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.]



10. Chemical Warfare Units (Nebeltruppen)

Chemical warfare battalions are organic in SS Armored Divisions, and possibly in some correspondingly strong Army or Air Force divisions. Usually, however, they are allotted from General Headquarters to armies, corps, and divisions. The standard tactical units of the chemical warfare troops are:


b. HEAVY ROCKET PROJECTOR BATTALION (MOTORIZED (Schwere Werferabteilung (mot.)).


The first two types of battalions are usually components of rocket-projector regiments, normally three battalions per regiment. A rocket-projector battalion is designated heavy when it has more than one heavy-projector battalion (210, 300 or 280/320-mm). Two rocket-projector regiments usually compose a rocket-projector brigade, one of which has been identified as Volkswerferbrigade with all its components adding the prefix "Volks" to their unit designation. Rocket-projector units until now have been employed in firing high explosive, incendiary, and smoke rockets, but all of them also are equipped and trained for gas warfare. All rocket-projector battalions also are equipped and their personnel trained for street and road contamination as well as decontamination.

d. In addition to the above listed projector battalions, there is also an independent armored projector company (Panzerwerferbatterie) which is an independent unit of two platoons, each equipped with four 150-mm armored rocket projectors. This is a 10-barrelled projector mounted on a medium armored carrier. The company may be employed either attached to a projector battalion or as an independent company. (For details on rocket projector regiment (motorized) see Figures 130 to 132.)

The following two units are not included by the Germans in the chemical warfare arm but are considered parts of the medical services.

e. TROOP DECONTAMINATION COMPANY (Truppenentgiftungskompanie). This unit is composed of medical personnel attached to the General Headquarters pool. It is motorized and is sent wherever high gas casualties occur. The company is capable of decontaminating personnel, clothing, and equipment. It carries supplies of replacement clothing, and is said to be able to decontaminate and reclothe 150 men per hour.

f. TROOP DECONTAMINATION PLATOON (Truppenentgiftungszug). It is reported that one or two of this type of unit may be found in any type of division. They are medical troops, equipped with gas protective clothing and responsible for the establishment of decontamination centers and, presumably, for the care of gas casualties.

g. HORSE DECONTAMINATION UNIT (Pferdentgiftungstrupp). This is a veterinary unit, formed within veterinary companies and veterinary hospitals from the personnel and with the equipment already within these units. It is motorized and can be sent wherever needed. The capacity of this unit is stated to be 10 to 20 horses per hour.

h. AIR DEFENSE BATTALION (Luftschutzabteilung). This is an Air Force unit, used to clear up the results of enemy air attacks on important installations. It is equipped for decontamination of terrain, streets, clothing, and equipment.

i. GAS PROTECTION WITHIN THE ARMED FORCES. Each headquarters down to battalion level has a gas officer, and each company has a gas noncommissioned officer. They are charged with instructing their units in proper gas protective measures and with periodic inspection of all gas protective equipment.

Found at all levels and in all units of a division are the Gas Detection Squads (Gasspürtrupps) and the Decontamination Squads (Entgiftungstrupps). They are fighting troops with additional gas training. Gas Detection Squads consist of one noncommissioned officer and three privates. The duties of the squad are simple gas detection and, upon occasion, minor decontamination. The squad is equipped with light protective clothing, gas detectors, and gas warning devices. Decontamination Squads consist of one noncommissioned officer and six privates. They are equipped for decontamination of personnel, terrain, weapons, and equipment.


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