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UNCLASSIFIED 

ft S. Army Military History Insilftil 



SPECIAL SERIES NO. 3 SEPTEMBER 17, 1942 



GERMAN MILITARY 
TRAINING 

UNCLASSIFIED 

REGRADED BY AUTHORITY 




PREPARED BY 

MILITARY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE 

WAR DEPARTMENT 




UNCLASSIFIED 



MILITARY INTELLIGENCE SPECIAL SERIES 

SERVICE No. 3 

War Department 

Washington, September 17, 1942 MIS 461 



NOTICE 



1. The information summarized here is based on a variety of sources; on 
German manuals, on technical articles in German military reviews, and 
above all on the detailed reports of United States observers who saw the 
German Army at close range in its work of preparing for this war and 
during the first 2 years of conflict. 

2. Nondivisional units are being supplied with copies on a basis similar 
to the approved distribution for divisional commands, as follows : 



INF DIV 

Div Hq 8 

Ren Tr 2 

Sig Co 2 

Engr Bn 7 

Med Bn 7 

QM Bn 7 

Hq Inf Regt, 6 each 18 

Inf Bn, 7 each 63 

Hq Div Arty 8 

FA Bn, 7 each 28 



CAV DIV 

Div Hq 8 

Ord Co 2 

Sig Tr 2 

Ren Sq 7 

Engr Sq 7 

Med Sq 7 

QM Sq 7 

Hq Cav Brig, 3 each 6 

Cav Regt, 20 each 80 

Hq Div Arty 3 

FA Bn, 7 each 21 



ARMD DIV 

Div Hq 11 

Ren Bn 7 

Engr Bn 7 

Med Bn 7 

Maint Bn 7 

Sup Bn 7 

Div Tn Hq 8 

A rind Regt, 25 each 50 

FA Bn, 7 each 21 

Inf Regt 25 

150 

of Army Air Forces. 



150 



150 



Distribution to air unite is being made by the A-2 



3. Each command should circulate available copies among its officers. 

Reproduction within the military service is permitted provided (1) the 
source is stated, (2) the classification is not changed, and (3) the infor- 
mation is safeguarded. Attention is invited to paragraph 10a, AR 380-5 
which is quoted in part as follows : “A document * * * will be classified 
and * * * marked restricted when information contained therein is for 
official use only, or when its disclosure should be * * * denied the 

general public.” 

4. Suggestions for future bulletins are invited. Any correspondence 
relating to Special Series may be addressed directly to the Evaluation and 
Dissemination Branch, Military Intelligence Service, War Department, 
Washington, D. C. 




480881 0 — 42 1 




CONTENTS 



Page 

Section I. Introduction 1 

II. Training in Preparation for Military 

Service 3 

1 . General 3 

2. Training of the German Youth 5 

a. The Hitler Youth 5 

b. Labor Service 8 

3. Conclusion 9 

III. Work of the SA (Storm Troopers) 10 

4. General 10 

5. The SA as a Military Reserve 10 

6. Conclusion 12 

IV. Procurement and Training of Officers. 13 

7. General 13 

8. Officer Training prior to the War 14 

9. Training during the War 15 

10. Continuation Training of Officers. 16 

V. Standards for Officers 19 

11. General... 19 

12. Character 21 

13. Relations of Company Officers with 

Enlisted Personnel 23 

VI. Principles of Leadership 26 

14. General 26 

15. The Task-Force Principle: Combined 

Operations 26 

16. Aggressiveness and Initiative 29 

17. Orders and Communications 32 

a. Orders 33 

b. Communications 36 

18. Knowledge of Terrain 38 

19. Surprise 39 

in 




IV 



CONTENTS 



Page 

VII. Training Methods 40 

20. Physical Condition and Marching 40 

21. Emphasis on Field Exercises 41 

22. Realism 43 

23. Thoroughness 45 

24. Marksmanship 46 

VIII. German Officer Candidates School 47 

25. Introduction 47 

26. Text of the Report 47 

Appendix A. Maneuvers and Field Exercises: Um- 
pire Training. 

1. Purpose of Maneuver 53 

2. General Missions of Umpires 54 

3. Organization of Umpire Staff 54 

4. Umpire Regulations and Explanations 58 

5. Hostile Fire and Its Effect 61 

6. Sample Announcements by Umpires during an 

Exercise , 63 

7. Common Mistakes of Umpires 65 

8. The Umpire Conferences 68 

9. Considerations for Umpires after the Umpire 

Conference but before and during the Ma- 
neuver 69 

10. Unit Procedure and Control by Umpire Situ- 

ations 75 

11. Mistakes, Their Penalties and Corrections by 

Umpires 78 

12. Training with Sand Tables 83 

13. Concluding Remarks 83 

14. Comments by U. S. Observer 84 




CONTENTS y 

Page. 

Appendix B. Combat Training of the Rifle Squad. 

1. The Preparatory Work of the Platoon Com- 

mander 89 

a. Plans 89 

b. Theoretical Instruction 90 

c. Preparatory Work %n the Field 92 

d. Plan of Action.. 94 

2. The Practical Work of the Platoon Commander 

as Instructor 99 

a. General 99 

b. Execution of the Problem 100 

c. Conclusion 105 




Section I. INTRODUCTION 



This bulletin proposes to summarize information 
which will serve three purposes : 

1. It will permit a better appreciation of the basis 
of German military strength. 

The strength of the German Army and its early 
success in this war owe much to two factors: plan 
ning and training. The Nazi leaders planned this 
war for years in advance of their attack. They pre- 
pared for it by a system of military training which 
begins with children of high-school age. The train- 
ing system was directed by the old professional 
army: it depended on effort, thoroughness, and the 
application of old and tested principles to the means 
of modem warfare. As an observer remarks, the 
Germans believed that by hard work and hard train- 
ing they would “save blood later.” This training 
gave the German army a time advantage over its 
rivals, although this advantage is being steadily 
reduced. 

2. It will contribute to our knowledge of character- 
istic German tactics. 



1 





2 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



Those principles of tactics and leadership which 
are emphasized in training are inevitably reflected 
in the actual conduct of operations. While this bul- 
letin will make no detailed study of German tactics, 
it will bring out the main doctrines which are applied 
in battle as a result of training. 

3. It will suggest methods and points of view which 
may be useful in training U. S. troops. 

There are many basic similarities between U. S. 
training doctrines and those of the German Army, 
though there are naturally many differences in their 
use or application. We can learn from the differ- 
ences as well as the similarities. As far as possible, 
concrete examples have been given, and in the ap- 
pendixes there are detailed illustrations, at some 
length, of certain phases of German training 
methods. 




Section II. TRAINING IN PREPA- 
RATION FOR MILITARY SERVICE 



1. GENERAL 

The Nazi government from the start was dedicated 
to the purpose of a war of conquest ; and from 1934 
on, the Party controlled and directed every aspect of 
German life to this aim. German military leaders 
have followed Clausewitz for years, but only under 
the Nazi regime could his key concept of total war 
be realized : the principle that every agency and every 
individual of a nation must be used in the effort of 
war. Nothing is more revealing of Nazi plans and 
methods than the application of this principle in a 
very broad program of military training. 

The goal of this program was a large and highly 
trained army, but the shaping of this army was not 
left to the 2 years of actual military training for con- 
scripts. From the age of 14, boys were to receive a 
preparation for military service which would cover 
much of the basic training ordinarily given recruits. 
In addition, men older than conscript age, with or 

3 





4 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



without previous military service, were to be given 
various types of auxiliary, background, or “ re- 
fresher” training. 

The Nazi Party, through its various branches, was 
mainly responsible for civilian training outside the 
army proper. This included due concern for special- 
ized training in skills needed for mechanized warfare. 
A National Socialist Flying Corps sponsored instruc- 
tion in the rudiments of flying and in glider practice. 
The National Socialist Motor Corps trained a large 
reserve of youths in all types of driving for mechan- 
ized service, and thus relieved army motor schools of 
many hours of instruction. A German article in 1940 
claimed that 125,000 men had been given experience 
in “ military motorization.’’ A Motor Boat Corps 
cooperated with the Army and Marines to prepare 
men for water-transport operations. 

The activities of the Party are particularly con- 
cerned with the indoctrination of all German citizens 
for war. The basic ideas in this indoctrination are 
well known and are reiterated in Hitler’s speeches: 
the theory of Germany’s ‘ ‘natural” rights; the con- 
cept of the “master race”; the exaltation of state and 
leader ; the glorification of war and military virtues, 
etc. The schools, press, radio, and movies are con- 
trolled by the Party and support its efforts in every 
direction by propaganda which has to fear no rival ; 
the penal code prevents any free discussion in the field 
of ideas. Every German household belongs to a local 
unit (Block) organized to carry out the Party edu- 
cational program. 




TRAINING FOR MILITARY SERVICE 



5 



A German lieutenant has summed up this work of 
indoctrination : 

In his parent’s home, in school, in the Hitler Youth, in the 
subdivisions of the movement, in the shop, and in the Labor 
Service, the future Army recruit has been bred as a National 
Socialist : he does not know anything else but allegiance to the 
National Socialist State, and the life work of being a German. 

2. TRAINING OF THE GERMAN YOUTH 
a. The Hitler Youth 

At the age of 10, German boys are brought into the 
Nazi scheme as members of the “Young Folk” (Jung 
Volk) organization, and receive their first taste of 
official indoctrination. Real shaping for the army 
begins at 14, when they enter the “Hitler Youth” 
(Hitler Jugend). 

Even before the war, this organization was mainly 
concerned with preparing boys for the army, both by 
instilling military mental attitudes and by military 
training. A U. S. observer gives the following de- 
scription of an exercise of German boys carried out 
on a Sunday morning : 

Two groups, one of mixed Hitler Jugend and Jung Volk, BO 
strong, and the other a similar group of 22 cyclists on 11 bi- 
cycles, marched into Gruenewald Forest under the command of 
a Hitler Youth. This boy appeared to be 15 or 16 years of age. 
He halted his command, dressed it with skill and precision, and 
announced his mission in a clear and definite manner: “The 
enemy is reported advancing from south to north through 
Gruenewald Forest. At 7 o’clock he was reported to be enter- 
ing * * *, My mission is to determine at once, and report 




6 



GERMAN* MILITARY TRAINING 



to headquarters, the position and activity of its advance units. 
My sector is * * 

It will not be necessary to go into the young commander’s 
estimate of the situation and his orders to his subordinates. 
They would have done credit to a professional Army officer. 
That boy, still 2 or 3 years from active service as a private in 
the Army, was able to estimate a difficult situation, and organ- 
ize and put into execution a rather complex plan to carry out 
his mission on a sector nearly 1,000 meters wide. This de- 
manded an extended series of rapid-fire orders. It was evident 
that he had control of his boys. A continuous stream of bicy- 
cle messengers carried reports from advance units to the leader’s 
post. He, in turn, sent frequent written messages to some post 
to his rear. 

The observer was frankly amazed at this performance and 
spent the entire morning with this group. To be sure, there 
was a certain amount of laughing and horseplay among the 
boys. This was not repressed; but any lack of attention to 
duty called forth immediate and severe rebuke from the lead- 
ers. it was evident that the youngster in charge was on his 
own. Some other means must have been provided for checking 
up on how well that youthful commander had accomplished his 
mission. 

Two of his units — one boy each — failed to follow instruc- 
tions. Some were lost, and some had difficulty in reporting 
clearly what they saw; some failed in their individual mis- 
sions. But the boy leader did not fail in his. He finally 
recalled all units with skill, marched them to the rear, and very 
ably praised and criticized individual performance. 

On the whole, it was a remarkable demonstration of how 
German military leadership is developed. 

Another observer saw Hitler Youth organizations 
engaged in battalion maneuvers, and reports that 
their performance would be creditable to regular 
troops. 




TRAINING FOR MILITARY SERVICE 



7 



In 1939 the Storm Trooper section of the Nazi 
party took charge of the Hitler Youth, and after 
the start of war boys 16 to 18 years of age were 
compelled to take 6 months of regular pre-military 
work. The aim was to provide the army with the 
largest possible reserve of “mentally, physically, and 
militarily trained young men.” The training includes 
infantry fundamentals, care and use of weapons, and 
signaling. The Hitler Youth has been used in a vari- 
ety of auxiliary services during the war : spotting air- 
craft, performing office work at airports, painting 
runways, harvesting crops, tending children in day 
nurseries, collecting useful junk and trash, soliciting 
for the W inter Help, singing at hospitals, and putting 
on entertainment for soldiers at the front. 

The following statistics, based on estimates by a 
U. S. observer, suggest the scope and variety of Hitler 
Youth activities : 

(1) The National Socialist Flying Corps furnished 
the Hitler Youth fliers with enough gliders, planes, 
and instructors to teach 135,000 boys how to fly each 
year. 

(2) The motorized units of the Hitler Youth en- 
rolled 295,000 boys each year. The National Socialist 
Party set up 1,300 repair shops for the units, and each 
year provided them with 5,000 motorcycles. 

(3) The Hitler Youth Marines had an annual en- 
rollment of 78,000. 

(4) The National Socialist Party supplied the 
Hitler Youth with 10,000 revolvers a year and a large 
number of rifles. Enough rifles were furnished to 
enable 30,000 outstanding marksmen to participate in 




8 



GERMAN - MILITARY TRAINING 



rifle matches. The Hitler Youth had its own firearms 
school at Obermatzfeld, Thuringia. 

(5) During an average 12 months, the Hitler 
Youth conducted 3,540 official outdoor camps, which 
were attended by 565,000 boys. 

(6) In 1 year, 6,000,000 German boys participated 
in sport events organized by the Hitler Youth Office. 

b. Labor Service 

At the age of 18, German boys entered the compul- 
sory Labor Service (Arbeitsdienst) for a 6-months 
term. The Labor Service work gave them excellent 
conditioning and hardening. Furthermore, it ac- 
customed men to living in groups under military 
discipline. 

With the outbreak of war most of the male 1 
Labor Service units were transferred to the armed 
forces to serve as construction companies (Baukom- 
panien) , and the size of the units was increased from 
200 to 400 — in some cases to 600. On December 20, 
1939, a law ordered that normal Labor Service for 
men was to continue despite the special war work of 
the construction companies. 

The Labor Service youths perform miscellaneous 
tasks in rear areas, being kept out of combat areas 
as much as possible. The tasks include the follow- 
ing: 2 



1 Girls of the same age could volunteer for a year of similar service. 
At the outbreak of war, this was made compulsory, and the number of 
girls in Labor Service increased from 30,000 to 100,000. 

2 Generally, the girls’ branch performs none of these duties except those 
pertaining to agriculture. They work in factories and do other types of 
work on the home front. 




TRAINING FOR MILITARY SERVICE 



9 



Cultivating farms in occupied areas (Poland, for 
example) ; doing agricultural work in Germany wher- 
ever there are labor shortages; constructing and 
maintaining important highways; constructing and 
improving fortifications, bridges, and airports; sal- 
vaging equipment, munitions, and materiel in battle 
areas ; policing battlefields ; performing sentry duty 
in occupied areas; camouflaging and sandbagging 
military establishments; and assisting in the trans- 
portation of food, ammunition, and fuel during rapid 
military advances. 

3. CONCLUSION 

When German youths, at 19, were inducted for 
military service, most of them had already had the 
equivalent of basic military training, were in excel- 
lent physical condition, and had been indoctrinated 
both with Nazi ideology and military attitudes. As 
a result, their training period as conscripts could 
move very rapidly through the preliminary stages; 
in 2 or 3 months the conscripts could take part in 
maneuvers involving divisions or armies. Because 
of the work done by the Hitler Youth and the Labor 
Service, the 2-year (pre-war) training in the Army 
could advance much more rapidly and effectively. 

Furthermore, German boys had received good op- 
portunity to practice and develop qualities of lead- 
ership, and officer material was already clearly 
marked out by the time they reached military age. 




Section III. WORK OF THE SA 
(STORM TROOPERS) 



4. GENERAL 

One of the most active branches of the Nazi party, 
the SA had particular responsibility in connection 
with the Hitler Youth. In addition, the SA per- 
formed important functions in giving a certain 
amount of military training to older civilians, both 
within and outside its own ranks. 

5. THE SA AS A MILITARY RESERVE 

When the Nazi party was rising to power, the SA 
(and the elite guard, SS) was in effect a private army 
of Hitler. When he seized control of the state, the 
SA was gradually merged into the framework of the 
military system and became more closely connected 
with the Regular Army. 

