Unit Organization


The German Army

    As the war progressed, the German military forces changed in composition to reflect the increasing lack of manpower and equipment, as well as changes in tactics and strategy. As such, I'll make an effort to post unit information for different time periods.
    Note that the higher up on my organizational charts you get, the more incorrect and/or less detailed they are - the Battalion HQ, for instance, would have countless assistants, radiomen, go-fers, drivers, etc. to help the staff, but I've left them off rather than try to give numbers for something that really should have no bearing on an RPG such as Weird War II.
   Pistols carried were either a Luger 08 or Walther P38, depending on availability (the P38 was supposed to fully replace the Luger, but production was too slow to meet demands and the Luger stayed in service with some units/individuals throughout the war). In most cases, consider officers to have a Walther P38, while gun crews and medics would have a Luger 08.

Panzer Grenadier Battalion (Mechanized) (1940-1942)

Rifle Squad Tactics
   
The mechanized rifle squad was set up so that it could be broken in to 2 sections, each with a leader, 2 riflemen, and an MG34 with it's 2-man crew. While one section advanced the other would provide cover fire. The driver and assistant driver would stay in the halftrack, providing support fire as well.

Platoon Trackers

Afrika Korps Panzer Grenadier Rifle Platoon (Experienced) (1941-late 1942) -    PDF (144ppi)    PDF (72ppi)

Afrika Korps Panzer Grenadier Rifle Platoon, Motorized (Experienced) (1941-late 1942) -    PDF (144ppi)

 

Panzer Battalion (1942-early 1943)

  • Battalion HQ

    • Tank Platoon

    • Light Recon Platoon (cars and motorcycles)

    • Engineer Platoon

    • Anti Aircraft Platoon (3 2 cm guns)

  • Maintenance Company

  • Supply Company

  • Medium Panzer Company

    • Company HQ

      • 2 Panzer IV Tanks

    • 3 Medium Platoons

      • 4 Panzer IV tanks

    • 1 Light Platoon

      • 5 Panzer I or II tanks

  • 3 Light Panzer Companies

    • Company HQ

      • 2 Panzer III Tanks

    • 3 Platoons, each containing:

      • 5 Panzer III tanks

    • 1 Platoon containing:

      • 5 Panzer I or II tanks

Panzer Battalion (1943)

  • Battalion HQ

    • Tank Platoon (Panzer II)

    • Light Recon Platoon (cars and motorcycles)

    • Engineer Platoon

    • Anti Aircraft Platoon (3 2 cm guns)

  • Maintenance Company

  • Supply Company

  • 2 Medium Panzer Companies

    • Company HQ

      • 2 Panzer IV Tanks

    • 4 Medium Platoons

      • 5 Panzer IV tanks

  • 2 Light Panzer Companies

    • Company HQ

      • 2 Panzer III Tanks

    • 4 Platoons, each containing:

      • 5 Panzer III tanks

 (Platoons have 1 command tank and there rest split
into 2 squads)

Light Panzer Platoon (Experienced)  -    PDF (144ppi)

Assault Gun Battalion
   
Self-propelled guns such as the Jagdpanzer series of thanks, Marder III, and the various Marder conversions of French vehicles were often found in the Anti Tank Battalion of many divisions, or in the single Panzer Battalion found in a Panzer Grenadier Division.

Tiger Battalion
   
Tiger's first showed up in Tunisia on November 28th, 1943 (their first field test of 4 tanks), and as the war progressed Tiger VI's and King Tiger's were organized in their own battalions separate from the standard Panzer battalions. They looked similar to standard Panzer battalions, except that there was no tank platoon in the Battalion HQ, and each company had a Company HQ with 2 tanks, and 3 platoons each with 4 tanks (14 tanks total).

Combined Infantry / Panzer Tactics
   
Blitzkrieg tactics revolved around the combined tank and mechanized/motorized infantry working hand-in-hand to overrun the enemy. Without going into too much depth, combined panzer and panzer grenadier units would form 3 waves, each spread out over the front and roughly 150 yards between waves.
    Wave 1 would be led by Panzers, with Assault Gun elements covering the flanks. The tanks would leap-frog each other, with some taking hull-down positions and providing fire support while others advanced, who would then hull-down themselves and cover the others as they advanced. Mechanized Panzer Grenadiers in halftracks would follow immediately behind the tanks, getting their infantry as close as possible to enemy positions before deploying them. The first wave's goal was to engage and break through the enemy antitank positions and reach the rear-echelon units, primarily the artillery.
    Wave 2 followed a similar pattern, fronted by tanks with the remaining Mechanized Panzer Grenadiers following immediately behind. Their goal is to destroy any antitank positions not destroyed by the first wave, as well as any infantry support weapons, machinegun nests, or other emplacements that slow down the infantry advance. The remaining Assault Guns guard the flanks of the second wave. While Wave 1 is assaulting the enemy, Wave 2 provides covering fire.
    Finally, Wave 3 follows, composed of the remaining Panzer Grenadiers in trucks (the motorized units) and the remaining tanks. Their job is to mop up, secure enemy positions, etc. While Wave 2 is assaulting the enemy, Wave 3 provides covering fire.
    Depending on the situation, the waves may be compressed down into 2, although tactics remain similar with the first wave breaking through the enemy line while the second wave finishes it.
    The tank commander, who is usually also in charge of the entire forces, leads the first wave. The artillery commander usually travels with the tank commander. Forward observers for the artillery also ride along with the first wave in their armored vehicles.
    The tanks do not slow their advance to allow the infantry to keep up, instead moving at full speed to their next position at which point they get into cover and await the infantry to reach their position. When infantry attack with tanks, half of the infantry are on the line with the tanks, a fourth are behind, and the remaining fourth are kept in reserve. The interval between tanks is usually between 100-120 yards.
    When the enemy fortifications include too many antitank weapons and obstacles, the infantry is deployed first to neutralize the defenses, after which the standard battle line formation is used to press the attacks.

 

Grenadier (Infantry) Battalion (1940-1942)

Rifle Squad Tactics
   
The German rifle squad worked along similar principles to American forces, with the machinegun element providing suppressive fire while the rifle element advanced to neutralize the enemy with grenades and rifle fire.

 

Motorcycle Company
    One of these companies was often present in a Panzer Division as a Recon unit. It's cool in any case, so I figured I'd include it here. Note that the source I used for this listed the machinegun sections as having only a single MG each, which didn't make any sense to me, so I modified to more appropriately reflect machinegun sections from the infantry and PG organizations.

 

Waffen-SS Notes
    The Waffen- SS units were set up similar to standard Wehrmacht units, enough that I'm not going to try and re-list their organizations here (not to mention that there were few enough of them that they weren't all organized identically, anyway). Basically, SS units were given the best weapons, vehicles and equipment available, and were normally (although not always, especially as the war progressed) highly trained. Although not every soldier carried an MP35, they were more likely to have a higher concentration of SMGs, rocket launchers, etc. All Waffen-SS infantry units were motorized, if not mechanized, and their tank units were fully stocked with vehicles and equipment (I read one figure saying that even though only 10% of Panzer units were Waffen-SS, they had 25% of all the tanks).
    The other branches of the SS, those running the prison system and internal security/police had different purposes, and so were equipped differently, but since that's getting into the realm of Indiana Jones' and Superspy-style games, there's really no reason to worry about it on these pages (if you're going to have the SS police involved with the PCs, you're going to throw whatever you want at them anyway, right?)
    As a final note, the idea that all Waffen-SS were Nazi's is incorrect - by the end of the war a third of the Waffen-SS weren't even German!

 

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