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.]



Detailed plans exist for the rapid mobilization of all the auxiliary organizations described in the above paragraphs in case of the actual invasion of, or immediate military threat to, any part of Germany proper. Elaborate administrative preparations have been made for their operational control and chain of command in such an emergency.

The commander of each corps area (Wehrkreis) has always been responsible for organizing the emergency defense of his territory. Since, however, he normally controls only the static military forces and installations of the Armed Forces proper, the Higher SS and Police Commander (HSSPf) has been designated to join him in case of invasion and to take control of all the other available manpower in the area which is organized in a form suitable to aid in its defense. He is not to be subordinated to the Wehrkreis commander but must cooperate with him and will deputize for him if necessary. The only exception to this is the Todt Organization, whose units and installations pass directly to the control of the Wehrkreis commander in such an emergency.

Under the HSSPf the Wehrkreis is divided, for emergency defense, into security zones (Sicherungsbereiche), each headed by a commander of the Protective Police (Schupo). In case of invasion each such commander joins the Armed Forces commander (Wehrmachtkommandant) in the major garrison area which most nearly coincides with the security zone. The Armed Forces commander then acts, in collaboration with the security zone commander, as "combat commander" (Kampfkommandant) of the area, a concept introduced in 1944 for commanders who take full charge of areas which are expected to become cut off and which must be defended to the "last cartridge". The commander of the security zone will take the place of the combat commander in case he should become a casualty, unless there is another officer senior to him in the area.

The organizations which come under the control of the Higher SS and Police Commander in emergency include the Waffen-SS, Security Police, Protective Police, Rural Police, special employment units of the General SS (SS-z.b.V.), special employment units of the SA (SA-z.b.V.), Urban and Rural Auxiliary Guards, Fire-fighting Police and Fire-fighting Services, Technical Emergency Corps, German Labor Service, Postal and Railway Security Forces, Industrial Emergency Units (Industrie-Alarmeinheiten), Plant Protection Service (Werkschutz), the German Red Cross, and the Volkssturm.

This arrangement for the emergency defense of German soil is in sharp contrast to the established prerogatives of the Army in military matters in that responsibility as well as actual control of the defending forces is to be shared between the proper territorial military authority and the representative of its principal rival, the SS.


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