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"A German Field Order" from Tactical and Technical Trends

A translation of a German WWII field order, from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 36, October 21, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. 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.]


A translation of the German field-Order, "Order for the Operation Fliederblüte (Lilac Blossom) covering an engagement in North Africa, shows a good example of German thought and care. It will be noted that while this German order has marked similarities to our own, it is much more detailed. The first two paragraphs of the German order contain about the same amount of data that would normally be found in the same paragraphs of one of our attack orders, but instead of one instructions-paragraph with subparagraphs for each tactical unit, paragraph No. 3 of the German order merely gives the component units of the combat teams, and paragraphs 4 to 13 inclusive give the missions and boundaries of the tactical units.


1. Enemy has withdrawn part of his forces from the right sector of the Hermann Goering Division and has disposed them in front of the 334th Infantry Division.

The reorganization of enemy forces facing our own sector, or their reinforcement by new units, is to be expected. The troops now in position will transmit information about infantry and artillery positions, as well as enemy mine fields, to the units participating in the attack.

2. Division Hermann Goering will destroy enemy forces southeast of MEDJEZ EL BAB, and enemy artillery in the area 202/49 - 45 - 56 - 63 - 59. It will engage enemy units on the right of our forces and pin them down.

In addition, the Division will capture in a night attack the chain of heights southwest of 202/49 including RAGOUBET EL HACHENE and the height near 202/66 to the road Z.P. (objective) 202/63 - 68.

3. Attacking Units

a. Battle Group (Kampfgruppe) Audorff with one grenadier battalion; one AA Battery; 1/3 Engineer Company.

b. Battle Group Schirmer with Parachute Regiment Hermann Goering; I and II Battalions Panzer Regiment 7; 1 company Panzer Pioneer Battalion, Hermann Goering; 2/3 of 4th (Antitank) Company Reconnaissance Unit Hermann Goering.

c. Battle Group Funck with parts of II Battalion Grenadier Regiment 1-Hermann Goering.

4. Missions

a. Battle Group Audorff will occupy the chain of heights southwest of 202/49 including RAGOUBET EL HACHENE; hold it along a line facing generally northwest, and block the road MEDJEZ EL BAB - GOUBELLAT against enemy tanks. Battle Group Audorff will assemble east of line 203/57-60 and attack on a line running generally from 202/47 - 203/68.

b. Battle Group Schirmer will destroy enemy artillery west of line 202/49-61, annihilate enemy forces on hill 202/66, defend itself, adjacent to Battle Group Audorff on a general line 202/57-63 and on the high ground northeast of 202/68. Two subordinate units are to be formed for this operation:

Sub-unit North, consisting of:
One Jäger Battalion
11 Battalion Panzer Regiment 7
1/2 of 1 Company Panzer Pioneer Battalion Herman Goering
2/3 of Antitank Company Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion Hermann Goering

attacks from forward assembly area east of line 203/47-44 over objective 203/67 - 202/52.

Sub-unit South, consisting of:
One Jager Battalion
1 Bn. Panzer Regiment 7
1/2 of 1 Company Panzer Pioneer Battalion Hermann Goering

attacks from forward assembly area east of line 203/65 - 223/11 over objective 223/01 - 222/09.

Battle Group Schirmer will maintain close contact with Battle Group Audorff if necessary, to support them in capturing the high ground southwest of 202/49.

Sufficient security will be provided against Lalla Manna.

c. Battle Group Funck will capture the heights along line running generally 222/27-18 and hold them to protect the left flank of Battle Group Schirmer. For this operation, Battle Group Funck will attack from the area it holds at the time across line 222/13-16 to the west and southwest.

5. Boundaries

a. Between Battle Group Audorff and Battle Group Schirmer 203/49-60 (to Audorff) - 202/53 (to Schirmer) - 52 (to Schirmer).

b. Between Battle Group Schirmer and Battle Group Funck 223/36-37-222/13-28.

6. Start of attack for all Battle Groups

X-1 day at 2300.

X day will probably be 21 April 1943.

X day will be announced definitely to the division by Major General Schmid, or the G-3 and is to be acknowledged by the Battle Group commander or adjutant.

7. Group of Heavy Weapons

Consisting of:
Two How batteries of 1/Pz. A.R.* 90
One battery of 88-mm AA guns
14th Co. Grenadier Regiment 1 Herman Goering

These will support sub-group "North" of the Battle Group Schirmer, and their assembly area will be 203/40-45-41.

Behind sub-group "South" of Battle Group Schirmer, will be one battery of heavy antiaircraft guns, in the area east of 223/01.

This whole group, under command of Capt. Bohme, will be kept in readiness to support on call from Division, the sub-groups of Battle Group Schirmer during the night of X day to X-1 day.

