1. INSTRUCTIONS IN CASE OF CAPTURE
Like the troops of other nations, German soldiers are instructed
to reveal nothing more than "name, rank, and serial number" in case
of capture, and are reminded that in accordance with international
law, any other information may (and must) be refused. In addition, the
German Army warns its soldiers to obey certain special instructions:
a. If you believe you are in danger of being captured, destroy
all papers that you have on your person. Above all, tear out page 4
of your Soldbuch (pay book), which mentions your unit.
b. If you are captured, be strictly military and, at the same
time, polite. Don't be influenced by friendliness on the part of
the enemy, or by threats.
c. Never speak the enemy's language.
d. Always remember that the most trivial things, to which you
attach no importance, can often give valuable information to the enemy.
e. No interest in technical questions is to be shown, not
even when the questioner tries to provoke an argument by belittling
f. Don't try to deceive by false answers.
g. Don't let yourself be fooled by an assumed knowledge, on
the questioner's part, of the subject under discussion.
h. Don't discuss military matters or details of operations
with your fellow prisoners.
In North Africa the German Army regarded the following information
as especially valuable to the United Nations, and warned its troops
that they must take every precaution to keep it secret:
a. The unit to which you belong, and its location.
b. The effectives of your unit, and its losses.
c. The other units which belong to your regiment or your division. The
other units which were engaged at the same time as yours, and their effectives.
d. When, and by what means, you arrived in the theater of operations, what
you saw on your way, and when you had your last leave.
e. What weapons the German Army has, whether you have seen any new
ones, and if and when new or repaired tanks may be expected to arrive.
f. The morale of German troops; details regarding
supplies and materiel.
g. The morale at home; the effect of United Nations bombing.
German soldiers in other theaters of operation receive similar
warnings. The Germans caution their troops not to believe that
better treatment will be given them if they consent to talk. It
is stressed that even after a soldier has been interrogated, he
must be careful when talking to other comrades in the camp, because
of the possibility that a listening apparatus
may have been installed. Troops are warned, too, that
strangers in German uniforms may try to win their
confidence, and that these strangers will certainly be
spies. Speaking over the radio, making phonograph
recordings, and writing of war experiences are strictly
Of special significance is the German Army's threat
of future punishment if these orders are not fully obeyed:
Every prisoner remains a German soldier. You must realize that
after your return you will, if necessary, be called
upon to answer for your behavior during your time of captivity.
2. PRISONERS' RUSE
According to a German prisoner, the following trick may be
attempted by German soldiers who are about to be taken
prisoner. Sometimes, just before a man is captured, he
empties his aluminum canteen, slits it from base to
neck, places his automatic pistol in the hollow space, and
presses the sides of the canteen together again. He also
presses the sides against the weapon to keep it from
rattling. He then draws the canvas cover over the canteen. The
weight of the pistol is approximately equal to the weight of
a canteen filled with water.
If a man who follows this procedure is not detected, he
will be able to carry his pistol into an internment camp, where
he can use the weapon against his captors, either while he is
attempting to escape or in some other situation.
3. USE OF ROVING GUNS
The following extract from a German Army document discusses
the tactical use of roving guns:
The two principal reasons for using a roving gun are:
a. To avoid betraying the location of the actual
battery positions if the target can be dealt with by a few guns.
b. To camouflage the fire of our own activity by offering
considerable protection against enemy flash-spotting and sound ranging
In the first case, each battery will site a gun 200 to 300 yards
to the flank of the battery position. From a gunnery point of
view, it is technically desirable to site the roving gun well on
the flank of the No. 1 gun. It is not an advantage to displace it
further by putting it forward or to the rear of the actual gun
position, because fire control thus becomes more difficult and
enemy observers can more easily identify the explosions of individual
guns. If the gun is merely put 200 to 300 yards forward or to the
rear, it may deceive as to the location of the other guns
the battery, but it also will bring the battery position within
the 100-percent zone of fire directed
against the roving gun. All ranging and harassing fire can be
carried out by these guns. The roving guns of a battalion or even
larger unit may be concentrated against important targets.
In the second case, the best camouflage will be obtained
if provision is made that all firing be done as far as
possible by concentrated fire and by as many batteries as
possible. Batteries will lay down the concentration only
after fire from the roving guns has been seen or heard. The
roving guns will fire until the batteries have concluded their
 That is, within the dispersion pattern.