By 1935, more than 100 divisions (called brigades) 
of SA troops had been organized, including men over 
45 years old. The regiments were named after old 
pre-Versailles units, and carried on their traditions. 
Only a few imits were technically a part of the armed 
forces, and the main function of the SA was to pro- 
10 





THE SA (STORM TROOPERS) 



11 



vide continuous and effective military training for a 
large mass of the civilian population, outside the reg- 
ular 2-year service of conscripts in the Regular Army. 
By 1939 the SA had been organized to provide special- 
ist training in such lines as cavalry, signaling, en- 
gineers, medical service, and navy. It was estimated 
that 13,400 Reserve officers and 30,000 Reserve NCO’s 
were among its members. One of its important jobs 
was to give military training to men over 21 who had 
not received any training in the pre-Hitler years when 
Germany’s Army had been restricted to a small 
standing Army (Reichswehr). 

The SA gave a coveted Sports Medal on a basis 
which shows very well how everything in their pro- 
gram was pointed toward military service. The ex- 
aminations for this medal include (aside from run- 
ning and swimming tests) rifle shooting, camouflage, 
hand-grenade target throwing, marching 25 km. with 
a 25-pound pack, a 200-meter dash in gas mask, etc. 

In 1939, Hitler made this function of the SA even « 
clearer by prescribing that all men who had received 
the regular 2 years of military training should enter 
the SA. Regulations were drawn up which required 
110 hours of training a year, and a U. S. observer, in 
1939, said that this training equalled that received in 
pre-war years by the U. S. National Guard units. By 
1939, the Sports Medal had been acquired by 800,000 
men outside the SA ranks. 

As the observer noted, an important aspect of the 
SA control of reservists was the fact that all these 

480881°— 42 2 




12 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



men would remain completely under the influence of 
Nazi party doctrines and controls. 

6. CONCLUSION 

With the approach of war, the SA members were 
largely called into the regular armed forces (as in- 
dividuals rather than by units). Enough of the lead- 
ers remained, however, to continue the work with the 
Hitler Youth and with older civilians not yet called 
out. According to one estimate, 1,500,000 men were 
receiving SA training, largely on Sundays and eve- 
nings, in the spring of 1940. 

The work done by the SA provided a great mass of 
partially trained men, in all age groups, who could be- 
quickly organized and used in regular divisions on 
the outbreak of war. A large part of German mili- 
tary training had been accomplished with men who 
were technically in a civilian status. 

As a result, a German division during the war could 
be sent into combat with a minimum of training. A 
U. S. observer, in April 1940, visited the camp of a 
division which had been called in November 1939. It 
had received 2 months’ training in the school of the 
soldier and company, and then had had coordinated 
exercises for battalion and division operations. By 
May 1940, the division expected to be in the combat 
zone. 

Another observer states that at present the basic 
instruction lasts about 6 weeks and is followed by 4 to 
8 weeks of training in large units. 




Section IV. PROCUREMENT AND 
TRAINING OF OFFICERS 



7. GENERAL 

In preparing for the large army used in his war of 
conquest, Hitler faced the serious problem of develop- 
ing an adequate number of trained officers to operate 
300 or more divisions and the various specialized 
corps and services. This problem was solved in large 
part between 1933 and the beginning of the war. 

One advantage, at the start, was that the small 
standing Army (Reichswehr) permitted Germany by 
the Versailles treaty had been excellently trained. 
Also, it preserved the best traditions of the old Ger- 
man Army, and constituted a valuable reservoir of 
officer material for the rapid expansion of the new 
Army. In addition, there were available many thou- 
sands of men who had seen service in the First W orld 
War and who could be used again. Many of these 
took part in the SA training activities discussed ear- 
lier. Finally, the German General Staff maintained 
its high standards and prestige, and was ready to deal 
with this problem of officer procurement. 



13 





14 GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 

8. OFFICER TRAINING PRIOR TO THE WAR 



The program of training which produced most of 
the Regular Army officers in this period throws light 
on the character of the Army, its relation to the pre- 
Hitler army, and the high quality of standards pre- 
scribed for officers. 

The civilian youth wishing to secure admission ap- 
plied to the particular regiment or unit of his choice. 
He must be unmarried, be an Aryan, and have a cer- 
tificate of graduation from a gymnasium (equivalent 
to second-year U. S. college work) . He was given in- 
terviews by an examining board of officers, and exami- 
nations which tested his moral qualities and his 
ability to stand up under strain. Much importance 
was attached to a psychological test. 

After passing these examinations, the candidate — 
now a cadet — served for 1 year in the ranks of the 
unit which received him. There he received the same 
training given ordinary recruits, and enjoyed no 
favors. It was desired that the cadets should thereby 
learn to understand the mental attitudes, problems, 
and points of view of the common soldier. On the 
side, and in addition to regular training, the cadets 
did special study on the use of weapons. 

After this year, the cadets were sent to a military 
school for 9 months, and received basic training in 
military theory, identical for all branches of the serv- 
ice. There were 4 (later 5) such schools, admir- 
ably equipped without regard to expense. The course 




TRAINING OF OFFICERS 15 

included field exercises. 01 li 2^500 officers a y ii r 
could be turned out in these schools. 

After these 9 months the cadets went to a weapons 
school “ destined to bring the candidates back to earth 
after their theoretical courses.’ ’ Here they received 
training appropriate for their particular branch, and 
an opportunity to command and train units attached 
to the school. 

Finally, the cadet performed a 2- or 3-months tour 
of duty back with his regiment — and then, if elected 
by unanimous vote of the officers of his unit, he was 
received for promotion as a second lieutenant. 

This method, which bears the hall-mark of the old 
Prussian aristocratic tradition, was modified gradu- 
ally by provisions which made it more possible for 
Reserve officers and specially qualified NCO’s to ob- 
tain commissions. 

9. TRAINING DURING THE WAR 

With the approach of war, the programs for officer 
training were enlarged and speeded up. In 1940, 
U. S. observers estimated that schools were turning 
out about 6,500 officers every 4 months, and that 30,- 
000 new officers entered the Army between September 
1939 and December 1940. 

Men applying for a commission in the Regular 
Army continued to undergo a relatively long training 
course, in principle as thorough as that of peacetime, 
and quite similar in plan. Candidates for temporary 
(war) commissions apparently receive a shorter pe- 




16 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



riod of training, sometimes, according to observers’ 
reports, for a few months only. All candidates for 
officer grades must have had 15 months of service, 
and at least 2 months of experience, in the field, as 
leader of a section or platoon. 

Although these standards insure that candidates 
have had considerable background training, never- 
theless, expanding the German Army to six times its 
peacetime figure has produced obvious problems. 

Many Reserve officers and NCO’s have been com- 
missioned from the ranks and from veterans of the 
First World War. Civilians have been appointed to 
administrative posts. Older officers and civilian spe- 
cialists have been thus used to free the line officer for 
his main task : leadership of troops in combat. Atten- 
tion has been paid to “continuation” training of offi- 
cers in the field. 

10. CONTINUATION TRAINING OF OFFICERS 

This has received a good deal of attention since the 
start of war, owing to the relatively short training 
received by many officers. The Germans are particu- 
larly concerned with the progressive training of com- 
pany officers, on whom depends the combat efficiency 
of the fighting units. One of the essential duties of a 
commanding officer in wartime is to insure the fur- 
ther military education of his junior officers, who 
must be made to realize that to “stand still is to retro- 
gress.” 

The concept of continuation training is broad. It 
involves a review of fundamentals, with constant ref- 




TRAINING OF OFFICERS 



17 



erence to the Manual of Troop Leadership. It 
stresses the need for versatility; the infantry officer 
must familiarize himself with the capacities of other 
arms than his own. Above all, the officer must pre- 
pare himself for emergency service in the next higher 
grade, or for replacing comrades in other executive 
positions. It is the responsibility of senior officers to 
assist their juniors in training for the next higher 
grade . 

German sources illustrate these principles : 1 

In the first place, let us outline the requirements for the de- 
velopment of our officers. The strength of the German Army 
has lain and still lies in the platoon commander at the front. 
This will remain so in the future, and the example of our lieu- 
tenant as he stands and fights at the front cannot be emulated 
by any nation on earth, according to a well-known saying of 
Bismarck. 

One would misjudge the lieutenant’s mission entirely, how- 
ever, if one would have him conform exclusively to the services 
of, and requirements for, a platoon commander. Actual condi- 
tions require much more of the lieutenant than mere service as 
such. Any lieutenant may, at any time, have to educate, train, 
and lead a company, battery, or other similar unit, and any 
lieutenant may suddenly have to serve as a staff officer or 
even as an adjutant or aide-de-camp * * *. The progres- 

sive training of the officer corps must be carried out with this 
eventuality in mind. 

If the officer is to be ready to serve in several dif- 
ferent capacities at a moment’s notice, he must be 
thoroughly indoctrinated in the fundamentals of tac- 



1 Excerpts from an article in the “Militaer Wochenblatt.” 




18 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



tics. This point is emphasized in the German source 
just quoted: 

One difficulty is that a great many young officers have no 
knowledge of the fundamentals of tactics. Many dangerous 
mistakes arise from this fact; and during lessons, there is often 
vague discussion because of lack of understanding. Lack of 
indoctrination is a most serious defect. It results in many 
unnecessary commands. Just an example: Our unit is an 
infantry battalion and we are in an engagement ; the situation 
becomes critical. From all sides, commands and reports come 
in to the battalion commander. The adjutant and the com- 
mander of a machine-gun company become casualties. The 
commander, an especially energetic man, had made an impor- 
tant decision and was just about to give orders to carry it out. 
What if the adjutant, totally ignorant of tactics, transmits the 
orders to a commander of the machine-gun company who is 
just as ignorant? Of course, we have selected as an example 
a particularly gross case. But one can hardly pretend that it 
is outside the sphere of possibility. One must insist, there- 
fore, that thorough indoctrination of all officers regarding tac- 
tical principles is absolutely essential. Young officers must doe 
thoroughly familiar with the tactics of all units up to and 
including the battalion. In this connection much work is 
needed. Older officers must work to teach and the younger 
ones must work hard to learn. It is an open question as to 
which task is the most difficult, but that is immaterial. The 
important thing is to attain the clearly defined objective. 

The ideal desired here was summed up by a German 
officer in conversation with an observer : 

We apply simple methods to our leadership. You will find 
that our lower units are so trained that many in them beside 
the leader are capable of taking command. 




Section V. STANDARDS FOR 
OFFICERS 



11. GENERAL 

The G-erman Army traditions set high standards 
for officers, both as to character and as to professional 
ability. Great attention is paid to this subject in pro- 
fessional journals and books. 

Particular concern is shown for officers of company 
rank. This is partly because, in a rapidly expanding 
army, it was necessary to absorb and integrate a large 
number of new officers at the lower grades. But it 
is also due to a conviction that the efficiency and lead- 
ership standards of these officers are of crucial im- 
portance for the combat success of the army; these 
officers actually lead the units in front-line combat. 

With this principle in mind, the German General 
Staff has followed a policy which is described very 
clearly by a U. S. observer : 

In the German Army, leadership is emphasized more than 
generalship. The general officer must, of course, combine to 
an outstanding degree proved qualifications for field leadership, 



19 




20 . 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



mental resiliency, and executive capacity, supported by unusual 
physical stamina and ruggedness of constitution. German 
general officers were selected on this basis prior to mobilization. 
They won their positions in the pre-war building, training, and 
equipping of the modern army. All of them have had World 
War experience. As far as we know, none of them has been 
relieved from command during operations. The efficiency and 
ability of these German generals seems to be taken for granted. 
They have received practically no publicity during the tear. 
Only one. General of Infantry Eduard Dietl, who commanded 
at Narvik, has been brought before the public for his accom- 
plishments. This was not for, his generalship, but for the 
qualities of leadership displayed in situations normally met 
with by leaders in the lower command. 

On the contrary , leaders in the lower command have received 
a great deal of publicity since the outbreak of war . 

Another general principle underlying German 
training of officers is the view that good leaders can 
be developed for the lower commands by careful train- 
ing, for leadership is not confined to a few individuals 
gifted with superior qualities. However, every effort 
is made to find the right place for each individual, 
according to his special aptitudes, and a good deal of 
shifting is done in order to accomplish this. 

A German officer, in conversation, accounted for 
German military success in a way which brings out 
main standards of leadership prized in his army : 

I would say that the success of our leadership depends upon 
the selection of officers of proved character and skill, and upon 
our system of learning each required task and maneuver to 
perfection by repeated practice. One can only learn by doing. 

The proverb “Wissen ist Macht” (knowledge is power) is in 




STANDARDS FOR OFFICERS 



21 



truth not accurate. Knowledge becomes power only when it is 
being successfully applied in the gaining of an objective. 

12. CHARACTER 

The Germans fully realize the importance of char- 
acter as a basis for successful combat leadership. 
Their teachings on military leadership remind officers 
constantly of their responsibility to lead by example 
and self-discipline. 

A book called the “ Company Commander ’ 7 says: 

The company commander is a living example to every man 
in his organization. To be an officer means to set an example 
for the men. The officer must be his soldier’s incarnation of 
soldiery, his model. If the German officer is inspired by this 
mission, the best and deepest qualities of his soul will be 
awakened; his life’s aim will be fulfilled if he succeeds, through 
knowdedge, demeanor, and conviction, in forcing his troops to 
follow him. This is the manly purpose for which it is worth- 
while to stake life in order to win life. 

In Germany, the road to the rank of officer is open to every 
capable soldier ; the destination can be reached only by efficiency 
in time of war and by actions in the face of the enemy. 

The real authority of an officer is recreated daily by his entire 
attitude ; the ancient proverb ajiplies — “earn it in order to pos- 
sess it.” The more his men are convinced that the authority of 
his rank is deserved through moral w T orth, the stronger will 
be the influence of the officer’s personality. No one should 
expect that rank attained by promotion wall give to his position 
authority sufficiently high for him to relax his effort, in the 
belief that the objective has been reached. Real authority is not 
dependent upon shoulder straps, stars, and badges; it depends 
only on efficiency and worth. 

Discipline has always been recognized as essential 
in German training, and the company officers are giv- 




22 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



en the main responsibility for developing discipline 
by example as well as precept. The book just quoted 
says on this subject : 

Discipline is the basic doctrine of the army; the objective of 
soldierly training must be to make it the unshakable principle 
of every individual. If the officer personifies physical and 
moral discipline, and thereby sets the example for the conduct 
of his men, he will achieve his aim. Even in difficult situations 
his authority will be unquestioned if he has convinced his men 
of his sincerity and leadership. He need not be the most clever, 
but he must be the most faultless man of his unit. The German 
soldier has an instinctive understanding — particularly the sim- 
ple man — of the moral qualities of his superior. He cheerfully 
follows a leader whom he respects, whom he can admire. Daily 
life on the battleground forces the officer to be under the eyes 
of his men day and night. This necessitates a large amount of 
self-discipline, both on and off duty, which includes not only 
cheerful and conscientious fulfillment of all duties, but also 
modesty in requirements for quarters and food, soberness in 
drink, self-control in sexual matters, cleanliness in speech, and 
a balanced character. 

The German military bible for company officers is 
the manual of ‘ ‘ Troop Leadership- ’ ’ This book gives 
their basic tactical and combat doctrine, and has plen- 
ty to say on the moral aspects of leadership. The 
following are some quotations : 

War is the severest test of spiritual and physical strength. 
In war, character outweighs intellect. Many stand forth 
on the field of battle, who in peace would remain un- 
noticed. * * * 

The officer is a leader and a teacher. Besides his knowledge 
of men and his sense of justice, he must be distinguished by his 




STANDARDS FOR OFFICERS 23 

superior knowledge and experience, his earnestness, his self- 
control, and his courage. * * * 

The example and personal conduct of officers and noncom- 
missioned officers are of decisive influence on the troops. The 
officer who, in the face of the enemy, is cold-blooded, decisive, 
and courageous inspires his troops onward. The officer must, 
likewise, find the way to the hearts of his subordinates and 
gain their trust through an understanding of their feelings 
and thoughts, and through never-ceasing care of their 
needs. * * * 

Mutual trust is the surest basis of discipline in necessity and 
danger. 

13. RELATIONS OF COMPANY OFFICERS 
WITH ENLISTED PERSONNEL 

German directives stress the desirability of com- 
radeship in units as a moral basis for fighting efficien- 
cy, and again the company officers are reminded of 
their responsibility. The “Company Commander’ ’ 
says: 

When the soldier learns by experience that he is being taken 
care of and that it is the officer, as his best comrade, who sees 
to this care, then he is ready. He will follow such a superior 
through thick and thin and will cheerfully perform the most 
difficult duties. The officer must always set an example by his 
own conduct and his soldierly qualities. He must never think 
of himself until his men have been cared for. Only such an 
example can convince of the moral right to demand services 
from others; only the model life can confirm that right. The 
officer’s own efficiency alone will emphasize the necessity of 
his orders. If the men copy the examples set by the officers, 
officers and men will be joined. 

Comradely association and festivities place the officer in a 
situation basically different from that in times of peace. He 




24 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



must never represent a contrast to the privations and restric- 
tions which the men necessarily take upon themselves, and he 
must never forget that their need for association and festivity 
is no less great or justified than his own. 