8. Unit "Hubert", consisting of two infantry companies of AA Regiment Hermann Goering will occupy during the night of X - 2 to X - 1 day, the main line of resistance in the sector 203/43 to 223/37, which at present is unoccupied.

The unit "Hubert" is subordinated to Jäger Regiment Hermann Goering, affective X - 2 day at 1200 and will be tactically under their command.

Mission: The positions of the MLR are to be defended against any tank attacks.

9. Motorcycle Battalion 10

The Battalion, only recently made available by 5 Panzer Army, will upon arrival, be attached to Regiment Audorff and will take over the present positions of Battle Group Audorff in the sector 203/71-58 on the evening of X - 1 day. Employment to be controlled through Regiment Audorff.

Mission: The positions of the MLR are to be defended against any tank attacks.

10. Artillery

Artillery Commander Hermann Goering will support with Artillery Group "North" and Artillery Group "Center", from their present assembly area, the Division attack. He will destroy, through coordinated fire, enemy artillery positions, emplacements, and assembly areas.

Closest coordination with the attacking troops is to be secured by assigning artillery liaison detachments to the battle groups, and forward observers to the attacking units. It is requested that the Army Artillery Commander support the Division attack with the artillery of Battle Group Audorff and the 170-mm cannon battery.


a. For Artillery Group "North": Closest cooperation with Battle Group Schirmer, supporting their attack by destroying enemy artillery, pinning down their observation posts and shelling their positions and assembly areas.

The two light howitzer batteries designated for attachment to the heavy weapons group (Capt. Bohme), are to be kept in their positions, ready for action, as long as possible.

b. For Artillery Group "Center": To pin down the enemy in the area of 222/02 and support of Battle Funck; also by means of coordinated fire, to simulate an attack on 222/02 commencing X day, 0000 hours.

c. For Artillery of Battle Group Audorff: Support of Battle Group Audorff in closest cooperation with it.

d. For 170-mm Battery: Destruction of enemy artillery in the area south of MEDJEZ EL BAB, and the shelling of enemy observation posts and assembly areas in closest cooperation with Battle Groups Schirmer (main effort) and Audorff.

e. Special Order for the Artillery: Artillery will open fire only upon request of the battle groups, or of the observation posts attached to them, in order to insure the element of surprise.

11. Battle Plan

Based on the progress of the battle and enemy situation in general, the Division will decide on X day at 1900 hours, whether::

The positions gained are to be held and the heavy weapons group (Capt. Bohme) to be brought forward for this purpose into the newly-won area, reinforcing Battle Group Schirmer, or

b. Whether the mission to relieve the adjacent sector on the right, after having engaged the enemy forces there, can be considered as accomplished and the attacking units can be withdrawn to the old MLR during the night of X to X+1 Day.

The Division must, under any circumstances, avoid heavy losses in personnel and materiel.

12. Air Corps "Tunis" is requested to support the Division attack by keeping control of air over the attacking units and employing fighter-bombers to bomb known assembly areas, troop concentrations, and artillery positions; in addition, to keep surveillance over the enemy's lines of communication. The Air Force liaison officer will be with Battle Group Schirmer at the start of the attack.

Particular attention is directed to Division memorandum of 15 April 1943, "Marking of Front Lines."

13. Antiaircraft Defense

With the consent of Artillery Commander Hermann Goering, the Antiaircraft Regiment Hermann Goering, with its light antiaircraft guns, will protect the artillery positions and the "heavy weapons" group.

14. Supplies

G-4 of Division Hermann Goering will secure transportation for the 50-mm antitank guns of Battle Groups Schirmer and Audorff, and fully supply the artillery in advance.

Details of the supply system will be arranged by G-4 in accordance with Special Orders.

15. Signal Communications

Division Communications Officer will set up and maintain wire and radio communication with the Grenadier Regiment, the Jäger Regiment Battle Group Audorff, the artillery commander, and the antiaircraft regiment.

Special instructions concerning signals communications will be issued separately.

16. Commander of Panzer Regiment 7 and Artillery Commander of Panzer Army 5 are requested to report to the Division CP at the start of the attack.

17. Complete secrecy of the operation Fliederblüte must be maintained, the use of ordered code names must be strictly observed. The Division forbids any troop displacements or increased vehicle traffic until the start of the attack.

18. Reports

All reports will be based on the 1:50,000 fire-control map. The attacking groups will report all noteworthy occurrences. In case of failure of signal communications, liaison officers will be dispatched.

19. Div. C.P.

Point 203/23 from X-1 day at 2200 hours.

20. I expect that all members of the Division Hermann Goering are aware of the importance of the operation Fliederblüte, and by means of their ability and moral strength, will inflict considerable damage on the British, thus contributing to final victory in Tunisia.

I am convinced, that the men of the Army will share our determination and that parachutists and armored troops will fight in close cooperation as "comrades in arms".

*Probably 1st Bn, 90th Artillery Regiment of the 10th Panzer Div.


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