TM-E 30-451 Handbook on German Military Forces

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Technical Manual, TM-E 30-451: Handbook on German Military Forces published in March 1945. — Figures and illustrations are not reproduced, see source details. — As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. — Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]



The headquarters of all German divisions, corps, armies, and army groups consist of command staffs (Kommandobehörden) which are organized in a uniform manner. Corps and higher staffs are known as senior command staffs (höhere Kommandobehörden). They are headed by a chief of staff, whereas in divisions the first General Staff officer in charge of operations is simultaneously head of the staff.

The sections of these staffs are numbered with Roman numerals and letters. Similar to the custom in the U.S. Army, the numbers represent the sections as well as the men in charge of them. Originally the positions of I-a, I-b, I-c and I-d were all reserved for officers of the German General Staff Corps, but in 1944 the I-c at division and I-d at army and army group were frequently identified as not being General Staff officers. Figure 3 shows in numerical order the designations of the staff officers and sections, and Figure 4 shows the same staff officers and sections as they function operationally.

The headquarters of an army group is organized similarly to that of an army, but the ranks of the officers holding corresponding positions are higher.

The headquarters of a corps also is organized similarly to that of an army; however, the specialist officers more frequently take command in the field of all the units of their arm whether organic or attached.

The headquarters of divisions also are organized similarly with most of the specialist officers being simultaneously in command of the units of their arms, e.g. the commanding officer of the division artillery regiment (Artillerieführer—Arfü) is also the chief artillery officer on the specialist staff of the division commander. When General Headquarters artillery units are attached to the division this Arfü usually is subordinated to a special artillery commander known as Artilleriekommandeur whose small special staff is supplemented in action by the organic staff of the division artillery regiment.

While some of the designations of staff officers and sections remain unchanged in all echelons of higher headquarters (as the U.S. designations do) several of these titles vary in accordance with the rank and echelon in which they are functioning.

It should be noted that the main channel of supplies flows from the Zone of the Interior via army to division, while the army group and the corps are primarily tactical headquarters.


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