Burdens and privations, restrictions and negations are 
shared mutually and equally. Every company commander 
must be a Spartan. His men must feel that privations mean 
nothing to him, that he rises above such problems, and that 
daily difficulties cannot break his spirit. 

The company officer is advised to be severe when 
necessary but without resorting to abuse; to use 
disciplinary punishment as rarely as possible, and 
always in a way that is clearly justified; to take an 
interest in the personal difficulties* of his men ; to 
maintain a cheerful atmosphere under all circum- 
stances ; to visit and converse with his troops in quar- 
ters; and to take the greatest care in choice and su- 
pervision of noncommissioned officers. 

Gferman officers are expected to give attention to 
the mental outlook of their men, and this includes 
giving them frequent talks on the war. The soldier 
must know that the war is his personal affair, and 
he must be instructed on its causes, meaning, and 
progress. It is believed that the soldiers who are 
informed as to why they are fighting, and of their 
part in the battle, will show improved discipline in 
combat. Newspapers, radio, and books are used to 
assist toward this end. An article in a military re- 
view advises the company commander to assemble 
his unit once a week for discussion. The “father of 
the company” should speak on all matters, official 




STANDARDS FOR OFFICERS 



25 



and unofficial, current events, politics, etc., which in- 
fluence the mental attitudes and morale of his men. 
“ Troop Leadership” reminds officers that: 

The leaders must live with their troops, participating in 
their dangers, their wants, their joys, their sorrows. Only in 
this way can they estimate the battle worth and the require- 
ments of the troops. 

Man is not responsible for himself alone, but also for his 
comrades. He who can do more, who has greater capacity of 
accomplishment, must instruct the inexperienced and weaker. 

From such conduct the feeling of real comradeship develops, 
which is just as important between the leaders and the men 
as between the men themselves. 

Troops welded together only superficially, and not through 
long training and experience more easily fail under severe 
strain and under unexpected crises. Therefore, before the 
outbreak of war the development and maintenance of steadi- 
ness and discipline in the troops, as well their training, is of 
decisive importance. 

The precepts outlined above have been actually car- 
ried out, as U. S. observers have reported during the 
past few years. One report states : 

German leadership is based on mutual respect between officer 
and man * * *. We were again impressed with the fact that 
cooperation between officers and men works both ways. 




SECTION VI. PRINCIPLES OF 
LEADERSHIP 



14. GENERAL 

The training of German officers of all grades for 
the present war has been so conducted as to empha- 
size certain basic doctrines. While these may seem 
rather general in character, they must be understood 
in order to appreciate German tactics; according to 
observers, German combat tactics reflect the appli- 
cation of these doctrines, which are by no means 
pious phrases of military theorists. The very con- 
crete and practical manual on “Troop Leadership” is 
full of references to these principles, as later quota- 
tions will show. 

15. THE TASK-FORCE PRINCIPLE: 
COMBINED OPERATIONS 

The German Army has been organized and trained 
to operate on the task-force principle, according to 
the definition of the task-force as “a unit of all arms 
and services under one commander for the accom- 



26 





PRINCIPLES OF LEADERSHIP 27 

plishment of a single specified mission.” This prin- 
ciple operates at all levels of command. 

When a mission is assigned to a commander, he is 
given the means judged necessary to accomplish it. 
These means are turned over to him for combined 
training, by which his men are molded into a combat 
team. The members of the team must know their 
mission and work together for its accomplishment. 
Individual units are called upon to merge into the 
structure of the combat team. The training phase 
permits commanders and staffs to become thoroughly 
acquainted with all their officers. In this way, they 
learn one another’s shortcomings and strong points 
so that many later misunderstandings are prevented 
in the stress of combat. Personal combinations thus 
built up often become so strong that they are main- 
tained through successive campaigns. 

The carrying out of this principle makes certain 
demands which are reflected in training practice : 

a. Every effort is made to discourage rivalry be- 
tween the components of a team. For example, though 
march songs are highly regarded and developed, there 
are no songs about the superiority of infantry to 
engineers (or to artillery, etc.). There are no inter- 
company or interbattery athletics to develop useless 
competitive emotions. Commanders of subordinate 
units are so imbued with the feeling of cooperation 
that they go out of their way to assist one another. 

b. Considerable attention is given to acquainting 
officers of one branch with the weapons and tactics of 

480881° — 42 3 




28 



GERMAN' MILITARY TRAINING 



the other components of a team. Even the manual 
of a specialized branch shows this effort: the anti- 
aircraft gunner’s manual has a section on what these 
gunners must know about their employment as a part 
of ground-force teams, including a discussion of divi- 
sional tactics. 

Armored warfare, 1 in particular, puts the highest 
premium on close cooperation of all arms. The head 
of a German Armored Force School said to a U. S. 
observer : 

The modern armored unit with its modern equipment de- 
mands the best in leadership and technical ability. Its com- 
mander must not only be thoroughly familiar with the capa- 
bilities, limitations, and tactical use of materiel in his own 
particular organization, but he must be equally familiar with 
the materiel in the organizations with which he is likely to 
cooperate. 

The greatest factor in successful employment of armed 
troops is speed in obtaining the initial coordination of arms, 
and in the execution of coordinated missions by various arms. 

The observer remarked that the goal of instruction 
at the school was to make each armored unit a smooth- 
working organization rather than a collection of in- 
dividual experts. 

c. A heavy responsibility is placed on commanders 
for the proper development of all means of communi- 
cation. 

This is emphasized in all stages of training. As 
early as 1933 there were courses at a Signal Corps 

1 See “The German Armored Army,” Special Series, No. 2, August 10, 
1942, Military Intelligence Service. 




PRINCIPLES OF LEADERSHIP 



29 



School for commanding officers and staffs of infantry 
and artillery regiments, and these courses were to be 
extended later to include divisional commanders and 
staffs. 

16. AGGRESSIVENESS AND INITIATIVE 

The prime characteristic of German tactical doctrine is 
maintenance of the initiative and avoidance of stabilization. 
The Germans believe absolutely that if a trained commander 
prepares and executes aggressive moves, with even average 
ability and reasonable speed, the enemy will be kept too busy 
meeting them to carry out successful offensive measures. 

In these words, a U. S. observer summed up his 
close-range impression of German tactical doctrine, 
and every stage of the war has confirmed his judg- 
ment. The principle of aggressive action is incul- 
cated at every level of training, from squad exercises 
to the General Staff School. A German officer 
phrased the concept in a way that can be understood 
by troops : 

Our men are taught that their own safety depends upon their 
getting to the enemy’s rear and not in staying in front of him. 
This is fundamental in our training. 

Aggressive tactics require the use of initiative by 
combat leaders, down to platoon commanders and 
noncommissioned officers. Development of this ca- 
pacity for taking the initiative is stressed at all points 
in military training, whether theoretical or practical. 
No illusion surviving the First World War is more 
dangerous than the notion that German leaders (espe- 




30 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



cially of small units) are bound by rigid and mechan- 
ical regulations and can move only in accordance with 
detailed, prearranged plans. 

In actual fact, German leaders of small units have 
shown great skill in this war in adapting their tactics 
flexibly to meet new situations. They have been 
trained to do this; the handbook on “The German 
Squad in Combat ’ ’ illustrates the doctrine : 

In the execution of battle missions, one should be most care- 
ful to avoid the idea that only one solution can be the right 
one. Only success in an actual case could prove that a given 
solution was the right one. 

A model solution must not be drilled into the soldiers. They, 
and particularly the squad leader, should be trained to be 
flexible, and should learn to be equal to any occasion. 

One of the reasons for adding artillery and engi- 
neer imits to a German regiment was to give the regi- 
mental commander a freer hand, to provide him. with 
the means for exercising the fullest possible initiative. 
The same concept governs the composition of task 
forces, whether for the African Army of Rommel, or 
for small groups such as those which constituted the 
spearheads of invasion in Norway. 

German regulations place due value on getting as 
much information as possible about the enemy (posi- 
tion, capabilities, etc.) as a prerequisite for action. 
But regulations also prevent this from becoming a 
requirement that cripples action. Commanders are 
warned by the manual of “Troop Leadership” that — 

Obscurity of the situation is the rule. Seldom will one 
have exact information of the enemy. Clarification of the 




PRINCIPLES OF LEADERSHIP 



31 



hostile situation is a self-evident demand. However, to wait 
in tense situations for information is seldom a token of strong 
leadership, but often one of weakness. 

So the officer is taught to attack in order to clear up 
the situation and gain a basis for an estimate of 
further action. “Battle itself provides the most re- 
liable means of estimating the enemy.” 

Omission and delay are regarded as greater crimes 
than the choice of the wrong method of action. In 
training exercises, the choice of tactical method is 
subject to full criticism by reviewing officers, but no 
man is reprimanded because he tried to do something 
and failed. 

The following quotations from the manual of 
“Troop Leadership” are further illustrations of the 
emphasis placed on the general doctrine of aggres- 
siveness : 

The teaching of the conduct of war cannot be concentrated 
exhaustively in regulations. The principles so enunciated must 
be employed dependent upon the situation. * * * 

The emptiness of the battlefield demands independently 
thinking and acting fighters, who, considering each situation, 
are dominated by the determination to act boldly and de- 
cisively, and to arrive at success. * * * 

The first demand in war is decisive action. Everyone, the 
highest commander and the most junior soldier, must be aware 
that omissions and neglect incriminate him more severely than 
mistake in the choice of means. * * * 

Great successes presume boldness and daring preceded by 
good judgment. * * * 

We never have at our disposal all the desired forces for the 
decisive action. He who will be secure everywhere, or who 




32 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



fixes forces in secondary tasks, acts contrary to the fundamental. 

The weaker force, through speed, mobility, great march ac- 
complishments, surprise and deception, and utilization of dark- 
ness and the terrain to the fullest, can be the stronger at the 
decisive area. * * * 

Time and space must be correctly estimated, favorable situa- 
tions quickly recognized and decisively exploited. Every ad- 
vantage over the enemy increases our own freedom of action. 

The attack is launched in order to defeat the enemy. The 
attacker has the initiative. Superiority of leadership and of 
troops shows to the best advantage in the attack. Success does 
not always come to superiority of numbers. 

A German officer, commenting- on the early cam- 
paigns of the war, recognized the capacity of very 
young officers to meet these standards of leadership : 

Before the campaign in the West, we underestimated the 
wonderful leadership of our 22-year-old company commanders. 
They acted without hesitation where older men would have 
paused for long consideration and heavy artillery reinforce- 
ments. Time and again we found these young commanders 
calling for a few 88-mm antiaircraft guns, a handful of anti- 
tank guns, and a platoon of pioneers to assist them in taking a 
famous fortress, and then actually capturing it with no delay 
and relatively few losses. 

The enthusiastic leadership of youth was one of the great 
features of our advance in the West. 

17. ORDERS AND COMMUNICATIONS 

Aggressiveness cannot serve as the sole principle 
of tactics without leading to disaster. German train- 
ing supplements that principle with careful attention 
to all measures which provide that the action taken 
shall be considered and intelligent. These measures 




PRINCIPLES OF LEADERSHIP 



33 



include clear orders, and an efficient system of com- 
munications. 

a. Orders 

Subordinate commanders are expected to show ini- 
tiative, but within the frame of orders received from 
the higher commands. This places certain require- 
ments on these orders : 

(1) They should be clear and direct. 

(2) They should confine themselves to the main 
lines of a mission assigned to the lower command, 
giving the lower command latitude in the choice of 
means to execute the mission. 

German training regulations devote a great deal 
of attention to the proper framing of orders. The 
Germans believe that one of the signs of deterioration 
in their armies toward the end of the First World 
War was the growing verbosity and ambiguity of 
orders. They propose to avoid these mistakes by 
constant drilling in conciseness and clarity. 

One of the notable points in their doctrine here is 
the preference for verbal as against written orders. 
In training maneuvers, U. S. observers were repeat- 
edly impressed with the fact that from regimental 
commands down, verbal orders were regularly used. 
One observer, visiting an Armored Troop School, was 
struck by the lack of reference in maneuvers to writ- 
ten orders (as well as notebooks, maps, overlays, and 
compasses) : 

It is believed that the procedure whereby all orders and in- 
structions are given and repeated orally in the presence of all 




34 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



unit commanders concerned is a matter of special training in 
the German Army. Such procedure enables each unit com- 
mander to understand the part his unit is to play in the general 
action. This facilitates coordination and saves time in the long: 
run. 

Another observer points out the degree to which 
German officers are instilled with the sort of mental 
habits that fit them for this phase of leadership. As a 
logical frame for issuing good orders, the commander 
must make an estimate of the situation in terms of his 
mission, must arrive at a decision, and must formu- 
late a plan for carrying out this decision. Through 
many contacts, the observer found that this attitude 
is so thoroughly engrained in the German officer that 
he applies this frame of approach to every kind of 
problem, civilian as well as military. 

No trained German officer (we are told) begins the 
day without a mission. If the mission has not been 
received from higher authority, he gives himself a 
mission for the day, and one which is definitely not a 
mere compliance with a printed schedule. The printed 
schedule is nothing but a time allotment or control. 
He approaches each day’s task as he would a battle, in 
order that eventually he will approach battle as he 
would a day’s task. 

It may be said that no German officer or noncommissioned 
officer is ever without a mission. If a superior should direct 
him to state his mission — and that is frequently done — the 
junior is prepared to answer immediately and without hesita- 
tion, with a clear statement of his mission, his estimate, and his 
plan. This makes a habit of logical thought and decision, both 
of which are necessary to real accomplishment. 




PRINCIPLES OF LEADERSHIP 35 

The manual of “ Troop Leadership ” 1 says on this 
subject of orders: 

The order puts the decision into effect. 

Clear orders are an essential for the frictionless cooperation 
of all commanders. 

For the higher commander, the written order pro Andes the 
foundation for the leadership. It is communicated to the 
lower units printed, in carbon copy, typewritten or AA T ritten 
by hand, or by technical communication means. Frequently 
it is dictated over the telephone. In every instance the most 
sure and suitable method of transmission is to be chosen. 

Ordinarily, loAA^er commanders use the oral order. Their 
orders are written if the oral or telephonic order is not possible, 
or if the oral order is insufficient or there exists the danger 
of interception. 

The more pressing the situation, the shorter the order. 
Where circumstances permit, oral orders are gteen in accord- 
ance with the terrain, not the map. In the front lines and 
with the lower commanders this is particularly the case. 

With important orders it is often adAUsable to use two or 
more means of transmission. 

It is easy to underestimate the time required to get an order 
through. 

Too many orders, especially in battle, during which the com- 
munication means may miscarry, produce the danger of im- 
pairing independence of action of lower commanders. 

An order shall contain all that is necessary for the lower 
commander to know in order for him to execute independently 
his task. It should contain no more. Correspondingly, the 
order must be brief and clear, decistee in tone and complete, 
adapted to the understanding of the receiver and, according to 

1 See pp- 291-294 of “The German Rifle Company, For Study and 
Translation,” Information Bulletin No, 15, May 16, 1942, Military Intelli- 
gence Service, for a more extended translation of the sections in “Troop 
Leadership” ( TruppenfUhrung ) dealing with the subject of orders. 




36 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



conditions, to his peculiarity. The commander must never fail 
to place himself in the position of the receiver. 

The language of orders must be simple and understandable. 
Clarity, which eliminates all doubts, is more important than 
correct technique. Clarity must not be sacrificed for brevity. 

Negative expressions and changes lead to half measures and 
are objectionable. Exaggerations are equally bad. 

Orders may bind only insofar as they correspond to the sit- 
uation and its conditions. Still, it is often necessary to issue 
orders in uncertain situations. 

If changes in the situation are to be expected before the order 
is put into execution, the order should not go into details. In 
great strategical operations, especially when orders must be 
issued for several days in advance, this avoidance of details is 
to be especially observed. The general intention is expressed; 
the end to be achieved is particularly stressed. In the execu- 
tion of the impending action, the main instructions are given, 
and the immediate conduct of the engagement is left to sub- 
ordinate commanders. In such a way is the order fully 
executed. 

Suppositions and expectations are to be indicated as such. 
Reasons for the measures ordered belong only exceptionally 
in the order. Detailed instructions, covering all possible con- 
tingencies, are matters of training and do not belong in the 
order. 

b. Communications 

Closely related to the subject of orders is the prob- 
lem of communications. The German Army has made 
the utmost use of all modern technical means to effect 
rapid and serviceable communications. But, in addi- 
tion, German field training emphasizes the use of 
runners, and demands that higher commands keep as 
close to the front lines as possible. In this way, the 




PRINCIPLES OF LEADERSHIP 37 

commanders (up to division leaders) can inform 
themselves most effectively. 

