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.]



2. Organic Infantry Units

a. GENERAL. For the purpose of clarity we are including under this paragraph all units which are infantry units in accordance with the American conception. The Germans consider security troops (Sicherungstruppen) a separate category of units of the field army, but in reality they consist principally of infantry. Similarly, the Germans consider armored infantry (Panzergrenadiere) as belonging to the armored arm and not to the infantry.

On the other hand, the Germans include reconnaissance and other former cavalry units as a part of the infantry arm which are listed in this section under paragraph 19, Reconnaissance Units. The designation of the infantry regiment was changed to Grenadierregiment in 1942 by special order of Hitler to honor the infantry arm. The same applies to the infantry battalion now called Grenadierbataillon and to the infantry company Grenadierkompanie.


(1) Old Type Regiment. The infantry regiments of the Infantry Division, Old Type, may be considered the basic type of German infantry regiments, as their organization remained for all practical purposes unchanged from the beginning of 1940 until the end of 1943. Each of the three regiments of the Infantry Division, Old Type, consisted of three infantry battalions, a thirteenth infantry howitzer company, and a fourteenth antitank company. In spite of the fact that the Infantry Division, Old Type, will not be encountered any more, it is believed that this type of regiment has formed the basic pattern and tradition for most of the infantry regiments now in the field.

(2) 1944 Type Regiment. The above type of regiment has been superseded by the infantry regiment in the Infantry Division, 1944 Type, which consists also of three regiments, but each regiment has only two battalions in addition to the infantry howitzer and antitank companies. (See Figures 29 to 39.)

(3) Three-Battalion Regiment. In addition to the type of infantry regiment mentioned in sub-paragraph (2), another type may be encountered which is similar to the basic one mentioned in sub-paragraph (1). It is the three-battalion regiment of the infantry division, two-regiment type. However, it is believed that there is a trend toward reorganizing that type of division on a three-regiment, two-battalion basis. After such a reorganization, the regiment probably will be similar to the Infantry Regiment, 1944 Type.

(4) Volks Grenadier Regiment. The infantry regiment in the Volks Grenadier Division shows a completely new organization. The infantry company and battalion trains are merged to a supply platoon on a battalion level. The infantry company consists of two sub-machine gun platoons and a rifle platoon. The heavy-weapons company of the infantry battalion includes an infantry howitzer platoon. The regimental infantry howitzer company is equipped with 120-mm mortars and 75-mm infantry howitzers only, and the regimental antitank company has been replaced by a bazooka company equipped with 72 bazookas. (See Figures 40 to 50.)

(5) Volks Grenadier Bicycle Regiment. One of the three infantry regiments in the Volks Grenadier Division is an infantry regiment (bicycle). That regiment includes one infantry battalion (bicycle), and one normal infantry battalion, a regimental infantry howitzer company, and a regimental bazooka company as shown in sub-paragraph (4). This infantry regiment (bicycle) may be employed in the same way as the other two battalions of the Volks Grenadier Division or may be used as a mobile reserve. (See Figures 51 to 54.)

The newest type of standard German infantry regiment is the Infantry Regiment of the Division, Type 45, which is believed to have become the pattern for all German infantry regiments (see Figures 55 and 56).

(6) SS Infantry Regiment. In the SS Infantry Division the infantry regiment is similar to the Infantry Regiment, 1944 Type.

(7) Mountain Infantry Regiment. There are usually two regiments per mountain division organized especially for mountain warfare by making each of the three battalions self-sufficient. The normal infantry howitzer company is lacking, but mountain infantry howitzers are organic in each battalion. (See Figures 57 to 59.)

(8) The Light Infantry Regiment. Light divisions usually have two regiments organized similarly to the Army Mountain Division but have slightly more motorization.

(9) The SS Mountain Infantry Regiment. The two infantry regiments per SS Mountain Division are organized similarly to the Army Mountain Regiment; however, they have either a fourth battalion or additional regimental companies.

(10) The Motorized Infantry Regiment (Grenadierregiment (Mot)). Normally there are two regiments to the Motorized Division, consisting of three motorized infantry battalions, heavy infantry howitzer company (self-propelled), and an antitank company. The motorized infantry battalions originally were organized similarly to normal infantry battalions; however, in 1944 they were reorganized along the lines of the armored infantry battalions (Panzergrenadierbataillons) of the Armored Division. (See Figures 60 and 61.)

(11) The SS Motorized Infantry Regiment (SS-Panzer Grenadier Regiment). Two regiments per SS Motorized Division are organized similarly to the army motorized regiment; however, it has an additional antiaircraft company.

(12) The Panzer Grenadier Regiment. the two regiments of the Armored Division are composed of only two battalions, a heavy infantry howitzer company (self-propelled), and an engineer company. One of the four battalions in the division is designated armored (Gepanzert or Gp.). because it is equipped with armored personnel carriers with mounted arms enabling the crews to fight from their vehicles. The other three battalions of the division are motorized only. The regiment, of which the armored battalion is a component, also is designated armored. The other regiment which contains two motorized battalions is designated motorized. (See Figures 62 to 75.)

(13) The SS Armored Infantry Regiment (SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment). There are two per SS Armored Division, each consisting of one armored and two motorized Panzer Grenadier battalions, a heavy infantry howitzer company (self-propelled), an engineer company (half-track), and an antiaircraft company. Components of the regiment are organized like those of the Army Panzer Grenadier Regiment. (For the SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment see Figure 76; for the breakdown of the components see Figures 64 and 65.)

(14) The Parachute Rifle Regiment. Three per Parachute Rifle Division, these consist of three parachute rifle battalions, a 120-mm mortar or a light gun company, and an antitank company. These regiments usually are employed as crack infantry. They include some men trained for airborne operations, but most of the so-called parachutists are well trained infantrymen only. The equipment includes a high proportion of small automatic weapons, bazookas, and antitank rocket pistols. (See Figures 77 to 82.)

c. FIELD REPLACEMENT BATTALION (Feldersatzbataillon). Field replacement battalions consist of three to five companies containing replacement elements for the various arms and divisional combat school. They may be found in all types of divisions and are a training unit as well as a field reserve for the entire division. Their personnel may be drawn from other divisional units or may consist of fresh reserves from the rear areas. Figures 83 and 84 show the Field Replacement Battalions of the Infantry Division, 1944 Type, and of the Army Armored (Panzer) Division, but their organization in other types of divisions is very similar.

d. INFANTRY ANTIAIRCRAFT COMPANY (Inf. Fla-Kp.) The infantry antiaircraft company is organic in all types of infantry divisions and is usually self propelled. It is subordinated for administrative purposes to the divisional antitank battalion, but receives all tactical directives from the division. It is equipped with 20-mm and 37-mm antiaircraft guns. It may be employed for both antiaircraft and antitank defense. Similarly organized antiaircraft companies organic in the armored division are believed to belong to the armored arm while most of the non-organic light antiaircraft companies belong to the air force.


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