the 1st regiment had 251/1 halftracks, some favoured units had the whole 1st battalion in halftracks. This made the regimental and divisional armoured engineer units very significant, as were the mechanised infantry companies in the recon battalion (when they finally dumped their motorbikes and VWs in 1942). Contrary to popular belief, even armoured infantry dismounted to fight, often up to 1000m away from their start line. Armoured infantry had the advantage of being able to pass through defensive artillery fire relativly unscathed, and so keep up with the tanks.

All AT guns gradually upgunned from 37mm to 50mm then to 75mm or 76.2mm. In 1941 a ratio of 2:1 for 37mm vs 50mm is about right. The Infantry Guns in the close support companies are actually sections of 2 guns, so representing them with full platoons seems a bit of overkill. It was also common to parcel out MMG and mortar sections to each rifle company rather than keep them as a seperate company.

A Flak Battalion was frequently attached as well.

Infantry Division 1941

Div HQ: HQ stand in car.

Recon Battalion: HQ in car, motorcycle company with three platoons, cavalry company with three mounted platoons, support company with AT gun platoon (37mm), Infantry Gun platoon (75mm) and Armoured Car platoon (SdkFz 221 or similar).

Engineer Battalion: HQ, three foot engineer companies of three platoons each (one may have had trucks), plus bridghing company.

AT Battalion: HQ and three companies of three platoons each of towed AT guns (37mm and a few 50mm), again later on some companies replaced with PanzerJagers. Maybe have a Flak Company with three platoons of 20mm guns.

Artillery Regiment: HQ, three battalions of 105mm howitzers (3 platoons each) and one battalion of 3 150mm howitzers. All horse drawn.

Three Infantry Regiments:

RHQ: HQ stand in car, engineer platoon, SMG/bicycle recon platoon.

Infantry Gun company: 1 150mm SiG (horse drawn?) later 1 Sig 33 SPG platoon, 1 75mm Infantry Gun (horse?) platoon.

Anti Tank Company: 3 platoons AT guns (37mm) with trucks

Three Rifle Battalions:

BHQ: HQ platoon, three rifle companies with three platoons each, heavy company with 1 81mm mortar and 2 HMG platoons.

Notes: The infantry guns are organised 'properly' here. Again the battalion MG and mortars were often given out in sections to the rifle companies. Losses frequently meant that regiments could put only two battalions into the field rather than three. The ratio of support weapons to rifle platoons is considerably less than the Motorised Infantry in the Panzer Divisions at regimental level, but the Infantry Divisions have an extra artillery battalion which makes up somewhat. It is noticeable that at battalion level, both Russian and German units have the same number of rifle platoons (at least at 'standard' TO&E) - the Germans must rely on their superior supporting arms and manouveraility to deal with the Russians, conversely, the Russians need to close the range and pin the Germans in positions where they cannot manouvre effectively.

Assault Gun Battalion - 1941

BHQ: HQ halftrack (should be a purpose built command halftarck whose SdKfz designation escapes me). Three companies of one Stug IIID each.

Notes: I've included this as it was almost the only armoured support the German infantry ever saw. The Stug companies each consisted of an HQ vehicle (by 1942 a Stug itself) and three 'platoons' of two guns each. Consolidating each into a company seems reasonable. These units were held at Army level and allotted to inidividual infantry uinits as and when needed. While the AP capability of their 75L24 gun was unimpressive, when allocated HEAT ammo, they became extremely successful. Their low silhouette and relativly heavy armour (> 50mm frontally) made them much harder to kill than the majority of German tanks.

Flak Battalion 1941

BHQ: HQ in car

One Light company with two (or three) platoons of towed 20mm Flak.

Two Heavy companies with one platoon of 37mm and one (or two if you are nasty) platoons of 88mm Flak with tractors.

Notes: Well, how else are the Germans going to get any 88s to go hunting all those T34s and KVs?

Martin Rapier, University of Sheffield, 9th June 1997