The manual of “ Troop Leadership ’ ’ has a good deal 
to say on the matter of communications : 

When an order or report is transmitted orally, the one hear- 
ing the order or report must repeat it to the issuing person. A 
person transmitting a written report should be instructed as to 
its contents, insofar as conditions permit. Officers transmitting 
orders should, as a rule, be instructed as to the tactical situation. 

If possible, important orders and reports should be sent 
by officers. 

When the order or report is especially important, or there 
is uncertainty of assured arrival, transmission by various 
routes is advisable. Under such conditions, or if the route is 
very long, it may be advisable to send officers protected by 
escort, mounted troops, or armored vehicles. 

The commander must consider where his communication can 
reach the receiver, and he must instruct the bearer as to whom 
the message is to be delivered and the route he should follow. 
If necessary, a sketch of the route should be given. Attention 
should be called to especially dangerous areas. Sometimes it 
is necessary to specify the latest hour that the message must 
reach the receiver. The bearer must be instructed as to what 
he shall do upon delivering the communication. 

Upon meeting seniors, mounted messengers keep their gait; 
to higher officers they report the destination of their message. 
As they ride by a march column they likewise report to the 
commander as well as to the advance (rear) guard commander; 
in serious or threatening situations they call out the contents 
of their message to the commanders and the troops. They must 
be instructed to ask for the location of the commander to whom 
the order is directed. Bicyclists conduct themselves similarly 
to mounted messengers. The contents of messages cannot often 
be demanded from motorcycle messengers. 




38 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



Higher commanders and commanders of reconnaissance 
battalions are authorized to read messages passing them, but 
they must not unduly delay their transmission. Every element 
must assist in getting the message through, if necessary by 
providing transportation facilities. * * * 

The choice of location for the corps commander should be 
based upon the requirement of the establishment of rapid and 
continuous communication to the divisions and the rear. He 
cannot rely alone on technical communications. * * * 

Great distance, in spite of adequate communication facilities, 
lengthens the command and report line, endangers the system, 
and may lead to late reports and orders or even to failure of 
arrival. Moreover, great distance makes difficult personal ter- 
rain study and a personal knowledge of the progress of the 
battle. 

As contact is gained with the enemy, it is better that the 
division commander be where he can observe. Therefore, he 
belongs early on the field of battle and in the decisive area. 
His location must be easily found, easily reached. 

In attack, the division command post should be located as 
far forward as possible, yet so selected that the communica- 
tion net to the side and rear is effectively shielded from hostile 
fire. To be desired are: observation of the battlefield, either 
from the command post or a nearby observation post, and the 
possibility of establishing an airplane landing field nearby. 

18. KNOWLEDGE OF TERRAIN 

The usual attention is paid in German training 
to correct use of maps as a basis for utilizing the ter- 
rain in maneuver. But the German doctrine is that 
maps should he so thoroughly studied that they can 
he largely dispensed with during maneuvers. An ob- 
server who commented on the small use of maps dur- 
ing tank exercises was told that the officer who must 




PRINCIPLES OF LEADERSHIP 



39 



constantly refer to a map for orientation purposes is 
considered poorly trained. The map, once studied, 
should be “carried in the mind rather than in the 
hand.” 

19. SURPRISE 

During the training phase, the importance of the 
principle of surprise in combat is constantly featured. 
According to German doctrine, surprise depends on 
the use of secrecy, deception, and speed. 

Secrecy depends on maintaining the strictest dis- 
cipline among troops. German success in guarding 
large operations was demonstrated in 1940 ; although 
large numbers of troops were elaborately trained for 
the invasion of Norway, or for special operations like 
the attack on Fort Eben Emael, knowledge of their 
plans did not leak out. 

According to German military authorities, the use 
of deception to achieve surprise is comparatively un- 
exploited. Much training time is spent in practicing 
methods which will give false indications to the en- 
emy ; these include construction of dummy establish- 
ments and positions, camouflage, and the execution of 
false movements. 

Speed of execution of any maneuver is an essential 
for achieving surprise. This principle is extended 
to artillery practice. An observer notes that as much 
importance is now put on the speed of opening fire 
as on accuracy, and as on the attainment of a heavy 
volume of fire. 




Section VII. TRAINING METHODS 



20. PHYSICAL CONDITION AND MARCHING 

The importance of physical condition is fully 
recognized in German training doctrine. One of the 
services of the Hitler Youth (with its emphasis on 
sports) and the Labor Service is to furnish the Army 
with recruits who are fully conditioned and tough- 
ened. The training period is thereby shortened and 
made more effective. 

A U. S. observer saw an infantry battalion on 
maneuvers in January 1940. With the temperature 
at 20°, the troops lay patiently in 4 inches of snow, 
waiting their orders, for over an hour. Many men 
had no gloves. This difficult period seemed to have 
no effect on their performance later. 

Other observers of a German division in field exer- 
cises before the outbreak of war reported that fitness 
and endurance were made a fetish by both officers and 
men. For training purposes officers often went 24 
hours without food. Troops carried heavy loads of 
mortars, machine guns, and other equipment as far 



40 




TRAINING METHODS 



41 



as 1,200 yards in fast rushes of 50 yards. Just before 
the exercises, one engineer battalion had marched 85 
miles through mountains in 3 days. 

Good physical condition has been a basis for the 
notable march achievement of German infantry. 
Despite all the mechanization of modern armies, Ger- 
man doctrine foresaw the possibility that motorized 
personnel might lose their equipment and have to 
move rapidly on foot- In some cases German troops, 
under the prolonged strain of combat operations, 
have covered 30 to 40 miles a day for several days, and 
German sources claim a march of 44 miles in 24 hours 
during the Polish campaign. Reserve and Landwehr 
formations (of older men) are held to nearly the 
same high standards. 

Despite these achievements, demand is made for 
even greater attention to march training. An article 
in a German military review (1940) states: 

Peace-time marching practice, though good, was not strenu- 
ous enough to prepare men for war-time marching conditions. 
In peace-time marching, too much consideration is given to the 
comfort and convenience of troops. 

21. EMPHASIS ON FIELD EXERCISES 

Even the training at the German General Staff 
School avoids abstract theory in tactics and strategy. 
The student is thoroughly grounded in the funda- 
mental principles of tactics ; but he is taught to apply 
them concretely by the case method, in which a 
specific situation must be stated and solved. Tactical 
training at the school is given almost entirely by 




42 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



means of free maneuvers on the map and on the 
ground. No fixed divisional organization is used in 
this training, and the combination of arms in a divi- 
sion is continually varied. The exercises are so con- 
ducted that the officer-student (as commander) and 
his staff oppose either the instructor or another 
student group. The student is given very little infor- 
mation of the enemy positions and is required to make 
immediate decisions, put into verbal orders. Move- 
ment is controlled by factors of time, space, terrain, 
fire power, and mobility, and by no other control fea- 
tures. Coordination of effort is assured by staff 
action during movement rather than by attempting 
elaborate plans in advance. 

Field work is given central emphasis in the pro- 
gram of training for troops. Small units carry out 
tactical problems day in, day out. Tactical exercises 
fill half of the training time. As soon as possible 
(often within 6 weeks’ time) new recruits are taking 
part in field maneuvers that involve units as large as 
a division, and that include all branches (assembled 
on the task-force principle). The ideal before the 
war was that no German unit should take the field 
until it was thoroughly trained, the Germans having 
profited by the lessons of the First World War, when 
they found that half-trained troops accomplished less 
and suffered greater losses. 

The concept of war-time training was stated in a 
German training directive (1941) as follows: 




TRAINING METHODS 



43 



In spite of greater difficulties than in time of peace, train- 
ing must be conducted as thoroughly and methodically as 
possible. 

It is only by inspiring a desire for intellectual cooperation, 
and by constantly keeping it alive among the lower ranks, that 
the correct tactical conceptions can be successfully inculcated 
in the ranks down to the most humble non-commissioned officer. 

22. REALISM 

No element of training doctrine is given more 
stress than the demand for a maximum effect of 
realism. 

Clausewitz, the guide of so much modern military 
theory, stated the principle very exactly at a period 
when the methods and techniques of warfare put less 
strain than they do now on troops entering battle for 
the first time: 

No general can supply his army with war experience, and 
the substitute of peace-time drills is a weak one when com- 
pared with the actual experience in war. It is much more 
important that peace-time drills be so arranged that a part 
of the causes for friction occur, and that the judgment, the 
wisdom, the prudence, and the decision of the individual 
leaders are tested, than is believed by those who do not know 
this from experience. It is of utmost importance that the 
soldier, of high or low grade, no matter what position he may 
occupy, should experience those difficulties which perplex 
and surprise him in actual war. If they have happened to 
him but once before, he is already somewhat familiar with 
them. This even applies to physical strains. They must be 
practiced — not so much that nature, but that the brain be- 
comes accustomed thereto. 



480881 ° — 42 - 



4 




44 



GERMAN' MILITARY TRAINING 



The Germans have gone to great trouble and ex- 
pense to carry out this principle in training. 

For one thing, troops in training exercises are pro- 
vided with large amounts of practice ammunition of 
all sorts, including grenades, usually with reduced 
charges but nevertheless requiring careful handling 
and involving some risk. Machine guns fire ball am- 
munition over the heads of attacking troops, with very 
small safety margin, and trench mortars support the 
infantry to within 50 yards of its objective. A Ger- 
man officer of engineers told an observer that “we 
have considerable losses in war-time training, but this 
is unavoidable in familiarizing men in the handling 
of explosives, and in becoming expert. The men 
know that losses in training would mean fewer losses 
in battle.” 

In field exercises, the enemy is always represented 
by actual soldiers who advance and retreat, delay, fire 
blanks, and otherwise conduct themselves as an 
enemy should. Barbed wire, shell-holes, trenches, 
artillery emplacements, and all the other features of 
actual combat are introduced as far as possible in 
every exercise. 

The handbook on “Squad Combat” says: 

One should use real troops as much as possible to repre- 
sent the enemy. The soldiers will be much less likely to make 
mistakes in war-time if they see during their training, instead 
of a dummy, a real and active enemy. 

The greatest attention is paid to selection of com- 
petent umpires, and very careful directives are issued 




TRAINING METHODS 



45 



for their guidance. An example of such a directive, 
and one that suggests the thoroughness and realism of 
training, is given in Appendix A. 

Films have been used for some time in various 
stages of training, although our observers do not be- 
lieve that their use has been developed as far as in 
U. S. practice. One film seen by an observer was 
designed to teach recruits the fundamentals of rifle 
firing, and used animated cartoons in a very vivid way 
to illustrate simple lessons, such as the effect of varia- 
tions in muzzle velocity ; the differences between high- 
angled and flat trajectories ; the importance of rifling, 
etc. 

The degree to which the Germans strive for realism 
is shown by the training of task-forces in terrain 
which approximates as nearly as possible to their 
prospective theater of operations. Rommel’s Africa 
Corps trained in sandy areas of East Prussia, and 
Von Falkenhorst ’s mountaineers prepared for Nor- 
wegian mountain fighting in the Bavarian Alps. 

23. THOROUGHNESS 

Realism in German training methods is one aspect 
of their general demand for thoroughness. German 
officers in particular, and the enlisted men as well, are 
taught to regard themselves as men engaged in a 
highly skilled and honorable profession, and to take 
pride in acquiring the details of military techniques. 
To encourage this point of view, soldiers are put as 
little as possible on fatigue work and nonmilitary 
labors, which are performed by civilians. 




46 



GERMAN” MILITARY TRAINING 



Great effort is made to provide all ranks with 
professional military literature in attractive format. 
U. S. observers have been impressed by the wide use 
of these handbooks and manuals, and believe that mili- 
tary training is greatly aided by this practice. 

In training exercises, every attempt is made to ex- 
plain in detail what is going on and why, so that the 
interest of all officers and noncommissioned officers is 
fully enlisted. 

24. MARKSMANSHIP 

German training has tended to put emphasis on 
volume of tire rather than on accuracy. An observer 
believes that their ability to concentrate fire at a vital 
point is superior to our own, but that their standards 
of marksmanship are inferior. 

However, a German article in late 1941 makes the 
point that volume of mechanical fire will not replace 
accurate individual shooting, and that sharpshooters 
can perform invaluable tactical missions. This may 
indicate that experience in Russia has led the Ger- 
mans to place more emphasis than before on rifle 
practice. 




SECTION VIII. GERMAN OFFICER 
CANDIDATES SCHOOL (1941) 



25. INTRODUCTION 

The following is an unedited report made by a New 
Zealand noncommissioned officer who evidently used 
his opportunities as a prisoner to excellent advantage. 
His account is an example of intelligent and careful 
observation. 

The report illustrates a number of main features 
already mentioned in connection with German train- 
ing : its realism ; the high demands made on physical 
condition; training in communications, use of ter- 
rain, and concealment, etc. 

One interesting minor point is that band music was 
used to lift spirit when the “going was tough.” 
Music is not saved for parade formations. 

26. TEXT OF THE REPORT 

The cadets attending the school were recruited from the 
noncommissioned officers and other ranks of the various units 
stationed in Greece and were mainly ex-students of technical 
and other branches of higher education. The school was 
located at Patissia, near Athens. The training was spread over 

47 




48 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



a 3-week period, and the cadets were given very little time to 
themselves from daylight onwards. These men apparently 
were being rushed through to make up losses on the Russian 
front. 

Of the theoretical side of their training I have nothing to 
report, as my notes are based on observations carried out from 
a neighboring rooftop with the aid of field glasses. Night 
exercises were also beyond my scope, but I observed that 3 
evenings a week they remained indoors, where one could hear 
them singing Army and Hitler Youth marching songs. At 
least 1 hour a day was also devoted to singing on the march, 
and this period was treated as an important branch of their 
duties. The voices were good, and the tunes of a stirring mar- 
tial type were so written that the beat of the music aided the 
rhythm of breathing, thus alleviating fatigue. 

The physical-training periods were of a most strenuous na- 
ture, and a great deal of this was carried out in full battle 
order. For the most part the cadets were very young (early 
twenties) and the physical standard was high on the average. 
However, after the first week, many of them w T ere limping and 
about 60 percent were wearing bandages. This was not sur- 
prising, considering the manner in which they vaulted over 
obstacles, climbed high walls, and hoisted heavy mortars to 
roof tops. 

The various instructors conducting the course gave one the 
impression of knowing exactly what they were doing, and 
doing it with precision, force, and speed, unhindered by any 
scruple. Oral orders with special abbreviations were used 
during all stages of weapon training and battle practice, and 
a few sharp words were all that were required, even for com- 
plicated tactics. Each man repeated the orders and passed 
them along the extended lines of troops. One cannot over- 
estimate the combination of skill and boldness which they 
brought to their tasks. 

Aircraft cooperation, including tactical bombing, troop 
transport, and supply were fully explained by means of large 




GERMAN OFFICER CANDIDATES SCHOOL 49 

illustrated charts and demonstrations by trained parachute 
troops. The latter displayed their technique by jumping off 
the roof of a speeding army bus in full kit (the parachute 
open and trailing behind them). The dropping of supplies 
was carried out in the same manner. Truckloads of men were 
also used to represent air-borne troops. In addition to stand- 
ard paratroop uniform, the men carrying heavy equipment and 
mortars wore special knee and elbow pads to help break their 
fall. These were cut away after landing with the aid of a 
knife concealed in a special pocket about level with the right 
knee. 

Supplies and equipment were then thrown off the speeding 
van in the same manner as the paratroop demonstration. The 
smaller containers were like the shape of a 250-pound bomb, 
while the larger ones — approximately 7 by 2 by 2 feet — were of 
round metal with a square wooden outercasing, complete with 
handles, folding wheels, and rubber tires. One man demon- 
strated that he could cast off the parachute and push even the 
heaviest of these under the nearest cover in slightly under 
5 minutes. 

Large charts showing landscape pictures of various types, 
including olive groves, wheat fields, ploughed ground, and 
desert country were then unrolled and the cadets were divided 
into small groups, each party trying to make his uniform con- 
form as nearly as possible with the natural features shown in 
the chart they had been alloted. Many excellent examples 
of concealment were produced with the aid of disruptive 1 
smocks, natural material, and strips. Each man passed over 
to a new group when his instructor considered that he had 
mastered his first task. 

Scouting demonstrations included the seal and side crawl, 
and the cadets were shown how to construct a fan out of heavy 
wire and scrap metal. This was heavily garnished and made 
a splendid bush. When held in front of the body and advanc- 



1 Painted or colored in irregular, wavy, or zigzag patterns. 




50 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



ing full in my direction, the only way I could detect the scouts 
was by sighting the bush with a match box. Several minutes 
later one could see that the bush in question was no longer in 
the line of sight. An oblique view disclosed one fault. Head 
and trunk were well concealed but they have overlooked their 
blackjack boots, and these gave away their position. 

Snipers with special rifles, extra garnishing on their faces 
and clothing, and disruptively painted parachutes, rolled into 
the low scrub on the training area, pulled their chute in around 
their bodies and, with a few touches here and there of natural 
material, they were almost invisible. 

