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"German Defense Against Airborne Troops" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following report on German defense against airborne troops was printed in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 45, April 1, 1944.

[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.]


Reliable reports from eastern France concern the organization, by the German occupying forces, of units of antiparachute troops. Each unit, composed of selected men, is of about company strength and motorized. It is divided into four platoons, each of five squads. Each squad has a noncommissioned officer, a driver and eight other men. Vehicles provided for these squads are open, six-wheeled trucks which have cruising speed of 55 to 60 miles per hour. The noncommissioned officer and two of the men are armed with automatic carbines, each with 1,000 rounds of ammunition. The remaining men carry rifles and 60 rounds each with an additional 60 rounds each in reserve on the truck. Also each man carries six stick grenades and 12 egg grenades. The truck carries one light machine gun with 1,500 rounds in magazines, and one heavy machine gun with 1,500 rounds belted. Also on the truck is an additional reserve of 300 rounds of small-arms ammunition and one case of signal ammunition.

The mission of these units is said to be defense against saboteurs and other enemy agents who are dropped by parachute. Patrols are normally made in platoon strength, never in company strength. There is said to be no radio communication between platoons but objectives and assembly points are pre-determined.

Another report from France tells of a regiment of German airborne troops assigned to coastal defense duties, which also has engaged in exercises as a mobile anti-invasion reserve.


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