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.]



20. Air Force Antiaircraft Field Units and Air Force Antiaircraft Units in the Zone of the Interior

a. MOBILE UNITS. The composition of antiaircraft units larger than batteries varies greatly in accordance with local conditions, as already indicated in Section V, paragraph 17. Normally an antiaircraft battalion consists of three to five batteries, with a maximum of eight. An anti-aircraft regiment normally consists of from three to four battalions, with a maximum of six. Divisions have three or four regiments.

Motorized antiaircraft units have a smaller number of components than do non-motorized units. In accordance with their type of motorization they are designated:

Motor-drawn (mot. or mot. Z); mounted on half-tracks (mot. G1); self-propelled (mot. s.).

Non-motorized units are designated:

Mobile (v for verlegefähig); or Static (o for ortsfest).

The personnel strength of motorized units is usually approximately double that of non-motorized ones.

Mobile antiaircraft units have large numbers of trailers but very little motorization and depend for mobility on separate transportation units, as already stated in Section V, paragraph 17. Static units usually are employed for the protection of specific targets.

For the difference in German designations of antiaircraft units and antiaircraft units in the Zone of the Interior, see Figure 145.

The main components of the non-motorized antiaircraft division described in Section V, paragraph 17, are one heavy searchlight regiment and three antiaircraft regiments (see Figures 144 to 150). Any of the above units may also be encountered as motorized antiaircraft with corresponding higher strength. However, the basic tactical motorized antiaircraft units are the mixed antiaircraft battalion, the light antiaircraft battalion, and the heavy searchlight battalion. Any combination of these units totaling three or four battalions may be components of a motorized antiaircraft regiment, but most frequently regiments of three mixed antiaircraft battalions probably will be encountered. (See Figures 151 to 154.)

The Germans designate antiaircraft units equipped with 20-mm or 37-mm guns as light; antiaircraft units equipped with 88-mm, 105-mm, 128-mm, or 150-mm as heavy (or, in the case of the latter, possibly super-heavy); and antiaircraft units including both these types of equipment as mixed. Similarly, they designate units with 60-cm searchlights as light, and with 150-cm or 200-cm searchlights as heavy. The following types of antiaircraft battalions frequently may be encountered:

Motorized Battalions

Mixed antiaircraft battalions (three heavy and two or three light batteries).

Light antiaircraft battalion (three or four light batteries).

Searchlight antiaircraft battalion (three or four heavy searchlight batteries).

Non-motorized and Static Battalions

Mixed antiaircraft battalion (four heavy and two light batteries).

Light antiaircraft battalion (three light batteries).

Heavy antiaircraft battalion (four heavy batteries).

Searchlight antiaircraft battalion (four heavy searchlight batteries).

Barrage balloon battalion (four to six barrage balloon batteries).

The German Air Force has the main responsibility for antiaircraft defense of the Zone of the Interior and of the Field Army. For the employment of antiaircraft units with the latter, see Figure 145.

b. RAILWAY ANTIAIRCRAFT (Eisenbahnflak).

Railway antiaircraft regiments consist of three heavy or two heavy and one light antiaircraft battalions. Each railway antiaircraft battalion consists of three to four batteries which are the tactical units in the employment of the railway antiaircraft guns. Railway batteries usually consist of single- or four-barrelled 20-mm, 37-mm, 88-mm, 105-mm, or 128-mm guns mounted on railway cars.

c. TOWER MOUNTED ANTIAIRCRAFT BATTALIONS (Turmflakabteilung). Tower mounted antiaircraft battalions are equipped with 20-mm (single-barrelled, and four-barrelled) and 105-mm and 128-mm double-barrelled antiaircraft guns. The guns are mounted on one or two platforms of concrete antiaircraft towers constructed in the vicinity of vital installations and of large cities.

d. ARMY ANTIAIRCRAFT BATTALION (Heeresflak). Army antiaircraft battalions are found organically in all armored, motorized, and parachute divisions, as well as in all types of SS divisions. They are discussed in paragraph 6, as they belong to the artillery arm.

e. LIGHT ARMY ANTIAIRCRAFT BATTALION (Fla Bataillon). Light army antiaircraft battalions are found in General Headquarters. They are discussed in paragraph 3, as they belong in the infantry arm.

f. LIGHT ARMY ANTIAIRCRAFT COMPANY (Fla Kompanie). Light army antiaircraft companies are found with most types of ground personnel, mostly antiaircraft personnel. The strength of the regiment is about 3,000 men, and it is believed to have three or four battalions of three or four batteries each. Each battery of about 150 men probably operates three launching sites, so that the battalion may operate between nine and twelve and the regiment between 27 and 48 launching sites.

g. NAVAL ANTIAIRCRAFT UNITS (Marine Flak). The following are the three types of naval antiaircraft units:

Antiaircraft guns mounted on board of ships and manned by the ship's crew.

Antiaircraft units manning guns for the protection of shore installations (usually static batteries).

Antiaircraft batteries mounted on barges for the protection of approaches to vital naval installations.


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