Another group jumped with white parachutes, which they 
cast loose and roughly rolled, with the exception of one ’chute. 
This w r as spread out in the form of an arrowhead with the 
point facing toward the enemy. Ranges were then noted and 
the number 250 formed in the rear of the arrow with the aid 
of white ground-strips. A bombing flag was then spread out 
in front of their position. Signs were then made to indicate 
aircraft overhead. A red light was fired, and the noncommis- 
sioned officer in charge rolled over on his back, flashing signals 
with an electric lamp. A few minutes later the enemy was 
presumed to have been blasted out, and the whole group 
doubled forward to take up the new position which their dive 
bombers had cleared for them. 

The next demonstration showed a section that had been cut 
oft and surrounded by enemy troops. Inside the circle of their 
defenses, these men spread out a bombing flag (standard red, 
white, and black) with a ring of white material about 5 
inches wide round it. This ring was constructed with ground 
strips and white under-vests which a number of troops stripped 
off their bodies in order to complete the circle. A flare was 
then sent up, and with the aid of a large chart the instructor 
demonstrated to the class how, following up on the signal, the 
bombers and fighters would circle around bombing and ma- 
chine-gunning everything outside the defended area in order 
to break up the attack. 




GERMAN OFFICER CANDIDATES SCHOOL 



51 



During the course, one of the most impressive displays was 
the efficient manner in w T hich supplies of ammunition, mortars, 
and machine guns were passed up into forward positions. A 
small group under an officer crawled forward, selected a site 
for his company, and the main party crawled up behind them 
in two single files about 40 yards apart, twisting and turning 
as they took advantage of every bit of neutral cover until the 
head of each file contacted the scouting group. All open 
spaces were avoided and all ranks wore camouflaged smocks 
and helmet covers. When contact was established, the main 
body stretched on their backs with their heads between each 
others’ knees, thus forming a living chain from front to rear. 
Then all equipment and ammunition was passed rapidly hand- 
over-head up the chain from rear to front and placed in posi- 
tion. The main group then crawled forward and spread out 
on the flanks. 

During the recent Greek campaign we heard and saw much 
of the German mass attack methods. Hundreds of men were 
thrown away in an attempt to carry a position by sheer weight 
of numbers; but there were numerous other instances both in 
Greece and Crete where our men were suddenly subjected to a 
murderous attack from some unexpected quarter — usually to 
the flank or rear. The chain demonstration gives the solution 
and is worthy of study, since the method has distinct advan- 
tages in certain types of country, as any man who has tried to 
crawl quietly through dense scrub while encumbered with heavy 
equipment will readily testify. 

It is unfortunate that other aspects of the cadet training were 
dealt with indoors or carried out beyond my field vision, but 
I trust that the comments set down above may prove of some 
value. One significant thing that stood out to my mind was 
the fact that during the many hours spent watching these 
people not once did I see a bayonet or gas drill. Gas masks 
were certainly carried, slung on the back, but they were never 
opened or even mentioned. 




Appendix A. MANEUVERS AND 
FIELD EXERCISES; UMPIRE 
TRAINING 1 



1. PURPOSE OF MANEUVER 

a. Training in leadership — with a corresponding 
freedom in the development of the course of the ma- 
neuver (seldom attainable). 

b. Troop training in the execution of definite, 
planned tactical measures — with a corresponding def- 
inite course which the chief umpire carries out ac- 
cording to his “predetermined plan of maneuver.” 

The “predetermined plan of maneuver” guides the 
course of the maneuver from beginning to end. Thus, 
the participating troops are given practical training 
in executing desired specific missions. For example, 
a platoon mission: “Attack from 400 meters to break 
through and defend against counterattack”; or a bat- 
talion mission : “Deploy as necessitated by hostile fire. 
Prepare to attack.” 

1 This appendix gives the translation of a recent article (1941) by 
a German major who had apparently had considerable experience in 
training infantry units in field exercises. He goes down to details in 
the problem of umpiring small units, and his article gives considerable 
insight into the nature of German field training. 

The translation is followed (paragraph 14) by valuable comments of 
a U. S. observer who had much experience with German training 
methods. 



53 




54 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



The purpose of a maneuver is accomplished by 
“ hostile activities” or by “situations” created 
through orders or reports transmitted through the 
chain of command, and by the realization of combat 
conditions as described by either Blue or Red um- 
pires. Therefore, the successful conduct of the en- 
tire maneuver, and its training value, depend on the 
umpire. 

2. GENERAL MISSIONS OF UMPIRES 

a. Describe or announce the nature and effects of 
hostile and friendly fire ; 

b. Assess casualties ; 

c. Create impressions of combat conditions; 

d. Announce or transmit situations, always within 
the planned scope of the maneuver ; 

e. Prevent violations of procedure ; 

f. Insure conformance to general safety regula- 
tions. 

g. Conclusion: Every maneuver is completely de- 
pendent on the interest, agility, attentiveness, imag- 
ination, and general ability of the umpires. The 
umpire is always to blame if so-called “screwball” 
situations and unrealistic conditions arise. 

3. ORGANIZATION OF UMPIRE STAFF 
a. Distinctive Marks 

White arm-bands, white head-bands (also for 
horse-holders, chauffeurs, etc.), and white flags on 
vehicles. 




UMPIRE TRAINING 



55 



b. Formation 

There should be a senior umpire on each side. 
There should be at least one mounted umpire (officer) 
with each battalion. There should be an umpire (non- 
commissioned officer) with each platoon and impor- 
tant reconnaissance party, and at each important ter- 
rain feature. The number of umpires assigned to 
exercises involving individual and group training 
will depend upon the merits of each case. 

c. Choice of Umpires 

The best ! They should be thoroughly experienced 
and able to guide the maneuver along the proper 
course. They have a great responsibility! It is ob- 
vious that provisions must be made for trained capa- 
ble replacements for umpires. The umpire detail list 
should be posted at least the day before the maneuver. 

d. Conduct 

Uniform same as troops ; also same discipline (i. e., 
with respect to eating, smoking, etc.). They should 
not reveal themselves before contact with the enemy 
is established. Afterward, they should not disturb 
the picture unnecessarily. They should maintain 
communication with the senior umpire ; report with- 
out revealing position ; keep constantly informed con- 
cerning intentions, disposition, and action of own 
troops; keep informed on the further course of the 
maneuver, especially the hostile situation and the ef- 
fect of hostile fire ; and request information and or- 




56 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



ders from the senior umpire. After maneuver, they 
take charge of their own troops. 

e. Activities 

(1) Before umpire conference: work out situation 
and maneuver plan, and outline the situations on 
maps. 

(2) In the umpire conference : 

(a) Report according to unit. 

(b) Memorize projected maneuver plan, ask ques- 
tions, make notes. 

(c) Make note of times when special missions are 
to be executed. 

(d) Determine amount and nature of maneuver 
equipment required. 

(e) Establish communications with adversary 
when expedient. Arrange meeting place with supe- 
riors, etc. 

(f) Just after umpire conference: secure maneu- 
ver equipment. 

(3) During the maneuver: 

(a) Report to all unit commanders and umpires, 
and request instructions without revealing position. 

(b) Constantly observe own and hostile troops. 

(c) Listen in on orders. 

(d) Announce effectiveness of fire of own unit. 

(e) Announce effectiveness of hostile fire. 

(f) Announce casualties of own troops (never 
those of hostile troops) in accordance with maneuver 
plan. 




UMPIRE TRAINING 



57 



(g) Penalize incorrect behavior of own troops with 
casualties. 

(2) When necessary, report location of own fire 
impacts to umpire with appropriate hostile unit. 

(i) When necessary, report improper action of 
enemy to hostile umpire concerned. 

(j) Train own troops by injecting minor situations 
but without interrupting general course of maneuver. 

(k) Transmit the general instructions of the senior 
umpire and call them out as they would be in actual 
combat, or so that they may be heard. For instance, 
if instructions are for a number of individuals, shout 
as loudly as possible so that they may be heard by all ; 
if intended for only one person, give them quietly. 
When necessary, and in appropriate situations, the 
voice should roar like the hostile fire itself. 

(l) Report the type of chemical-warfare agents 
not already clearly indicated. 

(m) Instruct individuals in proper behavior when 
wounded, or in proper procedure in case comrades are 
wounded. 

(4) Means and equipment : 

Voice, flags for fire effect, flags to represent enemy, 
small smoke grenades to represent own shell impacts 
in enemy lines, fire crackers to represent hostile ar- 
tillery fire, training gas. All means are usually avail- 
able in very small quantities; therefore use them 
sparingly and make up for scarcity with voice. 




58 GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 

4. UMPIRE REGULATIONS AND 
EXPLANATIONS 

a. Behavior before contact with enemy : keep com- 
pletely concealed; report to superior at command 
post. Behavior when in contact with enemy : proceed 
to the front, or run up and down own lines when re- 
porting location of tire impacts. 

b. Order simulated casualties. Casualties may be 
informed of the following : 

(1) Type, intensity and direction of fire. 

(2) Nature of injury. (Do not always say “dead” 
— “unconscious” is also suitable. 

(3) Length of time casualty should remain prone. 

(4) Disposition of casualties, or their action after 
designated time. 

c. Signs designating disabled combatants must be 
put on immediately. Strict disciplinary regulations 
must be put into effect. Report infractions of these 
regulations. 

d. Do not hesitate to report casualties. Casualties 
give a good idea of the combat situation, necessitating 
the employment of reserves so that these are also 
trained; moreover, the troops become accustomed to 
casualties, which are to be expected in combat; also, 
troops in rear of assulting elements are trained in 
proper precautionary measures and in proper behav- 
ior during combat. 

e. Leaders should be put out of action for only a 
short time, or by special order from the chief umpire. 




UMPIRE TRAINING 



59 



f. Often “situations” are given only to observation 
personnel, patrols, or security groups in order to 
cause them to report, thus initiating desired action. 

g. Umpires must accompany patrols; platoon um- 
pires are usually available for this purpose. 

h. Umpires should never say: “Nobody can ad- 
vance beyond this point.” Such a remark is an indi- 
cation of stupidity and lack of imagination. 

i. No prisoners should be taken. 

j. Wires should not be cut. 

k. Mounted and armored-car reconnaissance pa- 
trols should be kept out of action for only a short 
time; they should always be given repeated oppor- 
tunities for activity and training. 

l. It is forbidden to throw fire crackers, smoke can- 
dles, etc., in the immediate vicinity of men and ani- 
mals. Before such equipment is used, the troops must 
be instructed in their application. 

m. Blank cartridges and maneuver-cartridge pre- 
cautions: do not use them in villages. Fire high at 
night and in woods. Safe distance from blank cart- 
ridges — 25 meters; from maneuver cartridge — 100 
meters. Set no fires with Very lights. Do not point 
bayonets at individuals. 

n. It is forbidden to dismantle equipment. For 
example, do not remove ignition keys. 

o. Smoke candles indicate location of artillery fire, 
as a result of which the opposing side advances. 

p. Fire crackers are inappropriate for simulated 
artillery fire. 

480881 -42 6 




60 



GERMAN' MILITARY TRAINING 



q. Flags to indicate fire effect are meaningless 
when used alone. The following information concern- 
ing the effect of the fire should also be announced : 

(1) Direction of fire. 

(2) Kind and intensity. 

(3) Duration (beginning — end). 

(4) Exact location. 

The main value of the flag is to indicate to the ad- 
versary the location of his (adversary’s) fire. 

r. The command ‘‘shells!” is a substitute for the 
noise of passing projectiles, indicating that the troops 
should throw themselves down into prone position. 
The command “impact” is a substitute for detona- 
tion, indicating that movement should be resumed. 

s. Damages resulting from shell fire and shell 
craters should be announced. 

t. A brief description of the situation should be 
announced continually (every 5 to 10 minutes). 

u. Enemy troops designated by flags should be de- 
scribed in detail. 

v. Objectives that are recognized and placed under 
fire should be announced to opposing umpire (in some 
cases). 

w. Equipment may be announced as disabled, pro- 
vided such procedure causes no interruption in the 
maneuver and something can be learned thereby. 

x. Announce direction of hostile fire, smoke, loca- 
tion of gun, and ricochet marks on the ground. 




UMPIRE TRAINING 



61 



5. HOSTILE FIRE AND ITS EFFECT 

a. It should be remembered that artillery is the 
only weapon that fires without direct contact with 
the enemy and without observation (fire by map). 

b. Artillery and all heavy infantry weapons may 
fire a barrage, but only at night or in fog. This fire 
also is unobserved. It is restricted to designated 
time limits. 

c. Ranging: artillery, mortars, and infantry guns 
must find the range. From two to five single shots 
are necessary for this purpose. First the objective is 
“bracketed” (single rounds in front of and beyond 
the target) ; if a machine-gun crew notices that it is 
“bracketed,” it may have to change its position. 
The “bracket rounds” fall 400, 200, 100, or 50 meters 
from each other; and, in the case of heavy weapons, 
160, 80, or 40 meters. 

d. Surprise fire may be executed in accordance with 
(a) above (from map), or on targets near the point 
where registration has been effected. The fire units 
(battery or infantry-gun platoons) cover impact 
areas as follows, depending on the disposition of gun 
positions : battery front, 150 meters with natural dis- 
persion, single shots as much as 200 meters ; infantry- 
gun platoon front, 5 to 50 meters, single shots as 
much as 100 meters; the effect of fragments must 
also be considered. A battery usually fires on an area 
equal to its front; whereas an infantry-gun platoon 
usually fires with all muzzles directed at a single 
target (fire concentrated at one point). 




62 



GERMAN" MILITARY TRAINING 



e. Indication of shells: Usually shells are heard 
approaching, but often too late because the terminal 
velocity is greater than the speed of sound. The 
same applies to the sound at the gun. The speed of 
sound is 333 meters per second. 

f. Fire effect of projectiles: 30 to 100 are some- 
times necessary to register a direct hit in a resistance 
nest. Therefore, in a shelter pit one is practically safe 
from projectiles with percussion or delay ed-per- 
cussion fuzes. Ricochet or time-fuze bursts may pro- 
ject fragments into the shelter pit from above. 
However, this is seldom possible. Fragments fly at 
right angles to the trajectory (like bicycle spokes). 
Therefore, only a fraction of the entire projectile is 
effective in fragmentation effect; two-thirds of the 
fragments are ineffective. Fragmentation effect is 
great in woods because there the effect is similar to 
a ricochet (detonation in the trees). 

g. Mortars : projectiles are hardly audible. 

h. A covered position is safe from ricochets and 
time-fuzed projectiles. 

i. Heavy machine guns fire continuously. They 
sweep the entire target systematically. They are 
effective up to 2,500 meters. Troops should take 
advantage of firing pauses and stoppages. Con- 
cealed firing positions are possible. Fire protection 
for heavy weapons is necessary. Troops under fire 
should advance by bounds. 

j. Light machine guns fire in bursts. These weap- 
ons are effective under 1,200 meters against large 
targets and under 800 meters against small targets. 




UMPIRE TRAINING 



63 



Light machine guns protect one another; single ma- 
chine guns work their way forward, assisted by hand 
grenades. 

k. When confronted with air chemicals or smoke, 
as well as unknown odors, troops should put on gas 
masks. 

l. When confronted with terrain chemicals, troops 
should halt, send out gas scouts, decontaminate, 
detour, or go through. 

m. Tanks : their lire is effective usually only when 
stationary. They operate also according to the prin- 
ciple of “lire and movement.” Troops confronted 
with armored reconnaissance cars should lay live and 
dummy mines. Troops confronted with tanks should 
signal all defense weapons. In every case open lire 
as late as possible. Effective firing range and types 
of ammunition should be considered. Tanks can 
operate through woods, but not swamps and boggy 
ditches. Steep slopes only hinder but do not stop 
tank movement. 

n. Troops confronted by hostile aviation should 
observe identification marks, and fire only upon com- 
mand. Fire is unnecessary in case of a single alarm. 
Aerial bombs and plane weapons are effective on 
columns and troops in assembly areas. 

SAMPLE ANNOUNCEMENTS BY UMPIRES 
DURING AN EXERCISE 

a. “Over there near the bridge — 400 meters — four 
shell impacts close together — four more shells im- 
pacts — another four.” 




