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.]



7. General Headquarters Artillery Units

a. THE ARTILLERY DIVISION. This consists of a divisional staff controlling several artillery regiments. Such divisions were encountered on the Eastern Front in the beginning of 1944 but it is believed that such a concentration of fire power may also occur in other theaters. (See Figure 122.)

b. ARTILLERY BRIGADE (Artilleriebrigade). This is an independent artillery brigade consisting of a varying number of artillery batteries. All or most artillery brigades have been converted to Volksartilleriekorps.

c. THE ASSAULT GUN BRIGADE (Sturmgeschützbrigade). This is a redesignated General Headquarters assault gun brigade. The strength and fire power of the Assault Gun Battalions, which were greater than those of ordinary battallions may have warranted this differentiation in nomenclature from organic assault gun battalions which were actually only of battalion strength, but the redesignation also may have been motivated by the aim to raise the morale. The guns of assault gun brigades are sometimes referred to as Sturmartillerie.

d. THE VOLKS ARTILLERY CORPS (Volksartilleriekorps). This corps is an independent General Headquarters unit which has been converted from artillery brigades. The corps is probably composed of six battalions which may be equipped with 75-mm antitank guns, 105-mm howitzers, and 150-mm and 170-mm howitzers.

e. THE FORTRESS ARTILLERY REGIMENT (Festungsartillerieregiment). This controls several fortress artillery battalions.

f. THE FORTRESS ARTILLERY BATTALION. (Festungsartillerieabteilung). These are static artillery battalions organized in the summer of 1944, equipped with German and captured guns.

g. THE ARMY COAST ARTILLERY REGIMENT (Heeresküstenartillerieregiment). This normally controls two or three army coast artillery battalions and possibly any number of independent batteries.

h. THE ARMY COAST ARTILLERY BATTALION (Heeresküstenartillerieabteilung). This battalion varies in composition. It may be organized as a regular battalion with three batteries or as battalion staff controlling a larger number of independent batteries.

i. THE NAVAL COAST ARTILLERY BATTALION (Marineartillerieabteilung). This battalion, which varies in composition, belongs to the German Navy but may come under the Army coast command in which it is located.

j. ARTILLERY ANTITANK GUN BATTALION (Artillerie-Pak-Abteilung). Equipped with 75 or 88-mm antitank guns.

k. MAPPING AND SURVEYING UNITS (Karten- und Vermessungseinheiten). Mapping and surveying units belong to the artillery although German orders have at times referred to them as a separate arm.

(1) The Artillery Observation Battalion (Beobachtungsabteilung). Normally allotted to corps, but often attached to divisional artillery regiments, it contains a sound-ranging battery, light-ranging battery, and meteorological platoon.

(2) Light-ranging battery (Lichtessbatterie). Normally one to an observation battalion.

(3) Sound-ranging battery (Schallmessbatterie). Normally one to an observation battalion.

(4) Army or Corps Map Reproduction Center (Armee or Korpskartenstelle). Previously known as Armee- or Korpskartenlager.

(5) Printing and Survey Battalion (Druck- und Vermessungsabteilung). Probably similar to a Vermessungs- und Kartenabteilung.

(6) Map Printing Battalion (Karten-Druckereiabteilung).

(7) Survey and Mapping Battalion (Vermessungs- und Kartenabteilung). In General Headquarters, to be allotted to army groups or armies, obtains topographical information and prints maps and photos which are used for operational purposes.

(8) Astronomical Survey Platoon (Astronomischer Messzug).

(9) Observation Battalion Battery (Ballonbatterie).

(10) Magnet Survey Battery (Magnet-Messbatterie).

(11) Velocity Measurement Platoon (Velozitätsmesszug).

(12) Meteorological Platoon (Wetterpeilzug). Makes air analyses for artillery units but does not engage in weather forecasting.


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