Classified Intelligence Guide on the German Wehrmacht (WW II)


The edition of this restricted TM (Technical Manual), TM-E 30-451 --that this writer owns-- came out in the first of September, 1943, with 372 pages. However, in an advertisement for a reprint in the April 16, 1972 edition of New York Times (of which the yellowed cutout was in my edition) the final publication was 550 pages long that was issued in 1945. "The Military Press" out of Gaithersburg, Maryland (a location that this author lived a dozen years later) was advertising its reprint of that long out of print book. My book has only ten color prints that was increased to twenty-four that came out a couple of years later, but mine is the real thing, with green canvas book cover bound with a shoestring, and I did not pay $ 14.95, I got mine for a song at a charity thrift store. I am going to put on this node some pertinent parts of the book, the outline, and some crucial direct quotes, as this is real communication during one of America's great trying times.

The Cover

Beginning on this OD (olive drab) canvas cover at the top left hand:



and over on the right:

TM-E 30-451

Then, centered just below that is a rectangle, that I would re-create with the vertical lines, but for fear of varying formatting problems (as is --best viewed in 800x600) I will just put the horizontal lines and title that is within:






1 September 1943


Cover Page

Everything is the same as the cover except at the bottom of the page is:


--and, scribbled in handwriting at the top right is 622 Sig AW Co -- this actually might have belonged to a GI (slang for Government Issue, i.e. soldier), and reaching into my Army (Reserves) training, I think that means he was in the Signal Corps.

At the bottom, however is:


The pages following, I-IX (with table of contents, lists of illustrations and tables) include another title page with the exact same layout as above, except for this paragraph in tiny print:

dissemination of restricted matter.---The information contained in restricted documents and the essential characteristics of restricted material may be given to any person known to be in the service of the United States and to persons of undoubted loyalty and discretion who are cooperationg in Government work, but will not be communicated to the public or to the press except by authorized military public relations agencies. (See also par. 18b AR 380-5, 28 Sep 1942.)

Page II

There is a letter on this page opposite iii (the beginning of the table of contents) with RESTRICTED on the bottom of this page as on every single page thereafter. The letter is as follows:

ASHINGTON 25, D. C. 1 September 1943.

     TM-E 30-451, Handbook on German Military Forces, is published for the information and guidance of all concerned.

[A.G. 300.7 (26 Jul 43).]


Chief of Staff.

Major General,
The Adjutant General.


    (For explanation of symbols, see FM 21-6.)

Page III



         Paragraphs             Page

FORWARD-------------------------------------------------------------------1-4                       1

SECTION  I. Organization and Strengths of Units------------5-13                    3
                 II. Adminstration, command, and Staff-----------14-16                  16
                 III. Recruitment and Mobilization------------------17-29                  25
                 IV. Uniforms, Insignia, and Identifications-------30-35                  28
                 V. Infantry---------------------------------------------------36-45                  38
                 VI. Cavalry and Reconnaissance Units---------46-49                   51
                 VII. Infantry Weapons -----------------------------50-55                   61
                 VIII. Field Artillery------------------------------------56-62                  83
                 IX. Panzer Troops-----------------------------------63-68                103
                 X. Engineers------------------------------------------69-81                128
                 XI. Signal Troops ------------------------------------82-88                159
                 XII. Chemical Warfare Troops--------------------89-92                183
                 XIII. Supply and Administrative Services --------93-98                101
                 XIV. SS, Police, and Other Militarized Organizations-
                     -------------------------------------------------99-103              221
                 XV. German Air Force-----------------------------104-111             227
                 XVI. Tactics------------------------------------------112-122             319
                 XVII. Permanent Fortifications -------------------123-125            333
                 XVIII. Coinage, Weights, and Measures -------126-128            346


  1. Medium half-track tractor and prime mover, widely used to trans-
    port troops and tow weapons--------------------------------------------------9
  2. Organization of the infantry division-----------------------------------------10
  3. Composition of the infantry division-----------------------------------------11
  4. Armament of the infantry division--------------------------------------------11
  5. Composition of the motorized infantry division-------------------------12
  6. Armament of the motorized infantry division-------------------------------12
  7. Organization of the Panzer division-----------------------------------------14
  8. Composition of the Panzer division-----------------------------------------15
  9. Armament of the Panzer division----------------------------------------------15
  10. Composition of the mountain division-------------------------------------15
  11. Armanent of the mountain division------------------------------------------16
  12. Coordination of the Armed Forces through the High Command-------17
  13. Ranks in the German Armed Forces (revised June 1943) ---faces---32