64 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



b. “In that wood about 800 meters away an 
artillery piece is heard firing, apparently from the 
direction of the village.” 

c. “A shell strikes 300 meters in front of you.” 
Two minutes later — “Shell coming; impact 100 
meters behind you.” 

d. As soon as a rifle platoon attacks: “Continuous 
machine-gun fire from direction of large house ; fire 
from four guns striking all around us.” As soon as 
platoon is under full cover: “Machine guns silent.” 

e. When anyone exposes himself: “Machine-gun 
fire sweeping directly over you.” “Machine-gun fire 
striking right in front of you; No. 2 rifleman nicked 
in shoulder by ricochet ; No. 1 rifleman disabled for 
15 minutes.” 

f. “Bursts from a light machine gun striking here 
and there (pointing) in your immediate vicinity; fire 
apparently coming from direction of cornfield.” 
“Machine-gun fire has ceased.” 

g. “Enemy attack-plane, flying low, approaching 
from right front, fires at colmun and cfisappears to 
the rear.” 

h. “Airplane motors can be heard.” “One air- 
plane to the south. Too high to identify.” 

i. “You see drops of oily liquid on the grass.” 

j. “You notice an unfamiliar chemical odor.” 

k. “A shell fragment smashes the longitudinal 
spirit-level.” 

l. “You have only 50 rounds left in your belt; the 
boxes are empty. ” 




UMPIRE TRAINING 



65 



m. “Our own machine guns fire continuously over 
you to the left. These guns are apparently behind 
you. No. 3 rifleman receives a grazing hit in the ear.” 

n. (Aside to squad leader during hostile machine- 
gun fire.) “You have been hit — you are uncon- 
scious.” (How does the squad react?) 

o. “You hear a ‘gas whistler’ (‘Pfeifpatrone’) 1 
from over there.” 

p. “Our own artillery fire is now falling along the 
edges of the woods over there.” 

q. “Heavy machine-gun fire is heard on your 
right.” “You see the impacts throwing up dirt near 
the hostile machine-gun nests which have been hold- 
ing up your advance.” 

7. COMMON MISTAKES OF UMPIRES 

a. Ignorance of situation, projected course of ma- 
neuver, and own missions. 

b. Inaction or insufficient emphasis on clear de- 
scription of hostile fire, or failure to report to su- 
perior umpire or directing officer. 

c. Calling out: “You can’t advance beyond this 
point.” 

d. Revealing projected course of maneuver. This 
is detrimental to the training and fighting efficiency 
of troops. 

e. Insufficient comprehension of projected course 
and purpose of maneuver. In every situation the 

*A “Pfeifpatrone” is a pyrotechnic sound-signal which is used as the 
principal gas alarm in German field operations away from permanent 
installations. 




66 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



umpire must know if, how, from what direction, and 
how long fire should be delivered ; the number of cas- 
ualties; and what measures his injected situations 
should cause the troops to take. He should also know 
what should be done in case the enemy attacks, etc. 

f. In defense situations: assessing too few casual- 
ties, before and during hostile attack. 

g. The same applies to attack situations. 

h. Permitting a long exchange of fire without de- 
ciding who is the victor. 

i. Giving hostile fire data to leader only, instead of 
aloud so that all can hear. 

j. Conspicuous behavior, thus revealing the situa- 
tion. 

k. Failure of mounted umpire to report promptly 
his own fire to opposing umpire, if latter ’s troops act 
as if unaware of this fire. 

l. Vague exclamation: “Shells falling here,” in- 
stead of detailed information as to arrival, number of 
shells, point of impact, duration of fire, type of fuze, 
and caliber. Above all, intensity, area, and time 
limits should be given. 

m. Failure to report to superior umpire concern- 
ing any independent measures and intentions. 

n. Vague exclamation: “Machine gun fire has 
ceased.” He should say: “Hostile surprise attacks 
have ceased.” (“No more bursts of machine-gun fire 
are expected.”) When the troops have no cover, or 
their cover is only simulated, he should say: “If you 
move, you will be fired at.” 




UMPIRE TRAINING 



67 



o. Shouting: “Enemy withdrawing” instead of 

“No. 1 rifleman, you see a hostile soldier running 
toward rear * * * etc.” 

p. Shouting: “Gas” instead of “You smell mus- 
tard.” 

q. Permitting an attack to succeed without fire pro- 
tection, without advancing by rushes, without individ- 
ual soldiers working their way forward, or before the 
enemy withdraws or suffers severe losses. 

r. Failure of mounted umpire to inform all um- 
pires immediately as to situation and pending mis- 
sions. (He should use the signal: “Leaders come 
to me.”) 

s. Failure to listen to the orders of the platoon 
commander. 

t. Failure to observe the troops uninterruptedly. 

u. Mounted umpire permitting opposing troops to 
gather in numbers within reach of each other without 
digging in (simulated), or without being put out of 
action. 

v. Shouting: “Take shelter,” or “Shoot,” when an 
enemy machine gun fires somewhere with blank cart- 
ridges- Instead, he should make a remark such as 
“Bullets are whistling around you.” 

w. Divulging knowledge of terrain, or showing a 
map to the troops when they have no maps at hand, or 
when they are forbidden to use maps. 

x. Crossing railroads except at designated crossing 
points. 

y. Disregarding safety regulations. 




68 GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 

z. Permitting troops to expose themselves without 
taking corrective measures. 

aa. Failure to cause machine-gun barrels to be 
changed at appropriate intervals, even when firing 
blank ammunition. 

bb. Stopping troops by shouting: “Shells are fall- 
ing here.” He should say: “Intense machine-gun 
fire — bullets throwing .up ground all around us,” or 
“Shells are falling 50 meters ahead of us.” 

cc. Shouting: “Machine-gun fire” instead of “Un- 
interrupted intense firing,” or “Bursts from two or 
three machine guns are striking here (pointing), the 
bursts getting closer.” 

dd. Dulling enthusiasm of troops by restraining 
measures during hot and courageous pursuit of a 
beaten enemy. 

ee. Permitting troops to halt and remain inactive 
without calling out “Artillery fire,” to force them to 
dig in. 

8. THE UMPIRE CONFERENCES 

The umpire conferences are secret. When an 
umpire discloses the discussions therein to the troops, 
he impairs their training and fighting efficiency. 

As soon as the projected course of the maneuver 
and his missions are explained, the umpire should 
consider immediately how they can best be carried 
out; what assumed situations and explanations con- 
cerning them should be made ; what means are avail- 
able; what restrictions should be placed upon the 




UMPIRE, TRAINING 



69 



troops ; what factors might alter or impede the pro- 
jected course of the maneuver, and how these factors 
should be eliminated ; what additional instruction can 
appropriately be given to the troops; and on what 
additional points the troops should be checked. All 
misunderstandings should be cleared up immediately. 

9. CONSIDERATIONS FOR UMPIRES AFTER 
THE UMPIRE CONFERENCE BUT BE- 
FORE AND DURING THE MANEUVER 

The following is a check list for use in giving in- 
structions to umpires. It is arranged according to 
tactical situations. 

a. Reconnaissance 

How far should it extend ? Who should be allowed 
to participate, and who not ? Should it be partly suc- 
cessful? (Consistent with the projected course of 
the maneuver.) Should it (when capable of combat) 
overcome hostile security ? 

b. Security 

How long should it repel hostile reconnaissance? 
Should it attempt to repel hostile reconnaissance at 
all ? Should it retreat ? Where retreat ? When re- 
treat ? 

c. Deployment 

Deployment from the march should be initiated 
when the first hostile shells come over. Further de- 
ployment occurs as hostile fire becomes increasingly 




70 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



effective. When encountering aimed small-arms fire, 
troops should advance, using available cover, and 
search for areas weak in hostile fire. In case of a 
hostile air attack, open fire on command with at least 
one-third of all weapons. 

d. Assembly Position Prior to Attack 

Always dig in. Should shelters be destroyed by 
hostile fire effect ? All combat reconnaisance re- 
quires an umpire. Is enough ammunition on hand % 
Vehicles should be parked so as to be able to move 
out toward enemy. 

e. Attack 

Normally, as soon as the point has crossed the edge 
of the assembly area toward the enemy, hostile fire 
begins : 

(1) At first, at considerable distance from the 
hostile MLR; later nearer; and finally there 
should be a wall of artillery fire (at night, ban-age 
fire) just in front of the hostile MLR. There should 
be gaps in this fire, and areas where only a few shells 
are falling. Troops rushing forward should make 
use of these gaps and the areas where but few shells 
are falling. 

(2) At 2,500 meters from the hostile MLR the 
troops encounter bursts of machine-gun fire, then con- 
tinuous machine-gun fire (troops should advance by 
squad rushes). 

(3) At 1,200 meters from hostile MLR, attackers 
should encounter bursts of fire from light machine 




UMPIRE TRAINING 71 

guns (at 800 meters, hostile light machine guns fire 
at will. 

(4) At 400 meters from hostile MLR, attackers en- 
counter rifle fire (attackers must work their way for- 
ward individually). 

(5) Close-range combat. 

(6) Enemy may intentionally open fire late under 
certain conditions (such as open field for fire). 

(7) Other points to be considered by umpires with 
attacking units : 

(a) Are hostile security measures diminishing? 

(b) Is the enemy firing from positions organized 
in depth? 

(c) In what direction is the enemy firing? 

(d) In what direction is he not firing? (In such 
cases, only the reports at the gun can be heard ; hence 
the umpire must call out the location of the impact 
area and the effect of the fire so loudly that everyone 
can hear.) 

(e) Never allow troops to advance without fire pro- 
tection, even when the enemy is weak. 

(f ) When 400 meters or less in front of the enemy, 
indivduals may work their way forward assisted bv 
protection of light mortars. 

(g) Light machine guns, heavy mortars, antitank 
guns, and infantry cannons may assist in fire protec- 
tion up to 1,200 meters from the enemy. 

(h) Heavy machine-gun squads, heavy mortars, 
and infantry cannons may assist in fire protection 
up to 2,500 meters from the enemy. 




72 GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 

(i) Above 2,500 meters, heavy machine-gun 
platoons, infantry cannons, and artillery may assist 
in fire protection. 

(j) If more or fewer than the normal number of 
these weapons are required to furnish the necessary 
defensive fires, this fact will be mentioned in the um- 
pires ’ conference. 

(k) How successful should the attack be? 

(l) Should there be hostile air attacks? 

(in) Should gas be used? If so, why? If gas is 
used, the alarm should be rapid. Gas sentries should 
function. Masks should be put on quickly. 

(n) Should troops dig in when their advance is 
held up? If so, should they actually dig in, or only 
outline their shelters to prevent damage to the fields ? 

(o) Are hostile counterattacks successful? 

(p) Should casualties force employment of re- 
serves ? 

(q) Should lack of ammunition force units to send 
for more ? 

(r) In what direction do own weapons fire ? 

(s) Where are the gaps in the friendly fire? In 
case of insufficient pioneer materiel and ammunition, 
the locations of the muzzle blasts should also be called 
out. 

f. Defense 

(1) There should be umpires with all combat out- 
posts and reconnaissance parties. Combat outposts 
should not deliver too much fire, so that they can fight 




UMPIRE TRAINING 



73 



the enemy a long time before being discovered by him. 
They work their way back in leaps and bounds and 
under fire protection. Assess casualties. 

(2) The MLR should hold out under the strongest 
fire even under air, gas, or tank attacks. When de- 
fenders withdraw from MLR, they move at top speed. 
Whoever leaves his post without permission should be 
“threatened” with execution. Troops should make 
appropriate use of all agencies and facilities (such as 
camouflage), clear firing field, construct shelters, 
establish communications, distribute ammunition, and 
estimate ranges. All of this should be carefully ob- 
served. Causing troops to simulate prisoners is for- 
bidden, as this is unbecoming to German soldiers. 

g. Combat in a defensive zone organized in 

depth 

Always allow stubborn nests to revive as an induce- 
ment for training in cooperation of all weapons, This 
cooperation should be initiated by messages request- 
ing fire assistance or the attachment of heavy 
weapons. 

h. Pursuit 

(1) To what extent is it successful? Indicate the 
actions of superior officers arriving on the scene. 

(2) Permit daring and even recklessness. 

(3) Should weak or inaccurate fire be assumed? 

i. Combat in woods 

Should units advance through designated zones ? 




74 GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 

j. Mine barriers 

(1) Request pioneer platoons with mine-search- 
ing equipment, and also heavy weapons. 

(2) Where are the gaps in the barrier 1 

k. When attack is checked 

Should troops dig in or keep up the fire ? 

l. When attackers break contact and withdraw 

(1) What mission did the attackers have initially? 

(2) In case the attack was interrupted too early 
without waiting for or fighting with the enemy, send 
the attackers back. 

m. Dummy installations of all kinds 

(1) Reward the units constructing them by assign- 
ing casualties on enemy side. 

(2) Announce the fire that such installations have 
drawn from the adversary. 

n. In all situations 

(1) Are measures for reconnaissance, security, ob- 
servation, communications, reporting, being carried 
out? 

(2) Consider how you can “show up” inadequate 
measures by injecting minor situations, as a form of 
penalty. 

o. Observations of enemy activity 

Everything should be recorded with time notation. 




UMPIRE TRAINING 



75 



p. Ammunition 

Amount of ammunition used (probable percent), 
and targets fired at, should be recorded exactly. 

q. Firing Instruction 

In the interest of firing instruction in mortars, in- 
fantry guns, and machine guns, one should not say: 
“Your impact area is 5 mils too far to the right,” 
but “Your impact area is at that lone tree to the right 
of the target.” 

r. Fire Data 

Ranging, fire distribution, recognition of targets, 
target designation, and transmission of fire data 
should always be carefully observed. 

s. Conduct at Night 

(1) Absolute quiet. 

(2) Motionless when flare is fired. 

(3) It may be advisable to unload guns. 

10. UNIT PROCEDURE AND CONTROL BY 
UMPIRE SITUATIONS 

a. Introduction to combat : 

(1) Distant artillery fire. 

(2) Report on nature and intensity of fire, and 
location of impact area. 

(3) Rifle and machine-gun fire in close vicinity. 

b. Development for action: Fire encountered as 
above but in the close proximity and eventually in the 
midst of the troops. 

480881°— 42 6 




76 



GERMAN" MILITARY TRAINING 



c. Prone position : 

(1) Call: “Shells approaching.’ ’ 

(2) Call: “Machine-gun and rifle fire” to cause 
troops to take cover. Then return fire with fire and 
explosives, at same time digging in if fire protection 
is ineffective. 

(3) All troops should be in prone position before a 
flare starts to burn. 

d. Taking full cover: 

(1) Should be accomplished in accordance with a 
and b above if no hostile movement takes place. 

(2) When fired upon by surprise fire, take full 
cover if it can be promptly attained. 

Note : When taking full cover, troops should not neg- 
lect to maintain observation of enemy, commander, 
and neighbors. 

e. Digging in : 

(1) Effective hostile fire from an unknown direc- 
tion cannot be neutralized, at least not continuously. 
Assess large losses. Movement impossible. 

(2) Troops in assembly positions must dig in, if 
receiving scattered artillery fire. 

f. Change of position: Position should be changed 
if enemy is firing ranging rounds accurately upon it, 
providing new position can be attained promptly. 
Position should also be changed after effective sur- 
prise fire. 

g. Continuation of movement permitted: 

(1) After firing of own heavy weapons. 

(2) During involuntary stoppages in hostile fire. 

(3) If movement is into a lightly shelled area. 




UMPIRE TRAINING 



77 



(4) If the enemy fire has diminished materially. 

h. The entire unit should remain in place under 
cover: 

(1) If hostile fire flares up repeatedly, if there are 
losses in the leading elements, or if leaders are 
casualties. 

(2) If artillery or machine-gun fire is falling just 
in front of the unit. 

(3) If the area has been gassed, unless an assault 
“regardless” has been ordered. 

i. Withdrawal from area permitted (only upon 
command !) : 

(1) If enemy concentrates fire with much ammuni- 
tion, especially in wooded area. 

(2) If area is covered with mustard gas. 

(3) If area is receiving poison gas. 

(4) Under conditions in e above (digging in), 
if soil is too hard. Then retreat by rushes. 

(5) Combat outposts withdraw if under the effec- 
tive fire of an approaching enemy. 

j. Group rushes used : 

(1) During a machine-gun fire fight. 

(2) On suitable terrain (shelter for entire group 
during rush). 

(3) Between bursts or salvos in harassing fire. 

k. Men work their way forward individually, when 
enemy is less than 400 meters away, even when the 
enemy is invisible. While advancing in this manner, 
these men should maintain fire on suspected hostile 
position. 




78 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



l. Open fire when enemy (recognized or suspected) 
fires at ranges favorable for own troops. 

m. Upon penetration of hostile position: 

(1) Hostile fire ceases. 

(2) Hostile casualties are announced. 

n. In case of a successful hostile penetration: 
Announce many casualties in own troops. 

o. Change of position by heavy weapons (including 
exposed positions) : 

(1) Announce destruction of cable connections by 
fire. 

(2) Own front line should be near enemy. 

(3) Own front line has reached designated objec- 
tive. 

p. Fire commands for heavy weapons : Announce 
location of impact points on terrain as in instruction 
firing. 

q. Loss of leader and results : fire strikes leader so 
that he cannot speak. 

r. Material and ammunition reinforcements and 
employment of reserves: Umpire should devise ap- 
propriate situations to necessitate such reinforce- 
ments and the employment of reserves. 

