[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.]
CHAPTER II. ORGANIZATION OF THE FIELD FORCES
Section VII. SERVICE TROOPS
Every German division includes in its organic components the divisional services which vary in strength in accordance with the size and type of the division. The divisional services of all types of divisions, however, are organized on the basis of the same standard pattern and include the following components:
Divisional Supply Troops (Nachschubtruppen).
Administrative Troops (Verwaltungstruppen).
Medical Troops (Sanitätstruppen).
A Field Post Office (Feldpostamt).
Motor Maintenance Troops (Kraftfahrparktruppen), varying in size in accordance with the degree of motorization of the division.
Veterinary Troops (Veterinärtruppen). Only in divisions with horse transport.
A Military Police Detachment (Feldgendarmerietrupp) which in some divisions is withdrawn from the divisional services and assigned to the divisional headquarters.
There is a trend in the German Armed Forces to centralize all types of service units. It began early in 1944 in the armored division when service companies were set up for each battalion of tank and Panzer Grenadier regiments and for the armored reconnaissance battalion. Late in 1944 Volks Grenadier divisions were formed with infantry battalions having supply platoons instead of the traditional battalion and company trains, and with divisional services combined into a divisional supply regiment. This was done as a part of the policy to facilitate a more even distribution of all types of supply with less personnel and to free company commanders from any other than operational duties.
For a compilation of the divisional services of the three most numerous types of divisions see Figures 168 to 170.
2. Supply Troops
The supply and motor maintenance units of the German Army, originally combined under transport troops, were divided later into two separate arms. The motor maintenance units were grouped under the motor maintenance troops (see paragraph below), while the transport and supply units were classified as supply troops. Railway operating troops are an independent arm although they work in conjunction with the supply troops.
The commander of the division rear services (Kommandeur der Divisionsnachschubtruppen-Kodina), formerly known as Divisionsnachschubführer-Dinafu), commands the divisional service troops.
The light column (Leichte Kolonne), found in most types of infantry regiments, consists of 39 wagons carrying all types of supplies except rations. It serves as a supply reserve for the subordinate battalions.
The trains (Trosse) are battalion and company supply units. They consist of a combat train, a rations train (a second rations train in the battalion), and a baggage train. The company baggage train and the second battalion rations train are usually motorized. The second battalion rations train consists of one truck hauling supplies from the division distribution point.
The repair company (Instandestzungskompanie) repairs equipment and weapons except motor vehicles. Several units of this type may be found in a division.
3. Administrative Troops
Administrative troops usually include a number of civilian specialists (Beamte) in various positions. These are listed in the preceding tables of organization as officers, but designated in footnotes, as officials.
The rations supply office (Verpflegungsamt) supervises the requisitioning and supply of rations for troop units. It erects rations supply distributing points which are refilled regularly by the bakery and slaughter units and from which the troop units obtain their rations.
The slaughter platoon, found in all divisions, slaughters cattle which it preferably procures locally. Existing installations are used whenever possible.
The bakery company found in all divisions, uses wherever possible, existing local installations.
4. Medical Troops
One or two medical companies, and one to three motorized ambulance platoons are organic components of all divisions. Until 1943 most types of divisions included also a field hospital, but these have been withdrawn to higher echelons and are being allotted to divisions in accordance with the tactical requirements. For the procedure of evacuation of wounded and the definition of medical units see Section V, paragraph 3.
5. Field Post Office
There is a field post office in every German division acting as a branch post office of an army of which the division is a part.
6. Motor Maintenance Troops
The supply and motor maintenance units of the German Army, which originally combined all transport troops (Fahrtruppen), were divided into two separate arms in the fall of 1942. The transportation and supply units now are classified as supply troops (see paragraph 2 above), while the motor maintenance units are grouped under the motor maintenance troops. Their great efficiency has been proved when servicing numerous makes of motor vehicles taken from all occupied countries. Workshops are designated usually as workshop companies (Werkstattkompanien), or as mobile repair shops (Kraftwagenwerkstätte).
7. Veterinary Troops
The great majority of German divisions use horses as means of transportation and have a veterinary company which consists of a horse collecting platoon, a horse hospital, and a fodder platoon. Because of the importance which horses still play within the German Army, there is an elaborate system of veterinary units and horse hospitals in the field as well as in the Zone of the Interior.
8. Military Police
The military police duties are divided between the military police (Feldgendarmerie), whose main task is the maintenance of traffic discipline, and guard troops (Wachtruppen), primarily concerned with the guarding of vital military installations in the field. The latter also take charge of prisoners of war and escort them to the rear areas. Patrol duties and the maintenance of military discipline are carried out both by army and SS patrols and the military police.
The guard battalion is an independent battalion assigned to army groups and armies.
A military police battalion is found with each army and consists of three or four military police companies.
Military police detachments are organic in every German division. They were originally a part of the divisional services, but may be found now frequently within the division headquarters.
9. Miscellaneous Units
For a list of all identified units of the service troops arm, see "Order of Battle of the German Army," March 1945 edition.
All abbreviations are according to
The abbreviation Sub-MG has been adopted instead of SMG to avoid confusion with Schweres Machinen Gewehr which means "Heavy Machine Gun."
The following list of abbreviations is used in connection with the organization charts.
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