Page IV



  1. Scale of peacetime base pay in the German Army--------------------35
  2. Scale of wartime base pay in the German Army------------------------36
  3. Markings on identification tags (Erkennungsmarken) of the old
    and new types----------------------------------46
  4. Medium armored personnel carrier (Sd. Kfs. 251)----53
  5. Organization of the infantry regiment----------------------------------54
  6. Composition of the infantry regiment---------------------------------55
  7. Armament of the infantry regiment---------------------------------55
  8. Organization of the infantry battalion----------------------------------56
  9. Composition and armanent of the infantry battalion----57
  10. Composition of the motorized infantry regiment in the Panzer
  11. Armament of the motorized infantry regiment in the Panzer
  12. Composition of the mountain infantry regiment---------9
  13. Armament of the mountain infantry regiment--------------------------------60
  14. Composition and armament of the old-type motorcycle battalion----61
  15. Composition and armament of the reconnaissance battalion in the infantry division-----------------------------------62
  16. Compostion and armament of the reconnaissance battalions in the motorized divisions------------------------------------62
  17. Composition and armament of the reconnaissance battalions in the Panzer division--------------------------------------63
  18. Composition and armament of the reconnaissance battalions in the mountain division---------------------------------64
  19. Composition and armament of the bicycle battalion in the mountain division-----------------64
  20. Composition and armament of the GHQ bicycle battalion-----65
  21. 9-mm Luger pistol (Pistole 08)------------------------------------66
  22. 9-mm Walther pistol (Pistole 38)-----------------------------------66
  23. 7.92-mm Mauser carbine (Kar. 98 K), with grenade discharger accessories------------------67
  24. 7.92-mm rifle 41 (Gewehr 41), right view, bolt opened--------68
  25. Infantrymen ready to attack with stick hand grenades, model 24 (Stielhandgranaten 24)---69
  26. 9-mm submachine gun (Schmeisser M.P. 38) with magazine attached and shoulder rest extended------69
  27. 9-mm submachine gun (Schmeisser M.P. 40) showing carrying belt and magazine------------------------------70
  28. 7.92-mm light machine gun (M.G. 34) on bipod mount------71
  29. 7.92-mm heavy machine gun (M.G. 34) on tripod mount---72


This page continues with figures 43 through 77 that includes the pages for mortars: 50 and 80-mm, antitank guns: 37 and 50-mm, the 75, 105, and 150-mm howitzers and guns. There is a picture of the 210-mm tube. The following pages give you the pages for tanks, armored cars, half-tracks, engineers' equipment, boats, barges, bridges, pontoon, L.Z. and Herbert, phones, gases, AA guns, Signal Corps equipment, flamethrowers, and planes.

Page IX

This page continues with heavy bombers and then fortifications like gun emplacements and pillboxes. At the bottom is a table with the color plates of uniforms and rank that are on page 50.

Page 1 -- Foreword
(copied here verbatim):

1. Purpose.---The purpose of this handbook, which is a revision of TM 30-450 (17 December 1941), is to give both officers and enlisted men of the U.S. Army a better understanding of their principal enemy in Europe. In order to fight the Germans successfully, it is vital for the U.S. Soldier to know at least in broad outline the manner in which the untis of the German Armed Forces are trained, equipped, and organized, as well as something about the chain of command and the method of close cooperation between the various branches .

2. Scope.---a. Limitations.---No attempt has been made to give complete details on any of the subjects discussed in the handbook. Further information on the individual arms or branches of the German Army is available in the numerous special publications which have been published or are in the course of preparation by the Military Intelligence Division. Moreover, this handbook does not concern itself with individual units, locations, campaigns, and commanders; these are dealt with in Order of Battle of the German Army.

   b. Inclusion of Air Force.---The German Air Force is given considerable attention, for although this handbook is intended primarily for the use of U.S. ground forces, no handbook on the German Army alone would give an adequate picture of the enemy that the U.S. soldier will encounter. The basic principle of the German military system is unity of command and close cooperation of all arms. It is imperative, therefore, that the Air Force be considered with the Army as an integral part of a single and closely-knit military organization.

3. Language difficulties.---Where there is an English equivalent for a German term or where the translation of German {continued on page 2} words gives to the reader a clear picture of their meaning, both the English and the German terms are often given. However, in the case of German ranks that have no exact equivalent in the U.S. Army, no translation is given, since it would actually be more misleading than helpful.

4. Revisions.---All errors or suggested changes and addition to this handbook should be reported to the Dissemination Unit, Military Intelligence Division, War Department, Washington, D.C.

Some observations

Right on page 3, where the description of the organization and strength of units the "General principles of organization " and there are two breakdowns under that heading: a. Flexibility, changing after taking advantage of technological breakthroughs, and b. Einheit principle which basically means military arranged in units (einheit).

Now, moving to the end of the book, around page 319, in the general discussion on tactics, it explains the aggressive policy that has developed in the officer corps, whereby when the situation is ambiguous, one attacks assuming that the enemy's weaknesses will be shown. Fortifications are important, alongside an offensive minded army, as the "West Wall" was built foreseeing modern warfare potential while on the defensive.

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