11. MISTAKES, THEIR PENALTIES AND 
CORRECTIONS BY UMPIRES 

The f allotting mistakes are made Mistakes are penalized and cor * 
repeatedly: rected as follows: 

Bunching of troops (also Surprise artillery fire in vicin- 
staffs ! ) ity. 




UMPIRE 

The following mistakes are made 
repeatedly: 

Bunching in woods. 

Failure to camouflage (espe- 
cially rangefinding instru- 
ments) . 



Foolhardy exposure in prone 
position. 



Too long and too frequent ma- 
chine-gun stoppages. 



Lack of cooperation between 
squads. 

Lack of cooperation between 
individual riflemen a n d 
machine guns with regard 
to taking advantage of 
gaps in friendly fire and 
firing over the heads of our 
troops. 



TRAINING 79 

Mistakes are penalized l and cor- 
rected as follows: 

Shells (exploding against 
trees) . 

Sudden fire from heavy weap- 
ons, depending on range. 

Aimed single shots, depend- 
ing on range. Send of- 
fenders back to camouflage 
(peace-time measures). 

Infantry-cannon fire (rico- 
chet) forces troops to 
change position. Stop ac- 
tion. Send troops back and 
have them come forward 
again. Impose additional 
training after the maneuver. 
(It would be wrong to re- 
move them from action, as 
this encourages laziness.) 

Casualties to neighbors from 
hostile machine-gu n fire. 
Forcing offenders to take 
extra instruction after ma- 
neuver. 

Casu allies in noi gh boring 

troops. 

Casualties among own rifle- 
men from own machine 
guns, and casualties in ma- 
chine-gun crews themselves. 
Revival of enemy. 




GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



80 

The following mistakes are made 

repeatedly : 

The same between riflemen 
and mortar crews with re- 
gard to failure to observe 
time limits of fire, etc. 

Unorganized advance of pa- 
trols (without fire protec- 
tion). 

Sluggishness in close-in re- 
connaissance. 

Combat reconnaissance with- 
out fire protection. 

Making a combat reconnais- 
sance without informing 
own heavy weapons. 

The same as above, proceeding 
unprotected or not attempt- 
ing to draw out hostile fire 
(by firing or running back) . 

Individuals in prone position, 
without cover or camou- 
flage on a skyline, less than 
1,000 meters from the en- 
emy. 

Individuals in prone position 
without cover on a skyline, 
less than 400 meters from 
the enemy. 

Assaulting a hostile position 
before all hand grenades 
have exploded, i. e., with- 
out waiting for the com- 
mand of the leader. 



Mistakes are penalized and cor- 
rected as follows: 

Revival of enemy. Casualties 
from own shells. 

Severe casualties in patrol, 
with exception of leader. 

Own superiors c o m e and 
hurry them up. 

Own troops follow close be- 
hind. 

Severe casualties in patrol, 
with exception of leader. 

Casualties from own heavy 
weapons. 

Severe casualties caused by 
surprise machine-gun fire. 

Put them under machine-gun 
fire. 



Put them under rifle fire. 



Individual casualties through 
own hand grenades. 




UMPIRE TRAINING 



81 



The following mistakes are made 
repeatedly : 

Remaining prone on open, 
flat terrain in front of the 
enemy, without firing, with- 
out digging in, without 
seeking full cover, or with- 
out charging. 

Digging in without flank pro- 
tection against fragments. 

Sluggishness in going into 
position, or failure to adjust 
sights. 

Taking prone position or full 
cover and remaining there 
when hearing harmless ma- 
chine-gun fire. 

Unnecessarily taking a posi- 
tion at edge of woods, just 
inside of woods, or less than 
20 meters from edge. 

Taking positions individually 
at conspicuous rocks, trees, 
etc. 

Bunching up behind rocks, 
single houses, etc. 

Individuals advancing rapidly 
in exposed edge of woods 
or messengers, running par- 
allel to enemy’s front and 
within his view. 

Messengers taking prone posi- 
tion beside leader instead of 
behind him. 



Mistakes are penalized and cor- 
rected as follows: 

Severe casualties, in spite of 
weak hostile machine-gun 
fire. 



Casualties by fragments from 
flank. 

Wounds from similar but 
more efficient enemy. 

Give information as to loca- 
tion of hostile machine* 
guns, and effect of its fire, 
and send offenders to proper* 
position. 

Place offenders under shell 
fire with detonations in 
trees. 

Place offenders under fire 
from infantry weapons, de- 
pending on range from 
enemy and his strength. 

Place offenders under high- 
angled fire. 

Place offenders under fire of 
light machine guns. 



A shell, which wounds both. 




GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



82 

The following mistakes are made 
repeatedly: 

Neglecting security and obser- 
vation measures. 

Troops abandoning their posi- 
tion and running to the 
rear. 

Walking from the position of 
readiness instead of rush- 
ing; or too short a rush; or 
slow rushes. 

Remaining prone on descend- 
ing slopes during attack be- 
cause enemy happens to be 
firing. 

Putting on gas mask when 
hearing a distant warning. 

Failure to notice mustard gas. 



Failure to employ antiaircraft 
sentry. 

P r e m a t u r e withdrawal of 
combat outposts. 

Firing at a tank or air- 
craft before being certain 
whether it is friendly or 
hostile. 

Taking full cover without 
maintaining observation of 
enemy, leader, and neigh- 
bors. 



Mistakes are penalized and cor - 
reeled as follows: 

Hostile surprise attack. 

Threat of own platoon leader 
to shoot them dead. 

Assess casualties from con- 
centrated accurate bursts of 
heavy machine-gun fire. 

Assess especially severe cas- 
ualties. 

Let all men put on masks, 
then call out : “Gas sentry 
says : ‘All clear P ” 

Assess casualties from skin 
burns 1 hour later. A large 
number of men should have 
difficulty in breathing after 
a few minutes. 

Air attack with casualties be- 
fore antiaircraft defense be- 
gins to function. 

Send them back by order of 
theoretical superiors. 

Assess a court-martial. 



Make casualty of leader. 




UMPIRE TRAINING 83 

The following mistaken are made Mistake* are penalized and eor- 
repeatedly: reeled as follows: 

In position of readiness for Assess casualties from hostile 
attack: to expose oneself surprise fire, 
carelessly ; to loud behavior ; 
too bunched up at forward 
edge of position. 

Defending and thus revealing Assess casualties caused by 
a position of readiness if fire from hostile ground 
there is a hostile air attack weapons, 
on front line. 

Bunching up in clearings dur- Assess casualties — also among 
ing combat in woods. vehicles and horses. 

Deficient liaison and coinumn- Assess fire from the flank, 
ieations. 

Failure to draw out hostile Assess casualties from rifle- 
fire. men firing from underbrush 

and tree tops. 

12. TRAINING WITH SAND TABLES 

a. An umpire conference is held in which a fa- 
miliar former situation is discussed. 

b. Bring out the considerations listed in the above 
chapter. 

c. Run through the course of the maneuver with 
minor incidents ; discuss measures which are taken by 
individual umpires. 

13. CONCLUDING REMARKS 

The above suggestions are intended to vitalize the 
work of the umpires. The suggestions are by no 
means exhaustive, as the material is unlimited. A 
good slogan for an umpire is: “No cut and dried 
plan ! ’ ’ The umpire should always ask why a soldier 




84 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



has acted in a certain way instead of the way the 
umpire imagined the soldier should have acted. Do 

not be too ready to condemn. 

***** 



14. COMMENTS BY U. S. OBSERVER 

a. This article indicates the serious and conscien- 
tious efforts, especially on the part of the umpire, to 
obtain and maintain realism in German field exercises 
and maneuvers. The German umpire does not fulfill 
his mission by simply informing his unit or its leader 
that certain fires are being delivered, or that certain 
errors are being committed. In their field training, 
German troops are made to realize as nearly as pos- 
sible under peace-time conditions the effects of vari- 
ous types of fire, the appropriate procedure to be 
adopted under different fire conditions, and the re- 
sults of their own or hostile errors in procedure. 
Thus, in the German Army, a field exercise or a ma- 
neuver is a medium for giving the maximum combat 
training, rather than testing the training of troops 
and leaders. 

b. Reports dealing with the action of German 
troops in combat indicate that they follow closely the 
training instruction received in their field exercises 
and maneuvers. As can be seen from this article, the 
responsibility for the value of this instruction rests 
largely upon the umpires. Therefore, the umpires 
must be thoroughly familiar with the projected ma- 
neuver plan and the training objective. They must 




UMPIRE TRAINING 



85 



be more experienced, more competent, and even more 
energetic than the troops. They must possess a strong 
and tactful personality in order to be able to impose 
the restrictions resulting from erroneous action and 
at the same time retain the respect of the troops and 
troop leaders. They must use good judgment and 
common sense in imposing restrictions, but at the 
same time they must avoid dulling the enthusiasm 
of the troops by too many, or too severe restraining 
measures. Authority is a corollary to this respon- 
sibility. Bickering with umpires by troop leaders 
during an exercise is not tolerated, on the grounds 
that it destroys the illusion of combat. 

c. German umpires are required in general to ob- 
serve the same disciplinary restrictions concerning 
cover, concealment, smoking, lights, and similar mat- 
ters, as the troops with which they are operating. 

d. It is emphasized that the umpire must give in- 
formation concerning hostile tire to the troops, as 
well as to the troop leaders. This is logical, because 
in combat the troops are equally aware of the hostile 
fire and its effects. Moreover, proper reactions can- 
not be expected from troops uninformed concerning 
the fire that is assumed to be affecting them 

e. Attacking German troops are trained to take 
advantage of their own supporting fires, pauses in 
hostile fire, and gaps between fires, as well as the 
cover and concealment afforded by the terrain, as 
they advance toward the objective. In certain 
exercises, particularly in the assault, where the enemy 




86 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



is not represented by other troops, all of the infantry 
weapons use practice ammunition (“Uebungsmuni- 
tion”). This ammunition has the same character- 
istics as service ammunition except that the charges 
are smaller. In the reduction of obstacles such as 
bunkers, machine-gun emplacements, barbed-wire en- 
tanglements, and road blocks, service munitions and 
explosives are used. Thus the troops are taught to 
observe caution with respect to their own fires and 
become accustomed to the noise and confusion of 
combat. During an attack, stress is always placed 
on keeping the enemy constantly under observation 
and neutralized by fire or other means. 

f. It is noteworthy that the Germans ordinarily 
do not take prisoners during field exercises and ma- 
neuvers. The practice of taking prisoners lowers 
the self-respect of the captured individuals, diverts 
attention from the exercise, and adds nothing to the 
training of the troops. 

g. In order to insure that the desired instruction is 
efficiently given to the participating troops, an um- 
pire’s conference must be held prior to a field exer- 
cise or maneuver. During this conference, the 
projected plan and situations are explained and 
staked out on maps, pertinent information is dis- 
seminated, and questionable points, including mis- 
understandings, are cleared up in the minds of the 
umpires. 

h. The fact that German military journals have 
recently published articles on the umpiring service 




UMPIRE TRAINING 



87 



in field exercises and maneuvers, and on the training 
of umpires, indicates that the efforts expended in 
developing realistic measures for handling this type 
of training have been repaid by favorable results on 
the battlefield. 




Appendix B. COMBAT TRAINING 
OF THE RIFLE SQUAD 1 



1. THE PREPARATORY WORK OF THE 
PLATOON COMMANDER 

a. Plans 

Preparatory to training the squads in combat 
methods, the company commander instructs the pla- 
toon commanders and platoon sergeants. He prepares 
in advance a training schedule for the period which 
the battalion commander has alloted for squad train- 
ing — a period which, of necessity, is short in time of 
war. By giving his instructions in the field as well 
at the sand table, the company commander assures 
uniformity of the work within the company. It is 
well to begin this preparatory course of instruction 
while individual training is still in progress, so that 
squad training may proceed at full speed from the 

1 This is the translation of a part of an article on “Combat Training of 
the Rifle Squad Within the Platoon/’ written by a German major in 1941. 
It is full of concrete suggestions of training methods for small units. Cf. 
“The German Rifle Company, For Study and Translation,” Information 
Bulletin No. 15, May 16, 1942, Military Intelligence Service. 



89 





90 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



start. A well-organized training schedule will pro- 
vide the time required for that purpose. Demonstra- 
tions held by the company commander personally, 
and performed by noncommissioned officers acting as 
the training unit, are the most effective means of 
showing the platoon commanders how the company 
commander expects the squads to be instructed. 
Therefore, the company commander himself decides 
what problem will be conducted each day. The pur- 
pose of the training must be perfectly clear in the 
minds of all; and the individual problems must be 
confined to the execution of small phases of the vari- 
ous tactical methods (attack, defense, combat in spe- 
cial areas). However, care must be taken not to 
practice the attack one day and the defense the next 
without adhering to some system. Closely defined 
training phases are, for instance : 

(1) The attack from medium to close distance. 

(2) The attack from the point at which the assault 
is launched to the penetration of the hostile resistance 
and maintenance of the captured position. Here, 
early use must, be made of loaded hand grenades, flare 
pistols, and wire clippers. 

(3) The attack from hand-grenade range, assault, 
and defense against a hostile counterattack. Again, 
early use of loaded hand grenades is essential. 

(4) Action in the main combat area. This phase 
of combat must be emphasized; and maximum use 
must be made of loaded hand grenades. 

(5) Combat of outposts. 




TRAINING OF THE RIFLE SQUAD 



91 



One squad problem should not combine too many 
of these phases. The result would be that mistakes 
would not be corrected, and that the benefits derived 
from the exercise would be nominal. Generally, 
training should be based mainly on actions in which 
both flanks rest on adjacent elements. 



b. Theoretical Instruction 

The preparatory work of the platoon commander 
commences in the office and in the field. By no means 
may squad training be “improvised.” 

Preparatory instruction in the lecture hall must 
precede all training in the field. Training manuals, 
charts, and the sand table must be used to teach the 
platoon the combat principles and doctrines that are 
essential to the accomplishment of the given mission. 
It is important to imitate as closely as possible the 
true conditions of warfare. “What is taught and 
practiced in the field must be prepared, mentally ab- 
sorbed, and confirmed through theoretical instruc- 
tion.” 

The theoretical instruction must not be given in a 
narrow, schoolmasterly fashion, but must be animated 
and rendered interesting. It is addressed simultane- 
ously to the squad leaders and their men, teaching 
them clear conceptions (combat principles) with the 
aid of examples taken from actual experiences in 
war. It presupposes that the platoon commander be 
thoroughly familiar with the contents of the training 
manuals. “Mental absorption and a thorough com- 

480881 c — 42 T 




92 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



mand of the subject of instruction on the part of the 
instructor.” The instructor must be able to visualize 
clearly the course of an infantry action. The platoon 
commander must take this theoretical instruction 
most seriously; he will reap his reward later in the 
field. The use of training films facilitates the work 
of the instructor. In preparing himself for a period 
of instruction, the platoon commander must compile, 
in brief form, the paragraphs of the regulations which 
he will use. 

c. Preparatory Work in the Field 

The preparatory work in the field includes the 
selection of a suitable area offering a large variety of 
terrain features, that is, a terrain which permits of 
a continuous development of the given problem and 
corresponds as nearly as possible to the nature of the 
tactics employed. 

Such a terrain is called an “instructive terrain,” 
for it brings out clearly the object of the exercise. 
For instance, training the squad in the defense calls 
for a terrain which offers a wide field of observation 
and permits the delivery of effective fire into the hos- 
tile zone. Or, if the squad is to practice combat of 
outposts, the instructing platoon commander must 
not only select a suitable terrain in front of the out- 
posts, but one which is suitable also in their rear. In 
other words, the terrain must permit a covered with- 
drawal of the outposts ; and its conformation must be 
such as to enable them to resume action, that is, to go 




TRAINING OF THE RIFLE SQUAD 



93 



into position and deliver effective fire, at every favor- 
able terrain feature, while falling back on the MLR. 
The departure area of the squad should offer cover 
against observation and, preferably, also against hos- 
tile fire (woods and thickets, natural boundaries, de- 
pressions behind hills). For the attack itself, rolling 
terrain is most suitable; and small cover, such as 
thickets, woods, hedges, and barns is highly desirable. 

Therefore, extreme care must be exercised in the 
reconnaissance of the terrain ; and the zone of action 
must be checked from A to Z, beginning at the start- 
ing point of the exercise and ending at the objective. 
The platoon commander must walk the entire dis- 
tance, not ride or drive ; again and again he must lie 
down on the ground and examine the area through 
the eyes of the enemy. A general outline of the plan 
of the exercise thus takes shape automatically. Ter- 
rain features should not be assumed. It goes without 
saying that all who assist in the conduct of the exer- 
cise (the enemy leader, those who represent adjacent 
elements, and so forth) accompany the platoon com- 
mander on this preparatory ground reconnaissance. 
The occasional participation of a machine-gun or 
heavy-weapons officer, as adviser to the instructor, 
may be of great service. Important, further, is the 
time of day at which the platoon commander chooses 
to work in the field. The squad must not practice 
only in the clear morning hours. On the contrary, it 
should work also in the dawn of the day, in the full 
glare of the midday sun, in the dull light of the after- 




94 



GERMAN - MILITARY TRAINING 



noon sun, and in the mist and dusk of the closing day. 
It must be remembered that the constant changes in 
visibility have a tremendous influence upon the condi- 
tions of observation and combat. It is suggested that 
the platoon commander conduct one and the same 
problem several times at various hours of the day. 
He will readily find that the difference in illumination 
will favor now one side and then the other, depending 
upon the direction from which the light comes. 

d. Plan of Action 

The formulation of the plan of action divides itself 
into three phases : 

(1) The establishment of the initial situation, 
which covers the sphere of action of the platoon as the 
next higher unit, must be brief and simple; contain 
the combat mission assigned to the scjuad; and de- 
scribe the situation as it exists at the outset of the 
action. Here, as in all military training, simplicity 
is of primary importance. The initial situation in 
any case must state : the hostile situation ; the mission 
of the platoon; the location and organization of the 
squad and adjacent elements at the time being; the 
mission of the squad ; support by artillery and heavy 
weapons ; and the position of the platoon commander, 
in his capacity of leader of the next higher unit. The 
description of the general initial situation gives the 
squad leader and his men a clear picture of the exist- 
ing situation, with regard to fire and air activity. 
Good, complete platoon orders, assigning the squad a 




TRAINING OF THE RIFLE SQUAD 



95 



definite mission and placing it into the midst of a 
combat phase, are a valuable springboard for the 
squad at the outset of the exercise. 

(2) The plan of action must be based on the ter- 
rain, the effect of the friendly and hostile fire, the 
gains made by the simulated adjacent elements, and 
so forth. Its text must show, both as to time and 
place, the progressive development of the assumed 
fires and situations ; the use of flags to represent fires ; 
the employment of smoke producers, blank charges, 
tear and sneezing gases, and roadblock signs; the 
arrival of messages and orders; the occurrence of 
casualties; the falling out of the squad leader and 
the light machine gun ; cooperation with heavy weap- 
ons ; the appearance of friendly and hostile aircraft ; 
the use of smoke screen and the gas mask; and the 
progressive maneuvers of the enemy, demonstrated 
by prearranged signals. Aircraft that happen to fly 
overhead must be included in the problem as either 
friend or foe. Nearby units may be requested occa- 
sionally to lend certain weapons, as, for instance, a 
tank with which to give a clear demonstration of the 
vital cooperation between infantry and tanks. An 
automobile may be transformed readily into a dummy 
armored car with the aid of pasteboard. One must 
be inventive and possess a good deal of imagination. 
During squad training, the men of the rifle squad 
should be introduced to heavy machine guns as often 
as possible ; they should actually fire and not merely 
‘ ‘ assume ’ ’ them. This will help the machine-gunners, 




96 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



too. Field telephones and blinkers should be used 
frequently on problems, in order to prevent the un- 
necessary and careless “sacrifice” of runners — 
which to carry out certain functions, for once the 
effect of the hostile artillery fire cannot be truly rep- 
i*esented by smoke producers and blank charges. For 
instance, it is difficult for the ear to imagine the 
swishing noise of the approaching shell. Therefore, 
a vivid, plastic description by the instructor is most 
essential in that connection, in order to enable the 
squad leader and his men to draw an approximately 
realistic picture of the physical and moral effect of 
the hostile artillery fire. It is advisable to prepare a 
simple sketch of the exercise area, drawn according 
to scale and with exact distances shown. The pro- 
gressive course of action as planned should be indi- 
cated briefly on the margin, according to terrain fea- 
tures and boundaries. The sketch must show dead 
spaces, scheduled target areas, zones covered by 
friendly and hostile aircraft, wire entanglements, 
mine barriers, and gas zones. 

(3) The enemy leader is the most important assist- 
ant of the instructor. He must be informed of the 
location and strength of his disposition which must 
conform to the condictions of actual warfare. He 
must be given an active assignment. An alert pri- 
vate, first class, functioning in that capacity, may be 
given a corresponding reconnaissance mission. The 
platoon commander later should examine the execu- 
tion of that mission and make necessary changes. 




TRAINING OF THE RIFLE SQUAD 



97 



An enemy on the defensive must not be installed too 
obviously in the terrain, in order to accustom the eye 
of the soldier to recognize a well built-in and camou- 
flaged opponent who will present only momentary 
targets. The enemy must avoid congestions. The 
strength, armament, and equipment of the enemy 
must be represented by full-strength troops : if neces- 
sary, these may be supplemented by flags and sil- 
houette targets only to a degree corresponding to the 
object of instruction. For example, if the squad is 
to execute a successful attack, the enemy must not be 
of equal strength ; and his fighting power must grad- 
ually weaken, in order to permit a successful assault. 
Similarly, if the squad is fighting in the main combat 
area, the enemy must be gradually “stunned” so that 
the attacking squad may finish him off with the hand 
grenade and bayonet. 

On the other hand, in defensive training, the 
squad must be attacked by superior hostile forces. 
In other words, the strength of the friendly and 
hostile forces must be weighed carefully against 
each other. 

The instructions issued to the enemy and his 
disposition are of extreme importance and require 
thorough planning and preparation on the part of the 
platoon commander. The enemy leader must be 
given a combat assignment ; and it is best to confine 
him to definite actions, corresponding to the plan of 
the exercise. The enemy shows himself and fires 
(delivering either strong or weak fire, or none at all 




98 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



at first) at the time and place directed by the platoon 
commander. The enemy digs in, conceals himself, 
ceases fire, and screens his position by smoke to rep- 
resent artillery fire on his position, in conformity 
with the plan of action. In the case of fire delivered 
by a hostile heavy machine gun, for instance, the 
instructor and his assistant use flags or a few words 
to indicate the area covered by that fire, showing 
whether the squad itself, or some adjacent element, 
is the target of the hostile machine gun. If engineer 
units are located in the vicinity, material may be bor- 
rowed occasionally to install blasting charges along 
the entire breadth of the hostile position and set them 
off by means of electricity. The fountains of earth 
rising into the air at the moment directed by the 
platoon commander will give a vivid illustration of 
the effect of the artillery fire on the enemy. It must 
be remembered that the spoken words of the instruc- 
tor and his assistants remain but • an expedient, a 
substitute for actual warfare conditions. Hostile 
artillery fire on the zone of action of the attacking 
squad may also be demonstrated in the manner de- 
scribed above. Communication with the enemy 
leader, required by the platoon commander for the 
purpose of making real the action of the enemy, is 
established best by means of prearranged signals 
(flags). 

At any rate, this method of directing the enemy is 
better than to agree on certain hours and minutes at 
which to carry out certain fimctions, for once the 




TRAINING OF THE RIFLE SQUAD 



99 



platoon commander interrupts the development of the 
problem by explanations and inspections, the time 
schedule is broken and confusion will be the result. 
Telephone and radio communication between the two 
sides help the platoon commander to maintain firm 
control over the exercise at all times. An atmosphere 
of true warfare conditions must pervade all of these 
measures. The enemy should fire blank cartridges. 
Finally, the platoon commander must have a clear 
idea of the time required for the execution of the 
problem. 

2. THE PRACTICAL WORK OF THE PLA- 
TOON COMMANDER AS INSTRUCTOR 

a. General 

Once the platoon commander has prepared a writ- 
ten plan of the exercise, he distributes copies of it 
(indicating situation and plan of action) to his as- 
sistants and, in addition, furnishes the enemy leader 
a memorandum containing a number of questions 
which the enemy leader must answer during the ex- 
ercise according to his observations of the squad 
under instruction. In this manner, the platoon com- 
mander gathers valuable data for his critique, for it 
is the only means of informing him what the enemy 
has observed — a factor which is of great importance 
for the critique. The day on which the problem is to 
be held, the platoon commander orders the elements 
representing the enemy to precede the unit to the 
training area and establish themselves in their de- 




100 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



fensive positions. Thus two things are accomplished 
at one and the same time: no time is wasted in the 
field; and the establishment of the hostile position 
remains concealed from the squad under instruction. 

b. Execution of the Problem 

The platoon commander then proceeds with the 
execution of the squad problem according to the fol- 
lowing method of instruction, always stressing thor- 
oughness in execution : 

(1) The platoon commander describes the initial 
situation clearly to the squad leader on the spot, 
speaking loudly enough for all men to hear him. He 
must learn to speak in the manner of the radio an- 
nouncer who describes the dramatic course of a sport- 
ing event. 

(2) The squad leader repeats the description of the 
initial situation. Doubts must be clarified. 

(3) The platoon commander directs questions to 
the various men of the squad, so as to make sure that 
all men understand the situation. Next, he orders the 
squad leader: “Move into departure position under 
peacetime conditions.” 

(4) The squad leader orders his men to take up 

the departure position: “Our squad now will form as 
follows * * The departure position may be 

taken up also in the following manner, for example: 
“First squad, position behind this rise. Squad will 
face as I am now facing. As skirmishers.” Next: 
“Full cover,” or “First squad, position behind this 




TRAINING OF THE RIFLE SQUAD 



101 



slope. Light machine-gun crew on the left, riflemen 
on the right, of the road. As skirmishers.” Then 
follows an inspection of the departure position by the 
platoon commander. It is imperative that the move- 
ments be executed precisely as ordered. 

(5) The squad leader develops the plan of action, 
in conformity with the mission assigned to him by the 
platoon commander. Care must be taken to grant 
the squad leader time enough to make deliberate de- 
cisions — a factor which is often disregarded. Even in 
war, there is usually time enough to deliberate. Un- 
due haste easily leads to reverses. The progressive 
training in combat technique will teach the squad 
leader early enough to make lightning decisions when 
taken by surprise. 

(6) Warfare conditions are assumed upon a whis- 
tle signal of the platoon commander, or a bugle signal. 

(7) The squad leader issues his first orders ex- 
pressing the plan of action. The instructor must 
give the squad leader time to put his initial instruc- 
tions into effect. 

(8) The situation of the squad within the frame- 
work of the platoon develops as planned. The exer- 
cise may be interrupted whenever necessary to dis- 
cuss the phases executed at the moment. The pauses 
are announced by bugle signal and conducted under 
peacetime conditions (which is indicated by having 
the men remove their steel helmets) . This method of 
interrupting the exercise for brief discussions is 
recommended especially for the first period of squad 




102 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



training, in order to evaluate the impressions of the 
action while they are still fresh in the minds of the 
men, and to ascertain the “wrong” and the “right” 
of the orders issued by the squad leader and the con- 
duct of the men, so that everybody — down to the last 
“buck-private” — will be able to understand the situa- 
tion. The fire fight should be interrupted frequently 
and the men ordered to aim at the targets on which 
they have last fired. While this is being inspected, 
attention must be given to the setting of the sights. 
A hurried development of the exercise is harmful to 
the training of the squad. 

(9) Conclusion of the exercise: the squad leader 
reports to the platoon commander: “Rifles unloaded. 
Light machine gun unloaded, released, and locked.” 

(10) The squad leader forms his squad and reports 
it to the platoon commander. The platoon com- 
mander, after a brief discussion with his assistants 
and the enemy leader, holds the critique at a place 
which affords a good field of view. His review of the 
problem proceeds in the following order: 

(a) Purpose of the exercise. ' 

(b) Brief description of the situation on both sides. 

(c) Mission of the squad. 

(d) Brief, yet clear, summary of the course of the 
exercise (no long-winded talk). 

(e) Judging the conduct of the squad leader as 
the “foremost fighting man” and actual leader of his 
squad, stressing his plan of action, measures taken 
and orders given in the execution of the problem. 




TRAINING OF THE RIFLE SQUAD 



103 



Has the leader correctly limited himself to issuing 
brief, calm, and definite orders; and has he led his 
squad, as much as possible, by personal example and 
signals (for instance, to follow, jump, rush forward) ? 
Did the squad leader exercise fire control, and was it 
noticeable? Was the hostile area under constant 
observation (visual reconnaissance) ? 

(f) Judging details, with regard to the conduct of 
the riflemen and light machine-gun crew, for in- 
stance : 

1 . Did the men adhere closely to the prescribed 
direction of attack? 

2 . Did the men hold their heads high, eyes focused 
upon the squad leader and the enemy, while ad- 
vancing ? 

3 . How was the ground exploited during the ad- 
vance? Was camouflage used? 

4 . How did the men go into position? Did they 
use their intrenching shovels? (The shovel occupies 
a place also in the attack, for a good and timely use 
of the shovel is a life-saver and helps to maintain 
the fighting power of the squad. To quote from the 
German Infantry Journal, April 1939, a company 
commander says: “The soldier who digs fast gets 
more out of life.”) 

5 . How did the squad behave during the fire action ? 
How was the fire discipline in general? Did the 
squad open fire earlier than necessaiy ? Did the men 
remember to change their sights during the forward 
displacement ? 




104 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



6 . Did the men guard the muzzles of their rifles? 

7 . Were stoppages of the light machine gun elimi- 
nated under cover? 

8 . Did the men expose themselves and present tar- 
gets .to the enemy unnecessarily? 

9 . How did the men behave under hostile artillery 
and machine-gun fire, during the gas barrage, and 
in the presence of hostile aircraft? Did they make 
use of the gas tarpaulins? 

10 . Did the men avoid congestion in the zone of 
hostile fire? 

11 . Did the squad take advantage of the protective 
fires of the adjacent elements, friendly artillery, and 
heavy weapons and move forward with lightning 
speed and determination? The main thing is to 
teach the men to rush forward. 

12 . At what points were long, and at what points 
short, rushes in order? 

13 . Could losses of men, arms, and equipment have 
been avoided? If so, how? (This is important.) 
How is the ammunition expenditure estimated? 
Did the men think of taking the ammunition of the 
“wounded” and “dead”? This point must be 
watched closely even in peacetime training. 

14 . Was the fire throughout aimed mainly at those 
targets which most obstructed the execution of the 
mission? (Ammunition tactics.) 

(g) What outstanding mistakes were made ? What 
was done especially well ? Here the instructor must 
pay recognition to efforts made, thus spurring the 




TRAINING OF THE RIFLE SQUAD 



105 



men to make further efforts. This method of school- 
ing has always been successful ; it stimulates the in- 
terest of the men in their work and strengthens the 
self-confidence of the squad leader and his men. Each 
day of training must be a day of schooling which 
leaves the trainees with a feeling of deep satisfaction 
at the end. Therefore, the question is : “What lessons 
have been derived from the exercise?” 

(h) Discussion of the question whether the pur- 
pose of the exercise has been achieved and the mission 
accomplished. All participants, including the assist- 
ant instructor, the leader of the enemy, and his men, 
attend the critique. The company commander, in- 
specting one platoon one day and another the next, 
has an opportunity here to clarify doubts. 

The critique calls for clear thinking, a soldierly 
manner of speech, and constant training on the part 
of the platoon commander and instructor. While the 
critiques, in the beginning, must be quite explicit, 
they may become briefer and confine themselves to 
the most essential points as the training progresses. 
The less use the speaker makes of written notes, the 
greater an impression will he make upon his audience. 
Even the young officer must practice speaking with- 
out the aid of notes. A written summary of the exer- 
cise is read later in the lecture hall. 

c. Conclusion 

If the schedule of squad training, as described 
above, is pursued in a thorough manner, the company 
commander will derive greater pleasure from the pla- 




106 



GERMAN MILITARY TRAINING 



toon and company training. The more personal at- 
tention he pays to the training of the squads, the 
greater will be his success in turning his company 
into an effective weapon. It goes without saying that 
the platoon commander must work hard in training 
his squads. Nothing will be “handed him on a silver 
platter”; on the contrary, he must work for it and 
occasionally sacrifice a Sunday to ride over the exer- 
cise area and work out his problem undisturbed. If 
he goes through his work thoroughly from top to bot- 
tom, he will be a “seasoned hand,” so to speak, the 
next time. Tedious though this work may be, atten- 
tion to details will be rewarded. 

In conclusion, it may be well to bring to the mind 
of the instructing platoon commander the principle 
set down in “Command and Combat of Infantry.” 
The words may serve him as a guide and spur in his 
work: 

The infantry carries the main burden of combat and is called 
upon to make the greatest sacrifices. In return, it reaps the 
highest glory. 

The power of the infantry consists in its spirit of the offen- 
sive. It is that spirit which the infantry, confident of its inher- 
ent strength, must foster. Its combat must be dominated by 
one will: FORWARD, STRAIGHT AT THE ENEMY. 



U. S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE! 194 2